Making the decision to become a freelance writer is one of the largest career decisions that you could make, but now that you have officially made that choice what do you do?
1. Google Yourself
If you are going to be trying to market yourself and your skills to perspective employers then there is a good chance that they will Google your name to try to find out your credentials.
What they see may determine whether or not you get the job. If they find links to articles showcasing your fantastic writing abilities, good for you. However, what if they find some not-so professional links to your recent online activity?
You actually have some control over this. Once you know what Google is sharing about you, you can take action. Delete that old dating profile from 4 years ago, when you weren’t worried about your professional appeal, that is now showing up in the top of the search results. Create a Google+ account in your own name and write some posts that showcase your smarts and skills.
2. Create an Amazing Bio
You will probably want to work in a word processor for this one. You need to write a bio which will wind up being the equivalent of a cover letter, or the summary of your skills, background, and interests. It is also a good idea to write 2-3 different versions to use across different platforms.
You bio will tell potential clients who you are, how you’re qualified, and why you are the best person for the job.
3. Create an Online Portfolio
While you may not have much to showcase yet, this is one of the biggest keys in convincing perspective clients to purchase custom work from you.
There are many websites which allow you to create various types of online portfolios. You could even create a WordPress portfolio, however, my personal preference is for Clippings.me because of their simple, user-friendly design.
Make your portfolio a reflection of yourself, both personality-wise and professionally. Then just add new works as you go. Updating your portfolio needs to be one of your main priorities, maybe not every day, but at least once a month. Which brings me to the next step…
4. Get Organized
Working from home is probably one of the hardest possible jobs there is. Why? Because being successful at it requires the self-discipline and motivation of a saint.
So, create a workspace were you will be able to stay focused and organized. Even if you are using your laptop at the kitchen table to start off, have a space that is free of clutter, free of distractions, and organized storage for your important information.
5. Set Your Goals
When you first decide to become a freelance writer, your goal may simply be to generate enough income by working from home to pay the bills. You may also have aspirations of becoming a well-known author. No matter what your motivations are, you need to have clear, measurable, and defined goals.
A good example would be, “I want to make $100 in the first month of my freelance writing career.” This goal is clear and measurable. At the end of the first month you will immediately be able to tell if you have met this goal.
6. Determine Your Strategy
Is there a certain category or niche you want to specialize in? Are you going to be trying to market your expertise in a particular subject? Do you think you can be a jack of all trades and just try to get as much experience as possible?
How are you going to find perspective clients? LinkedIn, oDesk, Web Searches? There are many ways you may be able to find clients who are looking for your specific set of skills, but if you have no strategy and no idea where to start – you will probably be running in a lot of circles.
These are just a few of the main, and most basic, tips to help you get started. Tune in regularly to continually learn more.
Have these tips been helpful? Is there something you would like to know? Leave a comment below.