If you already have freelance experience, and are struggling with finding work, this article will show you how to succeed in the booming freelance market and win new freelance business.
If you can string a few sentences together, but don’t have writing experience, or the journalistic drive to get to the bottom of the things that matter, you need to gain some experience first. If you are just starting – write as much as you can, for free. Get a blog and start writing about something that you are passionate about, that drives you to want to delve in and give people the most beneficial information they can find on your site.
2. Sites for beginners
There are sites such as Suite 101 and Demand Studios that will sometimes allow you to post your ideas, essays and articles for free, and Demand Studios will give you some training and a little cash. Other places, such as Hub Pages help you get started earning a reputation for your quality work, and will help you get published, and eventually earn money. These are great sites to gain experience.
A really good place to get educated and learn about the ins and outs of freelance writing, is About Writing Squared. This site even has a conference call every month and a webinar that will answer your questions and offer suggestions.
3. Seasoned Freelancers – Be Choosy
There are literally thousands of freelance jobs out there offering very little money for a lot of work. Pass these by because they will burn you out and keep you from earning money that is out there to be earned. Set your standards a little higher, because these sites that pay 3 cents per word are great experience, but they offer little in the way of making you a living, unless you turn out 15 articles a day. And, like I said, this is work that will decrease your creativity and eventually make you dread going to work.
4. Keep a schedule
Keep a schedule of the time you can give to your career. Believe me, it works – and will give you an idea of how much work you can take on, and what types of jobs you should be applying for. Sticking to that schedule will build a client base, and that is where you will begin to see success.
A couple of great venues for finding quality work are: Freelance Jobs, and Virtual Vocations. There are many more sites out there that offer fair and abundant work as well and the jobs are in the ‘reasonable’ range, in the field of writing, photography, editing, copyediting and much more.
5. Build trust
When you work for a client or two, who are paying well and publishing your work, stick with them and give them a reason to keep you aboard. Never turn in an assignment that is less than perfect, or is late. Meeting deadlines is one of the most important components of a successful freelance career, and for building trust. You want your client to know that they can count on your work, which in turn will inspire them to send more work your way.
6. Give your all
When an article calls for 500 words, make them the most wonderful words you’ve ever written – every time. Give your all, and chances are referrals will be writing to you for work. Especially when you land jobs that allow you to put your name on the piece. These are a little more difficult to get, but the pay off is bigger. Getting published in your own name can lead to even bigger and better work, especially when you are giving your all to each piece.
7. Look for long-term positions
Look for the longer-term positions that offer work regularly and are not sporadic, or running out of work on a regular basis. It is the steady work that will gain you some financial freedom, especially when that work is paid according to your experience. Take this work and treasure it.
8. Be aware of the competition
Remember that we are living through a difficult and trying recession and that the competition is stiff. Spend the extra few dollars to brush up your resume. Put together some excellent sample articles, in all different word counts so when you apply, you can offer something of quality in the word count requested.
Make sure you always, and I mean always, include a witty cover letter with your applications, giving your reasons for being ‘perfect’ for this position. And don’t forget your contact information. For every application, some clients say that they receive over 200 applicants. It’s very competitive and you must stand out to land that position.
9. Stay educated
Stay on top of the latest writing trends, and make sure you take a webinar or go to a writing seminar from time to time. They will keep you on your toes, and help you to become a better writer. Always read the emails and flyers from writer venues, and even consider joining a writing club. You can learn a lot from other writers and freelancers.
10. Enjoy your work!
And last but not least, enjoy yourself. Very few people are talented enough to work from the comfort of their home, never take this for granted. Appreciate this benefit every single day, and do your best to be the ‘best that you can be’ and your career will flourish.
Kristy Ramirez is a freelance writer who writes for top websites such as Life Insurance Finder, a free income protection insurance comparison website, amongst many others.