In the growing gig economy, one of the more lucrative avenues you can go down is to become a freelance writer. It’s something anyone with a modicum of talent can do – all you require is the right focus and be prepared to put in the work.
Whether you’re just looking for an extra income stream or want to go full-time self-employed, here are our top tips for getting it right.
What Do You Need?
It’s simple: A laptop, an internet connection and a place to work. Oh, and the work ethic to put in the hours and develop your craft. That’s basically all you need.
Find the Right Platform
There are plenty of options around nowadays (People Per Hour, Elance, Toptal, Upwork) but you need to find the one that suits you. Forget the reviews, try them out and see how they work for you personally but keep in mind that the most popular freelancing platforms are the ones which attract the most visitors. You clients will be business owners who are looking to boost their online content, including web pages and blog posts, as well as marketing companies who want to outsource writing jobs in the most cost effective manner.
Forget Qualifications, Hone Your Writing Skills
One hurdle that people often put in the way of becoming a freelance writer is qualifications. They didn’t train as a journalist or don’t have any marketing experience. If you can put together a coherent sentence and understand beginning, middle and end structures in writing then you have the basic skills you need. Writers learn by writing – the more you do the better you will get.
Be Prepared to Write on Any Subject
If you’ve never written about the financial implications of Brexit for business, how to install a kitchen worktop or 10 different ways to keep a cat entertained, don’t worry. The information is usually out there, on the web. All you need to do is a little research and you’ve got your article. When it comes to freelancing, you must be prepared to tackle almost any subject and that’s a lot easier than you think.
There’s plenty of chance to market yourself for a low cost online through social media. What’s going to be important is reaching out to businesses and agencies to include them on your list of friends and followers. You may also want to produce your own blog so that you can showcase your talents to the world.
Build a Reputation
Reputation is everything in the freelance writing world. Back in the early days, the sector was swamped with low cost options and many good writers got priced out of the market by frankly cheap but dreadfully poor substitutes.
Thankfully, businesses have now come to their senses. The majority are looking for someone who can get a good job done at a price they can afford. What’s more, if you do it well, they’re likely to come back to you for repeat business. Freelancing sites normally have a rating facility and this is by far the most important thing in developing your presence and reputation. The more people who give you top ratings, the more new business you’ll attract.
Finally, always be customer focused and bend over backwards to make sure your client is happy, particularly when you first start out. Get it right and you can earn a decent amount of money, whether you just want to supplement your current income or feel the urge to go full-time out on your own.