The freelance market is booming the world over with nearly 53 million people working as freelancers in the US alone and contributing an astonishing $715 billion to national earnings. One of the easiest ways to earn a handsome living is by producing original content for corporations from the convenience of your own home.
The freelance writing industry has been on a rise for many years now and it is expected to increase further, owing to a growing digital marketplace where every business must have a strong online presence in order to survive.
This growing demand for freelance writers, along with the time flexibility associated with the profession lures millions of people each year to try and earn a living as writers. However, while the industry is extremely promising, practically all aspiring writers feel intimidated as they think about entering the unknown realm of writing, which is already swarming with competent and established writers.
The odds may not be in your favor, but there are plenty of tried and tested tactics that can help you land your initial writing gigs. Here is a list of everything you can do to find freelance jobs as a beginner:
- Cold pitch to clients:
Cold pitching entails directly contacting entrepreneurs, bloggers, and companies and letting them know how your content can help them grow. This may seem difficult, but is a rather simple process. First, browse the internet and your social media network to compile a list of companies and blogs that may require your services. While identifying companies, look for ones that are actively trying to expand their online presence or don’t possess blogs at the moment. Then you should draft and share an eloquent cold pitch that includes:
- Brief account about how you found the company
- Your introduction
- The value you can add to their business
When cold pitching to blogs, send out customized query letters, specifically for each prospective blog. Read about the blog to learn about their vision and target audience. Then, think of an idea for a blog post that fits their niche. Next, jot down a brief description of the idea in the form of an email and share it with the blog editor or owner.
You can also pitch to websites that offer paid guest posts, however, competition for such slots is extremely high. As a beginner, rely more on free guest posts or blogs. It is important to note here that all cold pitches and query letters may not result in writing jobs, but this is all part and parcel of being a freelancer. You can, however, improve your chances by gaining in-depth understanding about the blog to draft something truly relevant and valuable.
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- Respond to job ads:
One of the most effective ways of landing your first writing job is by raiding job boards that display vacancies on a regular basis. These boards take precedence over freelance market places like Freelancer and Odesk as they do not involve bidding. Post a tailored application and samples to the needs of the company you are applying for. Job ads receive tons of generic applications and therefore you can stand differentiated by submitting one that is specific to their industry and highlights the skills that they are looking for.
In addition to job portals you can also make use of social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to tap and respond to vacancies. This is relatively more exclusive than job portals and provides you an informal platform to showcase your talents.
For instance, you can develop a pertinent social media profile that displays your writing abilities as well as your dependability as an individual. You can also identify potential clients and cold pitch to them to increase your likelihood of finding a job. Moreover, you can save valuable time by joining their pages, so as to get prompt notifications regarding open writing slots.
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- Ask for referrals:
While starting off, the best way to spread the word about your work is by announcing it in your social network. You can either directly ask your family and friends for referrals or post an ‘I’m up for hire’ status on your social media profiles in order to let people know.
Another way to quickly establish yourself as a professional writer is to print and disseminate business cards amongst your social circle. Moreover, once you land your first job you can always ask your employer to refer you to other writing platforms. This particular tactic is quite beneficial as your employer is likely to refer you to other legitimate and credible companies.
- Make a winning website:
The most promising way to attract high-paying clients is to develop a professional website/ blog, as they help establish credibility, while providing you with abundant room to showcase your abilities. You can develop your own website within a matter of minutes owing to online website builders that instantly generate professional looking, aesthetically pleasing, intelligent and multi-purpose websites.
- Submit free of cost guest posts:
In order to secure writing jobs, it is important to have a portfolio that you can present to clients. It helps if you have even one post that contains links to material that is already published online. This is where free guest posts save the day, as they allow you to begin and expand your online presence.
All you need to do is type ‘niche AND write for us’ on online search engines to locate websites and blogs that welcome submissions by guest writers and submit posts that strictly adhere to their writers’ guidelines.
- Build your network:
Social media platforms provide you with a great avenue to connect with other writers and utilize their advice as well as referrals in order to expand your business. Moreover, befriending writers on social media platforms can also help you figure out which route to take.
Successful bloggers and writers often share tips and tricks regarding what worked and what didn’t. All these things can help you make well-informed decisions.
It is recommended that you utilize as many of these approaches as you can as it will speed up your job search and provide you with a clearer understanding of the freelance writing industry.
Alma is a mother, wife and a professional blogger by choice. She has completed her masters in English literature from the University of Groningen. As a blogger she wrote quite a few posts on health, technology as well as management. She loves to discover new places and share experiences in words. Oh, Alma- is incomplete without cats. Find her on Twitter: @Almacausey