Writing is a passion for many, but if you want to take it up as an occupation, you need something more than just passion. Freelance writing is a lucrative job profile not only because it pays handsomely, but also because it provides the convenience of working from home.
It can be a job for earning some extra bucks, or it can be your full time occupation. However, perfect competition prevails in this market as this sort of job opportunity does not know any border, and you need to face worldwide competition while trying to grab projects and attract customers that are ready to pay high for your writing.
A freelance writer requires improving his or her skill every day and keeping himself updated with information, new resources for writing and tools that would improve their writing or help them sell their creativity. Even if, you are not a native speaker, you have to possess substantial knowledge about the language with distinguished grammatical sense, formation of sentences and the stock of common words used by the natives. Apart from the basic knowledge of the language, it is essential to consider some of the vital resources of freelance writing that can actually prove to be effective as a value-addition, to your profile.
1. Working for Free:
As you are just starting off as a freelance writer, you may not be in the list of writers for the prospective clients. You need to create some background and thus writing for free is the best option for you. It is the opportunity to get a byline for your writing and get your articles published in some of the websites on the Internet. There are not much guidelines and requirement for free write-ups, and they are easily accepted in blogs and article directories. However, once you are paid for articles and blogs, the expectation would be quite high, and you would require delivering high quality content consistently while being professional in your approach. The major benefit of writing free is that, you can create an identity and a byline for yourself that you can use in your portfolio, to attract more clients.
2. Professional Presentation through website:
If you are a new writer, you need to let people know about your field of excellence and a website is the best thing to build your identity. You can update you contact information, or arrange a contact form for the requesters to connect to you easily. You can update some sample writing and a page through which the prospect gets to know about you. Once you start off with your career and have completed some projects, you can use the link on your website along with the testimony given by some of the clients. You don’t require building a website and designing it spending a lot. You require a basic and informative website for your sake. A website is the best way to get the prospective clients and update them about your progress.
3. Finding the First Client:
Once you start your journey as a writer, there would be difficulties in finding job, especially in the beginning. You can try out Elance, a professional website where requestors meet writers, but you would have to stick to it because you may not get a decent rate in the beginning. You need to be visible through sending application for projects that are relevant to you. Don’t lose hope, the more you send request you have more chance of being noticed.
4. Business Website Building:
Once you are doing well with your freelance writing projects, it is time to build your business website that would look and operate professionally. You can take help of a web hosting service for the same. There are website hosting packages available from some of the good hosts. Make sure to have WordPress blog or any other blog added to the website so that you get the best scope of being noted by sharing your success stories.
National Association of Independent Writers and Editors forum provide membership at $ 99 per year with WordPress blog. You can stylize the site the way you like and build your bio and other pages for spreading information about yourself. You can use pages to create your portfolio mentioning the link to the articles that are already published with your byline.
ZoomInfo is a website that has automatic compilation feature that compiles information on everyone on the web. You can just make a claim for your profile and then include your bio, portfolio to make it a complete profile where people can reach you and get knowledge about your work.
7. Free Website Building Platforms:
Yola and Weebly are some of the free platforms through which you can build a professional yet free website. There can be some problems when you decide to built up your website because, there are limitations that you would bump upon, but if you are looking for something, to start free, then these are terrific options to begin with.
It is better being linked with professionals, sharing same profession and other prospective clients. You can search for people through linked in and search for profiles that match yours. You can build new contacts with people with your fraternity. LinkedIn gives you a chance to connect to the contacts in your profile. You can send them massage asking for work opportunities, and there can be fruitful results too. There is no substitute to connection when you talk about work opportunities in freelance writing market.
Facebook is one social media that can be used for publicity of your website and yourself. Once your business or your writing jobs start earning substantial money for you, you can open a business page on Facebook. It is even better if you can ask your clients to be fans as that would create a positive impression about your professionalism and skills. New prospects would find you useful as a writer, and would rate you higher, when looking for writers for their project. Non technical people use Facebook instead of twitter, and as your profession belongs to the non technical regime, you should focus more on that.
Twitter is another social networking platform, which is actually a micro blogging website through which you can promote your skills. Follow people and community that provide freelance writing job and build contact with other fellow writer. Twit about products and services to make the companies recognize you. There are companies that follow the twits regularly and if they find your writing engaging they may rope you up for the coming campaign or writing promotional content for your products. You can get substantial work opportunity through this micro blogging website and other such social marketing websites.
There are blog websites such as WordPress, eBlog, Weebly and many more where you can build your own blog, and talk about products and services in your own niche. Make sure that you have enough knowledge in your own niche so that the relevant companies can trust you for your publicity. You will get advertisements that are suitable to your topic and can earn while people click on the advertisements.
12. Job Boards:
Make sure to check for the job boards available with some of the websites. These job boards are those places where advertisements of gigs are published by the clients and writers can apply for the job. The requester then selects the best writer for the job and fix rate. Three of the major such job boards are –
These job boards are irrespective of the country, and regions and anyone can get a job through them with thorough knowledge about the topic and persuasive marketing skill.
