A freelance writer is someone who offers his/her writing services to different clients and works as a contractor but on a self-employed basis. Many writers are opting for freelancing since it has the benefits of working from home and making money, choosing your jobs, and being your boss. Making money writing while in your pajamas, sipping a cup of coffee has driven many aspiring writers into the industry. Some writers, mostly from third-world countries, have seen this as a good opportunity to earn a living due to low job opportunities in their countries.
The competitive market has made it hard for most beginner freelance writers to succeed in their careers. Although some freelance writers are just part-time writers, some have succeeded well enough to dive full-time into writing.
Here are five tips for beginner freelance writers that when implemented will help those venturing into freelancing to succeed in today’s competitive market.
1. Part-Time Freelance Writer
For you to succeed as a Freelance writer, be independent and flexible. Be a self-starter and a risk-taker. You should l
earn to work in your spare time instead of diving full time into it at the beginning.
Part-time freelance writing salary may not pay your bills in the initial stages and you may have to put in more hours of your spare time than in a normal office setting. Your passion for writing drives you at the beginning and your skills are what will make you succeed.
2. Create a High Quality Freelance Writer Portfolio
Don’t be in a haste to bid for job proposals on freelancing websites. You will spend uncovered and unpaid hours. Without a good portfolio to back up your skills, you may end up doing projects at ridiculously low rates in your quest for references.
Although one has to begin somewhere, these clients may refer you and your pay to other clients and you will be cheap in your referral base. Most of these clients would have paid well if you had just taken quality time to build your credentials. You should begin by building and diversifying your freelance writer portfolio.
In my quest on how to build a freelancing writing portfolio with little or no experience, I discovered something that works. You can start your blog (on free or paid hosting) where you can upload and showcase your
quality articles. This can be a good way of diversifying your income sources too since later on when you know how to bring enough traffic to your blog; you can use them as an income stream through advertising.
By doing this, you can send a link to your blog or specific articles to prospective clients on freelancing websites. Because of an online presence and a strong portfolio in your blog (assuming your writing skill is impressive) you can charge a good rate that may fund paid web hosting.
3. Build Your Personal Brand
Building your brand through your online portfolio is as important as the portfolio itself. You showcase your work, achievements, and also stand out among a sea of other professional writers. To maximize your success with your online portfolio:
- Identify your niche and choose a simple, readable domain name.
- Know how to use keywords to attract traffic to your blog. You can use Google’s Keyword Planner tool and use the keywords that are most relevant for your site.
- Use high-quality SEO-optimized images. You can download royalty-free images on Pixabay and use alt-tags to rank them.
- Learn how to use proper tags and categories in your blogs appropriately to increase your visibility in the search engines.
- Submit your online portfolio for indexing on Google for it to appear online.
- When writing or contributing to other websites, include a link to your portfolio in your author byline.
- Share your portfolio on social media. The effective way to do this is to include a link when creating social media headers for your profiles.
- Always be up-to-date in your contact details and URLs.
- Join a group of online freelancers and make friends. Learn from online resources how to answer questions in Quora, how to write for HubPages, and how to write for Medium. You will be surprised to find that there are also vast opportunities you can use to make money as a writer. By doing this, you will create helpful connections for your career. Remember to include your portfolio link in your author bios.
4. Understand Your Clients
After successfully creating and marketing your freelance writer portfolio, start bidding on projects on the freelancing websites. Make yourself stand out from the rest of the professional freelancers you are competing with. Present yourself in the professional way possible and bid your proposal according to the project requirements. Be very accurate in the duration and cost of the project. With the already online portfolio, you will get clients coming your way.
It is now the time to focus on the needs of each client you come across. Your aim should be to create a good impression and make the clients love your work and want to give you more work for higher rates. The needs of each client are very different and they call for flexibility in your writing skills and styles. Learn to expect and prevent predictable problems.
5. Work on Your Freelance Writing Success
At this stage, employ the various skills learned from other successful writers. The only way to succeed as a beginner freelance writer is by avoiding confining yourself to your skills. Read what other successful and professional writers are writing. Read freelance success stories and work to horn your writing style to suit the needs of the various clients.
Be open and transparent to your client about what you are looking for regarding compensation and the actual work. Propose milestone payments in parts to your clients, especially if the project will involve a lot of work. By using the proposed milestones, you can request the scheduling of payments for every chunk of work done.
To create a good impression on your client, make sure you are always available for communication even when at your offline job. Try as much as possible to let communications and payments always be within the freelancing website. This will be one way of ensuring you have the best protection in an unlikely event of a dispute.
Finally, when you give your best in all your projects, employers will keep coming back to you and your client base will increase immensely without notice.