The amount of people who long to become a freelance writer is astounding. However, not all people are able to follow their dreams. A freelance writing career can take time to build up, but the steps to take employment as a freelance writer are simple. The steps below will help get you on the right path to building up that career in freelance writing.
Find your Area of Expertise:
You first have to decide what you are passionate about or at the least, what you have knowledge or expertise in. Once you decide what area you want to focus your writing in, then you can move on to finding where you want to write. Many writers prefer writing web content whereas others take employment for print magazines. There are a variety of choices. Don’t try everything as this will only stress you out and bog you down with too much to do.
Build a Portfolio and Testimonials:
You don’t go through the same red tape in freelancing as you do the corporate world. Most prospective clients don’t concern themselves with qualifications but would rather just see your past work and if it fits their needs. Because of this, it is a good idea that you have a quality portfolio in place along with positive client testimonials to demonstrate your skills and experience.
Pitch to Editors:
When you were in college, you had sites like ThePensters to help you with your writing. Now that you are out on your own looking for a freelance career everything is on you. To really extend your reach, you are going to have to roll up your sleeves and do a little cold-calling. Get out there and start pitching your stories to editors. You will most likely get a lot of rejections; this is normal and happens to everyone. Don’t take it personally. Just be positive and move forward. You can still be professional but in a more casual medium. Try sending out basic, but well-written email queries that pitch a strong article idea. Another approach is to send out brief introductory notes inquiring if the editors are receptive to pitches from new freelance writers.
Set Reasonable Rates:
One of the more difficult tasks for freelance writers is setting rates. This is particularly true for writers just getting into the business and who are not aware of the industry averages or the amount clients are willing to pay. It’s best to research the amount other writers are asking for before pitching yourself. You can adjust your rates as you gain experience since rates don’t have to be written in stone.
Jumping into a freelance writing career can truly be a rewarding experience that pays well. However, you have to realize that in the beginning you are going to go through some hard work and hassle to get yourself up to speed in the industry. Persist and stay focused and you will prosper.