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Freelance Writers: How to Land More Freelance Writing Gigs as a Newbie
Written by William Ballard, Freelance Writer and Author
If you’re like many with dreams of becoming a freelance writer, you’ve ventured into this profession because your 9-to-5 is unsatisfying and you’re looking for a career that is both prosperous and highly fulfilling. Freelance writing provides you with the opportunity to be in charge – and successful freelance writers are often able to spend more time with their family, eliminate tons of stress, and be as financially stable as they’d like to be. These are the greatest perks!
However, what is the best way to take the leap – and to ensure that you will be able to land as many jobs as you want, or need, to be successful?
Get Started Today at Putting Together a Freelance Writing Portfolio
When first venturing into freelance writing, some already have marketing and publishing experience under their belts. However, perhaps you are not there yet, nonetheless, you may have some related writing skills in some areas so you should capitalize on these strong points. Nevertheless, you may feel like a beginner again if you begin your freelance writing career by applying for work in freelance writing job communities such as Elance (which I strongly advise against).
Building an incredible portfolio is the first, and best, way to show off your writing muscles to potential clients. Try including samples relevant to the types of jobs you’ll be applying for. If you want to apply for a position writing sales letters, include your best samples. If you have no sales letter samples, create some! On websites such as Clickbank, you can pick a product through the site’s marketplace and create your own sales letters and landing pages for that product. For many writers, this should take no longer than a day – and you can create some wonderful sales letter copy.
As a Newbie, You Have to Pay Your Dues, But Don't Ever Pay Someone Else's
The next step to finding lasting work in freelance writing may be lowering your pay standards a bit. However, I do not recommend lowering them beyond the industry average. This will feel awkward at first because you know your worth, but get over it! Not too many clients will take a chance on hiring a newbie writer with high pricing, even one packing an outstanding portfolio. Prove to potential clients that you’re actually the writer behind all the amazing pieces of content within your portfolio, and they’ll quickly learn your value.
You should expect to start landing one job after another while gathering excellent feedback. The doors to building your online freelance writing reputation – and empire – will quickly start to open. After landing a few jobs and making your mark, you can set your prices to whatever you want.
Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Additional Work as well as for Referrals
Another major part of landing freelance writing jobs as a beginner is asking for additional work in an unobtrusive way. After completing a job and submitting the work, try adding a short message stating your availability and excitement to take on more assignments. In order for this to work, your submitted writing must be flawless. Check and double-check your content – including spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Also, think about asking for client referrals to friends or associates. It’s all about networking.
Write to Satisfy Your Client Every Time
Some writers have grown too comfortable in their “zone.” These are the writers whose writing is more about money and less about developing interesting and valuable content. Always make it your primary goal to impress your clients regardless of the pay. Believe in giving your best, not just presenting something acceptable.
There will be times when clients might not be 100 percent satisfied with the first content draft. Rather than say, oh well just pay me, go back several times to present satisfactory work to a client. Some writers think that in offering rewrites, clients are somehow receiving extra work. Never think of it that way! A writer’s main focus in freelance writing should be to deliver impressive, quality work that accomplishes the client’s project goals.
As a freelance writer, also think about what topics you are interested in writing about. If you can’t write about medical topics, don’t force yourself to. This will save lots of time making corrections and missing deadlines. Clients will respect your honesty and may offer assignments that better match your skills.
You Must be Responsive
Last, but certainly not least: Be responsive if you want to land more freelance writing jobs. Although you’re working for yourself, the clients are your boss for any assignments that you’ve been hired to complete. Clients won’t recommend writers that are unresponsive or unprofessional. They want writers who communicate clearly with them through all steps of a project, and deliver.
Newspaper Columnist Robert Benchley said: “The freelance writer is a man who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps.”
As you embark on your new career, remember these words. Moreover, do what you can to make your freelance writing projects fruitful. Trust me, they will multiply!
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About the Author
William Ballard is the author of, "8 Tips to Freelance Writing Success (Article Writing Series)" and "3 Steps to Blogging Success: Discovering Your Passion, Finding Your Audience, and Developing an Income Stream (Article Series)".
He has been writing professionally for over 10+ years and has much experience within the industry, both in publishing and in freelance writing. He has successfully self-published over 10 books and eBooks. Visit his Amazon Author Page to see list of his most recent projects.