Freelancers
How to be a Successful Freelance Writer

How to be a successful Freelance Writer

If you want to begin a career without needing to spend a lot of money and time, then you might want to consider freelance writing. Simply stating “I am going to be a freelance writer” isn’t going to make it happen. Unfortunately, we can’t wish ourselves into successful beings, as much as we might want to!
Now this doesn’t mean you have to have some long and complicated business plan drawn up, but it does mean that you need to sit down and have a conversation with yourself on some clear-cut goals and how you intend to reach them.

”To become a Writer, You must first become a better Reader.”

JOB FUNCTIONS

Writing is a very broad career. A company or individual can hire you to create content for websites or blogs. You can also specialize in an area, such as public relations, copywriting or travel writing. You can write features and how-to articles for magazines and digital publications. You may even find assignments to write food recipes or to review restaurants. Alternatively, you can venture into the world of fiction writing, creating your own ebooks or novels.

Who usually hires in this field?

Plenty of businesses hire freelance writers with different skill levels. You have:

  • Website owners
    • Manufacturers and retailers (product descriptions)
    • Website designers and programmers (for those who are coming up with their own team)
    • Search engine optimization (SEO) companies
    • Publishers
    • Magazines and journals
    • Blog owners

CAREER BENEFITS

You can begin a part-time writing career without investing in any overhead. You can write from anywhere, using just a computer and Internet connection. You can find most or all of your freelance jobs online.. Your biggest investment is in yourself: you need continually to improve your writing skills and learn how to market yourself. Writers are always in demand. You can find a constant supply of online writing gigs, including magazine and website editors who seek articles for upcoming issues. Depending on your niche and the type of clients that you serve, it is possible to make a full-time living by writing for online clients and editors.

DEMAND FOR WRITERS

Freelance writing is always in demand by businesses, ad agencies, and magazine editors. They need to provide a constant flow of information for their readers or customers. Websites and magazines need writers to write engaging articles to grow their readerships and make money via advertising. Businesses need writers to craft promotional materials to advertise new services and products to grow their customer base.

WOULD YOU ENJOY THIS CAREER?

People who love to write will want to pursue a writing career. Because this is such a vast field, you can always find a way to get started and find an area that interests you. For example, if you love cats or have a background working at an animal shelter, you can find opportunities to write pet-related articles for websites and magazines as well as write product descriptions or brochures for organizations and businesses.

DISADVANTAGES

Competition is always tough in this industry, so it’s a challenge to reinvent yourself and offer something new to clients and editors. You should learn to invest in workshops, courses, and seminars. These days more clients demand writers with specialties. Thus, being the “Jack of Jill” of all trades may no longer apply in the long term. Because you are competing with many writers for the same writing gigs, you will find that pay rates are often low for aspiring writers. You’re up against writers who are willing to accept as low as $3 for every article they write. Unless you have a professional background or skill-set in an area, it may take a couple of years of hard work to join the ranks of writers who secure higher-paying jobs.

A FEW SKILLS

You need to know how to follow clients’ instructions. Plenty of writers lose clients for missing deadlines or submitting lackluster work. You also need a good grasp of the English language (though it’s a premium if you know how to write in other languages). Since you need to start something from scratch, you must know how and where to source out your research materials. You don’t need to be a highly prolific writer, but you should know how to construct words and sentences to make them sound coherent and appealing to readers.

BREAKING IN

Decide what type of writing that interests you and for whom you want to write. It’s always best to create an online portfolio of samples so editors and potential clients can judge your skills before they hire you. Because most of your writing gigs will come from online sources, concentrate on marketing and promoting yourself and your services using online marketing methods. Since you can find plenty of paying writing gigs at online job sites, you don’t need to write for free to “prove your worth.” To break in, apply regularly to open writing gigs. Figure out what works and what doesn’t in applying to these jobs. Eventually you will discover what works for you and how to entice prospective clients to hire you.

PAY RATES

So many factors influence pay rates and salaries. It depends on the client, the assignment, the specialty, the deadline, etc. Magazines and publishers do pay above average rates. In fact, it’s possible to earn $300 or more for a 500-word article. You can also earn a lot more if you are a copywriter. Professional copywriters earn between $35-$55/hour
working on projects that include writing copy for brochures, advertisements and manuals. If you want constant work as an aspiring freelance writer, you may have to reduce your rates initially and then gradually increase your rates as you acquire more clients and writing assignments.

GENERATING WORK

It’s easier if you can begin with your own “social network,” such as your friends and family members who have their own businesses and/or websites. You can also promote yourself via social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Many writers find it easier
to set up a free account at Freelancer.com and bid on open writing assignments. As you become more popular, it’s best to set up your own website where you can showcase your work and influence prospective clients to hire you.

 

 

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