How to Be a Successful Freelance Writer – A Complete Guide
Are you looking forward to becoming a successful freelance writer? Then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll share some tips for you to succeed in your freelance writing career. Freelancing is a great career choice for someone who wants to work in their own term. As a freelance writer, you are your boss as you’ll be handling your projects solely on your own with no one to command you. If you are tired of your 9-5 job, then freelancing is for you as you can work according to your schedule. Freelancing also offers you the opportunity to work on the projects you love for as long as you want. You can also work for different clients at the same time. And written content is always essential for businesses, so freelance writers are always in demand. Let’s read a guide to becoming a successful freelance writer.
Who is a Freelance Writer?
A freelance writer is someone who is self-employed and works for multiple organizations. It can be done as a part-time as well as a full-time job. They work on a contract basis, once the contract ends they move to the next one. Freelance writing can be done from the leisure of your home, you don’t have to commute to a place every day. Some freelancers write on a variety of topics while others have a particular niche they follow.
Types of Freelance Writing
There are different kinds of freelance writing out there like copywriting, ghostwriting, web content writer, technical writer, academic writing, essay fiction writing, etc
1. Web Content Writer
A web content writer is someone who writes for the internet. There are different types of content like blogs, e-books, social media writing, script writing, white papers, etc.
Copywriting is writing for advertising. A copywriter aims to write engaging pieces of copy for different brands or products which aims to receive some form of response from the audience.
Ghostwriting is writing for someone else but you won’t get the credit as its original author. For example, the work you’ve written will be published in someone else’s name. You’ll write the work according to the person who has hired you and you’ll be paid for it.
4. Technical Writing
A technical writer is someone who communicates technical information to an audience who may not be familiar with it. Examples of technical writing include user manuals, scientific papers, brochures, white papers, etc.
What Does a Freelance Writer Do?
A freelance writer takes up whatever task the client has given to them, it can be a blog, magazine articles, newsletters, website copy, etc. Freelancers have to hustle to find gigs so that they can have a steady income. They’ll pitch to multiple clients a day to find gigs. Once you’ve made good connections in your field then it’ll get easier for you to find gigs.
Is Freelance Writing a Good Career?
The answer is yes. For someone who is self-disciplined, this is a good career choice. Freelancing allows you to work from the leisure of your home. You can be finally free from your 9-5 job. As a freelancer, you’ll have a flexible schedule and can choose when you’ll work. You can work for weeks but you can also not work for some time and then continue. Once you have your foot set in this career it is going to be a lot easier to be a successful freelance writer.
How to Become a Freelance Writer?
If you’re someone who loves to write and wants to make income from it then you can give freelance writing a try. But you should have additional skills apart from writing like the ability to market yourself. You can set up a website as a portfolio and start pitching to potential clients. You have to work hard to be a successful freelance writer.
Are Freelance Writers in Demand?
Freelance writers are now in high demand. Due to covid companies have recognized the importance of an online presence. Many companies have taken their product or service online since covid.
One of the great ways to reach people is through content marketing as you’ll be able to rank on google with quality SEO content.
Many businesses have realized this and the demand for freelance writers is ever-growing. Companies value freelancers as they can produce quality content without increasing their staff size as they can hire freelancers. Nowadays everyone has a smartphone and looks to google for advice on almost everything for example they’ll read the review of the product before buying one.
How to Be a Successful Freelance Writer?
so if you’re excited about freelance writing here are some tips to help you succeed in your career.
1. Keep Looking for Freelance Writing Gigs
One of the ways to become a successful freelance writer is to always have something to work on. Unlike a regular employee, you are your boss and you have to make sure to get projects to work on. You can find jobs on freelance writing job boards by pitching your work. You can also cold pitch to find work. cold pitching is sending messages directly to clients and telling them how you can benefit them as a freelance writer.
Another thing you should do is you should pitch to multiple clients at a time, this is how you make sure to find work. Keeping connections with fellow freelancers is also useful as they can suggest to you the jobs they can’t do. It is also a good idea to keep a relationship with your client so that you can get more work from them in the future.
Another great way to land gigs is to go outside for meetups and meet new people connected with your field. You should put yourself out there and tell people that you are looking for freelance work and if you don’t do this it’ll be even harder for you to find work.
2. Don’t Quit Your Job if You’re a Beginner
It can be hard to set your foot in freelance work when you’re just starting. As it can take some time before you can land your first client and start making a good income. So it’s a wise idea to do freelancing part-time and keep your regular job if you have one when you’re a beginner. Once you’ve established a network of clients and become a successful freelance writer then you can quit your job.
3. Submit a Polished Work
Your client doesn’t want to end up re-editing your work. So make sure there are no grammatical or spelling errors in your work. Editing and proofreading the work before submitting it is also crucial.
