In the age of digital nomads and remote work, many fledgling writers set their sights on freelancing for the freedom and flexibility it can provide. Who wouldn’t want to be able to travel the globe and earn money doing a profession they love? While many dream about landing a job like this, most don’t know here to start or how to gain consistent work. Here are three tips to get you started on your career in freelance writing that will put you on the path to success.
Find Your Niche
Not all those who go into freelancing have a single niche, and that’s fine. However, it may be a good idea starting out to choose a couple of topics that you’re most inspired by and interested in. By focusing on writing what you know, you’re establishing credibility as a writer and authority in the field. Use these guidelines for picking a niche:
- What are you passionate about? Do you know all the benefits of yoga and can name every pose? Do you know the stats of every player on your favorite baseball team? If you’ve got the knowledge and passion of a topic, use it in your favor.
- Look at the market. If you notice that a topic you’re interested in is lacking attention online, use that as your opportunity to step up and become an expert.
- Find your voice. Once you’ve bounced some topics around, think about what kind of voice you may need to write about said topics. Some will need a more formal, serious tone than others, and vice versa.
Freelance writing is competitive, so you want to make sure that you have the knowledge and skills that will separate you from the rest of the pack. Finding your writing niche will do just that.
Optimize Your Existing Blog to Get You a Future Writing Job
If you already have a personal blog, you’re off to a good start. If you don’t, now is the perfect time to start. Having a blog that is regularly updated is almost a resumé in itself, as it can show future employers not only your writing skills, but your consistency and professionalism.
Creating a blog and writing about topics you know and love is a great way to start blogging for business. When you start reaching out to potential clients, you already have something to show them that demonstrates your interests and your expertise in that topic. Writing your own blog and letting it grow also leads to possibilities of branching out and using affiliate links and advertising, for profit in the future, which are steps in the right direction towards monetizing your writing.
Bulk Up Your Portfolio
Breaking into freelance writing might be difficult if you don’t have a portfolio or many samples to show potential clients. Here are a couple of easy ways that you can solve this problem.
Write Guest Posts
Usually, guest posts are unpaid but that doesn’t mean that they’re not worth anything. If you reach out to a blog that’s within your target niches, this really helps your credibility as a writer as you publish more content. More than this, writing a guest post will most likely get you an author byline. It’s an incredible opportunity to introduce yourself and your writing to your potential audience as an expert.
Offer to Write for NGOs or Community Programs
While this most likely won’t earn you any money right off the bat, it’s again more practice and exposure. Offer to write for non-profits, charities, community programs, or any other kind of organization that might benefit from your services but doesn’t have the budget. Providing high-quality work to these groups might be your ticket to getting your name out there, and it will definitely help to beef up your portfolio.
One big tip is not to look for work on huge sites or for big companies when you’re just starting out. Reach out to smaller businesses in your community and offer to write something like a newsletter, program, menu, or anything else you can think of. If you do this well, not only will you be able to use this in your portfolio but you also have the magic of word-of-mouth on your side. One happy client locally may very well lead to another!
The Bottom Line
Now you have a foundation to get you started on your freelancing journey, so it’s time to get started! This isn’t a definitive guide, but with these simple steps you can get your writing career going and kickstart your journey towards becoming a freelancing professional. So if you’re ready to take the challenge, there’s a sea of potential clients out there waiting for you to throw in your hook!