What You Need to Know Before You Start Freelance Writing as a Career
Are you getting tired of waking up every morning and heading off to a job you hate? You are, unfortunately, not alone.
Recent studies have shown that about 70% of Millenials aren’t as engaged at work as they should be. Many of them struggle to muster up the strength and energy that it takes to get excited about a job they’re not passionate about.
If you’re having a hard time with this right now, you might want to consider trying to start freelance writing. There is a huge market for great freelance writers at the moment with lots of companies bringing writers on board to provide them with content.
But you shouldn’t start freelance writing on a whim. Instead, you should find out what it’s going to take to work as a writer for a living so that you know whether or not you’re cut out for the freelancer life.
Here is how to start a freelance writing career that will be infinitely more rewarding than the career you have now.
Begin by Making Sure You Love Writing as Much as You Think You Do
According to one surprising study, more than 80% of Americans believe that they could sit down and write a book if they wanted to. But something tells us that if all of those people actually tried to do it, very few would come anywhere close to finishing.
Reason being, writing isn’t anywhere near as easy as it might look to some people. You have to really love writing and work hard at it to be even a decent writer, much less an accomplished one.
If you want to start freelance writing, start a blog and commit to writing one post each day to see how it goes.
If you find yourself dreading sitting down at the computer to write every day, freelance writing probably isn’t for you. But if you can’t keep yourself away from your computer in your free time and find yourself writing more than one blog post on many days, it’ll show you that you have what it takes to be a freelance writer.
Whatever you do, don’t quit your day job until you’re 100% committed to freelance writing. The last thing you want to do is start writing for a living only to discover you’re not passionate enough about it to do it all the time.
Figure Out What Kind of Writing You Want to Take On
When you launch a career as a freelance writer, you’ll have the opportunity to take on any number of different types of writing jobs. It’s important for you to figure out which kind of writing you enjoy doing the most.
Do you want to:
- Write feature articles that appear in magazines and newspapers?
- Create SEO-friendly content for small business websites?
- Cover breaking news stories for news-related sites?
- Put together press releases and other promotional materials for marketing agencies?
- Assemble the next Great American Novel?
You’re more than welcome to do more than one of these things if your heart desires. But at first, it’s best to narrow down the different types of writing and focus on just one or two of them at a time.
Find Companies Looking for Freelance Writers
Once you’ve figured out what type of writing you would prefer to do as a freelance writer, you’ll want to start putting some feelers out there and try to find companies that are looking for freelance writers. You can do this in many ways.
If, for example, your goal is to start writing feature stories for magazines, you can make a list of the magazines that you would like to write for. You can then track down editors at those magazines and send them a quick email introducing yourself and presenting pitches for stories to them.
If, on the other hand, your goal is to start writing SEO-friendly content for small business websites, there are companies that specialize in doing this that are always keeping an eye out for new talent. You can learn the names of some of these companies and visit their websites to see if they’re hiring.
You can also check out one of the many websites devoted to listing freelance writing opportunities for those who write for a living. These sites will be a great resource for you as you move forward.
Develop the Necessary Skills to Work as a Freelance Writer
Many people are under the impression that being a good writer is the only skill you need to have to work as a freelance writer. But this couldn’t be further from the truth!
There are so many other skills that you’ll have to develop to transform yourself into an excellent freelance writer. You’ll need to be able to:
- Edit your own work to make sure your copy is always as clean as possible
- Practice good time management and know how to adhere to strict deadlines
- Work well on your own without much supervision
- Accept criticism and use it to become an even better writer than you already are
- Multitask with the best of them while keeping your various freelance writing tasks organized
You don’t need to have every one of these skills mastered right from the beginning. But if you’re going to enjoy longevity in the world of freelance writing, you’ll need to be prepared to hone them over time.
Learn How to Keep Track of Your Income and Expenses for Tax Purposes
Freelance writers are often considered independent contractors by those who hire them to perform writing tasks. Therefore, it’s going to be up to you to pay your taxes on any money that you earn as a freelance writer at the end of every year.
The second you start accepting freelance writing assignments, you should begin to write down how much money you’re making as a writer as well as how much money you’re spending to do your job. You should also begin to set aside money every time you get paid so that you’re prepared to pay your taxes each April.
Continue to Connect With New Clients to Diversify Your Workload
You might find one really amazing freelance writing job that you love more than all the rest. And you might be tempted to put all your eggs into one basket by working exclusively with the client providing that job to you.
It’s okay to spend the majority of your time working with that client if you want. But you should also get into the habit of trying to find new clients all the time so that you can diversify the work you’re doing.
There will be times when a freelance writing job goes away suddenly for any number of reasons. You’ll want to have other work to fall back on to keep your freelance writing career going strong.
Are You Ready to Start Freelance Writing?
If you’re unhappy with your current work situation and want to try something new, figuring out how to start freelance writing might be the answer to your prayers.
As a freelance writer, you’ll enjoy a lot more freedom than you have now when it comes to working. You might also be able to bring in more money than you are now by landing the right freelance gigs. It could be just the change you’re looking for in your life.
We’re always looking for new freelance writers. We’re also the go-to company for those businesses that want to order content for their websites.
Contact us today to find out how we can help provide you with the content that your company needs to succeed.