So, you have decided to liberate yourself from the clutches of a 9-5 job and advance on flourishing your freelance writing career.
Well, let me tell you that hundreds of thousands of writing opportunities exist on the web community and your ability to grasp them and make the most out of them will decide how far you will go in your freelance writing career.
Now, even though there is an ocean of contents, stating how easy freelance writing is, the fact is, it’s actually not that easy. For your freelance writing career to take off you need to put in a lot of hard work, patience and some lean time before you actually start earning some steady money.
There are some freelance writers who are highly successful and are making a stable income with no difficulty in finding clients or a new project. However, there are some who are getting just enough to get their bills paid.
To be honest, at one point in time almost every freelance writer gets stuck at that stage where they don’t even make enough to replace their dead-end job.
But if you are consistent and able to provide your visitors with something unique and useful, becoming successful in your freelance writing career is just a few blocks ahead.
Here a few points that you should consider if you want to make the best out of your freelance writing career.
1. Own a Blog or a Website
This is the primary thing that should be at the top of your list. You need to have your own blog or a website if you want to attract high paying clients.
Clients look for freelance writers who have a good writing experience – they want to see the evidence that you’ve successfully delivered projects for other happy clients. But what do you do if you don’t have a bulging file of testimonials or professional samples?
Create a blog and use that as your portfolio. Your blog can become the primary way to showcase your talent and your writing abilities.
Apart from being your portfolio, a blog can also serve you for many purposes. It helps you to create a lead generation strategy and monetization strategies as well.
Starting Your own blog, not only boosts your confidence but also provides you room for improvement. It builds your credibility in your niche. Whether you are a technical writer, a travel blogger, a beauty and fashion blogger or any other writing professional, a blog can serve as a platform where you let your readers and visitors know about your skills.
The best thing is that starting a blog is very easy these days. To be more specific, you could have your blog up and running even before I finish writing this article.
Even if you are a newbie, there is no need to worry. There are hundreds of articles out there that provide detailed information on how you can start your own blog.
When you start the blog make sure to have the following pages included on your site –
- Hire Me page – If your blog is about providing service, you should have this page in your blog. List your specialties, abilities and why they should hire you.
- Portfolio page – list your samples and your work on this page for your clients to go through them.
- About Me page – give a blurb about you and give more information about how you can help your client
- Contact page – have a way to contact you via a contact form or links to your social media profiles, Skype and/or email.
You can also have ads, sponsored posts or do affiliate marketing on your blog to monetize it. This will give you the advantage to earn some extra cash while you are building your blog.
2. Join Writing Communities
Creating a mutual relationship with fellow writers is an excellent way to get support, stay updated and find solutions for many common problems. And the best way to do this is by joining writing communities.
Whether it’s LinkedIn, Reddit, Facebook groups or professional associations, becoming a part of a writing community is adamant about your survival in the freelance world.
Besides, when you’re just starting out, experienced writers can help you out with information about gigs, budgeting, and all the different aspects of your trade.
3. Choose A Niche That Is Profitable
Choosing a niche for blogging is not particularly difficult, but choosing a profitable niche is not so easy.
The process of choosing a profitable niche mainly involves identifying the popular niches, selecting the one that interests you and finally choosing that aspect of the niche that you can monetize.
Now that being said, don’t simply assume that choosing a niche on someone or something famous will be a profitable niche.
Taylor Swift is very popular. You might think there’s a lot of traffic potential in focusing on her as a niche. But if you Google her, you will get over hundreds of thousands of results for her name alone. Competing against such a huge number is not easy.
Here are a few tips on choosing a profitable niche.
- Find out what people are interested in now – not last year!
- Choose a few of these topics that you are interested in yourself.
- Find out what issues people have in these niches that may not be completely resolved.
- Use keyword tools to find out what aspects of these niches others have most questions about.
- Find the best keywords to use on your blog.
- Check your competition and focus on doing better than them.
- Finally, to be profitable, you must make more money from your blog than you spend on it.
4. Figure Out Your Ideal Client For Freelance Writing
After choosing your niche, the next thing to figure out is to whom to write for. Do you want to work for start-ups, tech companies, authors, B2B companies, doctors, celebrities, magazines, NGO’s…?
