Writing is a special skill and talent that not everybody has. If you can write well, then congratulations, you have a marketable skill that you can use to make money. There’s an incredible demand these days for skilled writers who can create unique, high quality content for web pages, blogs, ebooks, and more. With the growing emphasis on content marketing for businesses, there’s been a surge in available work for enterprising writers. Freelancing writing can be a great way to make some extra money, and can even become a full-time income if you’re dedicated, focused, and persistent.
If you’ve never written professionally before, you might assume that you have no chance of breaking into freelance writing. This isn’t the case at all. Even a novice writer can make money if you get out there, look for clients, and market yourself and your skills convincingly. Here are a few tips for how you, as a beginner, can take advantage of the burgeoning market for freelancing writing services.
Your portfolio is one of your greatest assets. Your portfolio of work will go a long way toward getting you hired. It showcases your writing style and writing proficiency for your prospective clients, providing them with proof of your skill with the written word. If you’ve never had anything published before, don’t worry. One thing you can do is to create sample articles. Figure out what types of clients and what type of work you’d like to pursue, and create a few great, well-written samples to demonstrate your writing. It’s often a good idea to gear each sample toward a different industry or a different type of writing. For example, you could have a sample blog post, as well as a sample “About Us” page for a fictional website.
Go forth and seek out clients. When you’re starting out, clients aren’t going to magically come to you. You have to go out and actively seek out work. Some of the best places to look are:
Consider signing up with a “content mill.” To be fair, the term “content mill” has taken on an awfully pejorative connotation among established writers. But the fact is, these services are actually very useful for a beginning writer who wants to earn some pocket money and build up a portfolio. Some of the places you may consider include:
You don’t have to work for pennies. As a beginning writer, you’re probably not going to be able to convince anyone to pay you $55 for a 500-word article yet. However, this doesn’t mean you have to work for less than a penny a word, either. Look for jobs that pay at least $0.01 cents per word, which is around $5 for 500 words. Frankly, anything less than that isn’t worth the time and effort it takes to create quality content.
Keeping these four pieces of advice in mind, you can go forth with confidence into the world of freelance writing. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get clients right away. Keep applying for jobs, and keep writing in your spare time to hone your skills. Once you start picking up clients, it gets easier to find more work. Eventually, you may find that much of your work comes through word of mouth, and that clients are willing to pay you much more than they used to. Success doesn’t come overnight, but with some hard work and persistence, freelance writing can become a very lucrative part-time, or even full-time, job.