Have you been wondering about the life of a freelance writer? This guide will explain some of the basic fundamentals of freelance writing and what you can expect when you start your own journey.
What is Freelance Writing?
Freelance writing is when a professional writer is able to provide his or her services to multiple business or clients in need of copywriting. In most cases, brands require on-going content creation and strategy for their blogs, landing pages, and marketing collateral. Hiring a quality freelance writer is a great way for them to ensure that they aren’t wasting their time and money on mediocre content that won’t convert.
Benefits of being a Freelance Writer?
The benefits of being a freelancer include working from where you want, including the comfort of your home, as well as being able to set your own work schedule. You can also choose to niche down and focus on topics and services that you’re most familiar with. When you niche down to a select few subjects, you can increase your rates due to your expertise on the matter.
How to start your freelance career?
If you’re brand new to freelancing and you haven’t been able to put together any sort of portfolio, it may be wise to reach out to some people in your network and offer a free blog post or two in exchange for reviews. Having a portfolio and reviews will increase the level of confidence customers have in hiring you. Additionally, seeing real work samples and having a point of reference to contact creates transparency to show that you’re in it for the long term.
Now that you’ve put together a portfolio, it’s time to start searching for new clients. If you’ve already written some blog posts for people in your own network, why not try to ask them for referrals? Referrals are one of if not the best way to secure new clients. Word-of-mouth is powerful because business owners are always looking to help one another when it comes to shopping for services. When someone says “I hired John Sottile for copywriting and the results were tremendous!”, people won’t go out of their way to look for someone else. A recommendation is extremely powerful these days.
If you’re unable to ask for referrals, you could try your luck on certain freelance job board websites such as UpWork or Fiverr. While there are mixed reviews regarding these platforms, they can be a great way to secure some easy “wins” to build up your portfolio. As you build up more reviews and reputation, your profile will start to attract some of the higher paying employers on those websites. While I never endorse working for cheap or free, it certainly makes sense to take on a few cheap jobs to get your name out there.
Additionally, you can take advantage of social networks to get your name and work out there. Here are some quick tips on how you can effectively use each platform to promote your services:
How to use social networks as a Writer
Facebook – Create a branded Facebook page that includes as much information about you and your services as possible. You can also search for groups related to freelance writing and local businesses. You can use these groups to make your pitch (don’t be a spammer!) or just participate in being a helpful member of the group. When you establish yourself as a trusted resource in the group, people are more likely going to reach out privately to ask you questions and possibly hire you. It’s also important to note that you want to try and connect with as many fellow writers as possible.
Twitter – Create a branded Twitter profile with a helpful description and links. You can start following relevant accounts and create lists of writers/businesses/clients to follow and stay updated. Respond to tweets where people are asking for or looking for writing services.
LinkedIn – Like Facebook, you can also use LinkedIn to make personal connections with people. The people on LinkedIn are more open to networking and discussing business, so naturally you should see an improvement on engagement and conversions on this platform. You can also use their LinkedIn Pulse to re-purpose some of your original articles and link back to your services.
Reddit – Reddit has multiple subreddits where you can search for relevant jobs. Be sure to check back multiple times so you don’t miss an opportunity to apply for the quality job listings that get posted over there.
Medium – Medium is a blog platform owned by Twitter Inc. I love using medium to post relevant articles that I didn’t deem worthy of posting on my main website. You can think of this as casting an additional net to bring in traffic to your website.
Tumblr – To be honest, Tumblr is fairly dead these days. But you can still create text posts and re-publish some of your content there, making it a valuable resource for anyone creating their own content and website.
When you reach the point where you’re confident in your website, content, and skills, it’s time to roll up those sleeves and start getting to the real hustle! Do you have a list of dream clients you’d love to work for? You can build out a list of some of your favorite blogs and websites and see how often they’re posting content. This can be a good indication as to whether or not they value content, and whether or not they would be in need of your services. Create a pitch that’s authentic and commands attention. Nowadays, there are way too many guides with outreach templates that people literally just copy and paste. The best advice I can give when it comes to pitching is to cut out all of the fluff, keep it real, and get to the point. These businesses get hundreds of e-mails a day asking if they need content or want backlinks, so if your pitch doesn’t do anything to get noticed, then you can get your bottom dollar that it’s going to get sent directly to the trash bin.
Wrapping it up
Being a freelance writer involves building a brand around your name that people can trust. What advice would you recommend to a freelance writer? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section.
Additionally, if your business or blog is looking for SEO optimized content, feel free to contact me and I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.