So, you’ve stormed out of your job for the last time and vow never to make that hour long commute for work you don’t love again. Now what? This is what a lot of people don’t consider when they begin a freelance writing career. However, a plan of action needs to be chosen and written up as soon as possible if you want to start writing and finding clients. Here are some tips for the journey!
Create A Schedule That Works For You
Before I decided to take the plunge and pursue a part time freelance career, I made sure to talk to my supervisors of my on- campus jobs and plan out my schedule accordingly so that I would have the time to connect with clients and create content. Also, I withdrew my internship applications and completely freed two days of the week where I could get the bulk of my writing done. I realize that I am an RA and a college student, so I have the privilege of not worrying about money as much as someone who has kids and just quit their job. That’s why it’s important to create realistic writing goals for your schedule! I would suggest that you create a list of your daily and weekly commitments and plan out your new freelancing life.
Have Lunch with a Freelance Friend
I love my freelance writing friends! Not only do they give me awesome advice, we can bounce around ideas, refer each other to positions and encourage greatness in each others writing. I don’t know where I would be without my more experienced freelancing friends who, for example, gave me great advice on working from home and setting a reasonable pay rate. If you don’t have any friends who are freelance writers, look into your network and get introduced to some!
Create a Website
In the freelance writing world, the possibilities are endless and that means you could be writing for a publication in another country. For this reason, interviews aren’t always the most reasonable way for bosses to learn more about you and your writing. Give organizations a place to learn more about you by creating a website or asking to have an about me page on your company’s website! To create a page, I suggest WordPress or Squarespace, though a simple Google search can show many different options.
Decide on Your Niche
What type of writing are you passionate about? Have you harbored a love for automobiles since you were a kid or are you extremely knowledgeable about knitting? Write down your passions, talents and interests and decide what type of freelance writing you want to do. Though it’s okay to market yourself as “a freelance writer”, often organizations are more likely to hire you if they see you have extensive education or passion in a certain field. Don’t want to limit yourself? That’s okay! You can have a main niche and then have individual projects. For instance, I love writing mostly about women (the things that we love and the experiences that we want to have professionally and personally). However, I have also written a piece about transvisibility day and social justice. You can stay focused, while still writing about other subjects.
Let Your Network Know
This is necessary because your friends and connections can be a great support system. Chances are that many of your connections have taken a big chance before and will wish you good luck and advice. The other reason is because your network is a great resource for future opportunities! Very often, there is someone who needs a writer or someone you know who knows someone who needs a writer. P.S. Don’t just announce the big news and disappear- start brainstorming ways to serve your connections with your writing. It’s good practice and it could lead to a job.
Set Some Goals
In order to get great clients, write amazingly and ultimately be successful, it is important to come up with goals that can push you throughout your career. How many clients do you want? How much money do you want to be making by the end of the year? How many pitches do you want to write a day? Think about these questions and more, and expect a second post about setting freelance writing goals soon!
As we learned here, a lot of these tips have to do with learning how to market yourself. Let people know that you are becoming a freelance writer and come up with the types of plans that work for you and your process, and then all that’s left is to continue writing….and expect success!