What is freelance writing?
Freelance writing is simply writing and getting paid for the articles you create. As a freelance writer you are absolutely self-employed and you likely work remotely because your writing gigs are mostly going to be online writing jobs. You could also work from an office though — if you so choose. However, as a freelancer you are at liberty to take just the jobs you feel good about and you are not tied to any company or organization beyond the temporary contractual agreement that binds the project you choose to take on.
For most people, the choice of a freelancing career is motivated by the freedom to live on their own terms. This freedom comes as a result of flexible work schedules and oftentimes getting paid enough money to afford whatever lifestyle you choose.
This article is about how to build your freelance writer business so you can live life on your own terms.
Five Things You Should Know When Building A Freelance Business
1. BEING A SPECIALIST IS BETTER THAN BEING A GENERALIST
Jack of all trades they say, is a master at none. By spreading yourself too thin, you reduce your ability to be effective in any of the niches. Don’t be everywhere, just find yourself a sweet spot or a natural habitat and stay there. For example I am a business writer and my specialty is developing Web Contents that are optimized for search engines (SEO Writer). This is popularly referred to as SEO writing. Other niches are blog writing, copywriting, technical writing, B2B writing. Ensure you go for a niche you either have experience in or the one you have a flair for.
Furthermore, even within your niche, there are topics you should stay away from. As a business writer — one who writes for businesses or writes business related articles — there are topics I don’t take pleasure in writing — anything on business law for instance. There was this time I picked up an article because it had a good pay but it wasn’t exactly a topic I had interest or knowledge in, I ended up spending more time and in the end, my client wasn’t too satisfied with the output.
Reality is, even though research can help you fill such gaps, however, you would do better writing on a topic you are familiar with; you will spend less time writing, writing would be fun and you will likely create a masterpiece.
2. THE POWER OF AN AWE-MAZING PORTFOLIO
Your portfolio is a collection of your previous articles (your work).
I say this very often; building a portfolio is the next important thing you need to do after choosing a niche.
In fact, you should not apply for any job until you have put together a good portfolio because in most cases the first thing a prospective client wants to see is a collection of your previous works. This is as important as your résumé because it gives your clients insight into what you can deliver.
There are a few ways you can build a portfolio for yourself:
-start a personal blog.
-be a guest writer for other blogs. As a starter, you can approach blog owners and volunteer to do this free.
-create content on platforms like LinkedIn, medium, and so on.
-Your social media page can also be useful, FB for instance.
You can also host your portfolio on free portfolio websites such as clippings.
Ensure that you are both deliberate and strategic about this. Don’t just write anything, write on topics you are good at and give it your best shot.
Always remember, this is your opportunity to make an impression.
3. KNOW WHEN TO RAISE YOUR PRICE
Pricing is a very dicey subject when it comes to pitching for jobs as a freelancer. It is that way because a lot of factors come into play.
As a starter it’s okay if you charge a fair fee, but this should only be as long as it takes you to build your portfolio with a few collection of good works. As soon as you have achieved that, it’s okay to raise your price to the standard rate (you may want to research what is the standard per hour/project rate).
Every time you increase your prize you are making out more free time for yourself.
For example, if your goal is to earn $500 per week and you charge $50 per article, you will need to write 10 articles to hit your goal. If you work Mondays-Fridays, that will mean two articles per day. The moment you raise your price to $100, you only need to write one article per day and the arithmetic goes on and on.
Also you have the choice to charge per hour/project, but from experience I have found out that charging per project is more profitable.
In the end, the main point is that, as a freelance writer, you have autonomy over how much you earn or how much you charge your clients.
4. DO AT LEAST ONE ONLINE JOB OUTREACH ACTIVITY DAILY
The hardest part of freelancing sometimes is getting a client. It can take days, weeks, months, or even years depending on a lot of factors like the platform and sometimes your commitment. Of course you firstly need to choose the platforms you want to sell your services on.
There are a variety of such — Upwork, freelance writing, Fiverr, PeoplePerHour and so on. But having registered as a seller on your choice platform, you often need to pitch — depending on the platform — for writing gigs/jobs.
When I started out, after choosing a platform, I decided I was going to apply for at least 3 jobs per day. At that rate, within a month I got several rejections but at least one interview and in two months I had landed my first client. And my big break came just after 4 months of consistently applying for jobs daily.
Consistency has huge rewards.
5. AS A FREELANCE WRITER, NEVER STOP WRITING AND LEARNING
This thing about complacency, it’s very deadly. For one thing, there is always room to improve, which is why you must always look out for the next course to invest in.
Personal development is not an option, it is a necessity. Learn about writing, marketing, even about your chosen niche. Upskill and reskill — learn additional and new skills.
In my case, despite my experience, early this year as a way of enhancing my skills and my C.V I took at about 20 courses in branding, copywriting, SEO, and so on. It keeps you fresh.
This is very helpful; you learn new things, also your résumé will come very impressive to your prospective clients, and you can charge more.
Also, never stop writing, because the more you write, the better you become at it in terms of fluency and speed.
In conclusion, it’s important I tell you that neither the media, internet, client, and so on are responsible for your failure or success.
YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN SUCCESS OR FAILURE.
But I am rooting for your success and I hope you have a pleasant day, week, month and year.
I hope this was helpful.
If it was, kindly leave me a comment and feel free to let me know which other areas you need more enlightenment.