Freelancing is great for anyone that doesn’t want to be tied down to a single location – or can’t for personal reasons – and don’t like the idea of having to interact with others and be stuck in an office. There are plenty of freelance job opportunities out there for anyone who wants to go into business for themselves, but freelance writing is still the most popular choice.
Here are our top 10 tips for freelance writers to get started and succeed.
Put Together a Great Portfolio
If you’re looking to impress a potential employer with your skills then you shouldn’t just give them a list. Actions speak much louder than words. Put together a good portfolio and send that when applying for a freelancing position. If you don’t have one yet, then there’s never been a better time to put one together now. Pick your best writing from across different topics and genres and turn them into PDF files.
Create Accounts on Freelancing Platforms
Freelance platforms such as Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, and Speedlancer have great features that make them worth your time. For a start, they can help you get more orders and connect with clients. Secondly, they make potential employers feel safer when hiring you. Finally, if you’re good at what you do you can earn a high rating and stand out from mediocre writers and secure more business. Just remember that each time you create a new profile you’ll be starting from zero. You’ll need to prove and establish yourself with every single platform.
Know Your Price
Be objective about your skills and experience. Don’t agree with a low price if you believe that your time and energy is worth more. Be ready and willing to defend your point of view too, as not everyone is going to understand the value of high quality content. At the same time, beginners should take things easy. You aren’t familiar with freelancing yet and you’ve got bills to pay, so don’t price yourself out of the market.
Use Editing Tools
The internet is good for more than just finding a job. It also makes the working process itself smoother and more efficient. There are plenty of websites, services, and applications out there that allow you to check your work and make it even better. Most of these services are free but some of them do have premium services that you have to pay for. Take advantage of Grammarly, Headline Analyzer, Hemingway Editor, and other such tools in your effort to create engaging content.
Find Your Unique Voice
Not every freelancer will get the chance to use their own unique voice. If you are writing for a brand and you have to use their branding, then you’ll need to stick to their voice and their way of doing things. If you’ve got a blog or you write for online newspapers though, then you have to come up with a unique voice and style that matches your work. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right away though. Just keep writing and you’ll get there eventually. Like any piece of art, your writing takes time.
Invest in a White Noise Machine
One of the most difficult parts of being a freelancer is staying productive. A white noise machine goes a long way to helping with that. There are lots of benefits to using a white noise machine, including sleeping better at night and staying focused during the day. Being well-rested gives you the energy to get through your work and stay productive. You’d be surprised how far a white noise machine can go for freelancers.
Practice Makes Perfect
There are two fundamental ways to improve your writing. They are, of course, reading and writing. Much like an athlete has to train, a writer needs to regularly train their writing “muscles”. Even just a few pages of a great book or writing a paragraph about a new neighbor will do if you are short on time. There are also several special exercises you can do to train your imagination and creativity. For example, try writing a story using words that begin with a certain letter.
Find a Niche
Writing is a huge world filled with lots of opportunities. In order to truly become a professional, you need to choose a niche and evolve in a particular direction. If you enjoy doing research and proving your point of view, for example, then try to get into academic writing. If you enjoy sparking your imagination and letting metaphors do the talking for you, then go for creative writing. Perhaps you prefer working with advertising and marketing, in which case copywriting would be for you.
Manage Your Profiles
One aspect of working on the internet is maintaining a good internet look. Check through your social media profiles and the profiles you have on freelance platforms. All the different profiles should have consistent information regarding your skills, education, and work experience. Eliminate any and all grammar mistakes. If you have a photo for your profile, then choose one that you would be comfortable putting on a CV.
Work on your Time Management
Time management and self-control are the most challenging disadvantages to freelance writing. You aren’t expected to show up at nine in the morning, and no one will remind you that you have an order you really need to get finished. Freelance writers need to be organized. Use a notebook and sticky notes if you have trouble remembering lots of little details.
There are advantages and disadvantages to being a freelance writer. It’s up to the individual writer to choose the best option for themselves. These tips should help you navigate through the wilderness that is freelance writing. Choose a niche, draw up a schedule, join some platforms, and see where your new career choice takes you.