How to start your freelancer writing career
- July 25, 2020
- Posted by: Manju Rai
- Category: Digital Marketing Career Tips
Are you looking to kick start your freelance writing career? Here are some tips and tricks to help you get started.
Pick a Niche or Expertise
As the saying goes – ‘riches are in the niches’. The first step to successful freelance writing is to pick a niche. In order to pick a niche, ask yourself what topics you like talking about. For example, if you have been working in a certain field, you may have specific domain knowledge that you can write with ease.
Identifying a gap can help you enter a market that has less competition. For example, if you are a nurse or physician, you immediately have a leg-up on most other medical writers who do not have your credentials.
You can also make a list of your hobbies and find out what you love to write about. Doing so will make you enjoy the process of working as a writer. If the niche you identify seems too narrow, it’s important to open yourself up to expanding your knowledge to widen the net of clients you can pitch to comfortably.
Develop an Online Presence
Whether you decide to write under your name or a pseudonym, it’s important to build an online persona that reflects the brand that you wish to build. Create profiles on freelance marketing sites where clients come to look for talent.
Don’t limit yourself to one platform, at least not in the beginning. Once you find directories and groups that generate regular income for you, you can stick to those. However, in the beginning, it’s all about casting a wide net and seeing what works.
Build a Portfolio
Once you have picked your niche, it’s time to build your portfolio. Initially, it might be difficult to get clients to pay you so you may have to offer to guest post on other blogs for free.
To create published samples, offer to guest post on websites, blogs, and podcasts within your niche. Some organizations pay for guest blogs, but when you first start out, you can think of it as a free promotion of your brand.
Guest posting online gives you credibility and provides a link you can share with your potential paying customers. However, websites frequently change their content and there’s no telling how long your article link will remain active. That’s why many freelancers create a website with samples and information about themselves that establishes their credibility and expertise.
Most writers have a portfolio menu item with their samples and other menu items with information about their interests and experience. Building your website as a business website shows professionalism and an understanding of the digital realm where you hope to make a living.
How to Select Sites for Guest Posting
It may take time, but once you know the sites your audience finds most useful, search for related sites where you can build a reputation.
Look for sites that meet the following criteria:
- Your target audience hangs out there
- The audience size can help you reach a steady stream of clients
- Have high domain authority (rank well in keyword searches)
Start a Blog
Now that you have a niche and a way to put your name in front of potential clients, consider building a blog to establish authority in the market you wish to target. Ideally, people searching the topic will also land on your blog page and reach out to you for writing jobs.
You can pick any of the top blogging platforms like wordpress or squarespace. They also let you buy a domain and host your website. Pick a theme that’s simple with less clutter which will help your users navigate and find your work.
Taking some web development courses can help you maintain your website without paying someone else to do it. If you get good enough at it, it may even become a future writing niche for you!
Level Up Your SEO Skills
Search Engine Optimization or SEO describes strategies used to improve the ranking of websites on specific search engines. As a freelance writer, you need a deep understanding of how SEO works in order to write content that improves the ranking of your client’s website on the Search Engine Results Page.
There are a lot of free resources on the internet that’ll help you level up your SEO copywriting skills. Content Optimization Tools like Topic can help speed up your content writing process.
Look for Writing Jobs
Here are some of the top sites for beginners searching for freelance writing jobs. As you become more experienced you will find others more specific to your niche.
Set a Regular Working Schedule
Getting freelance writing work may seem like a distant dream. However, soon enough orders begin to flow in and you have to complete them! Set a regular working schedule for your writing. This helps you maintain discipline and prevents procrastination. The brain is fresh and ready for action early in the morning. If you work, you may want to get up an hour early to get your writing in for the day. Pick the time that fits your schedule the best.
Now, you have some valuable leads on how to get started as a freelance writer. It may take time to build up the confidence to put yourself out there and promote your services. Once money starts coming in, you may find yourself less shy about self-promotion and more eager to market your skills.