How to Become a Freelance writer in 2020
Freelance Writing, the name itself sparks some excitement, doesn’t it? Well, if you are also thinking of building a freelance writing business, then this post is for you. If not, then too, just stay, because we are going to talk about a lot of fun and interesting things here.
Do you know what the best thing about a freelance writing business is?
It is a business that you can start at any moment. Even right now, you can read this article and go on to start your own writing business. That’s the beauty of it. Assume that this freelance writing is your bridge move gradually from what you are doing to something that you actually love to do.
And if you live to write, then what have you been doing before that, huh?
Anyways, let’s focus on the present. Today if you are here, it is because you not only want to start a freelance writing business but also want to excel at it. And that is precisely what we are going to discuss here.
Below you will find:
- Actionable insights for what to do
- Resources and guides to get you started with your business
What type of writer are you?
Freelance Writing has all shapes and sizes. There are different types of writing services that you can push through to choose your favorite. Irrespective of the type of writing that you want to pursue, the process to reach there is similar.
Without further ado, let’s begin with it.
Take stock of your Skills:
Why did you think of writing professionally? I mean everybody that you know until today can read and write, can’t they? So, what makes you so special that people are going to pay you to write for them.
Well, the answer to this question will come automatically after you jot down your skills. Once you do that, you will know about your expertise in one or more than one area. It is important to know your own value. So, if you have more knowledge than an average person about any field, stick to it and develop it.
To get to the bottom of your expert skills, go back in your life and note down your hobbies, interests, education, job experience, and others. This is to help you narrow down your list to 2 or 3 core interest areas.
Once you do this, you can leverage what you know to get freelancing jobs in the respective fields. Understand that, people want content for every possible field that you see out there.
Even something as simple as washing your hands needs some in-depth content to convince the readers about its benefits.
Take for instance, that you had attended a Data Analytics class in your college and that too without taking much interest in it. But you still went for it, made some notes, and deep in the subconscious, there are a few things still hovering around.
With this, you need to make another list of everything that you have either learned, listened to, or read about in the past. All of these will become your ammunition to draw in more clients and employers and help grow your Freelance Writing Business.
That is what you need to find and write down on a piece of paper. This will give you a direction to start with.
Choose your Shining Star:
What I mean by this is that you need to choose a niche. It can be a group of 2 to 3 niches that you can choose to pitch to your clients. Ok, I know this is a bit contradictory to what I said above.
The list-making is just to help you understand that you have a huge potential to grow and learn more about the thing that you have a fair idea about. But the niche is something that you hold expertise in.
A client would always prefer someone who has expertise in their specific field. Take, for example, that a client asks you whether you can write on female jewelry. Well, not all of us can write about it. And buying a pair of earrings for your loved ones does not make you an expert in fashion writing.
Now you understand it?
Your niche should be such a topic on which you can speak impromptu for hours altogether. With that much expertise in your pocket, you and the potential client can be on the same page when discussing the project.
Down the line, you can also niche down. Like if today you start with all types of freelance writing, after some time, you may develop an interest in copywriting. Going further, you may write copies for affiliates. Going even further, you can gain skills in writing lead generating landing pages and emails.
So, there is a lot to learn and grow from any type of writing. There is a huge potential to grow personally and professionally.
You won’t be able to boil down to one particular niche in a few days or even months. It may take some time to get there. And it is totally fine. But, once you get there, start your research.
Like, you start listing the businesses and companies working in your niche. Understand what sort of content they are posting and publishing. Once you have listed all the agencies and companies, start reaching out to them.
And reaching out means that you need to write attractive and appealing proposals for your clients. You need to convince them with one email that you can provide exactly what they are looking for. This won’t be possible if you have not researched your clients and understood their requirements.
Show them what you can do for them and how you are a better writer. It may take some time, you may not find success in the first email that you send, but once a client realizes your knowledge and expertise in the field, they will surely hire your services.
Know your Target Client
You know how in some games we are asked to create a custom avatar of our player. Well, this is what you have to do to find that one ideal client who will resonate with your thinking and personality.
Start by asking questions like:
- What do they do?
- How much money are they making?
- Where do they live?
- What are their hobbies?
Further, you may also need to know what your potential clients are reading. Like if you want to write about supplements and health-based products, make a list of which websites do your clients use to get information.
