Becoming a successful freelance writer is not an overnight job; it takes months to get to the point where you have a few regular clients and people approach you for work instead of you hogging job boards for projects.
Getting your name established in the market is not only a hard task but also a time-consuming one.
However, this doesn’t mean that you stay away from making freelance writing a career or temporary career, instead how to start freelance writing is a no big brainer ( don't me wrong here ).
It does have its benefits; the flexible working hours, freedom to choose work and writing from the comfort of your home are all merits of freelance writing.
There are some cons too like dealing with picky clients, or in rare cases being scammed out of the promised fee.
Nevertheless, the pros outweigh the cons, especially if you are doing freelance writing for some extra cash or are a stay-at-home parent in need of money.
In such cases, you need to get yourself established as soon as possible, by implementing the following steps.
Build a routine:
Working from home makes it all the more tempting for you to procrastinate as there are so many distractions and duties. Don’t let things and people get in the way of your work.
Firmly establish the fact that you are not to be disturbed when in your home office, until absolutely necessary like in case of an emergency or some other important task.
Don’t leave your work for later thinking you have a few hours to waste till before the deadline.
Form A Social Media Presence:
Having a strong LinkedIn profile, or a good following on some other social media platforms will contribute positively to your writer’s profile.
Not only will it allow the clients to look you up, establishing the fact that you indeed exist, but new clients will also be able to approach you if your LinkedIn profile portrays you as an impressive writer.
Furthermore, if you have a good rapport with your social media contacts, then they may recommend you for projects.
Write for free:
Initially, you may have to write for free or at very low rates, in exchange for good reviews.
The reviews and testimonials will help build your profile by showing potential clients that you are a reliable writer who provides quality work on time.
If you are going into the field of freelance writing with unrealistic expectations that you will be paid highly for your first project then you will be disappointed.
However, this disappointment will diminish once your profile becomes stronger and you start receiving projects more easily.
All this is especially applicable if you are planning to get projects off of websites like Freelancer and Upwork. To get you started here are some great Ways to Find Freelance Writing Jobs
Try guest posting:
Expand your portfolio and build a name for yourself by guest posting on various blogs and publications that allow you to submit a post without having to pay a single dime.
If your content is posted on a number of professional blogs or websites, a prospective client Googling your name is bound to come across these and become impressed.
In order to do so, you will have to find websites posting the kind of topics or genre you write about; some websites have clearly stated that they allow guest posts or that you can submit a post (if you follow their content requirements or format).
Otherwise, you will have to pitch them the idea through email or by leaving a comment.
Creating a blog is no longer a hard task. Take out some time from your schedule and start blogging on random topics to gain a following and so clients have a sample of your writing available, to help them decide whether to give you the project or not.
Whatever your job, you must be where your customers are, ie on the web.
Today, it is no longer useful to have significant development skills to have a nice site.
For example, you can use a blogging to build an online storefront (portfolio). Present your professional and personal work, show your expertise on a blog ... in short: show that you know your work.
Related post : How To Start A Blog WordPress – Super Easy Guide
Choose a Conformable place
When working as an independent, there is a tendency to confuse work and private life.
To prevent this kind of thing from happening, you have to work in a corner exclusively for that purpose.
The best is to choose a local out of your home or a coworking space. But if you can not afford it, you can set up an unoccupied room in your home office.
It must be closed because an office is always intimate.
Related Topic : Complete guide to filing self-employment taxes
Being self-employed does not mean being on vacation, far from it!
If you plan to make a career in Freelance writing, you will have to organize and train yourself to respect the deadlines and meet all the expectations of your customers.
A good organization makes it operational whatever happens. You have a last minute order very well paid?
If you have taken the lead, you can accept it and add a little more butter in your spinach! You will also be able to meet potential new customers who ask you for "test" texts. You can check this also
Sign up for some free online courses, go to a writer’s seminar or take a workshop on writing if you don’t have time to take proper classes, to help you identify your weak spots and to learn new things.
Here you can learn From Other Successful Writers
This will help you improve your work quality so your clients are 100% satisfied with the content you provide.
It will also help you develop new writing styles and to learn the guidelines of writing different types of content like articles, web pages, ebooks, citations styles, etc.
