How to become a freelance writer
Does this sound like the right move for you? All set to learn how to be a freelance writer?
The following guide will show you where to start, even if you have no experience.
Let’s dive in …
1. Begin with the basics
The overhead to work as a freelance writer in the digital space is quite small compared to a brick-and-mortar business.
Get clear on the bare minimum you need to take your first step as a new writer.
If you’re like me, you’ll also need a lot of Moleskine notebooks for ideas and drafting.
But see? Nothing too complicated.
2. Assess short-term and long-term goals
It’s fun and exciting to think about all of the projects you have planned for your business.
But one of the most important skills you can build is the ability to focus on your current work and short-term goals that keep the present incarnation of your writing services running.
You don’t have to forget about your ambitions; you just have to prioritize your time properly.
For you, learning how to become a freelance writer could look something like spending:
- 90 percent of your time on your immediate responsibilities
- 10 percent of your time working on that Next Big Project
Because remember, you’ll never get to your long-term goals if you don’t meet your short-term ones.
3. Create an order of operations around how to become a freelance writer
Once you’ve got a handle on your short-term and long-term goals, select an order for the tasks you need to accomplish.
Which marketing projects will help you get your first clients?
If something sounds like a good idea, but you don’t have the time or budget for it yet, it’s a distraction from actually making money sooner rather than later.
During this process, you’ll narrow down your short-term and long-term goals even more. Swiftly move distractions to your “future possibility” list, for when you’re in a better position to take them on.
4. Recognize that your skillset helps businesses
People often have a difficult time understanding how to make a living online, especially as a writer.
Some might assume you write fiction. Perhaps they ask if you work in entertainment. Those genres are somewhat easy to grasp.
So, when you say that’s not the type of writing you do, confusion sets in — along with the notion that you probably just toss around blog post ideas as a hobby.
That obstacle can distort your self-image as a writer.
“… because almost everyone can write words, anyone can be a writer.”
Amateurs don’t excel at good, strategic writing, and that’s what sets you apart.
You think in terms of using your communication skills to help others clearly convey their messages.
5. Determine your freelance writing prices
Many people don’t know where to begin when it comes to translating ideas in their minds into cohesive sentences and paragraphs.
Your professional writing services can satisfy their needs.
Accordingly, you have to set your prices with confidence. And it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process, either.
6. Demonstrate you’re dedicated to producing excellent work
Proof that supports your professional rates is a win-win.
You’ll communicate your marketing ethics to your clients so that you don’t feel like a sleazy marketer, and your clients will get a clear picture of what it’s like to do business with you.
A combination of content marketing and copywriting helps you achieve this one. More on both of those storytelling elements in upcoming tips.
8. Present a compelling service proposal
After you’ve evaluated a project, outline what you will produce if the prospect chooses to hire you.
And, most importantly, provide details about how your services will help them achieve what they want.
When you present the benefits of your offer as well, you provide the information your prospect initially requested and potentially even spark excitement about your collaboration.
10. Communicate that clients must agree to your terms of service and payment policy
Just as setting your prices doesn’t have to be stressful, having a term of service and payment policy doesn’t have to be intimidating.
You could think of them as a “comprehensive frequently asked questions form” that your clients must review and agree to before working with you.
Some aspects will be standard for all clients and some you’ll customize each time.