Are you considering becoming a freelance writer? I started freelancing several years ago, and I learned a lot of things the hard way. Take a minute to read the five secrets I wish I had known at the beginning of my writing career!
- Prepare a form response. You’re going to be applying to a number of gigs and job opportunities. Save yourself some time and create a simple form response that covers all the basics. It should emphasize your skills and share any experience you have. When you see a job you want to apply to, simply copy the relevant pieces of your response and alter it so the text directly applies to the job at hand. Be sure you don’t forget to personalize the greeting!
- Ask for what you’re worth. There are tons of jobs out there for those who are willing to work for pennies on the dollar. If you are serious about using your writing skills to build a career, or even if you just want to make decent money on the side, avoid these jobs. I learned the hard way that these jobs aren’t worth it. They almost never lead to bigger projects. Decide on the smallest amount you are willing to work for and stick to it. This will help you weed out projects that are a waste of time.
- Deliver. Once you land a job, make sure to give the project your all. Doing great work will open doors that you might not even recognize at the moment! The happier your clients are, the more likely they will be to brag on your services to others.
- Never give up. This is uber-important. You are competing with thousands of other freelancers. Don’t give up on your goal. It may take a while to build your business, but it’s worth it. Keep yourself motivated by learning from freelancers who have made it. Blogs, writing websites, and online job boards are great places to go when you’re feeling discouraged.
- Be flexible. Be a writing contortionist! Each client is looking for a different style of writing. Having an open outlook is a huge advantage. If you’re accustomed to writing dry, fact-based articles, work on incorporating humor into your work. If your style tends toward the irreverent, make an effort to put together a serious, no-snark article. The more you stretch your abilities, the more jobs you will be able to tackle.