Hey, newbie freelance writers this post is for you!
There is a common misconception that the writing industry is easy to tap into if you are looking for a side hustle. But is it that simple if you have no background in the field at all? Doing research before stepping into any field is important. So if you are new to the writing industry, don’t just jump in. Educate yourself a bit about what it takes to be a writer.
Here are a few suggestions to help you get started!
Decide your niche. Start with just one. Make yourself proficient enough in it before you move onto some other. I started with product descriptions for an e-commerce store back in 2013. Then, moved on to entertainment news and business blogs. I decided to specialize in entertainment & lifestyle and later got the opportunity to dive into business writing. I enjoy writing on research-based blogs, listicles, trending news, opinion pieces preferably in this niche but don’t mind any topic that can be researched as well.
2. Learn SEO
Employers are not looking for someone who has a way with words, but someone who understands SEO as well. Learn. This is extremely important if you want to excel in this field. A well-written article backed by good SEO helps the piece rank higher in search engines like Google.
There are many resources online to help you get a basic idea.
Understand what is keyword research, usage, and density. Keyword research helps you better understand what people are searching for in a particular area on the web. This way you can curate your content around it and have better chances of being discovered and ranking well on search engines. They are numerous website offering keyword research tools that you can use. Many professionals opt for Ahrefs but if you are not looking for a paid one then Google Keyword Planner is a good option as well.
4. Helping hands
Want to have a best friend while writing?
Use editing tools like Grammarly and Hemmingway to improve the quality of your content. If you add their extension on Google Chrome mistakes in your content are automatically marked ranging from spelling errors to punctuations, and tone. Some advanced features are also offered in the premium versions which are paid of course.
5. Content Management Systems
Many publications require freelancers to directly upload their content on the website’s editor. Familiarizing yourself with content management systems like WordPress is a plus!
6. Portfolio building
Now that you have got down the basics the next thing is building a portfolio. Do not offer your services for free in order to build a portfolio. Only send in a contribution to a well-reputed website otherwise writing for random sites is a waste.
You must be wondering then how can one build a portfolio?
Well, the answer is very simple really! If you do not have published work, opt for a blogging platform, and write some. Medium, WordPress, and Blogspot are a few options.
Most importantly, learn the value that your words add to a business. (hint: refer to point 2). The most common mistake many freelancers make is to accept the rate they are being offered, which is usually extremely low. Once you have realized this you can charge appropriately for your services. Be realistic in the amount you charge and don’t be hasty in grabbing a project. Mostly employers charge per word, some also pay per article or per hour. Decide what suits you and the client better and share pricing accordingly.
Did I miss anything? Feel free to add in comments below.
Would you like me to write your content? Let’s chat at firstname.lastname@example.org.