Freelance writing is very rewarding and lucrative if you have the necessary skills. If someone decides to go this path then he or she must be aware that there are many things to learn and many skills to develop to be able to make a living writing. First of all, every aspiring freelance writer must ask himself does he loves to write. And when we say loves to write we don’t only mean writing for money but also writing for free. Writers are after all people that write because they love it. If someone can’t write for free then for sure won’t be able to write for money.
To be a successful freelance writer is not easy and requires a lot of knowledge skills and experience to become proficient. There are many areas where writers can choose to specialize like, creative writing, technical writing, SEO writing, essay writing, ghostwriting and all of them require a certain set of skills. Any freelance writer will need to develop his skills like grammar, punctuation, and spelling, sentence and paragraph structure, reading comprehension, editing and rewriting, and others.
To develop writing skills aspiring freelance writers should educate themselves by first and foremost reading a lot. They should read books, online content, articles, and blog posts to see how more experienced writers use grammar, punctuation, and other elements to deliver work that is required by their clients.
Choose a niche that you will focus on
This is one of the most important factors that can contribute to the success of freelance writers. Niche is s specific topic writers write about and know very well. If there is anything you know well then this can be your niche you should focus on. Freelance writers can choose to focus on one or several topics and that is better than focusing on two many areas at a single time. Maybe later when they are more experienced in certain niches they can start to expand to other niches.
There are indeed many areas to specialize in: finance, stock trading, technology, health, fitness, cooking, food, healthy living, pets, and the list goes on and on. It is up to freelance writers to choose which topic they want to specialize in. That is an easier way to succeed. You should also try to write different types of content suited for different mediums. That way you can get experience with article writing, blog post writing, report writing, sales letters and see which one of them is most appealing to you.
Start writing and build a portfolio
Starting to write something is probably the most difficult part of writing. There are days when you will struggle to write a single paragraph and then there will be days when you will be overflowing with ideas and you feel you could write a novel in a single. So every time you have a certain idea, sit down and start writing even if it is a single paragraph. As stated previously starting to write is the most difficult part but all this is not without benefits. By writing every day your writing skills will develop and also you will have a working habit. Another benefit is an increased feeling of accomplishment when you finish an article or an essay or a blog post which will fuel your motivation and determination on your path to a successful freelance writing career.
All this effort at the beginning o your freelance writing career will produce written works you can use to showcase your skills and prowess. This is your portfolio and if you are serious then you will need to build one made of your best pieces of work. This not necessarily has to be something you have published by still they will need to showcase your skills. Almost without exclusion every client will want to see your past work or maybe give you a task to write something to see if you are worth hiring or not.
Your portfolio is needed but also very important at the very beginning of your freelance writing business but it is certainly not static. As you produce more and more quality work new and better works can be used to showcase your skills and experience.
Join writing communities and forums
One of the best ways to learn more about freelance writing and develop writing skills is by joining various writing communities online. There you will meet with like-minded people, exchange ideas and experience, and learn from one another. Both fresh writers, as well as experienced freelance writers with many years of experience, are members of these communities and this ar places to be if you wan t to jup start your business. Some of them are :
Start publishing your work online
If you have put in the necessary work and have a portfolio next logical step is to publish your work online and be seen by potential clients. Having your work published online is the easiest and simplest way to get published compared to other mediums like print. Once your work is online you can provide links to your articles to future customers as a showcase for your skills. You can also earn money from your work if it’s published online
Many freelance writers today specialize in writing content for websites. There is a constant and growing demand for online content because new blogs and commercial websites are launched every day and they all require constant publishing of new and up to date content.
However keep in mind that writing for the internet has its own special demand, style, and way. Writing for blogs and websites is generally more direct and conversational than other mediums. If you take the time and go visit established websites and blogs you will see that there are mages and also ads and not large chunks of text. In one word online articles are more similar to textbooks than they are to academic texts. Inserting relevant images and infographics is desirable for online content. Also, another popular format of online content writing is list articles that contain numbered or bulleted lists. It is advisable also to insert subtitles in articles when writing online content which will facilitate readability and make them better organized and more clear and engaging for the readers.
There is a number of websites where you can publish your works online. One option is article directories. These directories have thousands of contributors and they accept articles on any topic: technology, finance, food, recipes, cooking, medicine, health, fitness, work from home, marketing, do it yourself, home improvement, book reviews, etc. Among the better-known article directories are:
Another possibility to publish your work ar blogs. Blogs are websites where their owners write about their ideas, experiences, thoughts, and express their opinions. Today starting your own blog is not difficult and can be done for free. Modern blogging platforms take out the technical part of blogging like programming in HTML and provide users with easy to use blogging platforms. There are also blogging platforms where blogs can be started for free. Some of them are:
It is highly recommended that every freelance writer has a blog as probably the best way to showcase his writing skills and prowess. More so blogs can be monetized and money can be earned from your written works. There are several ways to monetize a blog but the easiest is by placing ads on your blog. To do this you need to join an ad network and paste code on your blog. After doing this ads will appear on your blog and when visitors see them or click them you will be paid a certain amount of money. A popular online advertising network is Google Adsense.
Another popular way is by affiliate marketings. What you need to do is place an ad for products or services on your blog and when visitors click on them they go to the website of the vendor, and when they purchase something you will earn a commission, most of the time a percentage of the sale price. Popular advertising networks are:
Look for writing gigs on content mills
Content mills are websites that represent writing marketplaces where writers or content creators met with potential clients or buyers of written content. There are a number of content mills online and joining them is pretty straight forward but a downside is the pay rate which is very small, but for beginners freelance writers maybe they are a good place to earn the first buck. First, you will need to fill out an application and they will probably ask you to provide a written sample of your previous work. This is why you need a portfolio that we talked about earlier. Or they can ask you to write an article on a given topic and submit it for review. If your work meets their quality standards your application will be accepted and you will be able to apply for projects and start writing. Many of these sites have a rating system in place so in time if you deliver quality work you will be paid more money for the same work. Some known content mills are:
Productivity tools for freelance writers
When we talk about writing the most important thing for sucessful career is creativity and ability to write original and high quality content, but still there are some tolls that can help freelance writers achive more in less time. Some of the tools freelance writers can use to increase productivity are:
- Word processing software. This is a modern tool without which modern writing and any office work today are unimaginable. Word processing software of today is easy to use for all writing-related tasks like typing, text formatting, proofreading, and editing. There are many choices from the worlds best known Microsoft Word to the free word processing software like Open Office
- Grammarly is a great tool that can speed up writing work by checking for grammar and punctuation mistakes. Grammarly easily integrates with word processing software and online platforms like WordPress and scans through the text to find grammar and punctuation mistakes and suggest correction which can be applied with a click of the mouse. Grammarly has a free version and a premium version which is well worth it and offers many more features than the free version.
- Otte.ai is a transcription tool that turns audion recordings into text documents. Freelance writers can use otter to record their ideas, notes, and even whole work in audio format and turn it into a text document. This way can really speed up the process of writing essays, blog posts, etc. The free version offers a limited number of minutes each month but there is a paid version on a monthly basis that offers more.