Also, make sure to take that extra time to read and understand their brand and craft your work accordingly. You’ll be able to get more work in the future only when you’re able to impress your client. A great way to impress your client is to write content according to their brand’s voice. A successful freelance writer adheres to their brand voice.
4. Begin a Blog
Having a blog is great if you want to be a successful freelance writer. You can write about something you’re passionate about like cooking, traveling, or lifestyle. A blog will help you to improve your writing skills. It will also help you build an online presence.
Your blog can also act as a secondary portfolio. Constantly uploading your blog with SEO content relevant to your niche will increase your website’s traffic and will eventually lead potential clients to find you. Try to write your blog in a specific niche as potential clients in your field can find you faster like this.
5. Learn SEO!
Learning SEO will become handy on your way to becoming a successful freelance writer. why? because companies want more people to visit their website and SEO can help you do that. SEO or search engine optimization is optimizing your content to drive more traffic to your website. You can take up an SEO course and master this skill.
6. Choose a Niche
Having a niche will be useful to you in the long run. You can write about anything you want. But it’ll be great if you can specialize in a field because then you’ll be a sought-after writer in that field. Look for a topic that sparks your interest and write about that topic. If you’re a beginner you can start writing about something you’ve already specialized in like finance.
Even if you’re not passionate about the subject it helps to write about something familiar when you are just starting. Once you’ve learned how to find clients you can choose a different niche. Choosing a niche is also a great way to market yourself as an expert in your field and become a successful freelance writer. It’ll also give you an idea of who to target.
Plus clients prefer experienced writers from their field. Having a niche will also take a lot of the burden off your head that you’ll likely have if you’re writing about multiple topics. But learning about a specific topic and writing on that is going to be a lot easier. You can educate yourself on your niche by reading about it and attending webinars.
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7. Time management is Key
Sometimes you’ll be working on multiple projects at a time. So learning to manage your time is very important. Keep track of ongoing projects and their deadlines. And make sure to submit your work before a deadline. Schedule your day wisely and set a certain amount of time every day to complete your work.
As a freelancer you have the power to choose a deadline for yourself, so don’t set unrealistic deadlines for yourself. If a 3000-word essay will take you a week don’t say you’ll submit it in 3 days. Working from home can also be hard sometimes. So set your boundaries at home. Let your family members know when you’ll be working and ask them to not disturb you during this time.
Find a quiet place in your home to set up your workplace. Also, remember to take breaks. Sometimes taking breaks is also productive. After a long day of staring at your screen take a break and do something else. Like this, you’ll be able to come back to your work with fresh eyes. A successful freelance writer will have a well-planned routine every day.
8. Have Your Portfolio Ready
Keep your portfolio attractive. You can create a website and upload your writings so that potential clients can refer to your website as your portfolio. Make sure you upload good works to hook your client’s attention. Having an eye-catching portfolio will pave the way to becoming a successful freelance writer. Request for testimonials from your previous clients. Everyone wants social proof so client testimonials are a good thing to keep in your portfolio.
Make sure anyone that comes to your website knows what you are doing and who you work for. And also make your website relevant to your niche. Update your profile regularly with works relevant to your niche. You should appear as an industry expert as you’re more likely to be found and hired by potential clients like this.
9. Set a Reasonable Price
You should set a reasonable price for yourself. It should not be too high or too low. The price can vary according to your niche, expertise, and experience. For example, technical writing is a high-paying niche. So if you’re a beginner you can set your price accordingly and once you’ve gained some experience then you can increase that price. Research well before deciding your price.
10. Take Up an Online Course
It can be daunting to have to figure out everything on your own. This is why online courses are such a lifesaver. You’ll need plenty of skills to become a freelance writer like content writing and SEO writing etc. So it is a good idea to learn about these subjects. IIM SKILLS is one of the premier institutes out there that provide courses on these subjects. There are also plenty of blogs and YouTube videos out there from experienced freelancers that you can check out. If you don’t want to pay there are many free online courses too but you’ll be able to learn more from a paid course.
11. Have an Online Presence
Having an online presence is key to marketing yourself as a freelance writer. Platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are a great way to connect with fellow freelance writers. Connecting with fellow freelancers will also help you get more work as they’ll suggest you for work they can’t do. Linkedin is also a great place to find potential clients, so it is a good idea to upload your profile on LinkedIn. Use keywords on your LinkedIn bio. Also, let people know that you are for hire, you can do this by including ‘for hire’ in your bio.
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12. Use Multiple Platforms to Showcase Your Portfolio
An easy way to reach a lot of clients is to set up your portfolio on multiple platforms. Don’t just showcase your portfolio on your website. Set up your profile on platforms like LinkedIn also. Be sure to update your profile with your latest works. You can also showcase your portfolio on portfolio sites like contently, journo portfolio, clippings, etc. You can also upload your work on Pinterest. This will help you to reach a lot more clients and all these sites are free to use.
