The best of everything—art, entertainment, politics, music, and life itself—has either been written down or written about. The ability to express oneself in writing is very personal, but it is also fundamental to the success of practically every company you encounter, from local menus to international advertising.
Freelance Writer — Define
As a freelance writer, your primary responsibility will be to provide the material requested by your customers. Although this may seem straightforward, there are significant variations in the writing, subject matter, research, and associated duties involved in producing such material. Freelance writers are paid to generate a wide variety of works, including books, novels, essays, website pages, news pieces, social media postings, and in-depth studies.
Word processing applications like Microsoft Word and Google Docs, as well as content management systems (CMSs) like WordPress, may be used for this purpose. Social media content may be created either in real-time on a platform like Twitter or Facebook, or in bulk using social media scheduling tools.
When do I start getting paid for my writing?
Getting into the freelance writing industry can be done in a variety of ways. Many successful writers and marketers did not major in English in college. They may have degrees in related fields (like engineering) or in more general subjects where writing is an important skill (e.g., psychology or the sciences). So, while we cover the basics of getting started as a freelance writer, keep in mind that your path won’t have to be exactly like anyone else’s for you to succeed.
1. Spend time learning about writing and content fields
To get started as a freelance writer, there is a lot of reading to do. You should start by researching the field at large to get a sense of what other authors are producing. Do companies still hire independent writers to pen company blogs? Do current events require more people to launch their newsletters and advertise their products? Is your background in demand by any organizations?
If you’re just starting, one great piece of advice is to reach out to other writers. In most cases, they will be able to provide you with information about the method or direct you to where you can find it. Websites, courses, and professional networks like LinkedIn’s Writing Groups can all get you started on your writing career. Locate community centres and co-working spaces in major cities to find out if they offer any courses or seminars. Alternatively, you could check with your neighbourhood library.
2. Find the focus of your content
You should begin refining your online research to focus on the topics you intend to cover. Take a look back at your writing samples and subject matter expertise to see what you’re capable of.
For example, some authors choose to focus solely on the medical or technological fields. Some people may focus solely on one type of content, like blog posts or YouTube video scripts. If your favourite celebrity is working on a piece of long-form content, they may be working with a ghostwriter.
3. Arm yourself with resources and put in some writing time
Most writers stick to a routine when they put pen to paper. Not everyone uses outlines, though; some people prefer to make detailed notes that can easily evolve into paragraphs. While some writers can only write at certain times, you might start composing whenever the mood strikes you. Treat your writing exercises as if they were for a real job and you’ll learn a lot about your process.
After some trial and error, you’ll have a better idea of what works for you and how to adapt your strategy accordingly. Consider which aspects you enjoy the most, and which you would rather do without. After a second read-through, you might realize that you have the makings of a competent editor and are capable of shaping your draft into a polished piece of work. If not, you risk losing focus while scanning for serial commas. If you have the right equipment, either option is viable.
4. Put together a portfolio
The next step is to focus on the freelance business. For authors, this entails assembling a sample of your best work in a portfolio. Collect links to your published works and consider saving them as PDFs so you can easily share them in the future. There is a risk of losing older work if you don’t save it yourself, as links tend to become outdated and change frequently on the web.
5. Get on publication, make some pitches, and start winning
To begin signing up customers is the only thing left to do. To get hired for a project, you’ll need to make pitches and write proposals. To help you find your next content writing gig, Upwork has dedicated pages you can peruse to see what’s currently available. You can look for jobs that suit your skills by browsing, searching, and filtering.
To get their first client, many writers falsely believe that their writing will speak for itself. The reality, however, is quite different for the vast majority of people. You won’t be able to get by on content creation alone. You need to do a good job of selling yourself and your skills.
Finding people who need what you offer is step one in securing that first client. Open up Upwork and check out the freelance opportunities that are currently available by starting here.