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Freelance Writing for Beginners
This post has been updated as at November 2018.
3 months ago, I left my high-paying, high-stress job as a Recruitment Consultant to become my own boss and start my Freelance Writing Business.
Before making the decision to leave my job, I researched like mad. I devoured everything I could find on the internet and read stories of people who took the plunge. It all seemed impossible, until I came across Jorden Roper.
Jorden has a no-fuss way of speaking to her audience – people like me, who were complete beginners! She tells you the honest to goodness truth without the candy coating. In fact, she says her website is “a bullshit-free zone”.
I liked what she was saying, and so I began to stalk her. No seriously – I began to stalk her. I read all her blog posts, watched her YouTube videos, took her FREE courses, and joined her Facebook group, Writing Revolters. I even made some pretty neat friends along the way – those who were either starting out just like me or well settled in their Freelance Businesses.
In addition to this, I researched all the different types of freelance writing and writing genres, to see which one I fit comfortably in – Blogging and Business Writing – and then focused on developing those.
SO – you’re asking: how did I do it?
BONUS: Get the free Find Your Passion 2019 Workbook here.
5 Steps to Freelance Writing for Beginners
Here’s how I did it, and you can too!
1. CREATE A BUSINESS PLAN
Now, I’m not talking about a super legit business plan that you submit to the bank to get a loan or something – I mean, you can go ahead and do that if it helps you. But I’m just talking about grabbing a pen and a notebook and REALLY thinking about the following:
- RESEARCH – Jumping ship and going into freelancing is not an easy gig. There – I said it. It takes a lot of hard work, utmost discipline, and perseverance. You need to really look into all aspects of what you want to achieve.
- DECIDE ON YOUR NICHE – I’ll talk about this in the next step. It needs its own bullet point because it is really important!
- THINK ABOUT YOUR NUMBERS – If you’re going to resign from your job, you need to sit down and work on the numbers. Think about how much money you need to have to be able to live comfortably – or at least to make sure you can pay for your regular home costs. I’m talking about creating a long-term budget so that you can be confident in your decision.
2. DECIDE ON YOUR NICHE
Having a niche is especially important when you are offering a freelance writing service. For me, because I was a Recruitment Consultant for many years, it seemed only right that I would specialize in CV and Resume Writing and Cover Letter Writing.
Your clients need to know what your area of specialization is.
Imagine you’re a writer who has no specific niche… You meet a client – a small dental practice – and you say, “All my writing is well researched, and I can write about anything you want me to write about.”
Now, imagine that same client – that imaginary small dental practice – meets with another writer, who says, “I’m a medical writer with a specific focus on dentistry; and I help small dental practices increase their clientele through well researched and engaging content.”
Which writer do YOU think that small dental practice is going to go with?
So, DO NOT skip this part, and really start thinking about your niche.
3. CREATE A WEBSITE
Seriously! You might think – I’m just starting off, I don’t have any clients, etc. etc. etc. But see – having a website is really important. Your clients need to have a place to go where they can learn about you, what you do, and what you offer.
Setting up a website is really easy. When I first started, I used free WordPress. I really like WordPress because it’s SO easy to use. Even if you’re not a techie kind of person, it will definitely look like you’re a pro!
You’ll see however that I didn’t stay on free WordPress for too long – the reason for this is because I realized that I need proper hosting to optimize my website. So after shopping around and working with different customer service agents of different web hosting providers, I decided on HostPapa. I really love them! They’re super friendly – available 24/7 (no matter where in the world you are), and they helped me EVERY STEP OF THE WAY without making me feel like a numpty! I also use WPForms for my contact page. It’s so easy to use even when you’re a beginner. You literally drag and drop the functions you need. Easy!
4. GET SOCIAL
Okay, so I don’t mean going out and about; getting your social on – that’s not me at all – but hey! If the shoe fits…. go ahead and wear them.
What I mean is to get on different Facebook groups. These groups are vital and really help in so many areas – from getting support (how to, what now, or I need a virtual hug kind of support), learning new things, keeping up with trends, and even getting jobs – which is what we all want right?
Here are the best Facebook Groups I’ve personally found to be amazing:
- Writing Revolters – This is where it all started for me. This group is managed by Jorden Roper of Writing Revolt. It is generally targeted at beginners, but you get a whole range of both beginner and super experienced writers. The best thing about it is that everyone is so nice and helpful!
- Remote Like Me – Managed by Taylor Lane of Remote Like Me, this group focuses on the remote lifestyle (rather than writing specifically). Taylor is really good in keeping engaged with the group and talks about so many different aspects of working remotely, including finding those hidden job opportunities.
- Mom to Mompreneur – I’ve recently come across Elna Cain, who is the brains and the super mom behind Mom to Mompreneur. She is super amazing – highly engaged with her readers and generous with her tips. I can’t wait to get to know her more.
You also want to make sure that you’ve got a good LinkedIn Profile. Here’s mine. Let me know if you’d like a tutorial on how to make a good LinkedIn Profile… leave me a comment so that I know what you need 🙂
5. LOOK FOR JOBS AND PITCH
I’m sure you know that doing steps 1-4 won’t suddenly make jobs appear on your lap. As I said, freelancing takes a lot of hard work and perseverance. You can apply for so many jobs and not get a single bite. If you want to work for yourself, you need to have the discipline to make it happen. Looking for jobs and projects to work on – should be your full-time job!
ASK YOUR NETWORKS
Now, depending on your background, you may or may not have people in your networks that you can approach for some work. I’m a great believer that telling people what you need – in fact, telling the WHOLE universe what you need – is a really strong action. Are you familiar with the Law of Attraction? That’s a story for another day – but you might want to Google it.
PITCH TO JOB BOARDS
So, as I was saying – if you have people in your networks that you can approach… DO IT. If not, then the best place to start would be Job Boards. Personally, I’m not a fan of Job Boards. But you gotta do what you gotta do when you are first starting off. Here are some that you might want to give a try:
WRITING GUEST POSTS
You might be wondering how you get to write for others, right? Here’s a little trick:
1. Go on to Google
2. On the search bar, type: “Write for us” AND “YourNiche”
3. Hit Enter!
Here’s an example. Remember I talked about finding your niche? So think about being a medical writer:
1. Go on to Google
2. On the search bar, type: “Write for us” AND “Medical”. (Make sure that the word AND is in capital letters. This is Boolean Operator, and it is needed for the Boolean Search – I’ll talk about that another time.)
3. Hit enter and see the results
There it is, folks – all in 5 easy steps for you.
Time to get cracking and start your freelancing career.
If you need any other kind of tutorial – leave me a comment or contact me so that I know what you need and I’ll make a point of covering it. In the meantime, feel free to have a browse through our recommendations.