If you have a flair for writing and you want to fulfill your desire of establishing a business out of your passion, working as a freelance writer is the best choice you can make.
Well, if you’re here, you must have gone through articles in other websites too, about how to become a great writer and how easy it is to establish a career by just being in connection with an agency, start working with them, take topics they require content for, or as a second option, surf through ‘bid to write’ websites, just sit back and write.
All this sounds to be so perfect.
But when it comes to starting a freelance writing career, in reality, it has its fair share of challenges and you need to follow the right steps to start a career that actually pays in the long run.
A slow journey to start with, freelance writing has become an increasingly important career choice for many. With the increasing demand for good content, the demand for talented writers has also increased with time.
Establishing a successful freelance career involves a lot of work, chalking out ways to reach put to a large audience, perhaps some moments of unpaid efforts too before you achieve a good monetary momentum.
Keeping all these things in mind, here’s a quick action plan to guide you through the journey of freelance writing. We have put together all the essential steps you need to follow if you want to know how to earn a steady income from Freelance Writing.
Just work on the following business strategies and you will surely get the desired results.
Look For Your Genre
You might have a passion for writing, but creating great content for different client requirements is a tedious job. Finding a niche for yourself and focusing on finding clients specific to that niche is a good strategy that you can follow.
There are hundreds of niches and there are numerous clients who require niche specific content written by specialized writers.
In the professional freelance writing world, you cannot survive if you term yourself to be ‘A jack of all and master of none’.
You need to dig up your niche. It is the hardest part but just look back at your experiences, flip down your passions and merge them into creating a niche for yourself that results in a unique selling proposition for you.
Some popular genres are Travel and leisure, DIY activities, Blogging for business, How-to-Do Posts, Technical Tutorials etc. Basically, it can be about anything that you are truly interested in. You just need to be great at it.
Setup a PayPal account
Once you are ready with your niche, you need to set up a professional payment method for yourself and PayPal is one of the best options for that.
Giving preference to other e-wallets can definitely be your call. But most professional clients prefer PayPal as it is one of the safest and the most legitimate ways for receiving payments.
This simple step adds a professional edge to your career. Once your account is set up, you are ready to roll in and begin the work.
Creating invoices and generating payment from clients becomes so much easier and you are ready for your career!
Create your assets
The next step important step is to start working on creating samples. In order to succeed in the process of finding a great audience for your work, you need to work on creating killer samples.
Developing a portfolio of your work is definitely a great idea but that can only be done once you have relevant experience of working in varied niches.
If you have just started out and you are absolutely blank about where to store your samples or how to create shareable content online, try using Medium. It is a great platform for writers and I personally love it.
Create your profile there and just start writing. It’s that easy. You can add tags to your post for other writers in the same niche discover you. Sometimes, you might even land on a writing gig simply by maintaining a great Medium handle. Share your posts on social media platforms, groups and communities to let people know about the ‘writer you’.
Developing your work samples is a great start to your career. You can also create a blog and save your samples there if you have not yet written for a professional client. That way it becomes easy to share your sample.
I personally do not recommend Word docs samples to be shared with clients because it might look unprofessional and might also give out the impression that you are inexperienced (which should not happen). It is okay to let them know it’s your first assignment. But it is absolutely not okay to make them feel that you are unprofessional.
Besides, by keeping a personal blog and maintaining it regularly, you also get a chance to learn things that you can use later in your writing career.
Now that your assets are ready, you are all set to arrange your estate. But where to find the right audience for showcasing these samples?
Read on to find out!
Host your online presence
Having a lively online presence is a must if you want to be a successful freelance writer.
As a freelancer, only if you make your work presentable enough, will you be able to gain great clients. Of course, there are plenty of freelance marketplaces where you can create a great profile.
For instance, LinkedIn is a great platform if you want to create your profile. An alluring bio, past work details, sample articles and you are all set. There can be links to guest articles you have written or to your presence on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, etc.
Just keep in mind the fact that a freelance writer is judged by what the profile portrays. Be it LinkedIn or Medium, or any other resource it should reflect your work in the most professional way.
Joining communities like Freelance Writeron Facebook, and other social media platform is also a great idea to keep your eyes open to what is happening in the freelancer’s community. However, be careful before you apply for jobs posted in these communities. Find out the authenticity and check the reviews before you applying.
Pitch to get the right work
Time for some hustle!
Beginning with a career as a freelance writer can be difficult as you start to search for a quality client. Nobody knows your existence and this is where you need to put in a little work.
If you find an assignment that interests you, then do not hesitate to make a pitch for it. As a beginner, projects are hard to come by but a little bit of persistence can go a long way in getting you the right projects.
I am often asked by many newbies if they can join a gig immediately. Let me tell you one thing. Finding your first writing gig is like finding your first job. Just like you need to apply and then be accepted for joining the job, here too its the same thing.
To put your best foot forward, here are a few pitching strategies you can use –
This is a slow and steady strategy that can land you some good clients. You can check various websites that require you to showcase a sample work along with an ideal reason to hire you.
Pitching directly to businesses
A slight advanced step to the previous strategy, you can also pitch directly to clients for work. You can yourself research about businesses and websites that can hire you to write for their blog or other projects.
Although this requires a lot of time and effort, it can be beneficial in the long term if you can stick it out. If you are the enterprising type, you can surely be successful at it.
Social Media Presence
Reaching a wider audience, connecting to the right people in your industry and serving the right clients can be effective in getting you more of the right kind of work.
All you need is to be regular and persevering. Display your best work and write-ups with an optimized profile and you’ll be good to go.
Be a guest writer
Working as a freelancer teaches you how to fetch work directly and indirectly. Thus, writing a guest post here and there on other websites is a sure way to traffic more eyes to your own profile/blog.
Plus, if you get featured on renowned websites, work will surely come to you on a regular basis.
Writing with Marketing
There is a difference in delivering ‘content’ and delivering ‘good content’.
For a newbie starting out in freelancing, it is important to understand how similar, yet different ‘content marketing’ and ‘freelancing writing’ is. It usually takes enormous efforts to excel at one of them without being uncomfortable with the other.
Remember, no content will give you value if it does not generate value for the client itself.
Of course, writing error-free crisp content customized and optimized for the audience can go a long way in creating value. Understanding precise client requirements, meeting and even surpassing them can make you indispensable for the client.
As a bonus, you can help the client get maximum value out of the work which will, in turn, benefit you in the long run.
Establish Your Feedback Circle
Let’s be honest; not everything you write will be the best thing you ever wrote. Thus arises the importance of feedback and improvement.
And you should welcome such feedback if it comes directly from the client and improves the way desired by the client.
However, not all clients know what feedback to give and this is where you can take the help of your freelancer peer group. Having a few trusted writers in your group who can edit and review your work before submission can do wonders for your performance.
Identify the right freelancers, talk to them and establish a level of comfort with them. This can surely help improve your work and help get you great reviews from your clients that you can display on your profile (with the client’s permission, of course).
Freelancing is much like cooking; with time you will surely get better at it. The money may not flow instantly and you may have to face a little rejection initially (remember Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling got rejected more than 200 times!).
Don’t give up too soon!
With consistency and perseverance, you will sooner rather than later achieve your dream of being a successful freelancer!