One of the hardest parts about becoming a Freelance Writer is gaining the experience needed to earn the “plummer” assignments. First and foremost, to be a Freelance Writer, you have to know how to write and write well! That doesn’t mean that jobs will just fall into your lap or that you’ll come by opportunities easily. It takes hard work. While some writers have a gift for writing, others may have to work a lot harder to produce a piece that someone will pay money for. It’s important, as a writer of any kind, that you continually advance your skills. Take writing classes, attend writing conferences, write every day, even if it’s short – in essence, daily immerse yourself in writing and you will only get better. If you don’t? You may need to talk to another writer, ask for advice and critiques…if that doesn’t work…you might need to consider another career.
For those of you who DO feel writing is the right path for you, here is some tips on how to get started in freelance writing and actually get paid for it!
- Gather your writing experience (volunteer, college paper, memos at work, poetry, short stories, and more) into one big list.
- If the list doesn’t have at least 3-4 solid examples of your writing ability, seek out volunteer opportunities, or give in to the lure of content mills to build up your list (not fun, but sometimes a necessary evil).
- Turn your list into your writing resume.
- Start applying for freelance writing jobs. En masse. Every day. You may not get the high-paying jobs at first, but, like any career, this should be the start of your upward arc, with each job and each piece bolstering your talent and resume.
As you gain much needed experience and build your portfolio, you will eventually find yourself reaping the rewards of higher paying writing projects. It truly is a field where pay is commensurate with experience. Here is an excellent article by Deborah Ng about 30 different types of freelance writing gigs. She offers valuable information on the different types, what kind of experience and education is needed, and more. Perfect for someone starting out in freelance writing who isn’t sure where to head with it.
When I originally delved into freelance writing, I was all over the place. I applied myself to every category imaginable, trying to get my feet wet. While I don’t recommend this method at all, it did allow me to figure out what I’m particularly talented at writing. I’m still fairly new to the paid arena, but I have a better focus of where to apply myself when bidding on projects.
Best of luck to you on the freelance writing road!