Pick a Niche or ExpertiseAs 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 PresenceWhether 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 PortfolioOnce 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 PostingIt 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)