Are you a creative person? Do you enjoy creating in-depth pieces of content and sharing your thoughts with other people? If so, then professional content writing may be just for you. Not only is it a job that allows you to express yourself while earning money, but it also gives you a unique level of freedom because it is usually independent.
That’s why today we’ll talk about freelance writing and how to become a successful freelance writer.
What is a Freelancer?
A freelancer is a person who is not tied to any specific business by a long-term employment contract. They are usually self-employed and aren’t exclusive to any enterprise. This means that they do not provide services only for one company, but rather work on the basis of taking on specific jobs. As a result, they have full independence and are basically their own boss. This allows them to set their own working hours, make their own vacation time, and decide what tasks they want to perform. Their job is their own business, and their income depends solely on how often and how much they work.
We know it all sounds beautiful, but in reality, it is a bit more complicated. As we have already mentioned, freelancers are not bound by any permanent employment contract. As a result, they don’t have a fixed income or employee benefits such as health insurance. In addition, the amount of work they do depends on how many assignments they manage to get in a given month. If you are new to the industry and don’t have a network, establishing business relationships can be difficult. Moreover, once you manage to get work orders, it will be quite a challenge to draw the line between your personal and professional life. If your income depends directly on how much you work in a given month, it can be difficult to set a boundary.
However, all this doesn’t change the fact that if you manage to make a name for yourself in the world of freelancing, it’s a really great way to make a living. Being your own boss comes with a wave of benefits from more free time because to much lower stress levels.
What Do Freelance Writers Do?
Content writing is one of the most creative tasks a person can do. It requires being well-spoken, knowing how to do solid research, and also being highly eloquent so that you can properly convey your thoughts. What’s more, you also need to be able to promote your skills in such a way that a potential employer will want to hire you. You must be able to show that you are capable of creating a piece that is interesting, concise, and to the point. Plus, it often also has to meet technical expectations and perform well in a search engine, which is not that easy at all.
As for what the life of a professional content writer is like, it usually involves reading briefs, doing research, planning and you guessed it right…writing. This activity is by far the largest portion of it. First, there’s usually a draft, then a final version, and then more final versions that result from hundreds of rewrites. Finally, you send it either to an editor or straight to the client and wait for feedback, which may result in yet another batch of revisions.
And then, of course, there is the time you spend looking for jobs and talking to potential business partners. Being self-employed, a freelancer usually devotes many hours to looking for suitable work. Or at least until they build a large portfolio and become so well-known that companies approach them on their own.
How to Start Freelance Writing?
Contrary to what you may think, even if you have a talent for writing, getting started in the freelance writing business can be quite a challenge. Often times people don’t even have a clue where to start and thus never get around to it. That’s why today we’re going to give you some of our favorite tips to help you embark on this new path of life.
Do Your Research
As we mentioned earlier, being a content writer requires having the skills to do good research. The Internet is full of various sites and blogs that cover a wide variety of topics. This means that you too, if you want to be able to do this kind of work, should be knowledgeable in many areas. Of course, you don’t have to be an expert in all of them. After all, as they say, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” However, you do need to have some idea in order to know where to even start.
Perfect Your Craft
The next step, of course, is to work on your writing skills. The truth is that even if you’ve had a pretty good flow since you were a kid, that doesn’t mean it’s enough for you to be able to produce quality content. After all, being a successful writer is much more than just being able to write engaging stories. An impeccable command of punctuation and spelling rules is necessary. What’s more, you need to be able to look at your work from the point of view of a strict critic who looks for even the smallest mistakes. Contrary to popular belief, it is not that easy.
Furthermore, you need to remember that the Internet is full of all kinds of content, from blog posts to articles and press releases. If you want to be a versatile writer, you need to know how all of them are structured and how to write them so that people will want to read them.
Practice Some More
Even if you think you already know everything about writing, remember that practice makes perfect. The key to improving your skills is to keep on writing. After all, this is the only thing that will pave your way to success in the world of online content. Keep in mind that nowadays people are constantly bombarded with a million different pieces of information. Wanting to stand out, you need to ensure that your works are of much higher quality than all the others. That’s why you need to write, write and then write some more.
Build a Writing Portfolio
Starting a self-employed business is already not easy, but landing freelance writing gigs is a whole different tale. If you want to be able to convince employers of your skills, you need to have something to show for it. That’s why building a portfolio is essential even before you start working as a professional. When applying for a contract, you will be asked to submit writing samples. Ideally, this should be a collection of different texts that will best demonstrate your skills and versatility. If you prepare this type of material in advance, it will make it much easier for you to start your career in content writing.
Find Online Courses
Ok, if you are seriously determined to become a freelance content writer, it might be a great idea to take online courses. Nowadays, the available offer is really wide, and you have a chance to learn a lot of useful information that you will have a hard time grasping on your own. You will learn, for example, how to position yourself in search engines, or how to write in a way that will capture the user’s attention. Established freelance writers will introduce you to best practices and point out what you should avoid. This can be an incredibly valuable lesson, particularly at the beginning of your journey.
Of course, we know that such courses are expensive, so we only recommend them to people who are really determined to pursue a freelance writing career. It can be considered an investment that will surely pay off greatly in the future.
How to Find Freelance Writing Jobs?
Now that we’ve discussed where you should start and how you need to prepare for freelance work, let’s talk a little more about the specifics, i.e. finding freelance writing jobs.
Of course, there are basic sources of employment such as job boards. Every day plenty of offers for content writers appear there. Unfortunately, most of them are for permanent employment, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing out there for freelancers. If you search well, you have a chance to find really attractive job opportunities.
In addition, you can advertise your services on the Internet yourself. All you need to do is create a good advertisement and properly present your skills, and potential clients will surely notice you. Of course, such a solution may be difficult for new freelance writers, due to limited reach. However, eventually advertising yourself on sites such as Craigslist or Upwork can be really profitable.
Freelance Job Sites
Of all the solutions, however, the best is to look for offers on sites designed specifically for freelancers, especially freelance writers. The Internet is full of platforms that bring together these types of people (both professionals and amateurs), creating opportunities for them to earn money. Companies engaged in content creation post their ads there and look for suitable people to create texts for them. Of course, at first, the money earned from such jobs may be meager or none at all. However, if you manage to get a few commissions, you will not only have already built yourself a certain network of contacts, but you will also gain writing experience that you can boast to more potential clients.
Starting a freelance career is not easy, as everything is on your head. As a self-employed person, it’s your job to get clients, make sure deadlines are met, and provide high-quality services. To succeed and enjoy a lot of online writing jobs, you need to have more than just the ability to write beautifully. Keep in mind, however, that if you need extra income, instead of throwing yourself into the deep end right away, you can use sites like CashYea, which allow you to make quick cash in exchange for completing a few simple tasks.