Guest post from Dean Burgess from Excitepreneur
Freelance writing is an excellent way to supplement your income, and it can even blossom into a full-time career if you put in the necessary work. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, studying at university, or simply trying to figure out what to do with your career, writing could be an ideal job. And if you constantly seek to sharpen your research and writing skills, you can build a client base to be reckoned with. This quick guide will show you how to get started!
Learn About the Field
If you have never worked as a freelance writer before, you might benefit from researching the field. Look for other writers who have found success, check out their portfolios, read their blogs, and learn everything you can about the business.
Also, don’t hesitate to reach out to other writers to ask any questions you may have. Take time to diligently research how the industry works so that you can start getting your first jobs quickly.
Take a Self-Assessment
You don’t need a formal education to succeed as a writer (though it can help), but you need to possess a few specific skills and tools if you hope to start strong. For example, you must organize all of your tasks and projects while keeping track of client information, billing requirements, content schedules, prompts, and so forth.
You also need to know how to write an effective blog post. Perhaps the best thing you can do is spend time reading as many blog posts as possible to get a feel for the styles, formatting, and other components clients will expect.
If you are looking to write your own books or e-books, read as many books as possible with the intent of paying attention to syntax, story development, and any other prevalent elements of the prose. Of course, you don’t have to create your own content; you can make money by ghostwriting books, blog posts, landing page copy, and many other mediums.
If you are trying to get into digital marketing, you will need to learn about content marketing. Companies use content to promote their products and services. Sometimes, this can come in blog posts, landing pages, infographics, email newsletters, and many other formats.
Determine If You Need Extra Training
While you don’t need formal training or education to become a writer, it comes with benefits. By pursuing an English degree, you could learn many of the skills necessary to become a successful writer while improving your credentials. Majoring in communications, linguistics or journalism are other pathways worth considering.
You shouldn’t expect to make a full-time income immediately after deciding to become a writer. You will likely need to take on any project that comes your way—paid or unpaid. This allows you to practice your craft while helping you get your foot in the door of the writing industry. In other words, say yes to everything.
Speaking of practice, it is the best way to improve your writing. Studying can go a long way in teaching you how to put together an impactful blog post, book, or other written format, but only practice can allow you to find your rhythm and sharpen your skills with each piece.
Build a Portfolio
Finally, create an online portfolio for your writing. While you want your website to look as attractive as possible, don’t stress too much about its appearance. Focus on the content and add new writing samples and works to your portfolio as you complete them. Once you have a few assignments to showcase, you can start sprucing up your site a bit.
Whether you want to make a little extra money or forge a full-time career, the writing industry is brimming with opportunity. Keep the tips above in mind as you lay a firm foundation for your job and keep researching how you can position yourself to flourish in the months and years ahead. In no time, you could make a living out of your passion!
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