With 2015 coming to a close, I, would like to share with you a few freelance writing tips.
First and foremost, about mid-year, I set out to begin freelance writing. Although it was slow-going, I can still say I am mostly pleased with the progress I made and am looking forward to growing my business in 2016.
I started a website, revised the website, revised it again, and finally tweaked it to exactly what I needed. It will probably remain a work in progress, but for now, it works great!
I took a couple of freelance writing courses, hired a coach and read literally hundreds of blog posts and e-books on the profession.
I landed a couple of writing gigs, one through my writing coach, and one from a job board – the Paid to Blog job board to be exact.
But enough about me. What I really want to do is to give you the benefit of my experience and the top freelance writing tips and advice I received that got my business off the ground.
Ready? Here goes:
Cast a Wide Net
I received this freelance writing tip from my coach and also read it in a blog post or two. The idea is, when applying for writing gigs, apply for everything that you are even remotely qualified for so that you increase your chances of getting hired. You never know when you might stand out to a potential client even though you don’t perfectly fit their criteria.
Progress at Your Own Pace
If you’re anything like me, you might put a lot of pressure on yourself to get your business of the ground quickly. After a couple of months of pitching and writing and planning and building and tweaking my website, I began to feel a little overwhelmed.
It wasn’t really that what I was trying to do was too difficult. It was just that I was putting so much pressure on myself to do it all right away and perfectly, that I caused myself unneeded stress.
Big goals are great, but try breaking them down into bite-sized chunks and don’t move onto the next level until you’ve accomplished the first one.
There’s a lot to learn, and if you need more time to absorb it, take it. Just make sure you are working on one small thing while you’re doing it.
Take a Good Freelance Writing Course
There are several really good freelance writing courses out there. I’ve taken both paid and free, and there are some great ones of both. But the one I highly recommend and the one that helped me the most in beginning my business is Elna Cain’s Write to 1K Course (this is an affiliate link. If you purchase her course through this link, I will receive a small commission, but the cost to you does not change. But no worries…I never recommend any product I don’t love!).
Hire a Freelance Writing Coach
It’s probably not as costly as you think, and most of the time, they’re pretty upfront about their prices on their websites.
It was absolutely the best decision I made to kick start my freelance writing business. It gave me an added boost of confidence to pitch for jobs, knowing that if there was something I didn’t know, I could ask her. It’s also a great way to make a new connection in the freelance writing world as well as get some possible referrals.
Invest in a Paid Job Board
There are plenty of free ones, but your competition is a lot less on a paid board. I am biased since that’s where I landed my latest freelance writing gig, but it seems the applicant pool is smaller and you have a better chance of getting seen.
Keep a Template Letter
This saves oodles of time, and you will find templates in most freelance writing courses. If you’re having trouble finding one, let me know and I’ll email you mine.
I always change it up a little, depending on what writing gig I’m applying for, but the structure’s basically the same.
Pitch as Soon as You Can After the Ad is Posted
There are so many applicants on job boards, I’ve been told it is best to be one of the first to pitch. It increases your chances of being seen.
One of the things I have done to ensure this is to set up “recipes” on IFTT. It stands for “If This Then That,” and basically you set up email alerts to let you know the minute something is posted.
Check it out and see what you think.
Guest Post – A LOT!
This is something I haven’t been great at, but I know that the few guest post spots I landed gave me a boost of confidence that someone else liked my writing enough to post it. It also gave me some necessary sample pieces to include in my portfolio.
So, there you have it. The most helpful freelance writing tips and advice I got this year.
I would love to hear your favorite freelance writing tips for breaking into the market!
Please comment below and let’s help each other grow!