13. Marketing yourself:
It is extremely beneficial for the freelance writer to market himself. Once you are a bit established as a writer, you can market yourself through social media and also through other blogs and websites. EzineArticles.com is a very good platform where you can submit your writing and once that gets approved; the article would be visible to the world. You can then sell the article to the client at the rate you want.
14. SEO Skills:
A freelance writer has to understand the tricks of SEO and the tools used in the same. You must be open to write all sorts on content including website pages, blogs, SEO articles, general articles and promotional articles. You may even get a chance to write sales copy for a company, and you require keeping yourself updated for each of them. The search engines like Google will announce new updates from time to time, just like the penguin and panda update, released currently. You require changing your way of dealing with the topics accordingly so that you can adapt to the requirement of the clients. Make sure, to read a lot while writing for clients because research has no alternative and this can improve you as a writer over time.
15. Multiple Clients:
It is extremely important to find more than one regular client. Search for the SEO companies, online that are willing to hire people for writing for them. That way you can ensure regular flow of work. You can search for the companies using the search engine or you can check for the listing. You can start by writing a free sample for the same, and in case, they like your work, you will get regular contacts. Maintain the level of professionalism that is most required in the field of freelance writing. Don’t just find one client; try to find more so that you never face scarcity of job.
16. Affiliate Marketing:
People always like package rather than an individual item. This is true in the internet scenario, and if you can deliver content along with affiliate marketing support then the clients will be more attracted towards your package deal. You can make your website an affiliate marketing one and provide publicity to the products of the client through your writing and through the advertisements provided by the client.
17. Being Part of Writers Groups:
Tips always matter in freelance writing; no matter whether they are given by your friend or rival. You can be part of some popular writer’s group and gather relevant tips. Some of the famous writers groups are,
Media Bistro: This is a writers group that includes live events, job boards and many such things. You can choose to be a paid or free member.
Freelance Writers Den: This website offers courses, job board, training events and more and it costs $ 25 per month.
LinkedIn writer groups: There are hundreds of writers chatting through this forum every day and they are sharing tips, opportunities and work with each other. The service is available free of cost.
Freelance Success: You can get some good reference through this forum and that is why it is worth paying $ 99 per year for the membership.
18. Web Apps:
Apart from skills, there are some apps and websites that can polish your English. There are websites that will give training on several languages in case it is not your native language. If you are not sure about the grammar, you can check out the websites such as Grammarly, Ginger, Grammar base and many more for improving your writing.
19. Plagiarism Checker:
In the industry of freelance content writing, there is no alternative of organic writing. Your writing should be unique, plagiarism free and informative. If you are not sure you can take a CopyScape membership, software that crawl the websites to find duplicate content. As the requesters also believe in the findings of the software, it is a wise thing to purchase a membership.
20. Alternative Press
There are some less known sources of getting work that freelancers often miss out. One such is alternative presses that are not expected to give out assignment. You can have food in a restaurant or shop in a shopping mall, take spa services or any other such services from a company. Just ask the authority, if they want you write something about them through your website or write and publish something in their blog forum. Don’t consider the amount you are getting paid, because this is the time to build new contacts and an identity that would matter in the long run.
21. Friends and Family:
Make sure to let everyone know that you are working as a freelance writer. Send mail to all your friends and family members, and everyone from your contact list. You never know how you get a scope of writing something professional and grab a contract that pays good bucks. These people may also supply some fresh idea on how to improve your business, and a brilliant idea can result in significant business.
22. Non Profit Bodies
You could start writing for nonprofit organization because they would possibly give you the all required byline that would help you to build a strong portfolio. Write on topics that you are comfortable in and do not expect money for the same. Once you gather adequate amount of experience, you can charge money for writing for the bigger organizations.
23. Listing for Jobs
Once you become a writer, you require knowing where the jobs would be found. There are some forums where the list of magazines and other publishers are available. Wooden horse magazine database, the writers market, and The Renegade writer offer a good list of websites, magazines and publishers where you can find freelancing jobs. Tradepub.com also offers the listing of trade journals and magazines. You can contact the respective authority and look for available jobs. These jobs are generally decent paid and convenient for all niche writers.
24. Journalism Jobs
‘Journalism jobs’ is one of the job boards that publish freelance writing jobs that you can grab, if you are an expert writer. There are full time job opportunities available for writers and some open projects too. Fellowship, online classes and many such options are available through the website.
25. Business and government agencies:
You can look in the business section of your daily paper, or take a business paper and sort out businesses and publications that got a large number of editor’s edition. This proves that those companies are investing quite well for marketing and looking forward to written publicity. Contact them and you may get business quite soon.
Freelance writing is a high earning avenue that can substitute your daytime job, and make you earn even more. However, this job profile is not for everyone. You don’t require being a revolutionary writer, what you require is the smartness, to make the right move at the right point of time. You have to be an efficient writer for sure, but you can never ignore the requirement of tools and opportunities, if you want to make it prominent in this field of work. 25 vital resources are listed above which are essential for a freelance writer. These resources range from app to tools, tips to marketing and many more in between. You require being aware of each of them, and try to use them as effectively as possible. You can consider this to be a rulebook, and if you can follow the rules, then success is just a few steps far.