Becoming an Awesome Writer
Freelancing will keep increasing! Here is one good example of a writer found on Fiverr.
He offers writing service for only $ 5 (1000 words). He only had 2 orders on this site at that time.
I bought nearly 34 orders from him, recently I returned and found he had 523 orders, the current unit price is $ 5 per 300 words.
Wow, so he has built writing service online. I love the way he builds his business.
And now I want to share some tips to help you become a successful freelance writer.
- Master the Business of Writing as Well as the Writing Itself
On top of being just a good writer, you will also need to master the business side of things as a freelance writer. This includes everything from finding potential customers and successfully approaching them to closing the deal and providing them with an excellent experience before, during and after you delivered your work. Make sure to pitch for new freelance writing gigs on a regular basis – if possible, try to make it a daily habit. Too many freelance writers still miss the basics; set up a website and blog and make sure to become a guest author on some blogs in your niche in order to provide new potential customers with real life references.
If you ghostwrite for your customers, you won’t be able to provide potential new customers with references that include you as the author. Being a guest blogger on a few industry blogs helps in these situations.
2. Getting The First Client
Getting the first client is perhaps the biggest challenge of any freelance writer. Because you’re new to this business (yes, freelancing is a business) and you don’t have a clue about how things work. Now the problem or the good thing is… there is no definite way to find your first client.
The strategy used by the freelancer “A” may not work for freelancer “B” (even if he did it exactly like the freelancer “A”).
Start small but steady.
What you need is experience as you want to know more about the market, different types of clients, and what they’re looking for.
Your first client can be that friend on one of your social networks, or from a freelance marketplace, or from a job board, or someone who hired you when you pitched them the right way. For instance, check out this blog post by Tom Ewer about how he found his first (real) client.
Read more on Writing B2B Sales Email that will get you a Response
3. Showcase Your Portfolio on Contently
To start a freelance writing career, you should start working on your portfolio. The heavier your portfolio is, the higher rates you’ll be proposed. Start writing for yourself as a guest contributor to well-known publications in your favorite niche. The best platform on which you can showcase your all online articles is Contently. These contributions will be the proof of your proficient skills and help you attract high-paying clients.
4. Develop a Marketing Plan
Okay. This is a BIG tip ??
Having a solid marketing plan is what will help you stay in business. Because after you land your first client, you still need to land another and another if you want to make this a sustainable business.
And to do that means you have to market yourself. I’ve talked a lot about marketing (here & here).
The best tips I can give are:
• Start guest posting. This gives you an author bio which helps gets you noticed
• Get on Twitter and LinkedIn
• Comment on blogs you want to write for
• Connect with businesses on social media
• Have a writer website
5. Take Any Work You Can Get at Any Price:
Most new writers hate the fact that beginner work pays next to nothing. Well, what do you expect for a job that everyone wants to do? Instead of being angry, reposition your thinking. Because this low-paying (extremely low-paying) work exists, it’s easy for you to break into the business. If it didn’t exist, you’d have to do an internship, get a degree, or do political favors for some developing nation just to get a crack at an online publication. You never know who you’ll get connected to or where you work might end up.
6. Start Your Own Blog
If you are just starting out, you’ll realize that everyone wants to see your published samples. That’s why I advise you to start your own blog. You can use it to publish pieces of content that you are really proud of and then use them as samples when you pitch clients. In the long run, your blog (if managed well) can attract visitors, who, in turn, can become clients. It is a win-win situation for you: you show your skills and gain more popularity.
7. Learn Basic SEO
If you plan (or are already writing) content for the web, make sure you take the time to learn some basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) skills. I have seen the benefits of freelance writers possessing SEO knowledge from both the perspective of a client and as a freelance writer myself. From a client’s standpoint, not needing to ask writers to fix very basic SEO considerations like headings, anchor text, and formatting is truly a relief. You’d be surprised how many freelance writers profess to know SEO and still slip up on the fundamentals. From my freelance writing experience, I find that clients are always impressed when I know exactly how to optimize a page both for SEO – which just shows how uncommon it still is!
8. Sell Your Results, Not Your Writing
I think the most important thing for new freelance writers to understand is that you’re not selling writing. Writing is your how, not your what. You’re selling the difference your words make, usually in the context of helping a business make more money. This is often a tough obstacle for new freelancers, but it is everything. Mastering this idea usually indicates a critical shift in mindset from employee to business owner. One telltale sign a writer hasn’t made this mental leap yet is a laser focus on job boards. Job boards are fine, but if you’re only looking there, you’re still in a mindset of needing permission to work. Freelancing is not about constantly applying for micro versions of a salaried position – it’s about creating solutions for people that are worth investing in.
9. Specialize in a Niche
You may be creative and quite knowledgeable about many topics, but it pays to start out with a specific niche. It helps you in building expertise in that niche and attract relevant clients. It also helps you in building a portfolio of clients in that niche, which will be perceived as valuable by your other potential clients.
10. Build Your Personal Brand
My tip for freelance writers would be to work on your personal brand. Your social media covers, your website, and your blog should be relevant and great. Also, consider pitching topics on writing great content to relevant publications, local chambers of commerce, online podcast shows, etc. All of this enables you to be seen as an expert, authority, and thought-leader of your industry, and it gets you the social proof you need to earn potential clients’ trust.
11. The basics: Editing and proofreading
Let’s start with a point you may already know but can’t be stressed enough. Just because you are working with an editor doesn’t mean you don’t have to edit your own writing. Just as you would when you didn’t have someone looking behind you on your writing, you should make sure to double-check your work.
While an editor is there to make sure you didn’t forget a comma or misplace your period, you need to remember there is more to their job than that. If you take the extra time to make sure to get the basics down, you are saving an editor the time of having to rework those basics for you later. Plus, in a professional capacity, editors will expect you to have made sure your writing is free of basic grammatical errors.
12. Network With Other Freelance Writers
One of the best things I did was reach out to other freelance writers. Whether it was to ask them about rates or clients, having another person that “knew” what I was going through was helpful.