When many people think of freelance writing, they dream of writing for the big magazines and newspapers around the world, having a chance to show off their writing talent. However, the truth is there are very few people who will ever get to that point, but that is no reason for you to give up on your dream of freelance writing from home.
Thanks to the internet, there are now so many options available to anyone who can write, or who enjoys writing – and the truth is, it can become a very lucrative way of making money. There are many women who are working as freelance writers online and making a full time living from it.
So, where do you start?
Set Up A Website To Showcase Your Work
One of the first things I would recommend to anyone just starting out, and who hasn’t established a name for themselves yet, would be to start a blog. Set the blog up as a place for you to show off your writing talent, and let potential clients have a place where they can read some of your material to get an idea of your writing style.
While this isn’t necessary, it really does give you a place to have clients get to know your writing ability, as well as somewhere that they can contact you through. It is such a good idea to have an actual website that you can give as a contact for anyone interested in hiring you.
The best part is – it doesn’t even have to cost you anything. And, you don’t need to have any technical knowledge whatsoever! (While I always do recommend that you set up a site on your own domain, that you own – I realize that it isn’t something that is easy for everyone to do.) So, when you are just starting out, using a site like Blogger is just fine.
Blogger even has the ability now to set up static pages as well as blog post pages – so that lets you set up a page that gives information about you, a page with contact information – and even a page with some samples of your work.
(I will do a future post showing how to set up a basic WordPress site – and can do a quick post about Blogger too if you are interested. Just comment below and let me know if you would like to learn more about it).
Build A Portfolio
After you have a blog set up, get a couple of articles written up that you can use to send to anyone who wants to see samples of your work. You can give them the address of your blog as well, to let them see even more of your writing – but having a few articles that you have written is something most people will want to see as well.
One thing I can suggest you do is set up an account at Ezine articles. This is a great way for your own site to get exposure (you can put a link to it in the resource box at the bottom of the article), and can be used to draw clients in.
Why not write some articles explaining the importance of quality content written on a website? Or, write an article explaining the importance of having your own product, and how hiring a ghostwriter can help to grow your business tenfold. (These are just ideas – but you get the picture). Then, lead them back to your site.
Once you have a few articles submitted to Ezine articles, (I believe it is 10), you should be able to reach Platinum Author status – which will allow you to have a badge to display on your site saying that you are a “Platinum Author with Ezine Articles”. This can be another great way to show off your talent and ability on your site for potential new clients to see.
Set Up Freelance Site Profiles
Meanwhile, at the time that you are writing and submitting these articles, you should be setting up profiles on some of the top freelance sites. A couple that I can suggest are Odesk, Elance and Guru. Take a look through some of the top earners on the sites, and model your profile around how they have set theirs up.
You can start looking through the job postings on the sites, and even start putting bids in. Remember, it is going to take some work to get your name out there and build up some feedback, so it is very likely you will be having to work for peanuts for the first few jobs in order to compete and get some work. You are bidding against people in other countries where they can afford to do the work for a lot cheaper because the money they earn is worth more than it is here.
But – don’t let that discourage you! There are still people out there who will want you, you just need to find them;-)
Offer Your Services On Marketing Forums – Warrior Forum
Now, if any of you have read my guide on working from home, you know that one of the best places I always suggest you go to find work right away is the Warrior Forum. That is where I got started, and I still have clients I work for that found me through there.
The Warrior Forum lets you post either a classified ad – (I believe it is around $20) – or what is called a Warrior Special Offer. For a WSO, you need to have so many posts before you can post one, and it is sometimes hit and miss as well. There are so many special offers going up each day, that now it is a bit more difficult to get noticed. Sometimes your offer can be bumped off the first page in a matter of hours.
The forum is full of Internet Marketers who are always needing content written – for websites, for articles to submit to directories, some will even want ebooks ghostwritten for them that they can sell. It is a great place to get your feet wet.
Put up a classified offering to write articles or other content that they need. State that you are just starting out and want to build up a portfolio. Offer to write for less than you normally would. You can look through the offers that are up now to get an idea of the market – but if you offered to write articles around 500 words for $5 – you will likely get some people interested.
I wouldn’t suggest undercutting yourself too much. You are going to need to put your prices up eventually – or you will get burnt out fast. (Trust me, I know what I am talking about!)
When I first started out, I started with low prices. Then, I had a hard time having to put my prices up. I felt guilty, and was afraid I would lose my clients.
You might lose a couple, but that is fine. You need to be paid for your time, and the work you are doing – and if you are a good writer, people will notice and will want to pay the price to have you. If you end up writing articles for people and only ever getting $5 for them – trust me – you will get tired of it pretty quick!
Writer Forums & Resources
Another great place for anyone starting out is Absolute Write forums. You will find tons of information about freelance writing, and you can find some good work through here as well. They have a ton of threads with lists of publications:
and so many other really informative posts that can help you get going.
You can find people posting paying jobs here and you can really learn alot by reading through everything.
I actually found this site through a thread on the Absolute Write forums – and though I have never used it myself, it has some very good feedback by other writers who have. It is a paid membership – something like $5 a month, or you can get a yearly subscription for $40. It might be something worth trying out as well for anyone just getting started.
If there is anyone out there who has used this site, I would love if you could leave a comment and let us know what you think about it – whether it is worth trying or not. And, if you end up signing up from here – make sure you come back and let us know what you think!
And, of course, we can’t forget the WAHM forum. There are people who actually post there for work – but it has a good section for WAHM writers that you can really learn a lot from. Take the time to read and learn, but don’t forget that sometimes the best way to get started, is to just jump in and learn along the way!
Just Jump in And Get Started!
So – I hope I have given you some good resources and information to get you started finding paying work. Remember – it will be a learning experience, and you will pick up so much just by getting your name out there and trying. Get your site set up, and start offering your services at a bargain to get some feedback and reviews that you can post on your site.
I started out by offering to do some proofreading for free for a couple of people. One of them, was a well known and big name marketer who I had purchased a guide from. I noticed a ton of spelling and other typos – so I actually contacted him myself and offered to go through and fix the mistakes I found for free.
He was thrilled – and you can bet that having a testimonial from him on my site definitely helped when other potential clients came to look. Not only that, but I ended up getting some writing work from him which was a huge bonus.
Get out there – and start finding people who need your writing abilities! There are lots to be had on the internet, and it can open doors to the print world as well. You can meet people online who have contacts, and you can learn about opportunities that you wouldn’t normally know about if you weren’t involved in the industry online.
Next time, I will write a bit about writing keyword optimized articles, and using SEO principles – which is an asset that many people are searching for in their hired writers. If you can offer extra skills, it will open more doors for you – and having the expertise to do SEO articles will definitely give you an edge!