How did you feel when you discovered the world of freelance writing?
Were you completely burned out from your 9-5 job and then felt like the heavens were shining down upon you when you realized that you could make freelance writing your career?
Yup, that’s how I felt too!
Who wouldn’t want to be a freelance writer? You can make your own hours, work from home, and be your own boss. I knew immediately that I needed to make freelance writing a reality for me and not just a dream.
But, where do you start and how do you make it happen?
With all the information available on the web about freelance writing, it can be overwhelming and you end up just storing everything you learned in your brain but not taking any action.
Research is key but at a point you just have to put yourself out there and try it for yourself! Here are some tips to help you get started in making freelance writing your career.
1. Research, Research, Research
If you are here reading this post, then you’ve already started the first step: Research!
When starting any new project, research is the most important first step. The more you know, the better prepared you will be for your freelance writing career.
Once you’ve done your research and decided that freelance writing is a good option for you, put that research into action!
2. Read and Write Everyday
Practice makes perfect! That age-old phrase really is true. If you want to make freelance writing your career, reading and writing everyday will truly make you a more successful writer.
Read blog posts from other freelance writers to get an idea of how you should write and put together your own blog posts. Read blogs and articles from the type of businesses you would like to work with so you can get an idea of what they’re looking for.
Also, try to write everyday, even if it’s just in a journal. You will seriously improve your skills and increase your chances of landing clients.
3. Figure Out Your Plan & Set Goals
Setting goals for your freelance writing career is an important step and there are decisions you need to make before getting started.
Do you want to freelance full-time or part-time? Do you want to be able to quit your job in 6 months or 1 year? How much money do you want or need to earn in a month?
These are things you need to decide before diving head first into freelance writing and making goals will help keep you and your business on track and moving forward!
4. Pick A Niche
What do you want to write about? Picking a niche can seem like a difficult task and sometimes it is.
Having a niche will streamline your business and will present you as an expert in the industry. It’s also easier to get clients. If you specialize in everything, it will be more difficult to market yourself to the right businesses.
If you really can’t decide on a niche right away, don’t let it stop you from starting your freelance writing business. You may find your perfect niche by chance when you get your first client or 6 months into your business when you realize what niches you’re getting paid to write about most.
5. Start A Blog
A great way to practice writing is by starting your own blog. Not only is it great practice but it can serve as a portfolio for potential clients to see what a talented writer you are!
If you’re a freelance writing newbie, you may not have any clients yet and no writing samples. Having a blog gives you samples of your writing to send out to potential clients. Potential clients may even find you through your blog!
Write posts for your own blog like you would for a paying client! Keep it updated and be consistent.
6. Network with Other Freelance Writers
Reaching out to other freelance writers is a great way to get yourself out there and it can also be a very useful resource.
You can connect with other freelance writers who know what you’re going through because they have been through the exact same situations.
Don’t be afraid to comment on blog posts or forums if you have a question. Don’t know how much to charge for your services? Join a freelance writer group and ask! You’ll be surprised by the amount of valuable advice and encouragement you’ll receive.
7. Set Up A Website
Freelance writing is your business, right? So you need a website!
You don’t need to hire a website designer and spend a lot of money right out of the gate. There are many easy-to-use platforms where you can set up your own professional website, some great options are WordPress, Weebly and Squarespace.
Setting up your own website will let clients know you take your business seriously and it’s an easy step to start building your online presence.
8. Market Yourself On Social Media
Social media is a free and easy tool to market yourself as a freelance writer. Set up Twitter and LinkedInaccounts for your business.
Marketing yourself is key to staying in business. You need to find clients for yourself continuously and you might be surprised that social media is an awesome place to do that.
Connect with businesses you want to work with on social media and maintain your presence by sharing posts and interesting content.
9. Start Pitching to Clients
You have a great website and you started your blog but clients aren’t necessarily going to start flooding your inbox just because of that. There are so many people on the internet with their own online business that it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd.
How do you get noticed? You have to go to the client and pitch them!
Pitch on job boards but also send out cold pitches to clients you would like to work with. Sending e-mails to businesses that might use freelance writers is a great way to let them know you exist. Even if they aren’t currently looking to hire a freelance writer, they will probably remember you in the future when they are hiring.
10. Don’t Give Up
Rejection is hard but don’t let it make you quit or give up on your goals!
Freelance writing can feel very personal but remember it’s not. If a company doesn’t hire you or says that your writing style doesn’t fit their brand, don’t take it personally.
You’re going to get rejections and you’re going to make mistakes in the beginning but take them as what they are: learning experiences! Learning experiences will make you a better business person and a better freelance writer.
What tips do you have for freelance writers that are just starting out? Let me know in the comments!