Of all the professions, few conjure images as romantic as ‘freelance writer.’ It has all the benefits of regular freelance work (such as freedom, being able to work where you want, and so on), and also throws in some creativity into the mix, too. And, believe it or not, getting the tag of ‘freelance writer’ is not impossible. Indeed, if you’re dedicated enough, you can make it happen. But you’ll need to work for it. Below, we take a look at five essential steps to get you moving along the right path.
Learn How To Write
You’re going to find it difficult to make any money as a professional writer if you don’t know how to string a sentence together. You don’t need to be Hemingway, in the beginning at least, but you need to be at least reasonably good. You should have an ear for what sounds good, and be aware of the rules, too. The single greatest way to get to a good writing standard is to study other peoples. Make sure you’re reading as much good literature as you can, and you’ll soon pick it up.
Everyone needs to start somewhere. The important thing isn’t the quality or importance of your work, but that the ball is rolling. It’s advisable that you start a blog, and just get to writing. The topic isn’t all that important, though it’s better if it’s something that’s relatable to other people (as opposed to an online diary). Your first few pieces will be terrible, and one day you’ll look back and thinking “I can’t believe I wrote that.” It’s just a matter of getting them out the way; in time, you’ll come to understand what works and what doesn’t. There’ll be fast improvements.
Offer Your Skills
Though you can make money from your blog, it’s more difficult, and in any case, it doesn’t really fall under the criteria of ‘freelance writer.’ For that, you need to write for other people and get paid for it. Once you’ve got enough writing samples under your belt, you’ll be ready to begin offering your services to companies. There are plenty of online resources to scour as you look for work, though be aware that you will have to wade through plenty of unpaid/low paying jobs first. You’ll quickly develop an eye for the jobs that aren’t worth the effort of applying.
Once you’ve gained some experience writing for others, you’ll want to up your professionalism. This means having your own website, and working with an online marketing company to ensure that you’re found by people searching for writers. You’ll also need to think about setting up a company, handling finances, and so on.
Keep on Improving
Don’t think you’ve made it just because you’ve had some paid work! Standards are always improving, and even if they weren’t, it’ll always pay to hold yourself to high standards, so focus on offering the best writing and overall level of service as you can.