If you are reading this article, well, you have already accomplished the first step of the process, i.e., by making up your mind to become a freelancer and be your own boss.
When looking to start a new profession, people are often in a hurry to accomplish a degree or certain qualifications. To become a freelance writer, you just need to have the enchantment for writing. Formal education is important so that you have basic skills and knowledge required like grammar, different writing styles, vocabulary, word knowledge, etc.
Before you start, make sure you know the basic tools (like editing, grammar checker, image editors, and more) required to make your job convenient. In this post, you’ll find amazing freelancing tools.
Let’s take on the journey to become a freelance writer.
1. Know Your Space
As you start, you need to find your target. Look for what kind of writing fascinates you. For this, you will have to start by figuring out your area of interest or field of expertise.
In the beginning, you can try writing for various niches to figure out what excites you the most. If you were previously working, think of what skills or knowledge you can translate into writing. Eventually, it is important to realize your niche and focus on that.
2. Select Your Type
After reading tons of research papers and analyzing what captivates you most, It is time to narrow down on the medium and select what kind of writing you want to get yourself into. From blogging to any content writing, to journalism articles, to copywriting, or any kind of technical writing.
Try to focus on a single kind of writing. It doesn’t mean that you occasionally can not go for other segments. But specializing in one segment makes you have a strong profile in front of other general writers.
Greater experience in one field can help you earn more money in the long term. You don’t need to be a grammar ninja, tools like Grammarly, etc. come in a lot of handy.
3. Build Your Portfolio
To prove your credibility, create a collection of your sample or actual work, and start with generating a portfolio. Compile your articles and posts to prove your skills and writing style.
If you are new to this, start a blog, or publish your written articles on free websites. If you get a chance, go for guest posting on famous websites that operate for your niche. This increases your reputation and adds great value to the portfolio. You can make your portfolio on websites like Medium.com, etc.
If you are an already existing writer, make sure you add testimonials, as they enhance the portfolio and speak for your credibility. Illustrating your expertise through your written pieces generally improves the chances of getting a deal as clients tend to follow up with a well-written piece of work.
4. Reaching Out To Clients
It’s time to search and pitch out to clients. Start by using word of mouth. Talk to any agency, or leverage your network to reach out to people. Talk to local businesses if they need help with their writing job. Ask for referrals and build your client base.
Another way to reach clients is through online platforms and social media, collaborating with other writers, writers conferences, and other large events.
Once you reach the client, build a pitch to present (customize it every time according to the client), your portfolio, and show your interest in the client by speaking about their company or recent work.
5. Signing the Deal and The Way Forward
After getting a ‘yes’ from the client, get the contract signed and your payment process cleared out. Now, get on to setting up your goals (financial, professional, etc.) and have a schedule to keep track of your important dates.
Having a routine and time tracking can help you focus on work. Decide on a space where you are not facing a lot of distractions and use your independence to be a freelancer.
As a first-timer in this field, deciding on the pay rate can be a tricky part. Decide on what basis do you want to charge the client. For example, based on words, how many articles, hours, etc.
Make sure you consider the value of your work quality and expertise in deciding the amount. Learn how much your competitors charge, and set it forward to your client. Sometimes being open to negotiations helps when starting out. An additional tip could be to ask for partial or full prepayment, or refundable deposits to avoid any hassles later.
Learn to create an invoice, and use convenient and easy interface methods to collect payments. You can use websites like Refrens.com, etc. to create and manage your finances.
While to many people writing is an art, if you decide to do this profession, make sure you understand that writing is also your product, timeliness is the key to professionalism. Do not give excuses of writer’s block. As a freelance writer, you have that flexibility, take advantage of that, and deliver your best.
As you start your trip, you will face many obstacles and ‘No’ from clients. Do not let that affect you, giving up is not an option. On this road, make time, effort, and patience with your partners. Do not forget to continue learning and refining your skills and knowledge as you move forward.