Think you have a flair for research and writing? Considering a career in freelance writing? While it might indeed be easier than you imagine to land your first assignment, in order to really succeed as a freelance writer, you need a plan. The following guide may give you some idea.
- Practice Writing.
If you are considering a career in freelance writing, the first thing you need to perfect is your writing skill. Set a few hours aside each day for writing. If your schedule does not allow it, then tweak your schedule. Cut down on your television time or wake up an hour earlier than you normally do. Make a commitment and stick to it. This is a great way to check if you are indeed suited to a career in writing. You may be surprised to know that a lot of people who love to write develop distaste for it when they try to make a career out of it. If you find yourself tiring of the daily writing routine, freelance writing is probably not the best career option for you.
- Build Your Brand.
Once you are confident of your suitability for a career in freelance writing, you should start building your brand. The surest way to achieve this is by starting your own blog. A well written, resourceful, and regularly updated blog is a sure way to show off your expertise. Another way to build your brand is through guest blogging. Guest blogging allows you to tap newer audiences. A high quality post that generates interest in the new readers can not only drive traffic to your blog but also earn you credibility as a writer or an expert in your field. Answering relevant questions on online platforms like Quora and Yahoo Answers may also help bring appreciation from potential clients.
- Engage in Social Media Marketing.
You may be a good writer with a great blog, but you need to market yourself – aggressively too – if you are to succeed in the competitive field of freelance writing. Social Media has emerged as an effective tool for marketing at the mass level. Make effective use of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. A mere presence is not enough. You need to post regularly, share relevant material, and interact actively.
- Research your Market.
While content aggregator sites will help you land assignments easily, they will probably not be very high-paying ones. In order to receive the highest possible pay, you need to research your market. Define your area of interest and search specifically for clients in those areas. For instance, if you can write a persuasive copy, look for employers who would be willing to hire a copywriter. If you are good at writing technical articles in simple English, study publications that publish such articles. Familiarizing yourself with your market and perfecting specialized pitches can dramatically increase your chances of getting high-paying jobs rather than using the generic ‘freelance writer’ label.
- Never Compromise on Service.
Good writing and effective marketing can get you new clients but it is your service quality that will keep them coming back and establish you as a credible freelance writer. Make it a point to submit high quality error-free work each time and be particular about meeting your deadlines.
A career in freelance writing requires commitment and patience. Those who try and fail in making a successful career out of freelance writing – despite good writing skills – may have a lack of self-discipline to blame. Besides, a freelance writer needs to be willing to step outside his or her comfort zone. If you do not conduct interviews or make cold calls because you are more comfortable simply writing, you may be limiting your usefulness in a major way. Besides, while it is good to have one’s principles in place, it is also sometimes necessary as a freelancer to yield to your editor’s demand for changes to be made to your draft or cutting down the word count. Remember: it is impossible to love every aspect of your job. A little compromise and a lot of patience and discipline are key to succeeding in any field – freelance writing included.
This article is written by Mohit Tater who is a SEO and marketing expert and blogs at entrepreneurshiplife.com and mohittater.com. Apart from advising clients on SEO and marketing strategies, he also runs an investment firm BlackBook Investments that helps people invest in online businesses and digital assets. When he is not working (which is almost never!) he likes to read, travel the world and connect with other entrepreneurs.