Freelancing is one of the strongest career paths today. And freelance writing is one of the most popular tracks in freelancing. This is a major reason behind the plethora of content writers you see today. A freelance writer can reach great heights once he or she perfects the art of writing.
There are several categories within freelancing writing one can pursue: copywriting, editing, blog writing, b2b writing, etc. Each one of them is an entire world in its own sense. The process of becoming a freelance writer within any of these mediums is all similar.
A freelance writer with enviable skills can easily earn more than 50,000 INR per month in India, and even more. Learner editors can earn from 8000 INR to 10,000 INR per month without any issue, provided they are good.
Take Note Of The Skills You Possess
Writing capabilities in terms of grammatical expertise and eloquence is the base requirement. If you don't know the difference between they're and there, are completely clueless about vocabulary, etc., no one's going to be interested in your write-ups. Hence, having command over the written form of the language is essential.
You can become a freelance writer in literally any field and industry. However, if you have some experience and expertise in a certain field, any piece you write related to that domain is a notch higher than writing on a totally alien topic. For example, if you have done some cool projects related to Blockchain and know the nitty-gritty details about it, the information you'll impart via a Blockchain based article will be a treat to read. So make a list of the domains and fields you have knowledge about. Go through your work experience, education, hobbies, other activities you follow, and the topics people reach out to you for advice as the guiding star. This is how you build a niche. Figure out the overlap between a profitable freelance writing niche and your background. And then work on it.
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Choose A Niche
Once you have a list of topics and domains decided, it's now time to prioritize them. There's going to be one topic where your experience and expertise trumps the others shortlisted. While the ability to write on multiple topics as a freelancer is appealing, establishing credibility in one shows the writer in better light. Keep in mind that it may take some time to figure out what your niche is. Don't be afraid to start broad and then narrow down as you go.
Research Your Niche
Once you get your niche, you need to research further. Make a comprehensive list of businesses, agencies, blogs, websites, and social media accounts of the big shots in the niche industry. The more you know about the industry, the better off you are going to be. Having a list and the contact information of all relevant individuals in the niche goes a long way.
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Curate Your Target Audience
Figure out the potential clients who will be interested in your write-ups. You should ask questions like who are they? Where do they live? How much money do they have? What do they do for a living? What do they do for fun? These are some indicators to get a good sense of the audience you want to market yourself to.
The more you can get in their head and understand their needs, the easier it becomes to showcase your offerings. Say, you want to start writing about smart homes and connected devices. Make a list of all the products the target audience uses everyday. It could be smartwatches, Sonos audio systems, Amazon Alexa, and what not. It could be a connected car technology. These components fit in the smart home universe. The aim is to establish a deeper connect with the client.
Make a list of the different resources the target audience uses to get information online. What are the different websites they read; it could be Mashable, TechCrunch or anything on the web. You want to be familiar with the concepts and the trending news in the niche domain chosen.
So, when you are talking to potential clients you can be up to date relevant and be speaking the same language as them. Then, start thinking about what could I write? What are the types of writing I could do? It might be product blogs, trade magazines, trade publications, industry sites another tech blog. You can start breaking it down you should have a good idea of the types of people you are going to pitch.
When it comes to the type of writing, there's a long list as well. It could be a blog post, white paper, thought pieces, E-books, product launches, sales email, etc. By the time you are done with your customer avatar, you can analyze yourself in parallel. You have a game plan. It's time to start putting business into motion.
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Build Your Freelance Website/Portfolio
You can use Wix, Squarespace, or WordPress. WordPress is the most flexible and robust way to build a portfolio at present. New resources like Ghost are also coming up. You are not necessarily using this website to find a bunch of new clients, and it is probably going to take some time for you to rank in search engines. You need to build up content on your this website where people organically find you and your portfolio.
One doesn't need an over-the-top website. An about page, contact page, portfolio page, and an appealing homepage would suffice to start with.
You may also have a rates page where you talk about your pricing. Adding a link to your blog is an awesome way of showing off your writing ability. You can have a handful of samples that shows the different writing types you are capable of offering as a freelance writer. The aim is to give people concrete visibility which sets you apart from another random freelance writer down the street.
Also read : 15 Tips To Build An Amazing Freelance Portfolio
Sign Up For Professional Freelancing Writing Websites
Sites like Contently, Skyward, and Freelancer are some platforms to seek freelance writing assignments. Having some projects done on freelancing websites helps build a profile and makes it easy to find new leads.
Contact Marketing Agencies
Sites like skyward and contently are great to get your feet wet. The best paying customers and clients are the people you reach out to directly. Sending a personalized cold email is a famous way to gain clients. It can be painful, tedious, and time-consuming, but it works over time. It is truly a numbers' game if you send 500 personalized emails even if it takes a couple of months to do it.
You will get clients this way, and some of them will become permanent. The key to doing this correctly is not sending the same email template to every prospect. That's not going to work. Take time to research the person you're pitching to, send a personalized email. It's a matter of dedicating some time. These people probably get dozens of emails. Do something to reflect the time and efforts you put in and that you respect them enough to send something personal beyond a blanket template email.
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Social Media - Start Building Relationships
This is important for any freelancer and not just a freelance writer. LinkedIn is phenomenal for building relationships via social media. Most people don't think about it. They overlook LinkedIn even though that's where most of your target customers are hanging out.
Identify organizations and companies that are looking for freelance content writers. This will also give you an idea of what's in-demand with respect to a content writer, what do majority of the job descriptions seek, and some details worth a lot.
Go to LinkedIn and click on the jobs section; you might get lucky and find some engaging projects. If not jobs, connect with people who work for the type of organizations listed above. Look for people with titles related to marketing, content, or social media.
Send a contact request with a personalized introduction. Under any circumstance, do not directly pitch for a job in the first introduction. Establish a connect, start a relationship, and get the conversation going. If you do this with enough people in your industry, there's a good chance of finding some freelance jobs along the way.
Start Thinking Of Yourself As A Business
You have to be consistent with your effort. Have a plan for building relationships and clients? Spend some time every single day on marketing your business, be it sending emails, talking to people on LinkedIn, working on your website, creating content for yourself, meetups, looking on freelancing platforms for projects.
Think of yourself as a brand, a business that has to succeed on all front iers. If you truly invest in yourself and treat the entire process akin to building a business, you will secure plenty of payed writing assignments over time. It will help transition from being unhappy to bringing in money accompanied by newfound skills to building a long-term content writing business.