A New Freelance Writer Shares Tips for Starting Your Freelance Career

In Tips & Tricks by Bonnie McConaughy | | Leave a Comment

A New Freelance Writer Shares Tips for Starting Your Freelance Career

Before I began my freelance writing career, I was intrigued by the idea and wanted to pursue this career for quite a few reasons.

However, I had absolutely no clue how to do it!

One night, I happened to stumble upon Elna Cain’s blog post 20 Ways to Find Freelance Writing Jobs (As a Beginner), and discovered at least a few of the ways she suggested looking for freelance writing positions were things I was completely comfortable doing. It was so exciting to know how to go about becoming a freelance writer!

A couple days later I was knee deep in creating a simple writing website for myself and posting on a job board looking for writing gigs. Within about six days of posting to the job board, during the winter holidays, I had gotten two inquiries for my services and one turned into my first ever client!

I have been a freelance writer for about six weeks now, and I have been hired by three clients with at least three more promising potential clients I am corresponding with. While this isn’t a huge amount of success, things have progressed a lot faster than I ever imagined they could have. It has taken a lot of hard work and some frustration, but most of it has been a fun learning experience. Not to mention I am now making money doing something I absolutely love!

What do you need to know about breaking out as a freelance writer? Here are a few of the key points you need to consider as you start your new career:

1. Find a way to make it work for you.

I have learned during my journey as a blogger as well as in my weight loss journey, that in order to be successful long-term, I need to do things in a way that works for me. I have to be willing to do what needs to be done, and I also need to do it in a way that fits my needs and personality.

Of the twenty ways Elna Cain’s blog listed for finding freelance writing jobs, posting to a writing gigs job board was a great way for me to put myself out there in a way I was comfortable with. I decided to go with Craigslist because I was already familiar with it. Still, it was scary to write up an ad putting myself and my writing in the limelight, but it was a means to an end and I was also very excited!

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2. Research before and during!

You can’t possibly learn everything there is to know before you start work as a freelance writer, and there will inevitably be something someone will ask that you will need to research in order to give them an answer. I read a lot of pieces about freelance writing and other freelance writers’ experiences, but I still received inquiries that required me to research before responding.  For example, I wasn’t sure what to charge for a particular service or how to go about doing it. Some requests I had to say no to, but some were within my realm of abilities, so it was profitable for me to research them!

3. Constantly scout and apply for positions.

Whether you use a freelancing website such as Upwork or a classifieds website such as Craigslist, you should consistently look for and apply to writing jobs. For me personally, I check Craigslist nightly and sometimes more often, which is a lot of work but provides me with a lot of opportunities as well. The more job posts you answer, the more opportunities you will have. Over half of my work has come from my emailing people on Craigslist. If you go that route, watch out for the too good to be true listings, and be careful in general.

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4. Highlight why you are best for whatever gig you are applying for.

Chances are you’ve heard the saying, “put your best foot forward.” Well in this case, you need to put your best assets forward when applying for writing gigs. Highlight why you in particular are best suited for what your potential client is looking for in a writer. Are you an expert on the topic? Do you have applicable life experience? Is their topic particularly interesting to you? Mention those things because those are the things that could get you hired over someone else!

5. Use guest posts on other blogs as writing samples, experience, and exposure!

Guest posting for free on other blogs can be a wonderful way for you to get experience and exposure. Not to mention if you don’t have any professional writing experience, they can be used as writing samples to send to potential clients or as a portfolio of your work to show them. My suggestion is to check the person’s blog for engagement and views first, and make sure the time required will be worth it to you.

6. Exceed your clients’ expectations and make sure you check back in with them.

As you get hired for jobs, make sure you exceed your clients’ expectations. Send your work in earlier or faster than expected, be considerate and professional, and proofread and edit your writing thoroughly before sending it in. Continue to check in with your clients even after your work is done and you’ve been paid. Send them an email to ask how they’re doing and if they would like you to do any more work for them. Let them know you’re available to help with their next project. This will go a long way in proving to them that you are worth the time and money!

These lessons have gotten me so far already in such a short period of time and I firmly believe they will be able to help you too!


About the Author

Bonnie McConaughy

Bonnie McConaughy is the owner and founder of InspireTheBestYou.com, where she writes about weight loss, healthy living, self-love, and personal growth. If you are interested in those topics, stop by and read her blog! She is also a freelance and ghostwriter, and can be found at BMcconaughy.weebly.com.

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