There are a lot of ways to start the career as a writer. A freelance writer is a person who accomplishes the orders for texts, not usually being linked to a certain company or a publisher. It is possible to be a freelance writer full-time, or use the opportunity for the part-time activity to get some extra income. Moreover, the portfolio will be a good bonus for you in the future. Here we will give you the simple steps to follow for the career of a successful freelance writer.
1. Make sure you are a good writer
Just knowing how to spell words and how to write grammatically correct sentences will not be enough. One should have a call for writing, get satisfaction from what he/she does. It is not that easy to put thoughts into a paper in a coherent and clear manner. It is better to get the appropriate higher education or at least pass the related course to develop your skills.
- Define what you want to write: scientific papers or fiction? If you write for money, essays are the most widely sold. When I was a student, freelance writers used to write my essay, and I bet they are making good money (taking into account how much I personally paid them).
- What is the goal of your writing? If it for fun or for living? If you want to become a full-time freelance writer, get ready to spend most of your time and a lot of effort.
- If you have a higher education diploma, this will help you to stand out from the crowd of other writers. Get armed with your credentials, any bonuses will be of a great help.
2. Be ready to communicate
If you don’t want to be poor and unknown, you should learn how to sell your works. Learn the advertising techniques, develop your negotiation skills. In the modern world, most of the deals are done online, so you will apply your skills of expressing your thoughts through writing. However, sometimes you need to call, to knock at the doors to get opportunities for the development.
An important thing to know: learn how to complete short adverts for your writing pieces. Such requests should include the concept of your work, as well as a short description of your experience and qualifications. Writing such requests should be a routine for the writer in demand.
3. Get ready to lose your enthusiasm
No matter how dear is writing to your heart, you will sometimes have to write texts on topics you do not like. A productive writer should be responsible and perform such tasks cold-heartedly. While writing texts on dull topics, remember that the interesting ones are yet to come. To support your enthusiasm, you may also write a short story or whatever you like besides the job assignment.
4. Switch from working alone to meeting people
If you work at home alone for a long time, you will start feeling like you are in a vacuum, and the feeling of alienation will have a bad influence on your writing. There are a few ways to solve the issue. Firstly, you can just take it as it is, and secondly, you can make yourself go outside and meet people from time to time. Take your laptop with you and work in parks or cafes. This will not only help you to feel a part of society again, but also give you inspiration.
5. Learn to be responsible, disciplined, and rational
Only a responsible attitude to the work can bear fruits.
- Take care of the accounting side. Write down your income and spending, take care of taxes, keep the deadlines strictly!
- Arrange a comfortable working place. All the referencing materials, dictionaries, and encyclopedias need to be handy. Moreover, buy the chair that keeps your spine in the correct position: you are going to spend long hours sitting, and your health matters.
- Use an app or your calendar to manage the task deadlines. This will help you set priorities and not to sacrifice the quality of texts writing them at the last moment.
- Don’t try to jump over your head. An important point is to sensibly evaluate your possibilities to maintain the high quality of writing and your life. There should always be a good balance between your job and your personal life.
6. Set a goal and constantly work towards it
If you want to earn your living with the help of writing, you need a lot of practice. Write in transport, while having your morning coffee, on weekends. Get ready for the burning deadlines. In such a way, you will test yourself on whether you can write all the time. Practice, improve, read a lot, take a course on writing. You are at the beginning of a long way to go.
7. Enter the writer’s communities
People who write tend to gather into communities with the purpose of experience and knowledge sharing. You may get some hints on how to start from people who did this successfully, or learn about someone’s mistakes not to be the victim of the same circumstances. Moreover, such connections may help you to find a good job.
Also, there is a web resource “The Writer,” which contains numerous hints on how to write requests, search for publishers, manage your writing in general. It is a must-check resource for those who what to get published in journals and newspapers.
8. Determine what formats suit you the best
A few years ago, one could choose either to write for printed editions or for online ones. Now, the choice is too obvious, so a future freelance writer should rather find a suitable format about the following: blog posting, guest posting, content, review, or news writing, and many others.
Your future development should be based on the selection. If it is blog writing, you should develop your personal style to attract and maintain the reader’s interest. It is important to search for actual topics that would be appealing to your audience. If this is about news writing, you should train yourself to always be informed about what is going on around and in the world. Most likely, you will need to learn some basics of politics and economy to be able to use terms properly. All in all, there are so many things you should do to become productive in the chosen sphere!
9. Take care of your portfolio
When applying for the job of a writer, your employer would like to see something more than your academic credentials. Having a portfolio of successful works will be a huge bonus, and, in some reliable companies, even a must. So, send your works to be published in various editions, even if sometimes you need to do this for free. Moreover, some charity organizations may need a person to help them with content writing, and this will be a good opportunity in your case. The work will pay off later, believe me. Have your selection of best texts ready in PDF to be sent to a potential employer anytime.
10. Start searching for the job
As soon as you have passed all the previous steps at least partially, and feel that you can (and want to) do it, start searching for the publisher to cooperate with. Find the publishers of your dream, and learn their demands. Do not just write random articles trying to sell them anywhere later. Carry out research of the market to determine your target audience according to the demand. And, do not send articles: send requests, so you will not waste your precious time on something that is not in need. Requests may have topic suggestions and some drafts or first paragraphs of the articles that can be written on those topics. And, surely, headings matter a lot.
11. Do your best while writing your first article
Indeed, it should be a masterpiece. The beginning of your cooperation should make your employer get more articles from you. However, start writing an article after your request was approved (you remember from the previous point). Do not try to copy any popular writer’s style, but develop your own. Diversify your language, sentence structure, way of delivering information. Your text needs to be breathtaking, and amaze.
12. Finally, sign a contract (better a few)
Freelance writing job allows you to work on several publishers/web resources at once, but try to get a regular one to guarantee you a steady income. Remember, that the development of your skills did not come to an end, it actually just started, and each next article should be better than the previous for you to secure the job. This especially refers to the spheres that reflect the fast-changing world: fashion, technology, etc. Refresh your portfolio, and learn from the comments of your editor. Remember that everything is in your hands.