Now you are a beginner freelance writer.
Days, Weeks and Months pass by and you can’t figure out what you have achieved so far. You want to go back to the drawing board, but that isn’t an option (After all to you, none exists). You examine the steps you have taken, and confident you have been doing it the right way (But still yet, you haven’t achieved your goals).
You ask yourself some questions:
- What is freelance writing?
- Are people earning through freelance writing?
- If people do, what is wrong with my approach?
The defining moments:
There are defining moments for a beginner freelance writer. These moments will determine how far you will go in the industry or not. They will separate those who understand freelance writing and those who don’t. These are the moments you should watch out for in your career, because it can make or mar you.
So Today, I will examine the five major defining moments of a beginner Freelance Writer, what it means and how you should approach it.
When to Start?
One of the major moments of every beginner freelance writer is when to start. Many times, it is difficult to figure this out as everything looks so good to be true. You wonder how it is possible for someone to write for others, and get paid for that. You imagine, how easy the steps highlighted for every beginner freelance writer will materialise. You might be confused if you should leave your full-time job to begin the career as a Freelance writer, or you should start part time. You think, imagine and also confused.
What you should do:
As a beginner freelance writer, I will advise you to take actions immediately. Though the end justifies the means; actions separate doers from dreamers.
How to start:
You have read a lot about the different ways people earn through freelance writing (Maybe I have not done that here).
The Options: Content Mills, Freelance Job Websites or the Pitching Method
How they work:
- Content mills: As the name implies, these are website where different categories of contents are written on, and paid for. What a content mill does is to allow you to write on different aspects, upload it and sell. While it is easy to sell on content mills, you do so at ridiculously low prices. Content mills have made writers worthless, as anybody can go there, write and get paid. The result in the long run, is that you work more and earn less.
- Freelance Job Websites: These are the bidding sites, where buyers and sellers meet. Here, as a Freelance writer, you register and find the services you can offer. In the same vein, buyers come to do the same. Writers bid for available jobs on the website, and sellers test and pick a freelance writer whom they are satisfied with his service/ price. Bidding websites pay higher than content mills (but some writers have misused it too). The competition is stiff and the interest of writers are rarely protected by the websites.
- The pitching method: This is another way in which you can make a living as a beginner freelance writer. It involves you to be in charge of the day-to-day activities of your job. Here, it’s your duty to look for clients, pitch them on the services you offer, and charge them too on the acceptable price you want. In fact, you are the boss. This could be a bit confusing for beginners who could ask:
- How do I find clients?
- How/ what should I write to them?
- How will I get the clients’ contacts and the list is endless.
What you should do:
Having examined the major ways in which freelance writing can take.
What’s the best way?
As a beginner Freelance writer, I will advise you to be wary of content mills (it could tempt though), but it’s bad for your career. Freelance bidding websites are good for you as a beginner, but it shouldn’t be your goal. You can gather the necessary experience through this. Make some cash and get clients there too, but don’t stay so long here (It could affect your career in the long run). The pitching method, which seems difficult is the best way to go. This is what I practise and some other Freelance writers such as Carol Tice, Bamidele Onibalusi and Abdullahi Muhammed all do the same too. It could seem difficult but as it is said: “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown”.
Where to specialise:
After identifying when and how to start, the next big step is to specialise. In freelance writing and blogging, your area of specialisation is your niche, and I discussed this in my last post. So what do you consider before choosing a niche?
- Are you passionate about it?
- Do you have the knowledge of it?
- Are you experienced in it?
- Is it relevant to your potential clients?
- Is it profitable?
Discussing the points raised above:
- Passion: This is an unnegotiable factor in choosing a niche to specialise in as a beginner freelance writer. You must be passionate about your niche and be ready to write about it anytime, any day and anywhere. A niche which you are passionate about will be easy to research on and write about. In the long run when have more clients and more work to do, the passion will keep you going.
- Knowledge: This is a very important consideration for choosing a niche. Your knowledge about that niche must be all-encompassing. You should be able to write about it with minimal or no research. This could be because you learnt about it while in college, or through self-learning and research. Your clients will expect more from you as a professional, and your in-depth knowledge of your niche will help you a great deal.
