You know that you love writing, but how do you get people to love paying you to write? You begin by understanding that demand exists for your writing skills. Then you seek to market yourself to other professionals who understand the value you offer. Applying this concept as you become a paid and happy freelance writer will involve serendipity, scrutiny, and strategy.
To start finding freelance writing work, the first thing you need to do is search online for freelance professional marketplaces, such as ifreelance.com and guru.com. These services function as third party agencies that unite jobs with workers. Jobs are posted and freelancers can bid on work. Freelancers can also advertise specific services that clients simply buy. The fees to participate vary and are sometimes high but generally worth it. Freelance professionals also use these marketplaces to establish relationships with clients and then move the business relationship outside the marketplace in order to discontinue paying third party fees. These marketplaces usually include feedback and ratings so you can assess potential clients on their payment histories.
When you start studying the freelance marketplaces, serendipity can come into to play. You might actually run across a project that is particularly well suited to your skill set. The first freelance writing job I landed was when a job posting caught my eye because of its unique subject matter. My aroused interest motivated me to go beyond looking and actually submit a bid. This action resulted in establishing a pleasant relationship with a great businessman, who ended up paying me thousands of dollars for multiple projects over two years.
You can also open yourself up to serendipity if you establish a small website for yourself. This can be done for a few dollars a month, and a freelance writer does not need a big flashy website. With a little marketing, you will attract new clients without having to pay fees to a marketplace service. A client who contacted me directly paid me $35 to write a 750 word article about happiness. It was not a lot of money, but it was easy money.
After serendipity comes the scrutiny part. All manner of opportunities can pop up, but you must always assess with whom you might do business. Professed willingness to pay you is not the sole criteria upon which you should base your decision. People can be slow to pay. People can talk your ear off on the telephone without giving you any pertinent information about the project you need to write. And some people are best left completely off your prospect list. I was contacted by a man who wanted me to ghostwrite his experience within a Mexican drug gang. I don’t want to form any connections to a drug cartel, so I politely declined.
While avoiding undesirable business relationships, look for freelance writing jobs related to topics about which you are enthusiastic. If a job does not appeal to you, then you will not like doing it. Someone might be willing to pay you to write sales copy for some useless get rich quick scheme, but the assignment might not set well with you. Unless absolutely necessary, do not partner with clients whose projects do not appeal to you. Accepting work you don’t want to do will undermine your motivation and reduce quality. Even when you are trying to establish your freelance writing career, you should not jump at every job offer.
As you scrutinize potential clients for possible problems, you should also look for work that will support the career strategy you develop for yourself. You might want to focus on article writing. Or, you might be a writer well suited to longer projects and you want to position yourself to write or ghostwrite book or ebook manuscripts. Demand is high for short articles or blog posts, but a great deal of work can also be found for the longer projects as well. A sales copy writer will also find work. Sales copy can be very fun to write and pays well too.
Some clients can employ you on all types of projects. A potential employer with a lot of work to offer will typically start a new freelance writer with an assignment for a couple articles, and, if you perform well, then you will get more assignments. As you come to know a company’s product or service well, you might then get to do some sales writing, which demands a higher premium. You can see how a relationship with the right client can progress nicely.
A good freelance writer does not necessarily have to focus on a specific niche. A professional writer should be able to assemble information into an effective communication. This is your core skill, and, as you gain experience, you can develop a personal strategy for how you can perform best as a writer.
Many freelance writing opportunities exist. Your writing skills are marketable because there are many independent professionals and businesses that need fresh material to communicate with customers and prospects. Because they are busy doing whatever they do best, they often gladly pay reliable freelance writers to produce written material. As you plow through job listings, keep in mind your strengths as a writer and how best to apply them. Your goal is to connect with clients who have projects suited to your talents and tastes and who are in a position to develop an ongoing and paying relationship with you.
Tracy Falbe works occasionally as a freelance writer and is currently focused on her fantasy fiction writing. She sells her novels, primarily as ebooks, directly to readers at http://www.braveluck.com