How To Be A Freelance Writer
If you’ve ever dreamed of making a living from your words, freelance writing may be a great career path for you.
Freelance writers have a great deal of freedom over their careers and daily lives, and usually make time for other writing projects on the side. So if you’ve got a book in you, you can work on it on your down time while you bring in income writing for other people.
If you want to build a successful career as a freelance writer, start with these steps.
5 Steps To Be A Freelance Writer
#1 – Pick Your Topics
In any freelance career, you must start by defining what you will deliver to your clients. As a writer, you have the freedom to choose to write about topics that you care about. Perhaps you are most interested in writing about politics, the environment, technology, or romance fiction. Pick a few areas to focus on so clients know what they can expect.
Don’t know what you want to write about? Do some research. Look at what the most sought after writers are working on. Are clients looking for fiction ghostwriters, bloggers on the US economy, or technical manuals? Start there and choose a few topics based on what feels natural and exciting for you.
#2 Start Building a Portfolio
It’s important to have samples to show potential clients so they can see your writing style and make sure you will be a good fit. You can put together a simple blog or portfolio site on WordPress or Squarespace.
Don’t have any previous work to show? That’s ok. Start to write a few pieces on the topics you’ve chosen and publish them on your own blog or site. You can share these examples with potential clients. You can also start to pitch other websites, blogs, and online magazines to feature your articles as guest posts.
#3 Start Finding Clients
There are many ways to find freelance clients. Once you are more established you will start to have regular clients that bring you recurring work. But when you are first starting out you need to hustle a bit to send pitches, bid on jobs, and find those initial clients.
Sites like SparkWrite help connect freelancers with clients looking for writers. Freelance writers can create a profile on SparkWrite and browse through postings for work, much like a traditional job board but far more specific – no time wasted sifting through non-writing related gigs.
Look for jobs that seem to fit your style, your topics, and your expertise. If the job posting sounds like something you would be interested in, apply! Send the client a personalized cover letter explaining why you’d be a great writer for the job and include relevant samples.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get the first job you apply to. Sometimes it can take a while to get the ball rolling, but once you find a few gigs things will pick up. If you keep looking, keep applying, and keep creating great work, you will find great gigs that you love and that pay well.
#4 Get Testimonials
Freelancers, and businesses in general, rely on testimonials from past clients and customers. Word of mouth is still the best form of marketing there is. That’s why it is so important to get testimonials from your clients after every. single. job.
On SparkWrite, the client will be prompted to leave feedback and rate their experience of working with you once the job is wrapped up. It is important to provide your best work, be communicative and responsive, and generally exceed your client’s expectations every time so that they always leave you a glowing review. Future clients can see your average ratings and will use this as a gauge to determine if they should hire you or not.
You can also email your best clients directly and ask if you can feature their testimonials on your SparkWrite profile and your personal website. These testimonials will help you stand out to future clients as a great and reliable writer.
#5 Begin To Specialize
Once you’ve had a bit of experience you can choose to really specialize in one topic or area. This is often called “niching” or “choosing a niche.” This helps freelancers to become an expert in their field, which can lead to being known for something and may call for increased rates.
Becoming a successful freelance writer takes hard work and perseverance, but the benefits are totally worth it. Follow these steps to start and grow your freelance writing business.