You know in your heart that you can become a freelance writer, but you simply don’t know where to begin.
We know a lot of people like you.
Google is there all right if you want to do your own research, but just the same, we still created this complete guide to make your life easier.
As they say, pick the ones that you think will benefit you and throw away the rest.
You have the freedom to follow this guide by the book, or not.
This guide can somehow help you waste precious time and avoid mistakes as you go about your journey to becoming a freelance writer.
Working anywhere you please is a luxury most people only wish for, but a lot of people are already enjoying it.
Being a freelance writer can open this new world of opportunity for you – an opportunity that can earn you up to a whopping $5,000 per month!
But we all need to start somewhere, take that first step, and go through the struggle, towards a more successful career.
So this article is wholeheartedly dedicated to you – our freelancer friends.
Remember that you still need to invest time and effort to learn the ins and outs of this freelance career before jumping in.
It is never easy, but in the end, it will all be worth it.
Part of the struggle is to undergo a lot of learning and unlearning.
So let’s begin.
Step 1. Ask yourself
You need to ask yourself this:
Do I have what it takes to be a freelance writer?
One thing you need to check on is how passionate you are about writing.
Passion must be there.
Passion in writing must be present, or else it will be difficult for you to finish projects.
It is what we call your staying power.
And with passion being part of your being, while doing this job, will become just a walk in the park.
Doing what you love, with a whole lot of passion, means you won’t be working at all for the rest of your life.
Step 2. What do you want to write about?
It is important to identify what subjects or topics you want to write about — where you feel you are good at and comfortable writing about it.
This will give you direction.
This will set you apart from the multitude of freelance writers.
Writing is a very broad industry with lots of interconnecting categories, so you need to find your niche, make a name, and set a bigger pay rate.
These are the most common categories in freelance writing or different types of writing gigs that you need to learn about.
You can choose at least one of your most preferred categories to test your skills and further hone your writing talent.
– Article Writing:
This is the most common form which is writing articles of at least 500 words for online publications, websites, and blogs.
– Blog Writing:
Although this resembles the basic article writing gig, writing articles for blogs includes basic knowledge in WordPress and other similar platforms.
Most of your clients when asking for this service will be needing you to access their WordPress account’s dashboard.
– Website Content Writing:
This is writing articles for a website’s pages like the landing page, about us page, description of products or services, and more.
– Short Story Writing:
If you have the skill in storytelling, this could be the right writing gig for you. It could be based on true events or just purely from your imagination.
This is a highly creative writing gig. This involves writing compelling titles, captions, taglines, and content for products and services for advertising and promotional purposes.
– eBook Writing:
This is not the converted books or novels in digitized form for the purpose of online reading with a mobile device.
This involves writing short but valuable information about a product or service to be downloaded for free.
These types of eBooks are more often than not given as free material in exchange for a person’s email address and other personal information.
This work involves writing articles that people publish under their name.
It can be a speech, an eBook, a blog article, etc.
As long as you are writing for someone who is getting all the credits for it, that is ghostwriting.
– Resume and Cover Letter Writing:
This is a writing gig that doesn’t pay much, but a lot of people who don’t know how to write a good resume with a cover letter for job applications always look for a writer who is good at this stuff.
– Technical Writing:
This form of gig is writing for companies or individuals selling physical products.
You will write content placed on product labels, packaging, product manuals, brochures, and promotional materials.
Step 3. Pick your niche
Being a freelance writer, sometimes you are required to be a jack of all trades kind of person in this career, which means you should be able to write about almost any topic under the sun especially so if you are catching up on some financial obligations, any writing gig will do, for now.
This is an option you can set for yourself.
Remember though that picking your niche will help you establish your own identity in this industry, and this will help you narrow down your paying clients.
It is important to be able to create your own image or writing style that clients can easily identify so that you can set a higher rate for your services.
Let’s say, for example, that you are good at writing essays.
You can put on your profile in any freelancer platform you are a member of your catchy title “Freelance Essay Writer,” or if you are good at writing blogs under any industry, you can put there “Professional Blog Writer,” or if you are into storytelling, you can put a catchy profile title like, “Highly Creative Fiction Writer.”
