Guest post by Karen Powell. Don’t forget to share if you enjoy it 🙂
Freelance or work at home jobs are incredibly popular these days. Indeed, everyone likes the idea of earning money without leaving comfort of own home. Moreover, freelancing implies no annoying bosses, colleagues and commuting to the office every day.
A freelancer’s workplace is usually located a few meters from his/her bed. Very convenient! Besides, freelancers make their own decisions, i.e. assume a full responsibility for what they do, what projects that apply for and how they earn money.
Sure, to earn money online as a freelancer, one should possess certain skills, for instance, programming, web design or copywriting. It is difficult to acquire programming and web design skills without special training or education, while writing talents can be discovered anytime. Of course, one needs experience and persistence to succeed as a freelance writer.
Check out 5 steps to become a professional and successful freelance writer (sure, there are more of them; however, we have picked the most important ones that can influence the entire freelance career).
1. Join popular freelance sites, forums and communities.
Yes, this will be your main source of orders, at least at the beginning of a freelance career. Later on, your client will recommend you as a dependable and professional copywriter, so advertising will work even without any efforts on your side. Freelance websites gather millions of professionals and employers from all over the world. There is a simple principle behind freelance sites – a person creates a project describing what kinds of services he/she needs and outlining rate limits, while freelancers bid on a project.
A freelancer who offered the most competitive price or the best quality services wins and is awarded the project. There are popular sites such as freelancer.com or odesk.com. In fact, you will find dozens of international and national freelance websites with thousands of project available. There is a myth that freelancing implies short term work only. This is not true, since sometimes employers need full time employees for remote work. Even huge international companies sometimes need remote assistants and freelance writers.
2. Bid for various projects.
Sure, even the best and universal writers have favorite niches. For instance, you may be great at writing content for online stores selling consumer electronics or essay writing sites. However, it would be great if you can produce content for online casinos or health related websites. Yes, you should have a reputation of a writer who can cope with various tasks and niches. This increases your value as a writer and, of course, increases your pay. Besides, participation in various web projects offers an excellent opportunity to acquire new skills and knowledge.
Besides, this is a chance to expand own portfolio (we will talk about portfolio in below paragraphs). Be cautious, however, since some projects, for example, tech writing, creation of software manuals, description for various machines etc, may require specialized knowledge only people with relevant experience and degree have. Thus, it is important to clarify all tasks to make sure you can really cope with them.
3. Never stop adding info to your resume and portfolio.
This will be your visiting card. In fact, your resume would not matter much, as compared to portfolio. Potential employers need to have a look at texts you have written. A list of trusted and popular sites that have published your content will have a magical effect on even the pickiest clients. A portfolio is often the only thing an employer looks at before making a decision to award the project to you. Thus, it has to be impressive.
A good portfolio should contain examples of your writing in various niches to demonstrate your versatility. At the same time, it is not recommended to create huge portfolios, i.e. add all projects you have been working at. Just pick a dozen of really nice texts you have written for reliable sites. It really matters where your texts have been published. You will not impress a potential employer with urls of one-page sites, even if your texts are perfect.
4. Keep learning. Sure, the best way to learn is to work.
At the same time, successful copywriters have to read a lot. This is the way to shape own style and acquire lots of writing skills. It does not matter what you read: news, movie reviews or book reports. There is no useless knowledge, especially for a copywriter, looking for his/her own unique style. A good freelance writer is a person who’s desperate to get more knowledge.
As mentioned above, participation in various projects is the right strategy to become a versatile writer. For example, you have never been a techno geek, but after 3 months of writing content for Android or iOS site, you will possess a considerable baggage of knowledge to be used in future projects.
5. Be diligent, punctual and professional.
Bear in mind that in today’s digital world finding a new employee may take 5 minutes. There is a tough competition in the freelance market – you are not alone here! A few failed projects – and you will have negative reviews and spoiled reputation.
Keeping your clients satisfied is your primary goal, and it does not matter how you achieve it. Yes, you will have to redo assignments from time to time, even if you think your texts fully meet the initial requirements. You have to be a writer and a customer support specialist at the same time!
Karen is a freelance writer working on multiple web-based projects. She is an editor at the website http://www.writemyessay4me.com, which provides professional essay writing service to students and business professionals in various fields.
Image credits: Hubspot