FREELANCE WRITING 101
Thinking about how to start your Freelance Writing dream and get paid for your skill? You are not alone!
Freelance Writing has never been more real than it is at the moment. Before now, it might have been okay for the average human to think that there is nothing more to Writing if you do not intend to be a Professor. But this does not completely hold true. No – not anymore in the age we now live in. These days, more people have realised how Writing has proven to be a tool to change their lives, businesses and relationships. Most importantly, Writing has become a means to put food on the table and pay the bills.
Do You Wonder How?
The need for Writing keeps growing by the day. People want more valuable relationships and networks, and industries are looking for ways to lead by innovation. Every day, the world is constantly being put on the edge to make room for all of these. And with the advent of technology, it became needful to communicate beyond paper.
Many more businesses now look for ways to outsource expertise in professional writing and communication. As businesses strive to acquire online presence, they turn to Content Writers who are able to offer what they need to reach out to their audience. With these and many more examples, we all can only imagine the world of relevance Writers now live in.
Now, you can Earn from Writing
You would find it more interesting to know that Writers are not just a bunch of nerds looking for ways to make their lives interesting. Writing, as it is today, is a means to be your own boss, deliver value remotely and get paid right from the comfort of wherever you are. As such, it is an endeavour that allows you to work and balance it with other life’s responsibilities.
Ranging from academic writing, to creative writing, ghostwriting and content writing, you can work from home as a Freelance Writer and get paid for it. Well, it is okay if money is never your ultimate goal for writing (perhaps, you only care about the impact and influence it brings), but what proves bad if you can make as much money as the impact you desire? Absolutely, there seems to be nothing wrong in creating another stream of income from what you do (so long as it is a legitimate means).
There are several ways to make money from Writing. You could decide to write a best-seller (book) and have people buy it, build a Niche Blog that writes to promote businesses or offer to coach people on Writing. Most importantly, you can get paid to write articles for journals, blogs and magazines as a Ghostwriter or a Copywriter, which is a defined way to Freelancing.
So, What is This Buzz About Freelance Writing?
To simply put, a Freelance Writer is someone who writes for random people or different businesses on a self-employed basis rather than writing for just one person. In other words, he is an independent business owner who has no particular employer. He gets hired for writing jobs (mostly referred to as “gigs”), delivers them within a stipulated time and gets paid for his services.
Freelance Writing brings you to the reality of work just like you would have in a corporate environment. However, in this case, you do not work with the regular “9-5” hours during your weekdays. Instead, you work is more flexible as you decide your own working hours and how much you get paid. Isn’t that interesting? So, let’s figure out how to start your freelance writing dream!
Starting out as a Freelance Writer would require your utmost diligence in order to earn the trust of your clients. You may choose any appellation you desire, based on what you do or specialize on. Something simple as a “Freelance Blogger”, “SEO Writer”, “Ghost Writer”, “Content Writer”, or any other desired name would do, as long as it gives an absolute description of who you are and what you do. However, the name you choose and the excitement that comes with the opportunities in freelance writing is little compared with the need to master the needful skills to help you overcome the challenges of starting out to become the freelance writer of your dreams.
It’s okay not to know how to begin your journey to Freelancing. That is why we have highlighted four basic steps you have to take to get you started and make your dream a reality:
Carve Yourself a Niche
Here’s the first thing you need to do: carve a niche for yourself. Writing is a very vast field and you can choose to write on anything. As a matter of fact, many writers get themselves in a fix trying to figure out what exactly they are writing on and which type of writing it is. This minute, they are writing on animals, and the next minute, they are writing on entertainment. This makes people confused as to the kind of writer they are and the specialty they are into.
So, if freelance writing is your dream, you need to define your niche, which is your area of interests or specialization in writing. This could mean the kind of writing you are into, that defines the kind of writer you are. You could be content writer, but you specialize in ghostwriting services only. You could also be a Copywriter, but all you do is edit and write books, or you could specialize in blog writing only. It all depends on you. However, one of the things to note is that specialization does not mean you are only good in that area you have chosen to focus on. Instead, it proves your authority in your selected field of writing.
One of the ways to carve your niche is by finding out your areas of interest in life or what you desire to learn more about. Then, make your solid research on the area you have chosen. Doing this will help you define the kind of freelancing jobs you would take on and help you set your pitch as you look out for jobs.
In a world which is as digitized as ours, virtually everything is online. Your research is online, many of your resources are online and your clients are online too. So, if you would be a successful freelance writer, you already know where to be. To be more precise, if you will get jobs (or land writing gigs), network with your clients, and be successful at writing, you cannot afford to joke about being active online. It depicts your global presence and helps you establish a solid communication with your clients.
You could start by learning how to use Google. Then, set up yourself on social media platforms to let people know what you do. Some of these platforms are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tiktok, Pinterest, among others. You may start with one, learn how to manage it effectively, and then spread out to others. You may even start a personal blog to widen your reach to various clients. Now, once this is done, get on freelancing apps such as UpWork, Freelancer, iWriter, Fiverr, and so on. The point of this is to establish your presence online and create visibility to your prospective clients.
Write a Portfolio for Yourself
You need a portfolio of your writing works so far to serve as the track record to speak for you. This does the work of letting your potential clients know what you do and how good you are with it. Your portfolio begins with your bio, record of your published works (this may be a referral to your social media accounts, a link to your blog, your website, your Medium account, e-books you have published or a company’s blog you have written on before), trainings you have held, certifications you have had and the testimonials of your past clients.
Writing a portfolio gives you the opportunity to showcase your writing samples to your clients to convince them of your writing niche and effectiveness. You can do this by starting a blog, having an account with writing and publishing sites, documenting your articles in a drive or by visiting blogs and making a nicely written article as a comment on their posts.
Launching your business as a freelance writer begins with creating a pitch for your business and the service you offer. You may call this the art of “selling yourself”. In other words, it is where you begin to “pitch” by telling others what you do. Be confident to tell people that you are a writer. However, be careful not to just say what you do blindly. Instead, carefully tailor your pitch to address the needs of your audience and how your service can help achieve their goals. Start from your own story; how it has helped you and has birthed in you the passion to do the same for others. Most people will remember you for the stories you tell.
Getting Your First Freelance Writing Job…
At this point, nothing seems enough to stop from starting out as a Freelance Writer. However, you must take time to develop your pitch and begin. Don’t just say “Hey, I’m a writer. You can reach out to me for your writing needs”. That sounds lame and doesn’t sound convincing. I am not sure you would look twice if you were the audience listening to that.
However, a pitch like this seems to be what you might like: “I used to be so poor at communication which greatly affected business’ revenue, but recently, I have found a way to bring my business as the first result of any Google search on children’s health, and I decided to start the business of SEO writing to help people like me achieve their desired SEO ranking for their businesses online, for as low as $5 per 400-word article”. With elevator pitches similar to this, you can be sure to get good freelancing jobs.
You can also pitch to job boards advertisements, reach out to social media influencers and network with other Freelance Writers. While you may not find all these easy to begin with, don’t let go of your passion. Always remember that with Freelance Writing, you could have the comfort and flexibility you desire with work and life, even while working so hard.
Do you want to know more about how to consistently make money from your writing skills and how to begin? Reach out to us here.
Did you find this an interesting piece to read? Please, share your thoughts in the comment section below. We can’t wait to hear from you!
This is succinct.
With this, anyone with dedication can definitely make it as a freelance writer.
Thank you, Odunayo. Your words are true!