When you get tired of the boring 9-to-5 work or decide to
increase your income, freelance writing might be the best
choice for you. Unlike other freelance occupations, writing
does not require specific skills or years of experience. If
you are good with words and can spare enough time for
research and some self-education, you can quickly make a
name for yourself. To help you along, we offer four pieces
of advice any novice freelance writer should follow.
There so many websites, magazines, and companies online! And
each of them requires quality content you can provide. It is
extremely tempting to agree to every job offer you get and
write about anything, from wine tasting to plumbing advice.
However, if you wish to make a good income, you need to
decide from the get go what your preferred niches will be.
Specialization will help you get a deeper understanding of
certain subjects, making you a sought-after expert.
Moreover, you will be able to write quality content with
increased speed. You can, of course, choose to be a general
writer working on all possible subjects. This approach is
better suited for those who seek to earn extra without
losing their day jobs.
Personal experience: When I
first started my copywriting career, I had to write ATV
reviews and related articles, even though I have never
seen these monstrosities in real life. I took me a
couple of months to get acquainted with technical terms.
And in six months I could complete my research and write
a long article in three to four hours. Later I had to
give up this line of work, but I still remember it
Create a Killer Portfolio
You must have created at least one CV to get a job, but
freelance writing requires another document a portfolio. It
can take on a form of a website, a PDF or a list of links.
It should contain the best examples of your writing, either
created for clients or written on a whim. Structure your
portfolio in a logical and concise manner. You can divide
your works by topics or by the type of work done:
copywriting, rewriting, SEO writing, etc. If your works have
never been published before, you can either post them on
your own blog, send them to the websites like Medium, or
store them in a cloud.
Personal experience: After
you start your freelance writing career, your portfolio
will change. I tend to review it every six months to
delete obsolete entries and add new samples of my work
that make me especially proud. Right now my portfolio
does not contain a single piece created in my first year
as a copywriter. As time goes by, my writing evolves and
those samples no longer reflect my style and the quality
of my work.
After the preliminary work is done, you need to find yourself
a paying customer. You could go to freelance-friendly
websites, like Freelancer, WriteDom, and Upwork. You can
also publish your resume and portfolio at job boards in your
region. Send personal emails to magazine editors, join
LinkedIn and Facebook groups for freelance writers. Spread
the word among your friends and relatives. You never know
who might require your services.
Personal experience: A friend
called me once, asking if I was still into copywriting.
He had a friend in desperate need of an IT writer, a
totally strange and unknown subject for me. I still went
to a Skype interview, talked to the HR and got myself
and new client. There were so many clients in my
freelancing career, and some of them came from the most
When you see an app with a 4.5-star rating, you will
definitely prefer it over the one with feeble 3 stars.
Leverage the human herd mentality in your favor. Ask your
happy clients to write a couple of lines about your work or
send out a simple survey. This will help you to build a
better relationship with your customers, who will feel that
you care about their needs and opinions. All the while, you
will be gathering invaluable feedback to boost your writing
career. The more positive feedback you get, the easier it
will be for you to find new and better-paying orders.
Personal experience: I have
never tried to ask my clients to write a testimonial for
me. I have always known it is a good idea, but never had
the guts to do anything about it. However, my writing
speaks for itself, and my clients gladly refer their
partners and colleagues to me, so I think that is no
worse than having a dozen of glowing reviews.
Don’t think of this list as an all-encompassing guide,
but a mere list of friendly suggestions for anyone new to
the freelance writing world. Use it to your advantage to
give your new career a boost.