How to make money and become a freelance writer
Many people wonder if it is possible to achieve financial independence being a writer, and the answer is a resounding YES. But how do you become a freelance writer and start earning money?
How to begin a freelance writing career: 5 surefire tips
Here are 5 powerful tips to get you on the right foot in the world of on-demand writing:
Learn to write for the internet
The biggest problem for beginning freelancers is that they seem to write too well. When a client, be it a marketing agency or a makeup blogger, is looking for a freelancer, they just want three things:
Write-ups for companies and the internet, in general, are not like the texts you wrote in your notebook. You may be a talented writer, but know that you may not earn a penny from freelancing if you don’t adapt your writings for the supported media.
What does the freelancer market consider good in a writer?
- Writers with good use of language: One must know the basic grammar rules and master the tools of writing. We’re not here to teach aspiring freelancers the English grammar. A mastery of the language is a basic requirement for anyone in the industry. Never create texts without making sure everything is in line.
- Writers able to write in the language of the internet: Everything on the internet revolves around Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Your writings must comply with Google’s search rules. If necessary, take courses in the area.
- Writers able to write about ANYTHING: As a freelancer, you will rarely write about the topics you like. Be prepared to have to write a text about dental implants or car insurance sales.
- Writers able to meet deadlines: Deadline given should be deadline met. Never postpone deadlines. Create breeding routines to keep your production up to date.
- Skilled writers: When we talk about SEO and writing for the internet, it is crucial to take courses in the area. Udemy has several courses for those who want to dominate in online writing. We recommend the Complete Content Writing Course for 2020. The Coursera is another platform with paid and free courses where you can acquire knowledge and skills useful in the freelancing industry.
Create a portfolio
Start with a simple, free blog with at least 10 articles on different subjects. Select your best work and keep an eye out for a variety of topics: The client wants to know if you can write about a variety of subjects.
Important tip: If you have not worked for any clients yet, officially create an imaginary portfolio.
Select some different topics and write about them. Set a goal of one thousand words (average for a freelance article). Review them as much as possible, after all, these contents will be your business card.
Once reviewed, post them to your blog or page. Do not worry about images, what counts is the quality of the text.
What should a good portfolio contain?
- An efficient, professional resume: Here, include your courses, academic background and all kinds of work related to the writing world.
- A little about you: To break the rigidity, name 3 things about yourself, such as your cultural background, volunteer work (this shows proactivity) or hobbies (this shows that you are a nice person).
- Professional Photo: Hit the photography studio for a professional photo. no more informal photos.
- Contact: Leave your phone, email and Skype address so the client can contact you if he wants.
Create your profile on top freelancer platforms
Virtually all freelancers are on one freelance platform or the other – Contently, Upwork, Freelancer, iWriter, Workana, and Fiverr, to mention a few. However, the competition in each of these sites is stifling. So, how do you succeed in getting your first $100 and building a freelancing career from here?
Some tips for beginners on freelancing platforms
- Do not be discouraged: It is not always easy to get freelance writing jobs online, especially on freelancing platforms. A good tactic is to send personalized messages to customers. Read the project, ask questions, know how to sell your fish. Focus on saying that you are competent, timely and dynamic.
- Never accept a project if you cannot complete it: Platforms penalize freelancers who cancel projects.
- Only buy paid plans when you become a professional: Platforms will try to sell you paid courses and features. Most free plans are more than enough to find customers.
- Do not refuse a project because you know nothing about the topic: Be willing to research on ANYTHING. Trust your potential and accept the challenge.
- Start with little: Do not start your work as a freelancer by embracing a lot of projects. Until you get used to a work routine, accept a few projects and focus on quality. Remember: Your first customers will be responsible for your ratings and your professional name.
Know how to charge for your work
Each freelancer must have a price list and be flexible when negotiating. Ideally, do not price your job too cheap (losing market value) or too expensive (driving customers away). The rule for starters is as follows:
- Contents up to 700 words: from $5 to $7.
- Contents up to 1000 words: from $8 to $10.
- Contents between 1000 and 2000 words: from $10 to $20.
But beware: this is not a fixed rule! Everything varies according to the quality of your work and the complexity demanded by the work ordered.
For packages with more texts, you can charge more competitive values. By acquiring good qualifications, you can (and should) increase the values of your work. Another issue that must be considered is the complexity of the topic to be written. More technical texts, academic writings and the like cost more.
Finally, know how to say no. It’s not uncommon for clients to come up with crazy projects like creating a 100-page book for an unacceptable rate or projects that can’t be done in a short time. Many clients offer as low as $200 for a full book project that will not carry your name. Negotiate, but if the client does not understand, go for another project.
How to be a successful freelancer
To make this a profession, you need to be aware of the following items:
- Specialize: We mentioned earlier that writing for blogs and websites is quite different from normal writing and that niche writers earn more money. You will have to specialize and know at least some basic digital marketing terms, especially SEO and business writing.
- Practice: In your spare time, train yourself on some writing skills. To increase your range, learn how to perform other tasks such as proofreading, textual matching, or typing.
- Create contacts: This is a no-brainer. To succeed in any business aspect of life, you have to keep contacts of clients, fellow freelancers, and the likes.
- Be professional: In the beginning, you will accept bad projects, you will have to write a lot and earn little, but do not diminish the quality of your work.
Never plagiarize: NEVER COPY! Do not confuse searching with copying. No client wants a cheating writer. Research as much as you need, but never make the mistake of copying. Customers are looking for original, SEO-optimized (when we talk about blogs and websites) and relevant articles. Do not fill sausage. Your contents and copies must be original, relevant and clear.