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How to become a freelance writer

Freelance writing is a job that offers its own set of benefits. You can usually set your own hours, choose which contracts you wish to take on, and work from anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection. It does come with pitfalls, but with some care, they can be avoided.

Is this side hustle for me?

Many people enjoy writing as a pastime, but this can be quite different to doing so for someone else. You will need to stick to a set time frame, write about topics you may have little interest in and be an excellent self-editor. While you will be your own boss, you will have to fulfill the contracts you take on, which means time management skills are a must.

What is freelancing anyway?

Simply put, freelancing refers to bidding on contracts and also pitching yourself to various companies.

When you freelance, you choose the work you would like to take on, which gives you a lot of control over your schedule. There’s a variety of article styles and genres, and some writers choose to specialize in a specific area.

Laying the groundwork

As mentioned above, time management and organizational skills are essential for a freelancer. You’ll need to keep track of the projects you’re working on, as well as when they are due for submission. It’s a wise idea to develop a daily writing routine that works for you, and this will make the process faster.

Get educated

There’s a wealth of courses available that will aid you in becoming a better writer, especially if you don’t have experience in creating online content. This will also help to make you more confident in your skills, which will come across in your pitches and contract proposals.

The right software can be your best friend

Choosing the right productivity software is an important task. If you wish to include images in your work, these different photo modification programs and other utilities can really help. Many editing tools are also easy to use and will result in articles or other pieces that are polished and ready for public consumption.

Practice, practice, practice

Just as with any other skill, your writing will become better with practice. Starting an online blog about a topic you are interested in will not only give you a chance to flex your “author” muscles, but it will also help you begin to build a portfolio of examples of your work, perhaps even catching the eye of a potential future client.

Some freelancers have found it helpful to find a blog site that accepts niche writers. The not-for-profit world can be a good resource for this. While you hone your skills, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that even if you didn’t get paid, you helped a cause you believe in, got some writing practice and will have another piece you can add to your portfolio.

Take advantage of online tools

Now that you have a portfolio and feel you have the skills you need, it is time to get to work. That can mean pitching yourself to companies, checking out online job boards and finding out what’s out there. Don’t miss out on taking advantage of the power of social media, which offers lots of ways to promote your blog and other writing.

Don’t be afraid to network

A strong network of other writers can be a valuable asset. They will be able to offer a listening ear and shoulder to cry on when jobs are tough, and they may also share tips, advice and information about contracts they didn’t take on but that may be perfect for you.

Keep on learning

As with any other career, writers need to keep abreast of the latest developments in their field, and this can be especially important if you are crafting pieces for a specific genre or subject matter area. The more informed you are, the better your work will be, which, in turn, may help to attract even more clients.

Register your business

There are several reasons for registering your freelancing business. You may be able to join your local Chamber of Commerce, and it’s also usually a provincial and federal requirement. Along with this, it can be a smart idea to learn some of the basics of small business management.

Avoid content mills

There are lots of sites out there that promise easy writing jobs for pay, but always take a second look. Many of these offer very little compensation for your effort, and some even ask you to pay to take their “courses” before you can even begin to write. These “content mills” will likely just leave you feeling frustrated and that you worked hard for little to no return.

To freelance or not to freelance?

Freelancing is an option that offers lots of benefits, but it’s smart to lay the groundwork first. If you want to avoid the hassle altogether, why not apply to earn money at home by writing for us at Words of Worth? We offer generous compensation, steady contracts, and plenty of support from our editing team.

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