Anyone who has ever been a freelance writer will be able to tell you one simple thing –
It’s not easy, so don’t expect it to be a smooth take-off!
But here’s what I think – anything worth taking a risk for will never come easy; if it was, it wouldn’t be worth it. Whether you talk about starting out as a freelance writer, taking up your first-ever outdoor project, or even deciding to take the first step towards something that holds value for you, it will come with its share of ups and downs. So be prepared!
When it comes to taking the first steps as a freelance writer, the biggest struggle that most people talk about is being visible. The internet is brimming to the top with new talents coming up every second, which makes it harder for one to not only be under the light but even manage to get anywhere near it, to begin with.
However! It may be hard, but it isn’t impossible. So if you’re looking to start your career as a freelance writer, here are some of the things you might want to follow (Note: I followed some tricks for myself, and I am pretty happy with the results)
Becoming a Freelance Writer
Start a blog
Many call blogging a ‘lost art’ but if you really think about it, it is your easiest way to not only start writing but also to maintain your online shareable portfolio! Of course, if your existing blog topics are personal, you might want to consider starting a fresh blog with varied categories.
For complete newbies with no particular areas of interests –
I suggest maintaining a balance of discussion areas to explore your preferred niche and also to showcase your research skills, and the ability to write on different topics.
Share your links
Nothing speaks better in terms of recommendations as compared to that of a known person. So once you start building your blog, begin sharing the links with your circle. Many of my first clients were actually references from my friends who saw my blog!
Join discussion forums
Almost every social media platform today has dedicated groups for freelancers! Join a group and start analyzing the kind of content that goes on it. You will find several discussions on people looking for writers/jobs, or some looking for tips and tricks – find your area of interest and engage! Forums are a great source of information and ideas!
Explore LinkedIn articles
Leverage your connections on LinkedIn and start posting articles. LinkedIn is a great source for people to connect with professionals and even engage in interesting discussions based on content. More engagements mean more reach for your content!
You can also share them with your connections via messages with a simple personalized text that says, ‘Hey I just published my new post, and would love to know your thoughts on it! *attach link*’
Build a Pinterest portfolio
Pinterest is an exciting tool that appeals to the visual senses. As a writer, you can gain visibility by using interesting images and linking them to your end portfolio. It also allows creation of ‘Boards’ that can be easily customized as per your niche areas to showcase your range of content diversity.
Understand yourself as a writer
Once you have successfully set up your base, it is important to understand your capacity for work. Several writers work through the day to push out words in numbers while others take time to work on research and produce single pieces of content at a time. Therefore before getting right into it, it is important to understand yourself as a writer and then make a commitment.
Whenever someone starts out with a new journey, it is important to take small steps, to see how far you can get, at what pace. So pick up small projects that you can guarantee delivery for in the said time frame.
Build a contact list
Visibility is one of the most important things when it comes to staying ‘alive’ in the business. Build a contact list with emails for every client that comes your way. Send out emailers for every new blog post! Inviting people to sign up to your mailing list is another important trick.
The death of most blooming careers is often the lack of patience. Becoming a freelance writer is an art that takes time and patience. It requires one to build up their value in order to stand out from the crowd. More importantly, these are all free ways of getting yourself out in the open and thus they are bound to take time! So be patient and keep at it.
One of the tips that I always offer to new freelancers –
Never start writing for someone you found over the internet, without a written confirmation. I have heard many people talk about how they were duped by someone who asked for samples on Facebook and then ended up using those samples without paying a single cent. So if you’re signing up to write for someone, always insist on a written agreement, even if it is just over the email.
So there you go! These are the few basic steps that one must consider when they are looking to become a full-time freelance writer!
What do you think?