A Guest Post by Christina Battons
Some people think you cannot earn money on writing. Well, that’s one of the biggest misconceptions. These days most people know that content is the king, able to drive free traffic to your website and make a powerful impact on your business. Therefore, despite the competition might look high, there’s always a demand for good content writers – and so you always have a chance to build a freelance writing career.
However, you still need to know how to do this – otherwise, you mind end up failing quickly. While launching a freelance writing business isn’t very hard, it can be tricky sometimes. That’s why today I want to help you, offering a ready-made plan for starting a career in writing.
#1 Research the market
Some people think that a writer can create literally any type of content, but actually, not many writers can do that. If you aren’t experienced in that, the opportunities might seem too overwhelming. Research, however, can help you gather all the information about the types of freelance market, general guidelines, demands, and rates.
The best way to research your work opportunities it to look at some freelancing platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, as well as check out more specific blogging ones like BloggingPro or Probloggers. Of course, the last option is only for those who actually prefers blogging over other types of written content.
#2 Find your niche
It might seem that clients love writers who can “write about anything” – but actually they don’t. While any writer is able to write on unfamiliar topic after a bit of research, a writer who specializes in one or two niches looks more experienced to the clients.
Choosing a niche will help you set up your profile (for example, “Wellness Blogger” always looks more specific and appealing than simple “Blogger”) and to build up a strong portfolio. Moreover, even if you have some doubts about settling with one niche, don’t worry. All you need to do is pick one, for now, changing it later if this would feel right.
Obviously, the best niche for you is the one you’re the most experienced at. However, if you’ve been dealing with finances all your life but want to stop doing that, choose something else. Remember that your niche has to be something you’re interested in too, not only know a lot about, so taking your first steps in business writing might not be the best idea for you.
#3 Write some samples
Sure, you might claim that you are a good writer, who’s well familiar with a certain topic. But this won’t say much to your potential clients if you don’t have any proof.
Even if you are a beginner writer, samples of work are crucial – moreover, they are especially important for beginner writers. If you don’t have a reputation or any feedback from clients yet, such samples could be your only chance to prove that you’re worthy of getting the job.
Lucky for you, you don’t need to receive actual orders to write these samples. You can come up with topics yourself or ask your friend to generate some topics for you. Be sure to save them in PDF format – the clients prefer it over Word files.
#4 Start a blog or a website
Even if you do not plan to earn a living with the help of a blog or a website, you still should consider creating one. First, it’s one of the best ways to store your writing samples in one place. Second, a personal blog or a website filled with content can be a part of your portfolio too.
And if you do enjoy blogging, you can actually monetize it later. After all, an additional income won’t hurt, especially if your blog becomes popular and you’ll be able to earn a lot with the help of it.
#5 Come up with a perfect pitch
Once again, if you are a beginner writer, it might take time before clients notice you and start offering work to you. However, a well-written pitch can quicken that, making it easier for you to stand out among others.
Usually the clients read your pitch before they see your samples. They also usually don’t spend much time reading pitches, so your goal is to keep it short yet interesting, delivering all the important information about you. A perfect pitch is the one that can be read quickly (in 30 seconds or less if you’re reading it out loud), that describes your skills, calls clients to action, and has your contact information in it. Of course, it’s okay to tailor your pitch to a specific project (it’s actually even better if you do so).
#6 Start looking for a job
There are many ways to do so. You can look for jobs on freelance writing platforms, on blogging websites, on LinkedIn, and even on Google (for example, if you type “write for money + your chosen topic”).
It’s important for you to start doing so only after you are prepared enough: when you have a pitch and portfolio ready, when you know how much do you want to charge for your work, and so on. It’s also important to be persistent in here. Remember that some people find their first freelance projects quickly than the others. Also, remember that usually, this happens simply because they are lucky. Don’t give up – and soon you’ll get your first writing offer.
#7 Do guest posting
Remember how earlier I wrote about how important it is to have a personal blog or a website? Well, guest posting is equally important. Its main goal is to get your website or blog noticed as well as make you more visible as a writer, promoting your skills.
Some people might think that you have to guest post only to find a job and stick to it. I, however, suggest you continue guest posting even after you find a job. This will get your articles posted on so many different websites, benefiting you as a writer and driving more potential clients to you.
Hopefully, these 7 steps will be enough to get you started. Remember them, invest time and efforts into preparation, keep pitching clients and polishing your skills even after you get your first job – and you will succeed.
Bio: Christina Battons is a blogger and web content writer who helps people and students succeed at writing, education, motivation, and more by sharing with them my knowledge. Currently, I write for various websites. You can connect with me through Twitter or G+. I’ll be happy to hear you, just drop me a line!