Writing is a serious business. Stringing words together in a compelling manner and making money off of it requires dedication and countless hours of hard work. Unfortunately, most writers, although equipped with an abundance of creativity, lack the ability to see themselves as a brand and a business. Most copywriters don’t want to crunch numbers, strategize, make goals and implement tactics.
That is why most writers fail to accomplish their goals and do well as professional freelancers.
Fortunately, certain steps and tips for online writers can assist writers from switching their perspective from merely being wordsmiths to being a brand.
Nobody claimed being a paid writer is easy, but it does get better with time, experience and gaining of knowledge and diverse skill sets.
Below are five easy steps to help you kick-start your freelance writing business:
Step 1 – Decide What Kind of Writer You Want to Be
Do you want to be a copywriter or entertainment reporter? Do you want to write resumes or product descriptions? Deciding the kind of writer you want to be is the first step towards creating a successful freelance writing business.
Next, ask yourself what is your area of expertise or a field you like writing about? Do you have a psychology degree? Then maybe penning psychology articles will be easier and more interesting than other areas of work. Have you worked as a nurse? Maybe jotting articles for pharmaceutical companies is something you’d like to do.
Although specializing in a field is a good idea if you have a degree or unique knowledge, it isn’t a rule. You can be a jack-of-all-trades and choose to be a generalist writer. Either way, decide what kind of writer you want to be.
Step 2 – Make Your Portfolio
Typically, most tips for online writers suggest making your portfolio that consists of your CV, body of work, links to your social media accounts and testimonials from past clients. A writer website that displays your previous work doesn’t hurt either. You can also state your working terms and conditions, price and provide some information about yourself and why a client should hire you on your website.
If you don’t have any past work to show potential clients: Don’t panic. All writers start from scratch. So instead of worrying, use the time to write sample blogs of the field you want to specialize in. You can also guest post, start your own blog on WordPress for free or write for non-profit organizations. If you’re writing for a non-profit, ask them to give you a testimonial and referral.
Step 3 – Calculate Your Price
This is the scary part but so important. And it’s the part where you get your calculator out and start crunching some numbers.
Numerous tips for online writers urge scribes to calculate the cost of their freelance business. This includes expenses pertaining to your Internet connection, any software you will use, your rent, your living expense and others. Then, you need to compare this against how many articles or blogs you can churn out every day. Can you write 2,000 words per day? 1,500 words?
This calculation should give you a fair idea of how much to charge your clients per blog or project.
Step 4 – Market, Market and Market Some More
Okay, you’ve now created your writer’s website, decided on your rate and made your portfolio. Now it’s time to continuously market yourself. Besides using social media to market yourself and search for jobs, send pitches to potential clients, network both online and offline, interact with prospective clients, frequently apply to content agencies and check job portals.
Step four is the most crucial part of your business because it’s a continuous process. The more you market yourself and put your services out there, the better are your chances of landing a high-paying gig.
Step 5 – Adjust Your Goals and Strategy
Was your goal to make $1,000 the first month? Have you achieved that target? No? Then analyze your tactics and change course. Maybe you need to pitch more ideas to higher-paying clients. Maybe you need to write more words every day to meet your monetary goals. It’s not just businesses that can evolve. Writers can evolve too.
Start your online writing business using these five easy steps and tips for online writers. Remember that your writing skill is a brand and a business, not just an outlet for your creativity. Once you change your mindset, you’ll see the difference it brings to your career.