Nowadays, more and more people are deciding to try to work for themselves or just work from home in general. Fortunately, there seems to be no end to the opportunities for freelance writer. Here are my top four tips for becoming a SUCCESSFUL freelance writer.
1) Go with What You Know
If you have experience in a certain industry you should definitely use it to your advantage. Have experience in the technology, engineering, or pharmaceutical/medical fields? Maybe you should be a technical writer. Experienced with nonprofits? You might want to look at grant writing. If you’re crazy about Twitter, blogging, or Instagram, make a job out of it by doing it for other people. I believe that when it comes to freelance writing, you are only as successful as you want to be. There are endless opportunities and resources to learn how to become almost any type of writer. Most writing jobs don’t have any specific education requirements so the sky is the limit.
2) Don’t Sell Yourself Short
I recently read a blog about a woman that decided to work from home as a web designer and she had NO prior experience. Instead of selling herself short by heading to freelance websites, she made a name for herself. I know there are many writers that swear by freelance websites but I personally believe it’s the easiest way to cheapen your worth as a writer, designer, or whatever you want to do. I would suggest freelance websites as a last resort. In fact, I’d rather write for free on my own blog than write for next to nothing and watch someone else profit from it. My suggestion is to hit the forums and job boards for writers. Or even better, learn how to do it on your own and get your own clients.
You may say that there are already so many writers out there, but I am a writer and web designer myself. In my first two weeks I had 6 clients just from posting two ads in nearby towns on Craigslist. I didn’t even post my ads in popular sections and I was working full-time at another job so I hadn’t put any other effort into marketing myself.
3) Think Outside of the Box
Most blogs will tell you to start with people you know. Unless your family or friends are a rare exception, they won’t want to pay you much. I would use your family and friends for networking, not as clients themselves and I wouldn’t depend on them for clients. Getting new clients consistently requires you to develop some sort of business model. It could be as simple as working as a freelancer for other companies or as difficult as hustling for yourself and calling up every local nonprofit or company with a crappy website to offer your services.
4) Learn How to Sell Yourself
Confidence is key. Whether it’s a phone call with a potential client, cover letter, or resume, you have to believe in your abilities to get the job done. A great way to do that is to do LOTS of research on writing beforehand. Follow blogs for other writers in the same industry, check out websites for other businesses in the industry, and start your own blog. Getting comfortable writing and knowing your niche is the best way to build confidence. Learning the benefits of the type of writing you want to do and believing in them is also a powerful way