8 Tips for New Freelance Writers
Becoming a freelance writer means many things. It means hard work, independent income, pursuing your passion, and constantly developing your skills. There’s a lot to it, but there’s no reason to fear it. You’ll be delighted at the opportunities that will show up for you once you get started as a freelance writer and find your writing niche. But first, you need to make sure you know how to get started on the path to success. To help you set a plan in place, we’ve put together some of our best advice for new freelance writers.
The first step to becoming a truly successful freelance writer is managing your time. There are several ways to do this, and the steps you take will vary depending on your personality. However, there are a few basic things you should keep in mind:
- Make lists – The Type-A person knows them well, but even if that’s not your style, in this case, it’s probably a good idea. Making a list of each writing job you need to finish, the research you must accomplish, and the other daily tasks that you can’t ignore should be top of the list for what you need to be a successful freelance writer.
- Don’t multitask – We’ve all done it, but scientists have proven that multitasking can actually cause you to lose up to 40% of the time you could be productive. In reality, our brains can only focus on one thing at a time, so multitasking is ultimately hours of our brains starting and stopping. In the long run, this usually causes more problems instead of increasing productivity.
- Track your time – With a time tracker or other similar program, you can keep track of deadlines, how much you work, and what you’ve accomplished. This is an essential step to making every second count in your freelance business.
Learn how to market yourself
To stay in the freelance writing business for the long haul, you need a marketing plan. A freelancer is technically an independent contractor, not an employee, which means that, in order to make freelance writing sustainable, your ideal clients should be able to find you.
As briefly mentioned above, a freelance writer is an independent contractor who usually works for multiple clients simultaneously. To land freelance gigs that pay decently, set up a freelance writing website — particularly if you want to build a business out of freelance writing instead of just having a side gig.
- Gets your name out there: A client can’t hire you if they don’t know you exist. A website that’s regularly updated signals that you’re open for business.
- Captures the attention of your ideal audience: One common freelance marketing term you’ll hear is audience targeting. Not everyone looking for a freelance writer is a good fit for you, which makes identifying your target audience fundamental to your website’s success. Ideally, you want clients in an industry you enjoy writing about. If you want to write for the fitness industry, for example, your website should reflect that.
- Builds authority: Writer websites usually come with blog sections you can use to publish articles or opinion pieces that aim to address client pain points or questions. This way, you can showcase your knowledge of specific topics and solidify your reputation.
- Showcases your portfolio: Potential clients will want to know what you’ve already written to see if you’re the writer they’re looking for. Select the writing clips you’re most proud of and upload them as a portfolio on your website.
- Features client testimonials: Leveraging social proof is a powerful marketing strategy. Ask clients for testimonials that you can publish on your website.
Get started today, and remember you aren’t alone!
Are you an aspiring freelance writer? If so, there are so many other writers out there who are willing to help. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask them for advice and tips as these could prove invaluable further down the road. We also recommend finding a successful freelance writer to follow on social media who will help motivate and inspire you when you’re working on a tough brief or a new pitch.
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Jess is Content Director at Copify. Her main interests include writing, copy editing, and social media marketing. Holding a journalism degree from the University of Chester, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2016. With a passion for both art and music, Jess enjoys playing the clarinet and sketching or painting when she’s away from her desk.