Success in freelance writing is hardly about luck.
Sure, you may have gotten lucky that one time when you scored a high-paying client with little effort. But your professional connections did a lot of the work, didn’t they?
If you want to solidify a successful freelance writing career, you, alone, need to work for it.
As mentioned in another blog post, you can work as a freelance writer almost immediately. The sad part is that there’s no such thing as immediate success in this industry.
You need to work your way to the top. And sometimes, you need to invest plenty of time for it.
Here’s a step-by-step process to help you out.
Step 1. Build a Portfolio
You can also set up a self-hosted website solely for this purpose. Start by checking out the available bluehost hosting packages.
Show your best writing samples — ranked from best to average. Especially if you’re excellent at discussing certain topics, don’t hold back from showcasing your expertise up front.
Doing this lets your prospects grasp your writing skills. They can use your samples as the basis when gauging whether or not you’re an ideal fit for their project.
And beyond a gallery of your sample works, include a well-crafted introduction in your portfolio.
Give out your name, your job, and your approach of doing business. When writing an introduction, be straightforward by choosing your words wisely.
A tip on how to write a winning introduction is to put yourself in the shoes of your client.
Ask yourself what you want to read when you’re the one searching in a pool of freelance writers for hire.
Step 2. Apply Away… Be Available
Once you have a rockstar portfolio as a freelance writer, it’s time to put yourself out there.
Send out your application to individual employers — as many as you wish.
You can also apply to freelance writing sites (some of them are content mills). Here’s a list of the best content mills to write for:
Step 3. Know When to Wait
If dead silence is all you’re getting from the other end after sending out thousands — if not millions — of applications, don’t feel bad. It can happen and in such a case, all you need to do is wait.
Sometimes employers could take a while to get back to you, especially if they’re a huge company with a myriad of applicants to filter. Days, weeks, or even months can go by before you could hear from them.
And in the event that you keep getting rejection notices, avoid getting thrown off your game. Getting rejected for a freelance writing opportunity may make you feel bad. But be resilient by not taking it too personally.
Remember that even if one or two (or 20) employers don’t want to hire you, it doesn’t change the fact that you can still apply to a million other employers.
On the flip side, if you’ve got rejected plenty of times, you may need to re-evaluate.
Be realistic and determine whether your writing skills are up to par.
Most — if not all — employers are not awful people who just want to crush an applicant’s spirits. Usually, they have a LEGIT reason for not wanting to hire you.
A common reason for rejections in the freelance writing industry is a “grammar lapse“. Or to put it bluntly, “your writing skill is terrible“.
In this case, you need to learn first.
If you still need to work for content mills for a couple of months before you could re-apply for a better freelance writing position, make it happen. While they can pay unbelievably low for your work, content mills have benefits and open the door to a better freelance writing opportunity, especially for a budding freelance writer.
Here’s what these benefits are:
- Offers exposure to a variety of topics
- Builds your confidence as an online freelance writer
- Provides income stability
- Trains you to better your writing skills
- Provide you a solid know-how of working as an online freelance writer
If working for content mills is out of the picture, you can gear up by taking a course like this one: Write Your Way to Your First $1k.
The course’s author, Elna Cain, kicked off her freelance writing position from scratch. Within six months, she established her career and started earning a full-time living.
About the course, she says:
This course is filled with the exact steps I took to earn my first $1k and go on to replace my income as a teacher. It’s a proven method to help you set up your business, build your presence, pitch like a pro and land high-paying clients.
Step 4. Let the Power of Diligence Work Wonders
If you’re 100% certain your writing is excellent and yet you’re still not getting hired, then it’s time to put in the (extra) hard work.
Remember that there’s no substitute for hard work. No matter how smart, talented, and/or “socially-connected” you are, you can’t go far as a freelance writer if you’re not a hard worker.
So work hard and let diligence win. Continue submitting applications to employers and polishing your writing.
Continue your streak.
Step 5. Be Decisive
And when the time comes that you start to get loads of clients, be sure to be on the driver’s seat and be the one who calls the shots. Your freelance writing opportunity will last only if you make it last.
Yes, if you’re a great writer, an increasing number of employers will notice you. And the time will come when you get a plethora of project offers — much more than you could handle.
While it could be tempting to consider, avoid working on every project offer that comes your way. This could likely lead to burn out and is a counterproductive approach as a freelance writer.
So be decisive and let your managerial skills rise above. Go for the higher-paying project offers and don’t be afraid to reject the low-paying ones.
Remember to keep the 5-step process in mind as you try to carve a name for yourself as a freelance writer. Use them as is — or twist them a bit. Go with whatever works for you.
You can — and will — receive a great freelance writing opportunity if you’re determined. So don’t fall short on determination and continue striving. Someday, you’ll thank yourself for hanging on.
Do you have something to add? Kindly comment below.