Step 4. Write like a pro
Even though English is just your second language and you are just starting to write for small writing projects, you have to start thinking big. Feel like a professional writer, act like an expert, and you will eventually become one.
It all starts with the mind… and a whole lot of practice.
Starting with 500 to 1,000-word articles will help you develop your writing skills, and every single time you write, pretend you are writing for the biggest companies in the world, even though it is just a small-time gig with a small pay.
The easiest way for you to track your improvement is to start your self-hosted blog site and just a simple one.
This will serve as your online record that you can read and review over and over again if you must so you can compare your old articles with your new articles.
Your blog will also serve as your practice arena where you can create your unique writing style.
We are pretty sure it is going to be terrible for the first few months, but believe us when we say that you will improve after every single article that you write.
Tip is, like we already mentioned, write with all your heart and like a pro.
You will surely make a lot of mistakes, but don’t be disheartened. Just keep on writing and writing and writing.
That’s what J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter books did… She simply didn’t give up.
Step 5. Gain Experience and Build Your Reputation
The important reason why you need to start your blog site where all your articles will be recorded is that it will also serve as your online portfolio.
It would be easier for you to send your blog site link (like an online resume or sample work) to your prospective clients.
WordPress is an easy platform where you can create your blog site.
Clients can then easily check your writing style and can boost your success rate when it comes to getting writing projects and eventually building your reputation from the ground up.
Gaining an experience is not only through the projects that you get, but also through reading… a lot.
So your two main personal tasks to boost your skills and success are reading and writing.
Read a lot to get more insights and ideas about a wide variety of topics, especially on the niche you decided to focus on… and then, write a lot.
Practice always makes perfect.
It always does.
One way to build your reputation is to submit your articles to reputable blog sites.
If one of your articles is approved and published on these popular sites, then you are already considered a skilled writer.
Whether it’s just a short 500-word article or a long one, it doesn’t really matter.
Just get one of your articles published and you’re closer to getting more clients that are willing to pay higher fees for your service.
Step 6. Fixed or hourly rate
Deciding on your hourly or fixed rate has to be based on your current level of writing skills.
Check what the others are charging by simply going to some freelancer sites that are offering writing services.
Based on our experience and experiences of other seasoned writers, charging a fixed rate is beneficial for you and your client.
Clients are more comfortable with the fixed rate since some providers don’t complete a project as quickly as possible just to be able to charge more.
With the fixed rate, you don’t have to worry about tracking your hours of work as well.
You can also focus on completing the project as soon as you can without sacrificing the quality, of course.
You can start charging per hour or per word if you already established your reputation as an excellent writer.
Step 7. Promote your service online
This step is considered one of the hardest phases in your writing career — to get the word out there that “Hey, I’m an amazing writer.”
Choose a platform online where you can promote your writing services.
We encourage you to use several of these online freelancer platforms or websites that connect freelancers and clients.
Don’t worry, it’s mostly free.
Besides, we all need to start somewhere.
Here’s the tip.
If you are a beginner without much experience, avoid extremely popular freelancer sites with millions of writer profiles already on them… like Fiverr and Upwork.
Too much competition on that and you might not land a project at all.
Focus on finding newer and smaller freelancer sites or platforms so you’ll have a bigger chance of winning projects because there are only a few like you competing for the same kind of projects.
Create a killer profile with an attractive proposal and fixed rate and you will surely win more projects.
Some of the few new and low competition freelancer sites that we can suggest to you now are ClearVoice, Constant Content, Crowd Content, and Contently.
Do watch out for our next article that enumerates the low-competition websites where you can launch your freelance writing career.
And you will surely love it!
Please keep these important things in mind going forward.
To succeed in this industry and become a great writer, you must be willing to go out of your way in making sure every client you get is treated with importance.
Be willing to provide some free extra work like, for example, writing a summary or synopsis, whatever the case may be, of the article you will be writing about.
Again, for free.
Be open-minded always.
Not everyone is going to love your work, and so expect some harsh criticisms every now and then.
Do not get mad.
Instead, learn from them.
Use this to your advantage.
Always be courteous and polite to each and every one of your clients.
You will be needing their recommendations and 5-star reviews as you continue your journey towards becoming an exceptional writer.
IMAGE CREDIT: Freepik