Find Freelance Writing Work
Today is step two in the series 3 Steps To Becoming A Freelance Writer; Find Freelance Writing Work.
When you are starting out as a freelance writer, the idea of putting yourself out there and pitching prospective clients can be pretty terrifying. I remember it well myself, I submitted pitches to some prospects and felt utterly absurd in doing so.
Overcoming that psychological hurdle is one of the biggest steps you can take towards freelance writing success. Once you have the confidence to consistently submit pitches to prospective clients you can focus on the nuts and bolts of getting more work and building your business.
Look For Jobs
Having said that, one issue among startup freelance writers is that they do not go looking for jobs. They somehow expect jobs to find them. Perhaps they submit a handful of pitches and give up when they do not get a response.
So let me make it clear, if you want to become a successful freelance writer, then you are going to have to hustle. To begin with, at least. You cannot expect people to come to you when you have no experience and no reputation. You are going to have to get out there and demonstrate to people why you are worth their time and money.
To give you a sense of scale when I talk about finding jobs, consider Ruth Zive’s “Ten Before Ten”
approach in which she made sure to contact ten prospects before 10 am. Ten prospects every working day soon adds up and makes success all but inevitable.
Fortunately, there are some ways in which you can find work in the freelancing world. Those first few jobs that get you on the ladder should not be too hard to come by if you’re going about the process in the correct manner. Start by reading these posts:
Once you’ve located a prospective client, your likelihood of landing the job comes down to just a couple of things, one of which is the quality of your pitch.
Your pitch plays a huge role in determining in whether you land a job. It is not always the best writer that gets the job; it can be the person who submits the best pitch. Clients are only looking for writing skills; they are looking for someone who demonstrates a desire for the job. They are looking for someone who makes a good impression, someone who sets themselves apart from the crowd. That is what a good pitch can do. This will help you find freelance writing work.
Get Some Great Samples
A lot of beginner freelance writers feel hamstrung by a lack of quality samples, and they are right. However, they do not appreciate that it is possible to get your hands on samples without getting paid work. The perceived catch-22 of getting quality samples when you cannot get work does not exist.
The first thing I would say about samples is that you shouldn’t attach them as files to pitches. When it comes to online writing, prospective clients want to see that you have been publishing. If you are sending them articles as Word documents, then they are going to wonder why no one has seen fit to publish you.
Regarding getting published, you have three potential solutions:
- Publish content on your blog.
- Guest post on other blogs.
- Land an unpaid ongoing blogging role.
The first is the least effective, but it was enough for me to land my first job. I recommend that you target all three if you are keen on succeeding.
Create A Writer’s Website
Even if you choose not to create your blog to help build your freelance writing business, I consider having a website to be mandatory. After all, you are presenting yourself as a freelance writer you need to demonstrate your technical ability.
Your writer’s website should be the hub to which all prospective clients are referred. It should be linked to from within your email signature so that they can visit it and see that you are not just a fly-by-night hack. The site should be cleanly designed. Refrain from the temptation to try anything fancy with the design unless you know what you are doing.
The site should be presented in a manner that will show any prospective client that you are a candidate worth of their consideration. This will help you find freelance writing work.
Aside from a short biography, contact information and example of work you’ve already had published, your website should feature some positive testimonials relating to your writing abilities and general professionalism. If you have not yet worked as a freelance writer, then you may feel that getting hold of testimonials is impossible, but that is not the case.
The easiest way to get hold of testimonials when starting out is to ask your friends and any colleagues. Their testimonials do not necessarily need to relate directly to your writing ability but can refer to your professionalism, organization skills, reliability, etc.
Another relatively easy way to get testimonials is from bloggers that you have guest posted for or are blogging for on an unpaid basis. Most will probably be happy to write something up for you, and these should relate directly to your writing ability.
Create a Blog
A blog can be a part of a writer’s website, or it can be a stand-alone site.
The topic(s) you choose to cover isn’t necessarily that important. For instance, the subject matter I cover here is rarely directly related to anything that I blog about for clients. But, it certainly will not do you any harm to blog within an area of interest that you would like to be paid to write about. The real benefit is in showcasing your writing ability and your ability to create a successful blog.
If you can show a client that you are good enough to build a community around your blog from the ground up, it serves as a strong mark in your favor as to your ability to help them. It will help you find freelance writing work.
Thank you for reading JonClaytonWrites. Writing For A Living, Working From Home, & Helping Others To Do The Same! Please feel free to express your thoughts and opinions by leaving a comment. Find Freelance Writing Work.