Freelance writing is often cited as the best way for beginners to make money online, and we tend to agree. It’s probably the online business model with the lowest barrier to entry and it doesn’t demand much technical knowledge. Someone can be very successful as a freelance writer even without a website.
One misconception people have about being a freelance writer, however, is that making it is easy. Everyone can call themselves a freelance writer, but it takes a significant amount of work to earn a living wage as one. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need to do if you want to be successful as a freelance writer.
Consider Getting Some Sort of Formation
When you get started with freelance writing, you’ll quickly realize how important it is to have a specialization. If you already have some sort of expertise, then we would suggest that you get a certification that will allow you to show your credentials as a freelance writer in that particular field.
If you’re in healthcare, for instance, then you could get a medical writing certification so you can do technical medical writing. Having this sort of formation will set you apart from the rest and you’ll have a lot less competition when bidding on jobs. You’ll also have more credibility when pitching your services as a writer in general and you’ll be able to work on a wider variety of projects.
Get Ready for Rejection
As a new writer, you can’t expect to get your first clients overnight. You will need to work hard and be ready to bid on hundreds of projects before someone picks you. The most important thing is to treat your first clients like gold as there’s nothing more precious in this business than social proof. So, make sure that you go above and beyond on your first job and even consider working on some free projects so you can start building a reputation.
Create Samples and a Portfolio
You cannot start writing if you don’t have some samples to show. You don’t need to have a ton of them; three should be enough for now, but plan on adding more. Choose subjects you are comfortable with and make sure that your articles are free of typos and grammar errors.
Next, you should start building a portfolio. We would suggest that you use WordPress for that as it will make it easy to create a blog, which will be extremely important. Your blog is what will allow you to get visibility on search engines and attract the type of client you’re looking for by crafting high-quality relevant content. Once your blog and portfolio are done, make sure that people can see that you’re a writer from the minute they log on to your website and have your contact info clearly laid out.
Start Knocking on Doors
A lot of people will advise new writers to start bidding on sites like Fiverr, Upwork, or ProBlogger. But the most efficient way to get clients in our opinion is plain old cold emailing.
Find a cold emailing template online, learn how to make a cold email message yourself, or hire someone to write one for you. All you have to do next is find the person that is in charge of content for any company and shoot your shot. This is something you could easily do with a tool like Anymail Finder. If you have lots of social proof built up, good samples, and a few nice published pieces, it’s only a matter of time before someone gives you a chance.
This is all you need to know if you want to start a career as a freelance writer. If you stay consistent in your efforts and constantly work on your craft and customer service, you’ll eventually start building a solid client base.