A freelance writing career can be very rewarding. You can create your own schedule, reach your financial goals, and work out of the comfort of your home. What more could you want?
But unless you’re coming out of a professional job as a journalist, it might be a little scary to make the jump from 9-to-5 to freelancer. After all, you’ve got bills to pay, maybe a family to care for and other responsibilities. You can’t just up and quit!
Fortunately, getting started as a freelance writer is easier than you think. You don’t even need experience in writing to be able to do it.
Do you want the freedom and flexibility of a freelance writing career? Don’t worry about having the right experience or background. The experience will come in time. Start with the steps below:
1. Assemble An Online Portfolio
The first thing you need to do if you want to be a freelance writer is to create an online portfolio. You can do this using one of many portfolio website platforms. To find one, type into Google “writer portfolio website” and you will see a few come up. Or, use a more customizable solution like WordPress.
In your portfolio, include your bio, details about your education and expertise, and samples of your work. If you don’t have samples, don’t fret. Just create some! Write a few sample articles, or start a blog that shows off your skills. You simply want a way for potential clients to evaluate your skills.
2. Get On LinkedIn – And Get Active
LinkedIn is one of the most important sites for freelance writers, and prospective clients can find you easily when you are on this platform. Create a free account and optimize your profile by changing your headline to something like “Freelance writer for hire” or “Freelance business writer”. Think in terms of what potential clients would search for. Also be sure to make your profile as detailed as possible. Add samples, fill out your background, and ask for recommendations from past employers and colleagues.
3. Get Your Feet Wet
If you don’t have much experience, dip your toes in first. Consider joining a content mill or signing up for a bidding site to snag your first few jobs. These may not pay the big bucks, but they’ll give you good samples to show off to potential clients, and they’ll help you get a feel for the new industry you’re working in.
Getting started as a freelance writer is not difficult, but it can be frustrating if you are trying to compete with seasoned writers who have much more experience than you. If you want a fail-proof formula for not only getting started as a freelance writer among the competition, but also experiencing quick results, check out Maggie Linders and the Freelance Profit Academy.