13. Work With a Marketing Agency
If marketing yourself seems hard to you then you can hire a marketing agency to do the work for you. A marketing agency will help you market your writings and find clients for you. They take a lot of the pressure off your head and now you only need to focus on writing. But you won’t get the full amount when you’re working with a team but for what is your time worth it’s worth it. You’ll also have the time to work on more projects since you don’t have to use your time for marketing as well.
14. Improve Your Writing Skills
The most important skill that a successful freelance writer should have is the ability to write good engaging content. So you should improve your writing skills. If your writing has grammatical errors and mistakes then your writing will be considered less credible. So take time to learn grammar. The age-old saying that a good writer is also a good reader is true.
So read extensively around your niche and outside of it as well. You should also aim to write every day to improve your writing skills. It’s also a good idea to learn content writing. Because as a freelancer you have to write many types of content like blogs, emails, white papers, product descriptions, sales copy, etc.
15. Write on a Variety of Subjects
While having a niche is great. As a freelancer, you’ll be approached for writing other types of content as well like white papers or copywriting. So it is beneficial to learn about those subjects as well. Like this, you’ll also be able to broaden the scope of your portfolio. You can keep learning about new things like this and you won’t find your job boring.
16. Guest Posting
Guest posting is also a great way to reach out to new clients. Guest posting is writing a guest for free on other websites. While writing for free does not sound fun. You can write for famous websites that many clients visit. You can also include these writings in your portfolio. Potential clients will favor you as you’ve written for those websites.
17. Accept Criticism
Your clients will provide feedback on your work. Sometimes they’ll not like what you’ve written and want you to make changes. You may have put hours of work to complete it. But don’t get disheartened by this and positively take criticism. Your client will be impressed with you if you made the necessary changes. You can read more about their brand and talk with them before getting to your writing. Like this you can learn what you’re client is looking forward to in your writing.
18. Make Time for Marketing
You must schedule time each day for marketing if you want to be a successful freelance writer. Clients won’t come and knock on your door, especially if you’re just starting. You can find more clients by using marketing. You can promote yourself in several ways, such as through cold emails and follow-up emails, as well as by adding your contact information and what you do in your email signature so that clients can get in touch with you right away.
It is also important to regularly update your LinkedIn profile and portfolio. Connecting with other freelancers through LinkedIn or Twitter is also a great way to find work. And it is also nice to be a part of a freelance writing community where you can communicate with fellow freelancers, as you’ll be working on your own most of the time.
You can set up SEO content on your website so that you can rank on Google and land more clients. Go to conferences and meetups of freelance writers. Make marketing a daily part of your life and set aside time for it every day. Plan your day to decide what type of marketing you are going to do whether it be sending emails or updating your profile.
You should send a lot of cold pitches a day to find work, many of them won’t respond right away so be sure to send a follow-up email after a while to remind them of you. Most beginners don’t want to sell themselves but it is very important to do so. But once you’ve made a lot of connections you won’t have to sell yourself as much and can get most of your job through referrals.
19. Be Dedicated To Your Work
Being a freelance writer is hard work and you’ll succeed in this field only when you are willing to do the hard work. Freelancing is a tedious task, it takes a lot of time and patience to complete it, so being devoted to your work is the only way out. Submit your work on time and accept criticism and make the necessary changes. You’ll also have to work hard to find new clients and carefully follow all the guidelines given by your clients. So freelance writers should produce great pitches for their clients and should also be top at their time management skills.
1. What is the salary of a freelance writer?
Ans. Freelance writers are now more important than ever, so if you are good at what you are doing you can earn a pretty good amount. The price can vary according to your niche and your experience level. The average hourly wage for a freelance writer in India is 406.95 rs, according to payscale.
2. How to become a successful freelance writer when having no experience?
Ans. You can learn about freelance writing through online courses, there are plenty of good online courses out there that you can choose from. You can also set up a website and start publishing and pitching your work. It’ll be helpful if you have a niche otherwise you can write about different kinds of topics.
3. Which are the best freelance work websites?
Ans. Some of the best freelance work websites are Fiverr, Toptal, Freelancer.com, LinkedIn, etc. These websites will help you find potential clients out there.
4. Which kind of freelance writing job has the highest salary?
Ans. Book Ghostwriting, White-papers, Long-form Content, E-Book Writing, Case Studies, and SEO writing are some of the high-paying content types.
Being a freelance writer is a lot of hard work but it’s a rewarding career. It allows you to learn about unfamiliar topics and meet and make friends with new people. It provides you with the luxury of working from home as well. But you have to hustle all the time to find new gigs. If you are passionate about writing and can market yourself then it’ll be easier for you. Networking with people is an essential part of this career, so you must put yourself out there to find work. Freelance writers are now in demand more than ever as more and more brands are coming to online platforms. This article showcases some tips to help you on your journey to becoming a successful freelance writer.