Getting started as a freelance writer takes more than motivation, it requires resourcefulness, persistence, and writing skills. You also need to have an understanding of what your freelance journey would be like.
If you have been thinking of stepping into the freelance writing world, but aren't aware of how to, here’s everything you need to know to get started.
What is freelance writing?
Freelance writing refers to any writing-related work done by freelancers or independent contractors. A freelance writer works in a diverse field that covers a wide range of industries and niches, similar to freelance graphic design or consulting.
Regardless of the size of the organisation, several businesses use freelance writers to create content such as press releases, websites, brochures and restaurant menus. Some consider taking up freelance writing alongside their regular jobs as an educational or creative project. They also consider this to be a sound approach to support their regular income. Meanwhile, some people also work full-time as freelance writers.
Things to know before stepping into freelancing
Freelance writing has several advantages, the foremost of which is that the writer gets to be in charge of their schedule. One can choose their working hours and continue with it whenever it is most suitable for them. Additionally, you also have the freedom to pick and choose the projects, suggest ideas you're excited about, and not take up tasks you're not interested in. One of the most lucrative aspects of freelancing is that you also have the liberty to set your rates and change them as required.
However, despite the advantages that freelance writing offers, it does have certain drawbacks such as uncertainty when it comes to income. Unlike a full-time job which has a stable salary, freelancing can often get tricky. Writers also complain about facing difﬁculties in finding prospective clients. Unless you have an established firm or you are an experienced writer, getting suitable clients will be a challenging task, which you will have to go through till you have built up your loyal customer base. Till then, it is your responsibility to be on the lookout for prospective clients and work.
You can look through a variety of online freelance platforms where thousands of jobs are listed every single day Source: Shutterstock
Types of freelance writing:
- Search engine optimization (SEO) writing
- Academic and educational writing
- Creative writing
- Technical writing
- Social media writing
Steps to becoming a freelance writer:
Step 1: Explore freelance writing job opportunities
You should start by finding out what kinds of opportunities are available for freelance writing. You can look through a variety of online freelance platforms where thousands of jobs are listed every single day. Popular websites include Upwork, Contena, and Freelancer, among others. Paid writing opportunities will also help you in establishing credibility and connections.
Step 2: Assess your skills and interests
Evaluating your strengths can provide you with clarity on the topic or subject area to write on. You should also make a list of your training and experiences, including any internships or online courses they have undertaken. Ask yourself questions like: Where do I have the most experience? What do I like to study or talk about? Do my educational background and work experience connect with my interests? What subject would I choose if I had to write an article right at this moment? Answering the above questions will be worthwhile for your freelance writing journey. Many of the job portals for freelance writers also offer skill tests and certifications. Taking these tests will help you enhance both your skills and credibility.
Step 3: Create your freelance writing site profile
Building a strong online presence will help you in showcasing your work to your prospective clients. You can also market your portfolio while pitching your story idea to clients. Make sure to include client-focused content in your portfolio. Mention how you will be of use to the client and how you can solve their problems. Enlist your photo, your domain and your title, to give the clients a better idea of who you are. Don't forget to add a Call to Action (CTA) section to your portfolio.
Dedicating a few hours daily towards building your portfolio and marketing plan will help you boost your freelance career. Source: Shutterstock
Step 4: Find out who your ideal clients are
There are two basic techniques to find your first client and subsequent jobs after establishing your niche.
(1) Look for freelance writing jobs and projects that suit your experience
( 2) Get in touch with potential customers or editors directly.
Research the organisations, businesses, and publications in your niche. Build a prospective list of people to contact.
Step 5: Market yourself as a freelance writer
Promote your writing services as a freelancer. Every successful freelance writer uses a marketing plan. You can get constant work through marketing, receive customer recommendations, and get recognised for your work. Marketing is the groundwork you build so that clients and opportunities can come to you.
Also Read | 5 step guide to become a technical writer
There are diverse kinds of freelance writing, but each pays differently and requires a specific set of qualifications. You could write anything, from health articles for a major news website to short pieces for a literary journal, all depending on the style of writing you're interested in. If you dedicate a few hours daily towards the aforementioned steps, you will certainly ace it in the freelance writing world.