Quick freelance writing courses
position yourself as a freelancer writer
Define for which type of projects you are good at , what "degree of quality" your texts can reach, and the topics you want to write about.
You, very early, can adopt a "positioning" for yourself, which will lead the right prospects to contact you.
Find your positioning. Low-cost prices, or on the contrary, "high-end" rates? Texts for blogs only, large files, or multipurpose services? There is room for many profiles!
Working continuously or taking no time for yourself will eventually leave its mark on your work. If you want to continue providing quality work, you must not neglect your hobbies and social life.
This certainly doesn’t entail wasting all your time, but it does mean that you need to take a short productivity break when needed to avoid burning out.
Read a book, watch a good movie, go out with friends, or do at least something fun every once in a while. Play a game or take a short walk between assignments to refresh yourself.
Choose the clients wisely:
Do some homework, or rather research, before accepting an assignment from a client to know if he is authentic to avoid wasting time on projects you won’t be paid for.
Also, read the reviews about the client posted by writers who have previously worked with him, so you can avoid extra picky clients who might require too many revisions and would even then leave a negative review.
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Take the time to do a task correctly.
when you accelerate, you accelerate and when you brake, you brake. You must avoid doing both at once, otherwise you lose performance.
For your Freelance activity try to establish this principle as often as possible to improve efficiency.
For tasks that require a lot of thought, prepare yourself not to be interrupted.
Away from Facebook, Twitter and Mail alerts , put your phone in silent, put your headphones to isolate you from outside noises.
If you get distracted, you will need a lot of time to focus on your task again. When you can, try doing one action at a time.
Avoid overwork, take breaks
Respect your code of conduct and your rituals. Do not accept the insuperable things you know and especially, make breaks!
Get out! Leave the computer to pause, go for a walk outside, breathe the fresh air, listen to the birds sing, smell the smell of a bakery.
In short, enjoy being your own boss and take the time to grant you decompression phases.
It will be easier for you to follow phases of intense concentration with good cuts.
For example, use the pomodoro technique (30 minutes of work, 5 minutes break for example) to help you adjust your work.
Plan the day before,for tomorrow
Try to plan your day of the next day before going to sleep.
Make a point in your Trello to update the progress of complex tasks, view your Google calendar to validate your deadlines and add the important tasks that will make up your day tomorrow on the notepad.
Use The five minute journal
A revelation. It will allow you to get off to a good start every morning. The principle is ; find a quote every day that will motivate you.
You will also need to write down your victories and things you are grateful for.
This will allow you to follow your evolution, to remind you of the times when you were well and to find solid sentences, written by yourself, to cheer you up! .The Five Minute Journal
You use also an app like Day One, a kind of diary that will allow you to write down your wins and make a quick recap of your days to keep your spirits up.
When you have achieved an action or goal that you consider a victory, give yourself a small reward to score. You will be motivated to go for the next victory!
Quick Productivity/useful Tools
Proofhub: online project management software & collaboration tool, gives you full control over your tasks
Edubirdie: Find your career writing path. work from home or your favorite places while traveling.
ConvertKit: Get the automations and email marketing tools you need to grow your blog
Google Drive: Get access to files anywhere through secure cloud storage and file backup for your photos, videos, files and more
Copyscape: free plagiarism checker
HubSpot Blog Topic Generator: This tool generates blog ideas no matter how niche your industry is.
Evernote : Capture, organize, and share notes from anywhere. Your best ideas are always with you and always in sync.
Internet options for students on low income : A great Guide for students who are looking for success.
Apple 15" MacBook Pro, Retina, Touch Bar :MacBook Pro is ideal for long hours in front of the screen
There Ya Go!
If you follow all these or at least most of these suggestions then the odds will be in your favor and within a few months, you will not only establish yourself in the market as a sought-after freelance writer, but you will also gain a few regular clients.
Furthermore, clients will start approaching you for work instead of the other way round.
However, we will again remind you that all this won’t happen in a day, it will take a few months, or even a year, till then you have to be patient and work at a low fee.
To get you started check out: 317 Power Words That’ll Instantly Make You a Better Writer