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Key Tips for Starting a Freelance Writing Career

starting-a-freelance-writing-career

If you want to become a professional writer, you should remember that it is not an easy path. The majority of the writers that are just starting out don’t really make that much money.

This is especially true for writers that are writing a book, and are just setting up a fan base for their work. However, if you are supporting a family or don’t really have savings to fall back on, this could make your life very hard. Why not take up freelance writing?

In the past few years, freelance writing has become a very attractive option for a majority of writers. It gives them the chance to write great content, earn money, and hone their writing skills as well. Before you start a freelance writing career though, you should have a set strategy. Here are key tips to get you started.

1. Update your portfolio

If you are serious about being a freelance writer, you should know that there is a lot of competition in the freelance writing market. A good number of writers are already writing as freelance writers, and many more are finding out how lucrative it is.

If you want to have a freelance writing job, you should make sure that you have a portfolio of your writing samples. Remember that the more you have to show, the greater chances you will get a job.

2. Set up an author blog

As it was stated earlier, you will have a lot of competition. If you don’t stand out, there is a chance that other writers will overshadow you. A great way to show your worth as a writer is to set up an author blog of your very own.

By having an author blog, you will have a platform that will show potential clients your work. You will also have a platform from where you can sell your book and other content that you created through the years.

When you set up your author blog, it is important that you make your blog visually appealing. Utilize good color combinations, and post images of your work. You should also utilize SEO techniques to make your content as easy to discover as possible.

3. Utilize various freelance writing platforms

After getting all your credentials ready, it is important that you know where to look for freelance writing work. Remember that you will need the right platforms to attract the right employers and stay competitive. Here are some great freelance writing platforms that you should try out.

· LinkedIn

When it comes to professional social networking, LinkedIn is king. It is a great source of freelance work for writers of various levels. You could also set up your account for free.

Its main advantage is that you can have access to hundreds of new jobs every day. You can also set up a job alert for every new job opportunity. Be warned, though, that you will have a lot of competition. Remember that LinkedIn is one of the top professional networking sites in the world, so a huge number of writers and other freelancers will flock to the site.

· Glassdoor

If you want to see an honest review of a company or client that you are looking to work for, Glassdoor is the platform for you. Through this site, you will be able to check what the company’s culture and workplace conditions are like.

However, you should be warned that most of the jobs offered on Glassdoor are full-time jobs, and the job openings are not really that abundant. You will also need to write a review about another company that you have worked for in order to use the platform.

· Contently

When it comes to finding well-paying and quality writing jobs, Contently is a great choice. It has a large number of clients and works in various industries. This makes it a fount of great freelance writing opportunities.

The clients are usually very well-established and will only hire the best people for the job. However, due to the large number of people waiting for work, you may have to compete and wait for a good amount of time before you get hired.

· Skyword

Companies usually need skilled and experienced freelancers to fulfill various roles. This is where Skyword comes in very handy. The platform gives freelance writers access to many companies in various industries.

Freelance writers could set up a portfolio, and Skyword will match writers with a company that matches their specialties. Be warned that you won’t be able to actively search for jobs, and you will have to show that you are a specialist if you want to be hired for a position.

· Blogging Pro

This site is very easy to use and users can easily filter through various writing jobs according to the writer’s expertise.

Although the site is simple to use, there is no set method for applying for jobs. The setback for this site is that it does not post the rates, so you won’t be able to distinguish a high-paying client from a low-paying one.

4. Be consistent with your writing schedule

While being a freelance writer may seem easy, it is in fact a bit tricky. This is especially true if you are just starting out. Some clients may give you the chance to choose your own schedule. However, this does not mean that you could just be lazy. The chance to work from home is a great chance, however, some writers tend to abuse this, and end up not doing any work throughout the day.

As a rule, you should have a set writing schedule that you will follow throughout the day. This will stop you from wasting time and ensure you get work done on time.

5. SEO is key

When it comes to being a freelance writer, it is important that you know how to use SEO as effectively as possible. Remember that you will do a majority of your work online, and your clients will want to make their content as easy to find as possible. As a rule, you should know how to choose and utilize keywords throughout your content. The more familiar you are with SEO, the more chances you will have of getting hired.

6. Know the various writing style guides

A key aspect of actually getting hired by a client is familiarity with various writing style guides being used. Depending on your client and the genre that you are writing in, you may need to write in a style that is unfamiliar to you.

The more acquainted you are with these writing styles, the more chances you have of being hired. Here are some examples of writing style guides that you should be aware of.

· AP Style:

This style is usually used in the news media and provides tips for proper spelling, grammar, punctuation, and usage. It is considered the industry standard for journalism, so many newspaper periodicals use it. Editors usually update the style guide throughout the year, to address any issues that may come up. It has an online and printed version. The printed version is updated every other year.

· Chicago Manual of Style:

The Chicago Manual of Style is usually used in nonfiction and fiction writing. It is also used in writing academic journals. This style guide was originally published in the University of Chicago and has been in use since 1906. The style guide has been recently updated in 2017. It is usually updated throughout the year, but the printed version is updated every seven years.

· APA style:

The APA writing style is used in scientific content writing because it makes writing about the technicalities of a certain branch much simpler.

It is usually used by academic institutions in writing their manuals. The online version is usually updated throughout the year, should the need arise, but the printed version was recently updated in 2019, and a new printed edition usually comes out every ten years.

· MLA style:

This style guide was first created in 1951 by the Modern Language Association of America (MLA), and is usually used for academic papers. The style guide is well-known as an authority for citation and formatting. This makes it a favorite among students, teachers and academic journals for writing their academic content.

7. Turn in good work

Regardless of your writing experience, you should always strive for the highest quality when submitting your work. Keep in mind that your client has a lot of faith in you. You might be writing a thesis for them or contributing to their website’s content.

Whatever the task may be, you must put in the work. Before you write, you should make sure that your research work is on point. You should also double check every aspect of your work.

This may seem like a lot of work on your part, however, you should remember that your client could choose whether to continue employing you or not. So you should do your part as well.

Conclusion

As a newbie writer, you should make sure that you have a backup plan for your source of income. Remember that being a writer entails you to write books, and other content. You’ll also need to set up your fan base before you start making money in the writing industry.

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