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So you want to learn how to be a freelance writer?
Well, being a freelance writer is a job that thousands of young and creative people are doing for a living or simply to have an additional source of income.
The job market is becoming increasingly diminished. Job opportunities are scarce (regarding media and arts). And freelance writing is a good way for you to make money, gain work experience and develop skills furthermore.
Also, outsourcing is something even large companies reach out for in order to free up their internal resources and improve flexibility and workflow.
Therefore, learning how to be a freelance writer is an excellent way to get paid for your creativity. And because of outsourcing needs, opportunities are on the rise!
Here are a six tips on how to be a freelance writer and what it takes:
Find What You Are Best At
This is laying the foundation. Do you like writing fiction or non-fiction? What kind of writing styles have you mastered?
It is easier to sell non-fiction than fiction. But if you prefer fiction and find a way to sell it, then do it. It is always a better choice to do what you like.
How to Be a Freelance Writer: Your Writing Skills
It may seem easy to write. However, those who do not devote time to developing and enhancing their skills, and do not write regularly, usually find that they lack good grammar, style, and originality. You have to express yourself with clarity and ease.
Do you have any writing qualifications? If you find it easier to go through a writing course instead of being self-taught, pursue a degree in English or journalism. Or take a writing workshop to get to know the rules and tricks of the craft.
There are various writing techniques you can master. Find what suits you the most and capture the essence of academic or journalistic writing.
Alternatively, you can develop your business writing skills. Make use of your degree in writing course, for it will help you to stand out among others in this competitive world we live in.
Improve Your Self-Discipline
You will need to have a good sense of responsibility towards your employers or clients.
Organize your writing space and equip yourself with everything you need in order to maintain a good workflow. Set a financial system and respect your deadlines with a reminder system (use a whiteboard, wall chart, or an online reminder).
Communicate regularly so to keep your clients informed about work-related issues and progress. Pay attention to your other needs, and do not overwork.
When you start feeling lonely in your writing space, grab your laptop and go somewhere where you will be surrounded by people (parks, coffee shops, bars) and absorb the good energy from the environment.
Be Active In the Writing Community
Get in touch with writer associations and groups, meet other writers, discuss, give and receive advice and information, and establish yourself as a writer.
Attend seminars and meet-ups, get in contact with more established writers, and work offers will eventually start coming. There are conventions and conferences that focus on writing, freelance writing, and authors.
Get acquainted with other freelance writers and publishers on these occasions. Having good professional contacts is something invaluable and it takes time to build them up.
How to Be a Freelance Writer: Build a Portfolio
If you cannot find a paid freelance writing job, write for non-paying websites and publications. Gain experience, get a bunch of your articles published, and get known.
Take all the articles with your name on them, put them in a portfolio and export it in a PDF document which can then easily be emailed to potential clients or employers.
Reach Out For a Job
When you start feeling capable and competent for doing professional writing work, start contacting the relevant people. Make a list of all the good publishers and do your own background research on their work.
Target your writing, know the market, and send query letters instead of completed articles (so not to waste your time on writing an article that may never be published).
Freelance writing work has its advantages and disadvantages.
On one hand, you do what you love, you are independent and have flexible work hours.
On the other hand, it is not always a money maker and you will probably have to work for free sometimes.
If you have enough self-motivation, don’t hesitate and start searching, writing, and publishing.
I would like to hear your thoughts. What did you think of the above six tips on how to be a freelance writer?
What are your strategies for coming up with writing gigs and how do you manage to deal with the pressure?
Let us know in the comments below. 🙂
John Stone is a business consultant and editor of Bizzmarkblog. He believes in the notion that form should always follow function and that thinking outside of the box is a prerequisite of being a successful entrepreneur.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net