What Does It Take To Become a Freelance Writer?
The life of a freelance writer can be a difficult one. There are countless opportunities for you to make a living writing, but it’s essential that you find yourself a niche and try to stick with it as best as you can. This will help you develop an audience and you’ll find your skills improving as you perfect your writing ability.
But what does it really take to become a freelance writer? In this post, we’ll be covering some of the biggest concerns that freelance writers face so that you can prepare yourself for the challenges ahead.
You need to pick a subject and specialize in it
Writing about lots of different subjects can be daunting and it’ll take up a serious amount of your time. For example, if you want to write about sports, you’ll have to learn about the sport, the players and the industry itself if you want to write compelling content. Similarly, if you want to specialize in technology then you need to surround yourself with tech blogs, news sites and videos to get all of the latest information.
It’s best to pick something that you’re passionate about if you want to make it as a freelance writer. If it’s something you can talk about for a long time you’ll find yourself enjoying it a lot more. However, an argument could be made for specializing in something that you’re unfamiliar with. Learning about something new can be a lot of fun and it’s motivating to continuously grow your knowledge about it.
You need to know your sources
To be a legitimate writer you need to always show your sources. If you don’t have sources to link then it’ll seem like you’re just making things up. Depending on the type of content you write, you might actually have a very easy time finding information to base your articles and blog posts on. For example, sports websites often show power rankings for sports like the NBA and NHL.
This can give you a great idea of the strongest teams right now and it’ll help form the foundation for your articles. You can then use this information to write about sports playoffs, leagues and championships. Similarly, having contacts in various companies through networking at events means you’ll have access to insider information that can help you create compelling articles.
Finding clients is hard
Trying to find clients can be difficult. You generally want to be on the offensive when finding people to work with. This means pitching ideas to various news websites, suggesting ideas for content and searching job boards for more opportunities. If you want to impress clients, you’ll have to show them a portfolio of your work. This is a quick and easy way to show them what you’re capable of.
When you do find clients, you should always focus on building good relationships with them. This will help you find repeat jobs, it’ll expand your network of clients and you’ll find yourself swimming in client requests sooner or later. This is a great way to ensure you have stable income which is one of the hardest things to achieve as a freelancer.
Getting comfortable with your device of choice
One of the most important tools for a freelance writer is their laptop or tablet. Freelance writers tend to keep up with the latest news and information on a big device such as a laptop or tablet, and a full-sized keyboard helps them type up their content with ease. It’s a good idea to try and find a device that is comfortable for you and suits your needs. For instance, it should have a keyboard that feels good to type on for long periods of time, and the device should be light if you plan to travel with it. It needs to have good battery life or else you’ll be stuck next to a wall socket, and it should fit within your budget.
You can often feel like you need an expensive device since many journalists walk around with MacBooks, but the reality is that you’re only typing up documents. You don’t need as much processing power as say, a 3D artist or a music producer, so don’t feel bad about not having the latest device.
Don’t quit your job just yet
One of the biggest mistakes that all freelance writers make is quitting their job early. Just because you’ve made a bit of money it doesn’t mean that you can just quit your day job and embrace a life of freelancing. You need to establish lots of contacts and regular clients before you can call it consistent income. You’re going to go through high and low volumes of work which ultimately results in unstable income. However, if you have a pool of savings to work with, then you’ll be less affected by this. That’s why it’s important to have a stable income in the beginning with a regular day job to help supplement your freelance venture.
If you’re convinced that freelance writing is the career choice for you then it’s perfectly fine to leave your job for it. However, if you’re able to, we highly suggest that you stick to your day job and consider freelancing as a side job. Once you’ve built up a larger base of clients and can get regular jobs, then you can consider leaving your day job.
Are you suited for freelance writing?
Freelance writing requires you to be disciplined and self-motivated, two qualities that are difficult to develop if you’ve worked for an employer for most of your life. However, if a career change is what you need, then diving into the world of freelancing can be a great way to inspire that change in your life. It can be daunting to start writing as a freelancer, but it’s also liberating to take your success into your own hands. While it’s difficult to get started, you’ll find it much easier to manage once you get the ball rolling.