Freelance writing is synonymous with working remotely.
It gives you more freedom and flexibility to set your schedule, choose your clients and decide your rates, stay at the comfort of your own home… The life of a freelance writer sure sounds amazing, right?
The first time you learned about freelancing, you probably went online right away and did your own research. But then, you ended up on a standstill – where and how in the world can you get started?
Believe me, I’ve been in your shoes not too long ago. I read a whole lot of blogs and guides about freelance writing, so much so that I succumbed to information overload. It only resulted in me making a lot of mistakes that hindered me from reaching my goals on-time.
I don’t want this happening to you!
Some Important Facts You Need to Know About Freelancing
There are two stark realities with freelancing:
- The opportunity for remote freelance work is virtually limitless in almost any field imaginable. This isn’t limited to just writing. There’s plenty of work opportunities in programming, photography, virtual assistance, real estate, translation, sales – the list goes on.
- But the thing is, there are also millions of individuals looking for these freelance jobs – folks from all over the world, particularly in countries where the cost of living and the average salary is far lower than in countries like the USA.
According to a 2014 survey conducted by the Freelancers Union, there are an estimated 53 million freelancers – and this is in the USA alone. Many of these freelancers are doing pretty well for themselves. Still, there’s no shortcut to success. Sure, you can be incredibly lucky but you can’t always rely on luck all the time. It takes hard work, passion, and resilience to succeed as a freelance writer.
Below is a simple three-step strategy to help you start off on the right foot with your first freelance writing job.
1. Decide on a niche.
Some newbie freelancers will roll their eyes on this one. You might think it’s better to just take whatever kind of work you can get. In some cases, being the Jack-of-all-trades is good. But think about it. Eventually, it’s going to be difficult to market yourself as an ‘industry expert’ if you’re not focused on a specific subject or client.
- Maybe you’re a programmer and you enjoy developing accounting software for businesses?
- Or you’re a photographer whose passion is on food photography?
- Perhaps you’re a writer whose bulk of work is on academic writing and editing?
It may sound counterintuitive to narrow down your options but in doing so, you can build a stronger, more targeted brand as a remote freelance writer.
2. Pitch daily.
Just because you had a post that became viral, or had an article that was featured in a newspaper or magazine, doesn’t mean clients and prospects will come running to you by the dozens. First of all, they probably don’t even have an idea you exist merely from that one popular piece you’ve written.
Remember that the Internet is vast and while it’s the perfect place for generating money, everyone else is on it!
As a new remote freelance writer, it’s your job to start pitching and approach the client yourself. Make sure to set a goal, and then stick to it. For instance, you can start by pitching no less than 5 times a day on your first month as a freelancer.
Don’t forget to broaden your horizons. Don’t just pitch to job boards – send out cold pitches, too. I’m talking about pitches that you send to specific companies that aren’t actively looking for freelance writers but may find the need for them given the right pitch.
3. Networking is key.
Some of you may feel embarrassed when making a career transition and trying freelance writing – which many still perceive as a risky choice. I’ve heard a lot of stories about freelancers not telling anybody outside of their circle, that they’re getting a remote job off the ground.
Many of them admitted it was a huge mistake. They had to spend hours and hours sending cold pitches and going through job boards when they could’ve tapped into a huge resource – their own network.
Finding clients is one of the toughest challenges a newbie freelancer will face, and building a professional network is an essential tool to overcome this major hurdle.
Consider reaching out to other freelance writers, and ask them about clients and rates. It’s great to have a like-minded person who knows what you’re going through. You can find them either on social media or by visiting websites for freelancers, like Upwork and Freelancer.
Likewise, you can send out personalized emails and let your connections know about your new career path. And then, ask for referrals for individuals and companies that might be in need of someone with your writing skills. Schedule a coffee date or interview, and see what you could learn from them.
Do everything in your power to get your name out there. Word-of-mouth is – and will always be – a powerful marketing tactic, but it just won’t happen if your network is out-of-the-loop!
Getting a remote job like freelance writing is a big career choice that requires commitment and dedication. Those who have set concrete goals will rise above the horde of gig-workers and eventually establish a stable and secure career.
At the same time, it pays to be patient. Keep your feet on the ground, and prepare to commit yourself to deliver your very best to every client you’ll have. Eventually, the results will come, as long as you’re consistent about being professional.
Use our three-step strategy and you’re sure to get your freelance writing adventure started on the right track. Best of luck!
Featured image credit: Pixabay.com
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- The Three-Step Strategy to Your First Remote Freelance Writing Job - September 24, 2019