When you are just starting out, you might get tempted to accept any paid gig that comes your way. Because at this point, all you want is a regular client who pays you for your articles. This is the honest truth.
But this seems ideal only during your initial stages and if you continue this trend of writing anything for almost anyone, you will soon realize that even after writing many articles your worth as a professional writer has not elevated.
You might frequently wonder, what’s wrong with your writings? Why aren’t you consistently landing upon great clients?
So it’s time for you to quit writing for just anyone or for anything anymore. It’s time to only write for your ideal clients.
Choosing your ideal client is entirely up to you. However here are a few tips that you could consider-
- A good client is one who values you as a writer
- He/she understands and realizes all the hard work, time and research you put in writing their contents.
- Is co-operative, instead of forcing everything on you.
- And pays you, your worth. Don’t accept anything that is being offered. You know what you are worth for and don’t settle for anything less than that.
5. Create Great Samples Around Your Niche Topic
After you get the grip on what niche you are going to write about, start creating some professional samples around it. Having samples will make you appear more credible and gain your prospect’s trust.
It is through your samples that clients will determine whether you are fit for their job or not.
There are several options for creating samples. If you have any old pieces of writing from your college days or from your previous work that you deem as your best work, display it in your portfolio.
But keep in mind, if it doesn’t demonstrate your best writing ability, it may not be worth it to showcase it for prospects to hire you.
You can also create your own samples rather than using something old. For example, if you are a technical writer you can create samples on various new gadgets being launched in the market, or create a list verse.
Do some research into the type of content that is already being published in your niche to get a good feel of what you can write about.
Make sure, you produce quality content to be used as a sample
Then write up a blog on it and publish it as a sample. If you don’t have a blog, you can use LinkedIn Pulse and/or Medium (which are platforms that will publish your articles instantly for free).
6. Expand Your Social Media Presence
Social media sites are where everyone resides virtually nowadays. And if you want to make the best out of your blog, make it popular on the various social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and so on.
Trust me, you are losing potential clients if you are not active on social media sites. I can’t stretch enough on how powerful it is to be on social media.
Start small and start creating profiles on 2-3 sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Create your profile, while maintaining a professional touch.
Remember, you are trying to market your freelance writing business and attract clients. Use keywords such as ‘freelance writer’, ‘professional blogger’, ‘copywriter’ and so on.
Pick a professional image that perfectly represents your brand and fill in all your details. Make sure that if any client goes through your profile, they should be tempted to hire you.
On social media, start following other writers in your niche. Also follow brands, businesses, and influencers that you admire, follow or want to write for. It’s crucial to create a network in this business.
Once you start following others, it’s now time to share their content. Whether it’s on Twitter or LinkedIn, share other blogger’s content.
The more connected you are to others, the more likely you will get referred and found out from people that need a content writer.
7. Start Pitching
OK, so you have a blog and social media accounts, and now you are sitting in your room expecting calls from prospecting clients. But the thing is, it’s you who have to approach them to offer your services.
There are several ways as to how you can start approaching potential clients-
- Apply at job boards (There are some that pay pretty decent for a new writer).
- Cold calling
- Paid guest posting (this helps with getting you more exposure and with income)
Different clients have different requirement and sending the same pitch to all those clients may not seem like a good idea.
You’ll have the best advantage of landing a writing gig if you personalize your pitches. Take your time to look at the company, review the details of their position, what their requirements are and how well you can handle them.
They offer hundreds of jobs for you to choose from. However, pick jobs from reputed and verified employers, just to be on the safe side.
8. Setup Goals To Be More Productive And Successful
Try to find out what motivates you, and during what times of the day you are most productive. Make a working schedule that fits well with you. You have to set goals and a clear marketing strategy if you want your freelance writing career to flourish.
A few tips for your daily schedule –
- Sending out pitches for guest posts
- Following up on prospects
- How much time to devote to job boards
- Checking your social media sites
- Reminder to share your posts on multiple social media platforms
Finally, on your journey towards a successful freelance writing career, you should have a good sense of direction so that you can move on well. Once you take the action, you will start seeing results and find it easier to keep going because you’ll see all the progress you’ve made. So don’t give up!
Even new freelance writers can have success quickly. Just be persistent, goal oriented, and market your services a lot.