Ah, location independence! The dream pursuit of many, and the ticket to cash for others.
Stay at home parents, school teachers, students and regular 9-5ers are all fans of the burgeoning freelance writing market. You have the flexibility of working when it works for you (for the most part) and fitting in ways to earn a few dollars beyond your existing pay cheque.
The tricky part is figuring out where to start. At least, it can really seem that way.
Guess what? It doesn’t have to be tricky. It might take awhile until you find your niche, efficient process and pick up some clients, but getting starting isn’t terribly hard.
In fact, the biggest, most important, can’t-skip-this step is to get started!
Look at Job Boards and Join Databases
There are a myriad of great freelance writing job boards and databases out there. Just google and start applying! For example, you can earn money as a freelance writer with thepensters, just one of many online databases of writing job offers.
I have read this quote in several places, “No one is going to wake up in the morning and think, ‘I should hire so and so to write for me today.'” They are especially not going to think that if no one even knows that you are looking!
Make a list of your internet-haunts that already have contributors and start contacting them with pitches. Next, move on to places that you think might be in need of your services. Pitch, pitch, pitch, pitch. If you aren’t quite sure what to say, read our interview with Sarah, who earned $59,000 in her first year of freelance writing.
You landed a gig? Even a one-shot gig? Fantastic.
Execute it well. Really, really well. Make sure you wow your client.
Also be flexible at first. There may be some back and forth. Yes, it’s more work for you, but it is a part of the process, as you figure out how your client likes things and what they need out of you.
Ask for Referrals
So you landed one gig? Awesome. Use that to get more! Ask if you client can provide you with a customer testimony and any constructive feedback (wear your thick skin that day, it’s a part of the job).
More importantly, ask them if they might have any other work that you could do for them. If they say no, ask if it will be okay to follow up in 2 months, and if they can keep you in mind should anything come up.
Also ask if they know of anyone that might be in need of your services. Reach out to all of those contacts. Even if they don’t need you right now, you will plant a seed in their head
Build A Portfolio
Want to know something interesting? You don’t necessarily need a portfolio to get a job as a freelance writer.
For a great many people, your blog is your main portfolio. You will likely get jobs through your network of folks who know your site. Remember this as you craft your own posts.
That said, it’s not necessary to have a blog. That is especially true if you start by finding work on job boards and through databases. Hustle. Apply to things. You can’t get the job you don’t ask to get!
Over time, your portfolio will build itself.
Of note, this is just how to go about getting started as a freelance writer. The most important part is to get started. Sure, it would be great to have a company name, a cute website and a rocking portfolio, but those are all “nice to haves”