Your reasons to try freelance writing are many:

·        You want to work from home (or your favorite coffee house).
·        You want to be your own boss and control time and energy you spend working.
·        You want to build a career in this sphere or just get an extra source of income besides your day job.

About 57 million Americans work as freelancers today, and the trend is increasing all the time thanks to the technology growth. But whatever the reason, the question remains the same:

How to start a career in this field, and what to do for growing the writing skills to become an expert?

These 15 tips will help.

1) Determine your expertise.
Before you start a freelance writing career, you need to decide on your expertise and choose a niche to write for. Clients don't like generalists, and no one will consider you a professional if you are ready to write about everything. People want to work with niche specialists.

To determine your expertise, answer these questions:
1.      What do you know the best or can learn about?
2.      What are your interests, and what would you like to write about on a regular basis?
3.      Is it profitable, or would your target client be willing to pay you for writing about it?
Your niche may change over time, but writing about something that fits your abilities is the best one to start.
2) Choose a genre.
Writing genres are many, and you should understand the fundamental differences between them to become an expert in the sphere. From business writing and copywriting you can find on Freelance Writing Gigs to technical or essay writing to practice with Bid4Papers, you need to classify all genres and sub-genres to choose those fitting your skills most.

3) Build a writing habit.
You can't become a professional freelance writer with no practice. Make it a habit to write every day, even if you know no one will read it. Consider techniques like Morning Pages by Julia Cameron or practice free writing with 750Words.

The trick is to choose the time for everyday writing and practice it regularly to beat the fear of the blank page, improve your writing skills, and develop your writing style. The more you write, the easier it will be to craft freelance texts for clients. Practice makes perfect.

4) Organize a writing place.
Still thinking of freelance writing like spending days in bed with a laptop on knees and a cup of coffee in hand? Forget about it if want to succeed in this sphere.

Design a business area even if you live in a one-room apartment. You need to have a writing place with a table and a comfortable chair so your brain would understand: it's time to work now, man! Otherwise, procrastination, stress, writer's blocks, and even depression won't take long in coming.

5) Just start writing.
Once you've decided to build a career as a freelance writer, start publishing your works immediately. Many don't do that because of readers lack or the fear of failure. But how the heck are you going to let the world know about you? Start with platforms like Medium, Quora, or Reddit to publish works and let people comment on them. Therefore, you'll get feedback and will know what to do to improve your writing skills.

Moreover, such publications can become great samples of your work for future clients.
6) Set up your writing website.
As a freelance writer, you need a website with a portfolio that will sell you to potential clients. Let them know about your specialization, figure out their needs, and address them in your "About me" text. Also, make sure it's not that challenging for clients to find and contact you. Publish a portfolio for visitors to see your skills, and don't forget promoting it everywhere you can: social media, your guest posts bio, email signature, etc.

7) Learn the basics.
Stringing a few sentences together and knowing the difference between "then" and "than" or "your" and "you're" will not make you a great writer. First things first, you need to learn and understand the basic principles of writing to create copies that would be persuasive and go viral.

Start with The Elements of Style by Strunk, add Grammar Girl and Merriam Webster to bookmarks, and work on enhancing your writing all the time.

8) Find new freelance markets.
Don't ignore any relevant freelance opportunities to make a name for yourself and share your samples with potential clients. Today, when a freelance market is on its rise, you have many places and publications to choose from: subscribe to corresponding websites, visit writing forums, go to conferences, do a web search to find "submission guidelines," "write for us," and other queries of this kind, talk to other writers, and more.

9) Network and get social.
Once your writing skills and portfolio start growing, it's time to work on networking. Look for alternative ways to get your name into the freelance market: create a LinkedIn account, write guest posts for authoritative publications, actively share your works via different channels, make friends with colleagues on Facebook, tag influencers in your works for more people to know about you...

Stay tuned and become an active member of freelance writers community to drive traffic to your website and let more people know about your writing services.

10) Polish your writing skills all the time.
Writing is not the skill you can learn once and for all. To engage and inspire clients as well as make them want to read your content, you need to nourish and polish your skills all the time.

Use storytelling, consider active writing, remember about a thesaurus, apply the persuasion principles, practice empathy with your writing — all this will make people crave more content of yours. Do the research, cite experts, reveal more specific arguments and tips... Craft your freelance texts so they would show, not tell.

11) Kill your inner perfectionist.
You want your freelance writing to look great, and it's okay. It takes time to write and edit works, and yet this doesn't mean you should spend weeks on one piece of content: it will never be perfect, and the trick is to understand when it's time to let it go. Freelancing is about planning, editorial calendars, and deadlines; and your clients will not wait for your finished texts for ages.

As Voltaire wrote, "perfect is the enemy of good."

12) Read. A lot.
The scientifically proven fact is that reading helps to improve writing skills. Books, informative blog posts, reviews, academic essays — the more diverse your reading material is, the better. Reading allows you to develop an eye for what makes efficient writing: you will pay attention to words in texts, a sentence structure, readability, and mistakes to avoid.

13) Do research and save all the ideas.
Professional writers support their words with facts and use citations and references in texts. So, don't be baseless; do research for every article you write and consider authoritative sources whenever possible. Avoid Wikipedia, as it's bad manners to cite it today.

Find inspiration for your future freelance texts and save all the ideas to a separate folder so you could back to it in times of writer's block or fatigue. Citations from movies, attention-grabbing headlines from magazines, beautiful words from poetry, funny pictures or memes from favorite blogs — a professional writer sees ideas everywhere.

14) Edit your texts with no mercy.
Just accept it: your first draft is crap. Almost always. So you need to find a professional editor or learn how to proofread and edit your texts with no mercy.

Remember: complex sentences won't make you sound cool, so don't be afraid of eliminating unnecessary words from your writing. Write the way your audience talk, use active verbs, express emotions, and delete all sentences (or even paragraphs) from your texts if they bring no value to the overall meaning.

15) Let writing apps help you.
Grammarly, Hemingway, Evernote, ProWritingAid, ClicheFinder, Readability Score, Todoist, CoSchedule Headlines Analyzer, Ahrefs Content Explorer — the list of useful apps for writers is endless. Choose those fitting your needs most, and your freelance work will flow faster and more effectively.

You can use apps for planning, scheduling, writing, editing, and publishing content online to save time and energy on generating new ideas and looking for new freelance opportunities.

So, what are you waiting for?

Post A Comment:

0 comments: