Thinking of Becoming a Freelance Writer? Here Are 9 Tips to Help You

Truth be told, writing is hard. It is tedious and on bad days, can be difficult. If anyone had told me a couple of years ago that I would end up writing, I would have side-eyed them and asked, do you mean me well?

I’ve been getting some requests on freelance writing and it’s only right that I share my knowledge and experience with others. After all, our gifts should be a blessing to others.

Let’s get right into it!

Thinking of Becoming a Freelance Writer? Here Are 9 Tips to Help You

Make a decision
Before you become a freelance writer, you need to make up your mind. Have those difficult and uncomfortable conversations with yourself and decide what you want. If you have been writing fiction or short stories all your life, you need to decide if you’re ready to make that transition –  because you might not have time to write as much fiction anymore.

Choose a niche
When you’re fully convinced of your decision, it’s time to choose a niche. Yes, I get that writers should be flexible and knowledgeable enough to write on any subject. That has never worked for me and I do not know anyone that does that. In these times, your best bet is your niche.

It can be something you’re skilled at, trained at, passionate about or simply knowledgeable about. I believe the best work comes from a place of knowledge and passion. So, make a list according to these factors and pick one or a few related ones.

Build your portfolio
Now that you know what you stand for, it’s time for you to build your portfolio and let people notice you –  because trust me, the jobs will not look for you. The fastest and easiest way to go about this is guest posting. Here, you are going to need to research a list of authority sites in your niche. When you’re done with that, send articles to them. It is not the time to think about money. This should not be a problem especially if you have a good knowledge of your niche. This is also the time to create a blog. Writer or not, everyone should have a blog. Your blog would serve as a portfolio for all your guest posts which should be as frequent as possible.

At this point you have established yourself as a freelance writer, now it’s time to put yourself out there.

Rebrand your social media accounts
No matter what anyone has told you, social media is key. This is why your accounts should be consistent. Let it reflect what you do and the services you offer.

Follow the relevant brands and influencers in your niche. 
Here, you are going to need social media to work for you.

You might be followed back and you might not. That is the least of your problems. What’s important is, these accounts are on your timeline which means your chances of getting a job from these accounts has increased because you will see those unexpected vacancies that pop up randomly. If you’re so bothered about your following/follower ratio, make a Twitter list.

At this point, if you play your cards right, you should be getting a few offers. If you haven’t, don’t lose hope.

Make a list of potential clients
Everyone has dream jobs. Companies that we’ve spent our entire lives desiring even when we were not qualified. This is the time to be proactive.

Of course, I do not need to tell you that your research skills come to play here.

Perfect your cold pitch and go for it
Remember when I said that the jobs won’t look for you? Well, except you have somehow risen to the ranks of a digital influencer, you will have to pitch yourself. That list of potential clients comes in handy now. It is time to contact them and pitch yourself. Sell yourself and your expertise – which is backed up by your portfolio (remember your guest posts and blog?) and experiences. Most of them have websites. Look for their contact details and offer your services. Trust me; you might never know where you get lucky. Sometimes, some clients might not realize that your services are needed until you reach out to them and if you are rejected, do not be discouraged.

Keep at it and be consistent
If you’re diligent in your business, you will eventually succeed. Don’t forget to start small and grow from there. If there are additional skills you need to learn to attract more income, do not think twice. Clients usually appreciate freelancers that bring extra to the table. Also, do not chase clients away by overcharging because you’re broke, you will only play yourself.

Register a business name and make it official
Don’t be like me. Don’t wait until you have hammered before making it official.

 

I think this guide also applies to other skills and not just writing. Whatever your hands find to do, with consistency and dedication, you will definitely reach your goals.

 

Originally published on Bellanaija

 

What I’ve Been Up To!

Hi guys! Been a minute.

I promise I’m not ignoring y’all. It’s the beginning of the year and I’m trying to put things in shape. It’s January. The time to make certain decisions that would determine the rest of the year.

In my last post, I said something about taking a shot at freelance writing. Yup! So I’ve been researching and reading and I’ve seen a lot. Trust me when I say it isn’t an easy feat. I think I know the basics although it’s a bit overwhelming. It hasn’t really sunk in yet. But as a result of this, I have to put myself/ my work out there i.e. beyond the walls of this blog and by this I need to do a lot of guest posting on bigger, mainstream blogs that accept them obviously, to build my portfolio. Okay as much as I love to write and post stuff on here, I’m not YET comfortable posting stuff out. But I’m gonna have to shake it off sonner or later that’s why I took part in YNaija’s 30days,30voices plan. Yep! I sent in one of my recent posts and it was published. Next up is BellaNaija. Still thinking of what to write. Problem is I don’t particularly have a niche yet so I’m gonna have to keep thinking until I come up with one. Other than that, I’ve resolved to send in at least one post every month for the rest of the year. Wish me luck!

Aside that, I got a side job that won’t even take up to 5hours of my time weekly and you know what’s peculiar about this? Last year, I told God I didn’t want a 9-5 because it won’t allow me do other things I had planned especially since I still have school. So I told Him what I wanted and went ahead to approach a couple of people and left the rest to Him. I didn’t get feedback so I kinda swept it under the carpet. Two days ago, it sprang up out of nowhere and I realised I didn’t say thank you. It’s was totally unexpected but I’m thankful.

What have you guys been up to?

Toodles
EB.

Life Lately!

Hey guys!

So I’ve decided to take a shot at freelance writing. Yeah it feels so abrupt but I knew someday, one way or the other, I was gonna finally go for it. The opportunity has sort of presented itself. I have no idea why I’m still holding back. My biggest fear is that I might not be able to deliver especially since I don’t do a lot of social commentary. I have a very vague idea of pop culture or religion. I love reading but I don’t read that much. I don’t get myself involved in anything, issues, topics that would twist my mindset of things. I’m not interested in how many albums Beyonce or Rihanna have neither am I bothered about how many charts they’ve topped. I really really don’t care about atheists or catholics. I couldn’t be bothered about how they choose to or not to serve God. Politics is a no go area. With these challenges, I’m not too sure I can succeed in it but what do I know?
Well, I’m gonna keep reading on it, you know. Haven’t really done any proper research and I’ll see what I can come up with. I’m also kind of wary about these sites that promise to ”help” in exchange for a certain amount of money. I’m not about to let myself fall a victim of internet scam. Eventually, I’m gonna need to do a lot of things by myself.

Side Note: Church was awesome today. I returned to my old church where I grew up in and it was fun. Service was different,I haven’t enjoyed it in a while. I danced till I had cramps. Saw some old faces. Everyone’s grown! I was careful enough to sit aside. I was about to bring any attention to myself. But it was all good. In the midst of all the greeting and hugging, it was good.

What have you guys been up to?

Toodles
EB.