The Defining Moments of a Beginner Freelance Writer

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.

 

  1. 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. [ctt_author author=”260″ name=”AbdulGaniy Shehu” template=”1″ link=”ELfce” via=”no” ]If you are just reading about freelance writing, and eager to delve into it, Do it now because tomorrow could be too late[/ctt_author]

  1. 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”.

  1. 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.

  1. 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?

  1. It provides a platform for you to speak to the world
  2. It helps in sharpening your writing skills
  3. It gives you the opportunity to show and sell your products
  4. 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.

  1. 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.

So you want to write? 10 Ways to get started

Hey Shehu, I want to be a Writer. I love writing but it’s difficult for me to start, what can I do?

Whenever I write, I feel my writing is not fascinating enough, do you face that too?

I have written many articles in the past, but I am afraid to share it with the public, what’s your advice on this? And the list is endless.

These are some of the questions I get from readers of my blog, friends and colleagues. Though they are passionate about writing, but don’t know how to start.

get started writing
get started writing

Let me tell you this: “While some believe that writers are born, others believe that they are made”. Irrespective of your belief, writing is an art that can be learnt and improved upon when you follow the right guides and learn from great writers.

So Today, I will share a 10 step guide, that can ease your writing career, and make it easier for you to write despite the challenges you face.

  1. The hard part is beginning: Writing is a herculean task I admit. It’s always difficult to write and even more difficult to continue writing. But the hard part of writing is writing. You should write regardless of whatever you’re facing or the content you churn out at first. The most important thing is to write. “Good writers write regardless of the content”. As soon as you begin your writing, everything will fall in place.

  2. Follow your writing process: Every writer has a process he or she follows. This is a routine that comes naturally, and not a step-by-step guide. The processes you follow while writing include the following
  • Pre-writing (Where you find your idea, build on it, plan and structure it)
  • Writing (In this stage, you write, concentrate more and avoid distractions)
  • Revision (At this stage you add, remove, rearrange and replace). Then, the editing and the publishing processes. When you follow these processes, writing becomes much easier and your contents are of more quality. You can read more about these processes here and here.
  1. Reading: Reading is important for writers. Good writers are avid readers. When you read, you equip yourself with the right words, vocabularies etc. you need to find time to read always as a writer, and it’s not limited to particular topics. You not only read, but read wide too. When you inculcate the habit of reading as a writer, you’ll see yourself becoming better at it.
  2. Learning: While it’s necessary to read always as a writer. That does not suffice only, as you need to learn too. As a writer, you need to learn about the usage of grammar, how to write compelling sentences, punctuation, spelling, etc. When you read, and complement it with learning, you are sure to super-charge your write-ups quality always.
  3. Researching: As a writer, you should be able to make lots of research always. Researches help your writing by making it more apt, qualitative, informative and factual. As a writer, you should research always even on topics you can write about. This helps you to improve the quality of your contents, and shows how deep your understanding of the topic is. So whenever you want to write, research first.
  4. Time: If you seriously want to increase the quality of your write-up, then you should dedicate time to it. Without dedicating time to writing, it will be difficult to produce quality contents always. Writing is time-consuming, and the more time you spend on it the better. Many wannabe writers are not one today, because they find it difficult to find time to write. Find a time to write always.Motivation photo
  5. Start small: One thing you must know is that, when you write you shouldn’t be keen on doing everything at once. Do not think you can start today, and be able to churn out Thousands of words within a few hours. As a beginner, you need to start from somewhere depending on what works best for you. Start small and move up the ladder.
  6. Practice: Practice makes perfection, they say. As a writer, you should practise always to become better. Never assume you can become a better writer without practicing. Yes, you become better by writing, and you write by practicing. Practice daily with few words, and see how far it’ll go in improving you. Write 300, 500, 750 words at least daily. Resources like 750 words, Twords and Daily Page are good for this purpose.
  7. Motivation: When you motivate yourself, it helps you to write better. Lack of motivation is something that can hunt you as a writer. Because when you are not motivated, you’re not spurred to write. As a Writer, the first step to motivating yourself is by sharing your writing with your readers, for appraisal and comments. When they do this, it helps you since you are sure someone is reading what you write. Likewise, you can motivate yourself in a negative way too. Whenever you write have it in mind that, someone will learn and be motivated by what you do. But if you don’t, your ideas will perish with you. Motivate yourself always.
  8. Discipline: As a writer, you need to be disciplined to succeed. Without discipline you will find out that, you’ll not achieve your goals. With a lot of distractions on the social media these days, you must be disciplined to follow your routines and schedules. It’s discipline that makes you to write when you have an interesting movie to watch, or an online hangout with your friends. When you are disciplined, you’ll improve your writing.

On a Final Note

As I addressed in this post, writing is something you cannot do without in the world today. There is no alternative to it. Since it is a necessity, you not only need to learn how to do it, but doing it well matters most. As it is said: “What is worth doing, is worth doing well”. With these guides, be sure to see yourself writing quality content always.

Over to you

Which of these guides, do you practise the most, and how has it helped your writing career. Make your submissions in the comment box.