You also need to read the content which they are following to develop a similar understanding. This will bring you out as a knowledgeable person in front of the client. It will ensure that you and your client are on the same page about a topic or industry.
Further, you need to know what products your clients are interested in. Understand what type of content they are posting. It can be anything from a simple blog post to ebooks and guides.
Create your Website:
Well, this is important. And I am not just talking about starting a blog, even though that is a part of it. Here you need to create your website so that anyone you come in contact with can know who you are.
So when you create a website, you can include a homepage, services page, pricing information, contact us, and a blog section. The purpose of the website is two-fold:
- Your potential clients can know you better and can understand the type of writing that you can do.
- The blog section is also vital to get new clients. When a potential lands on your website, he/she will be able to better comprehend your writing style and diversity from the pre-written blogs.
Setting up a new website is pretty easy and straightforward. Plus, you need not hire a dedicated designer. With modern-day tools like Page builders and pre-made templates, you will get the dummy content and design ready. All you need to do is fill in the spaces with content.
Whatever you do with the website, make sure to add some personality traits to it. Because this is what will be the difference between you and any other writer. So, your website should somehow impersonate your personality as a writer. It can be through the color scheme, the way you format your words, the jargon, word choice, among others.
Sign up on professional Freelancing platforms:
You must have heard about Upwork, Freelancer.com, and a lot of similar platforms that are a bridge between the freelancers and employers. So, when you sign up on these platforms make sure to provide all the details about what you can do for your client.
Where platforms like Upwork are huge, they also have some strict restrictions for profile approvals. So, you may need to struggle a bit with such platforms. Whereas platforms like Contently and Skyword are preferred over Upwork.
Reach out to Marketing Agencies
Once you have done all of the above, start reaching out to marketing agencies. They are the real deal. The kind of stability that you will get through these agencies is better than any other option.
But before you reach out to them, make sure that you have some successful projects under your belt. Either you have completed some projects through Upwork or through freelancing platforms, build a rapport first.
Yes, it will be a bit painful. You may not get revert from all of them. But you won’t get a chance to work with them if you would not send them an email.
You can send up to 500 cold emails and get only 10 responses back. And even if you get to work with 2 or 3 of these 10 agencies, you will be able to stand firm in your freelancing business.
However, it is essential to write personalized emails for every single agency that is on your list. A single template for all of them won’t work. If you want to work with them, you have got to show that you are ready and have done your research.
Take if from my experience, sending a personalized email shows these agencies that you are different. That you have not just sent a blind template with your details and see if it pans out. Develop something personal, know about the person you are pitching to, understand what type of work they are doing, and then shoot them a mail, which they cannot ignore.
Leverage the power of Social Media
We will not be talking about any other social media channels, but Linkedin. People do not realize that Linkedin is one of the best platforms to get new clients and start a healthy relationship.
A lot of agencies have a Linkedin presence. What you can do is check out their business profiles, go to their website, understand what type of content they are working with.
Check the jobs section and who knows this agency may be looking to hire freelance writers. If not, then also there is another way. Check out the people who are working in that agency.
Shortlist all the connections who have anything to do with content. Send them a personalized invite. But in any case, do not pitch them in the personalized invite. You need to give it some time.
Do not directly ask them for work. Build a relationship and take it ahead from there.
Remember, slow and steady wins the race.
Be Consistent in your Efforts
Never think about it as just a side hustle. If you want to build a business, you need to think like an entrepreneur. Have all sorts of plans for your business. This is your brand that we are talking about.
It is up to you to build it piece by piece. What I mean by that is you need to be consistent. Try doing something for your brand every single day. It can be anything from pitching new clients to doing SEO for your website, writing a blog, sending emails, and whatnot.
This is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. You need to sustain it with your efforts. Think of it as an investment. An investment that will reap fruits only if you work for it on a daily basis. If you take care of it regularly.
To sum it up…
In the end, I would like to say just one simple thing. If you are serious about building your freelancing writing business, then you need to work for it. Rest assured that if you do, there is plenty of work for you out there.
All you need to do is take the right steps, learn from those who have been there, and understand how the market works. As a beginner, we all get some cravings to try out something new and think out of the box. My advice to you is follow your instincts, but also take note of the expert advice.
So, work hard, do right, and keep hustling. Good Luck!