Freelance writing is an ideal way to make an income from home, and breaking into the industry isn’t as difficult as it used to be.
As with most jobs, experience is key, so don’t expect to be making a full time salary from the start.
If you follow a few tips and tricks, then you could find that in just a few short months you’re well on your way to becoming a professional writer working as many hours as you choose to.
That is one of the big bonuses as working as a freelancer – set your hours and the amount of clients as works best for you.
Perfect for a weekend part time job or a couple hours a day when you are free.
The Fastest Way to Break into Freelance Writing
Breaking into the freelance writing business all comes down to three aspects;
(1) Building a portfolio
(2) Making contacts
(3) Marketing yourself
Here are a few ways you can help yourself move from aspiring writer to experienced pro.
Build a Portfolio that Focuses on your Writing
Having a portfolio is the difference between an amateur and a pro. If you’re applying for freelance writing jobs, your application is going to be considered far more seriously if the employer can see a few examples of your work.
It gives them a feel for your individual style, and gives them an idea of how you could provide what they’re after.
But how do you build a portfolio if you’ve never written before?
There are actually a few ways of doing this. The most basic way is to simply write a few short articles on a range of topics, in a variety of styles that go into your portfolio and nowhere else.
It means you won’t be getting paid for these articles, but if you’re completely new to the business, it’s a good starting point.
Starting a Website to Help with Freelance Writing
You could also consider creating a blog and start earning an income. You need a website for displaying your freelance writing, right?
Don’t stop there – add to the website by writing articles about writing, freelancing and other writing related activities.
By doing this, you can earn money for your posts through advertising. Several advertising companies will pay you depending on your website traffic.
A good course like this one will get you started – I have personally taken this course and it changed everything for me.
I now have multiple websites earning money for me. You can too!
If you don’t want to create your own blog, try contacting blog owners to see if they accept guest posts. This means you’ll be writing an article to be published on someone else’s blog.
Some blog owners pay for this, others don’t, but the most important thing is that your blog post will include a by-line.
This small paragraph about you is a huge advantage as you begin to gain an online presence.
You can also try using online article writing services. The beauty of these is that you pick what work to do, rather than being selected to undertake the work, so everyone has a chance.
The downside is that rates are very low; remember, the early days aren’t about the money.
Always check the terms and conditions of these websites, but some will allow you to use your work for sample purposes.
Make Contacts in the Writing Marketplace
If you’ve contacted blog owners, that’s a good start in making some valuable contacts. Write a good guest post, and you could be asked to do more work.
Although it’s not guaranteed, you could find your pay for this goes up as the blog owner becomes familiar with the quality of your work.
And as that blog grows, you could well have to opportunity to contribute even more content.
Another way of making contacts is to use the article writing services websites briefly mentioned above. With rates being so low for these jobs, many clients find they’re inundated with suboptimal articles.
You could be the diamond in the rough they’ve been looking for. Produce a great article, and you could find clients coming directly to you for more work, reducing the risk of having someone create a total dud.
Freelance websites may seem a bit scary, but they’re actually very useful in making contacts.
Many professional writers look for on-going jobs, where there’s going to be a steady pay for a number of weeks or months.
A one off job paying a few dollars simply isn’t worth their time. However, they’re a great opportunity to expand your client contact list.
If a client has one job, chances are they’ll have more at a later date. Write a good article now, and you could be in demand later on.
Join Facebook groups for writers and website owners. Many site owners look for purchased content.
How to Market Yourself as a Freelance Writer
When using freelance websites to apply for jobs, you’ll be expected to write a cover letter, as with any other job. Even if you’re new to freelance writing, don’t knock your abilities.
No client wants to hire a writer who says ‘I’ve never written before, but I think I can do it’.
Boast about what you can do, and what you have done, even if you think a small piece for your local newspaper wasn’t a big deal, any experience is good experience.
Don’t be embarrassed to talk yourself up. You might even want to consider creating your own website and offering your writing services.
What to Include on a Freelance Writing Website
Rate of pay, and
A photograph of yourself; a good photo really helps in getting jobs as clients can see you’re a real person and not an agent that is going to outsource the work to lower quality writers.
Further Training for Freelance Writing
If you’re serious about becoming a professional freelance writer, you may want to consider some training.
Qualifications that are useful are a creative writing or English language degree. A proofreading course will also be valuable. Definitely some SEO training as this is something every website owner is looking for.
With a bit of effort, anyone can make money by writing from home. Make use of the unlimited opportunities on the internet, whether that’s through blog writing, article writing services or freelance websites.
If you’re after a challenge, you may even want to think about writing your own book and self-publishing.
Explore different options, and think outside of the box!