If you are considering full-time or part-time freelance writing work, do not let lack of experience discourage you. While an education background in writing and/or other formal writing training can certainly be assets to your career, many people become successful freelance writers without any prior experience. This article is designed to help you determine if this would be a good career option for you, provide you with the initial knowledge that you need to start freelance writing, and give you tips for sticking with your writing career
Are You Suited to a Freelance Writing Career?
Before you seriously consider launching into freelance writing, considering the following questions:
Do you have a strong writing background: You don’t need to have a writing degree, to have a strong background in writing. Any writing qualification, or experience, can still play a large part in helping you develop writing skills.
Do you have a passion for writing: Not everyone may consider this a requirement for freelance work, but you may have a really hard time sitting down to work on something you really don’t enjoy, for several hours a day. Even though you may not love every article that you write, you should enjoy the general task.
Do you have strong keyboard skills:All of the keyboard skills in the world cannot make up for weak writing, but they can greatly improve your overall efficiency . If you use the hunt and peck method or simply don’t type very quickly, you should really consider checking out one of the free typing programmes like sense-lang.org or typingweb.com. Alternatively, you can use speech recognition software like Dragon NaturallySpeaking, that allows you to dictate while it types for you.
Are you self-motivated: One of the best and worst parts about freelance work is that you are your own boss; There is no-one to make sure that you are sitting at your computer, producing quality work every day. You have to be honest with yourself about whether this structure is a good fit for you.
These tips apply to both jobs for clients, and your own long-term-earning articles:
1 Research freelance writing websites and magazines; before signing up, sending applications, or writing enquiry letters. This can be an overwhelming task, as there are a lot of opportunities out there, however it will save you time if you can skip over the sites and magazines that won’t be good leads for you.
2 Prepare strong writing samples: A number of freelance writing sites require one or more writing samples, as part of the application process. Be sure to take your time and submit quality writing.
3 Before accepting client jobs, or starting new long-term-earning articles; consider whether you have the expertise and/or means to research the topic at hand. Typically you can cancel client jobs and delete long-term articles, but it is better to be prepared for the task ahead, before you get started.
4 Always double check spelling and grammar before submitting articles: Even if you can edit long-term articles later, it is important to publish with the best possible version of the article.
Long-Term-Earning Article Considerations
Write articles longer than 500 words, but preferably shorter than 1,500: Search engines pay the most attention to articles of this length. This length requirement will allow you to provide quality content, without overwhelming your readers.
Do n0t be afraid to make revisions: there are very few writers who have not taken the time to edit old articles. There is nothing wrong with going back and making changes, however it is also important to know when to leave an article alone. You don’t want to spend so much time revising, that you are not creating any new content.
Building backlinks is a huge component of creating traffic for your long-term articles: It can be time consuming to learn new sites, but once you get into a routine; promotion will only take a few minutes each day. Figure out what the best promotional sites are for your content, and concentrate your efforts there.
Do your research to continue to improve your work: Take time on a regular basis, to research new techniques and article tips.
Pay attention to topics that do well, and capitalise on your success: when you find a niche that you excel at; stick with it, until you have gleaned all you can from that area, before venturing into something new.
Be realistic about the time it takes to start earning: it takes time to build earnings with long-term articles, although eventually these can turn into a significant portion of your monthly freelance income.
Client Job Considerations
Always double check directions: One of the most common reasons that you will have to revise a client article, is that something about your article doesn’t follow their directions. Try to read the directions one final time, before submitting; just to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
Do not be afraid to ask questions, or request clarification 0f directions. If you want to write an article but are not sure about some aspect of the directions, don’t be afraid to contact the client. Most sites have a relatively easy method for contacting clients, and most clients are happy to communicate with writers.
Do not get discouraged by revisions: Editing and revising is a natural part of the writing process. Many client revision requests are minor changes that can be completed in a few minutes.
Don’t get discouraged by rejections: Most clients will allow you to revise an article and will not give a flat out rejection, but it does happen sometimes, even to the best writers. Try not to take it personally, and just move on to the next job.
Be realistic about your earning potential and goals: Be honest with yourself about how much time you will be spending writing every day, and how much money you want to earn. There is potential to make a competitive income with freelance writing, but it takes patience, time, and effort.
How To Stick With It
Now that you are equipped with the tools that you need to start freelance writing, how are you going to stick with it on a long term basis? Here are a few tips that will help you:
Set a schedule and stick to it: One of the best parts about freelancing is that you can set your own hours. Figure out what works the best for you and your family, and establish a daily routine.
Do not be afraid to mix up your routine; to avoid burning out, or suffering writers’ block.
If you are tiring from your usual selection of client articles, or are having trouble finding inspiration for long-term articles, take a break once in a while. Spend some time writing about new topics, or researching writing opportunities, i.e. on websites, or in magazines. Consider taking a mental health day once in a while, too: A long walk in the morning, or a trip to the art museum in the afternoon, can refresh and inspire you.
Don’t get discouraged by slow months: Some weeks it is easy to find all of the client work that you need, and to get lots of views on long-term articles, without much effort, while other weeks it is much harder. Having a variety of sites can help you find more work, but it still isn’t always easy. Capitalise on the busy periods, so you won’t feel the decrease so much in slower months.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
You never know when one of your most profitable sources will dry up overnight, so having a small network of strong resources, will prevent this possibility from having a major impact on your earnings.
If you write long-term-earning articles, brainstorm on a regular basis; this will help you to come up with ideas for new articles. Often you may think of your best ideas away from the computer, not when you are ready to write an article. Record them as they occur to you, to ensure that you have ideas ready when you do sit down to write.
Digital marketing agencies often look for freelancers. I have had success in the past obtaining work simply by contacting them and asking if there is any work going.
Some agencies I had sucess with are: