Freelance Writing as a Full-Time Career- Here’s How to Do It
In the world of online marketing, content is king. The fact is, writers are the most in-demand freelancers year-round. Freelance writers comprise the largest portion of freelancers. There are more writers out there than marketers, virtual assistants, or any other categories of freelancers. If you’re a part-time writer who wants to transition into full-time, consider the tips below:
Create a Writing Portfolio
If you don’t have a writing portfolio, then start working for free. Offering free work can be controversial, but you need it to get started and build your portfolio. You need something to show your prospects and prove that you are, indeed, a writer. If you’re a full-time writer, you probably have a whole book of freelance writing samples. If you’re a new grad, you might have some work that you want to put on a portfolio. Those of you who have work that is not on a portfolio should go ahead and put one together.
Write for yourself and put it on Medium.com. All your writing doesn’t have to be for clients. You can write for yourself. If you are just getting started as a writer, you should write topics you’re passionate about, like pets, food, travel, or any other topic that is close to your heart. Writing a blog is something that will give your prospect an idea of your writing style.
Get an experienced writer to give you feedback. You can go to Upwork and hire a writer with an impressive portfolio to critique your own portfolio. Hire him for an hour or two to check for the quality and presentation of your portfolio.
Educate Yourself on How to Be a Better Writer
Search the internet for free online writing courses. There are two main education types related to freelancing: freelancer-related and niche-specific. As a writer, you should always have these two education types going. Nine universities offer non-accredited online writing courses for free, including:
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
- New Jersey Institute of Technology
- Open University
- Purdue University
- University of College Falmouth
- University of Iowa
- University of Michigan
- Utah State University (USU)
- Stanford University
Our YouTube channel also has content for freelance writers. Check out this video about how to crush it with freelance article writing.
Find Companies Who Would Pay You to Write
Google phrases in your industry. If you’re a tech writer, for example, you just Google “best tech company blogs” and check out some of the top results. Go through those blogs and follow all of them on LinkedIn, Facebook or other platforms. Ask them if they are looking for new writers because they are always publishing content, and therefore, might need a writer to join their team.
Send a pitch and include a sample. A simple email where you introduce yourself, what you do, how you can help and a link to your portfolio is an excellent way to start building a relationship with a prospect.
Create a List of Prospects
One of the tools I use as a marketer is buzzsumo.com. With this tool, you can filter the most popular sites based on the number of times they have been searched on social media. The idea here is, the more popular a website is, the more chances they need to regularly hire writers like you.
Focus on Growth for the First Three Months
You might have heard about the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 rule. When you’re first getting started as a freelance writer, you should focus 80% of your time for the first three months on prospecting. It’s essential because you need to make getting new clients your primary focus. 20% of your time should be spent writing and servicing your existing clients. At the end of the first three months, you’ll start to get more clients and priorities will change. You’ll be doing 20% prospecting and 80% writing.
The Pareto Principle in freelancing means that you should never stop prospecting. Always spend 20% of your working time every day looking for new clients.
Educate Yourself on Being a Great Freelancer
Earlier, I mentioned that there are two types of education: niche education and freelancer education. In terms of freelancer education, I strongly recommend enrolling In the Freelancer Masterclass. I’m the lead instructor there. We have a 10-step module that takes you step-by-step towards building a solid foundation of freelancer education. If you feel like you want to become a master freelancer, take the next step and sign-up at FreelancerMasterclass.com.