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Freelancing stands as a growing industry. Plus, it’s a way to work on your own terms. It has been helped along by the increased connectivity that the internet offers. Yet, jumping in blind isn’t the path for success.
There are some concepts which any new freelancer must know.
Think About a Niche
“Writing” is a pretty broad job description. So, you’ll want to widdle down to what you want to a category. There are a lot of options: blogging, ghostwriting books, journalism pieces, and more. It’s also important to think about how profitable a niche is.
How wide of a client base is there?
One popular niche is academic writing. If someone can help someone with a research paper, they can use those skills to aid student success. Writing, editing, and rewriting might fall within the service description. Since there will always be students who need academic help, this also has a potentially unlimited customer pool.
Be Ready for the Long Haul
Unlike most regular 9 to 5s, this job won’t offer a set paycheck on day one. In fact, when most people first begin this career path, they don’t make much at all. Finding and obtaining clients can take a while. In addition, the money earned per job will probably be lower at the start as well. The sentiment goes double for those completely new to a career in writing in general.
Don’t let this discourage you, though! The most successful individuals will stick through this difficult period to earn their place in the industry.
Look for a Place to Find Work
If there’s one thing to know above anything else it’s this: clients aren’t going to appear out of thin air. As such, it’s a good idea to find a platform that will help you find them. Many websites exist that are meant to help individuals meet clients. A couple of popular options include Upwork or Freelancer.com.
The Work Represents the Writer
Throughout your career, you’ll probably write a lot of lighthearted pieces that aren’t as “hard-hitting” as you might dream of. This fact can stand even truer if article writing or blogging is your main forte. There’s also a big chance that you’ll get a job from time to time that isn’t about something that holds a lot of personal passion.
However, the lack of love for a certain project can’t show through. Just like any company, the product being put out represents the writer. That means a big part of creating and keeping clients is offering the same high quality for every piece.
Having bare-bones composition skills only contains part of the equation. There are other idiosyncrasies that need to be addressed. For instance, online content needs elements like SEO. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the trade to do that specific job.
Some of this will be an experience of you live and you learn. You might learn from one client knowledge they can take on to the next. Take in every job as a learning experience. What you learn with one client, use with the next one.
Jumping back to academic work, make sure to read up on different style guides. MLA, APA, and Chicago are some of the most common formats you’ll come across.
Create a Portfolio
Most people don’t hire anyone working for them blindly. Instead, they request examples of their work to see their talent firsthand. So, you’ll want to make sure to have a library of work ready or even available online. Before including anything in your portfolio, though, be sure to check with those clients that they were written for. That’s a crucial point if most of your material is ghostwritten.
Freelance writing is an interesting and lucrative business plan. By utilizing guidelines like these, you’ll have this new business set up before you know it.