The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Becoming a Freelance Writer Success
So, you’ve decided to take a chance in the big scary world of being a freelance writer – but how do you go about being actually successful?
The following infographic from Essay Tigers looks at what steps you should consider taking before quitting the 9-5 job and making your way on to the road to freelance writing.
According to the piece, freelancers make up 34% of the US workforce – around 53 million people – and this number is surely likely to grow with the rise of digital and technological opportunities and devices.
One tip suggested in the infographic is to make sure you have a decent online presence. 65% of freelancers say that the internet has made it easier to find freelance work so make sure your blogs and social media accounts are regularly kept up to date and active.
The key to going freelance is to be proactive when looking for work. You have to go out of your way to find the work; it won’t come looking for you. When looking for that next job opportunity, make sure you do your research. Make sure you know the company you’re pitching to, you know their target audience and what their readers like and don’t like. Be persistent but also polite and friendly at the same time.
Find out some more invaluable freelance tips below, and be sure to add any of your own suggestions in the comments section below.
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How to Become a Successful Freelance Writer
WORKING YOUR OWN HOURS, NOT BEING HELD DOWN BY ‘THE MAN’… THERE ARE PLENTY OF PROS TO BECOMING A FREELANCER.
BUT HOW DO YOU ACTUALLY BECOME SUCCESSFUL?
According to Elance-oDesk and Freelancers Union, a freelancer is defined as: “An individual who has engaged in supplemental, temporary, project- or contract-based work within the last 12 months”
They also state that freelancers make up 34% of the United States workforce
That’s 53 million people
Collectively contributing $715 billion to the US economy
Workers under 35 are more likely to freelance.
Over-35 freelancing 32%
Under-35 freelancing 38%
READY TO BECOME AN AMAZING FREELANCE WRITER?
01 STARTING OUT
“Can I become a successful freelancer writer? Yes.” If you don’t believe in your own abilities, your prospective clients won’t believe in you either.
HONE YOUR SKILL
You should always be learning and improving. The better writer you are, the easier everything else will be.
BE AN EXPERT
BUT KEEP AN OPEN MIND
Find a few niche topics you enjoy writing about and make them your areas of expertise. Having multiple niches will help you with finding work if there’s a lull in a particular sector.
02 GETTING WORK
HAVE A WEBSITE
An online presence will be invaluable for your business.
65% of freelancers say the internet has made it easier to find freelance work
- Links to your professional social media accounts
- A few positive testimonials
- A link to your blog (which you keep regularly updated)
BE PROACTIVE AT LOOKING FOR WORK
Searching online is a good start.
31% of freelancers say they can find a job online in less than 24 hours.
Build experience by trying freelancing websites – they include jobs for both beginners and weathered professionals.
WRITE GREAT PITCHES
But also be enthusiastic and excited. You, the writer, are as much a selling point as your skills.
- Research the company you’re pitching to
- Get to the point – clearly and concisely convey your idea in the first few sentences
- Summarize who you are
- Follow up and be persistent but also be polite and friendly
03 BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS
PAY ATTENTION TO PAY
Things to consider when stating your rates:
Set out your minimum acceptable rate. This should be roughly:
personal overheads + business overheads ÷ hours worked + tax
If charging by the hour:
Consider your competency and the speed you wrok
If charging by the job:
Break the job down into what will need doing and work from there
And be clear about your payment terms upfront.
31% of people say not getting paid on time holds them back from freelancing
Your words are your tools – and other people’s words can be your bread and butter. Build up good relationships and the work will follow.
How freelancers work:
53% through word of mouth
51% through personal contacts
WORK ON SELF-DEVELOPMENT
As a freelance writer you’re running your own business.
Develop other skills, such as:
- Social media
- Marketing / self-promotion
- Project management
- Search engine optimization
KEEP YOUR PAPERWORK IN ORDER
Decide if it’s better to sort out your own accounts or get an accountant to do it for you.
Ask yourself: What’s the best use of my time?
Protect yourself against work drying up by having an emergency fund.
… though this shouldn’t be necessary if you follow these tips!
BY 2020 IT’S ESTIMATED THAT OVER 40% OF THE US WORKFORCE WILL BE FREELANCERS, CONTRACTORS, AND TEMP WORKERS.
A NIMBLE ECONOMY NEEDS A NIMBLE WORKFORCE – DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO MAKE FREELANCE WRITING YOUR CAREER?
Source: How to Become a Successful Freelance Writer [Infographic]