- Experience: Experience will help you a lot in choosing a niche. Are you a retired Banker/ Financial analyst? You can take up the finance niche. Were you once a counsellor? You can take up the personal development niche, Have you ever taught in high school, college etc. you can take up the education niche. With the requisite experience, it’s expected that you know a lot about the niche. When clients see you are experienced, they will trust and want to work with you more.
- Relevance: In choosing a niche, you should be sure that, it’s relevant to your potential clients and audience. You should know that, what is relevant in a particular market isn’t the same with the other. Take for instance, topics of interest to the US market, won’t be the same for the UK market. Therefore, you must study your market, identify the relevance of your niche there before settling for one.
- Profitability: You are in freelance writing to make profits. This is because, it is the profit you make that can foot your bills, take care of your family and so on. Therefore, you should be on the lookout for profitable niches that enable you to get well paying clients always.
What you should do:
Before choosing a niche, you must examine all the points raised, as any mistake made here could be fatal and threatening to your career.
A Blog, A Writer Website or What?
As a freelance writer who have went through the pitching method as explained. A blog or a writer website is important to you. So what’s it all about, and how will it aid your career.
- Blog: A blog is an online platform where a writer expresses his opinion and provides solutions to issues in his niche. As a freelance writer, a blog is an avenue to show your expertise and establish authority too.
So how relevant is a blog to a freelance writer?
- It provides a platform for you to speak to the world
- It helps in sharpening your writing skills
- It gives you the opportunity to show and sell your products
- It aids in establishing yourself as a Professional. And lots more.
- Writer Website: A writer website is your online office as a Freelance writer. It is through this website you can get in touch with clients all over the world. Display your portfolio, testimonials, the clients you have worked with and so on. You can also embed a contact/ billing form where they can get in touch with you with their various projects. Clients get to know more about you through this website.
As a beginner freelance writer which of them do you need?
A freelance writer needs both a blog and a writer website. This is because with a blog, you can showcase your expertise to the world, and people will recognise you. And with a writer website, you are making your business more professional. Taking Winsome Writer as an example, it’s both a Blog and a Writer Website. Writers In Charge of Bamidele Onibalusi is both a blog and a Writer Website, OxygenMat by Abdullahi Muhammed is both a blog and a Writer Website. Though, you can have a different blog and writer website, like Carol Tice who operates her blog at Make A Living Writing, and a Writer Website too.
What you should do:
As a Beginner Freelance Writer, you should identify how important these two platforms are to your career, make a wise choice today by keying into them. If you need more help on setting up your blog or writer website, get in touch with me.
Getting your first client:
This is the moment that defines your Freelance writing career. Experts in Freelance writing have opined that getting the first client is the most challenging and difficult task for a Freelance Writer. This is because, as a beginner, the industry is still strange to you, the clients will be skeptical about working with you. But as soon as you get the first client, then you can welcome yourself into the industry.
What the first client does for you:
- It gives you the motivation that you are on the right track
- It gives you a reassurance that your efforts have not been in vain
- It gives you the opportunity to earn your first few dollars from writing
- It provides an opportunity for you to show the clients, your writing prowess.
As a beginner Freelance Writer, what should you expect from your first client?
- More work: You should expect your first client to offer more projects for you to work on, if he is satisfied with your writing
- Earning: At first, the pay might not be as high as you wanted, but you shouldn’t settle for less because you are desperate for your first client
- Testimonial: If you have done the first project for your first client, you should expect a testimonial from him/ her. With a testimonial, you can include this on your website as a proof of projects you have executed in the past.
What you should do:
As a beginner freelance writer, getting your first client is the most defining moment of your career, it can make or mar you. With your first client, it heralds you into the world of Freelance writing. So prepare well for this day and put in your best to make sure that you deliver a quality project on time.
On a Final note:
Every career has its defining moments. A beginner freelance writer, should be watchful of all these moments. If you can handle them well, and take the necessary steps, it would go a long way to determine what you would achieve. If you joke with them, and take them with levity it will not only mar you, but make you detest freelance writing forever. It is never too late to take the bold step today.
Over to you:
As a beginner freelance writer, what has been your defining moments? Are you satisfied with your actions and inactions during these moments? Do make your submissions in the comment box.