Planning to start your freelance content writing career? Content writing as a career is a booming arena in digital media.
It is one of the most popular and in-demand options for freelancers who wish to hold their foot in digital marketing.
Also, content is the core of everything. No matter what business you do, you need content to convey your message to your audience. It may be in the written form or a video/audio content.
That’s why you need quality content writers/creators who could help you out.
How to Start As a Freelance Content Writer?
If you are a beginner in this field, you may feel completely clueless to start with. Yes, this surely is a vast area with ample competition but, my friend, there’s always a way out!
Here are a few steps you can take to kickstart your freelance content writing career:
1. Brush your writing skills:
This one is a no-brainer! If you want to become established in the field of content writing, you ought to write well and develop your credibility amongst the clients.
Write on a regular basis to get into the habit and understand your writing style.
For example, start writing 50-60 words every day. It can be as simple as writing about your wildest dreams or anything you like.
Also, be confident and start reaching out your potential clients.
If you do not feel confident as yet, read blogs and articles from established writers, watch video tutorials and take writing workshops.
You may read, On writing – Stephan King. This one of the best books if you’re starting out.
2. Decide your interests, niche, and genre:
This is an important step which most newbie writers skip. Know what fascinates you, what you truly like about writing.
Or rather, to start with, write what you already know! This will give you the confidence to explore more niches.
Now, what do you mean by niche? Simple, it’s just a fancy name given to the term “topic”.
If you are more of a tech person opt for technical writing. Find out if writing stories or features is your thing and venture in that direction. The possibilities are endless.
Now let’s say you are fascinated by latest technologies. So, what’s next.
Go to google trends and look at how many people are searching for similar topics.
Study its trend for at least a year or so. If the search volume is good and the trend stays constant throughout a single year, pick it up and start writing.
3. Be ready with your samples:
According to the niche you choose, start writing articles, essays and scripts to send as samples. Every client will ask you for a sample article or two before deciding to hire you. So, instead of doing that in haste, keep your samples ready beforehand.
Ideally, your samples should be of more than 500 words on either the topics that fascinates you or the niches you are looking to build a career in.
If your niche is real estate, then your samples will be directly related. You should put them on your portfolio page of course but think of other places such as LinkedIn.
Build your portfolio on LinkedIn and reach out for the groups in your niche. Start networking by building connections with the organizations and groups you want to work with.
4. Build a Super Portfolio:
Build a portfolio that has your blogs in place with relevant articles. You can either go for a website or you can also go to LinkedIn.
This will instantly give you an edge over others who are just starting out.
Work for a minimum fee for 2 or 3 clients to gain experience, experiment with your style and learn in the process.
Build a super impression by featuring you client testimonials on your website. Along with it put up your sample write-ups as well.
Once you have built a portfolio that can engage your employers, you can charge well and get good clients in the long run.
For example, check out my LinkedIn portfolio. I added my skills, experiences, achievements and whatever I could.
5. Start Guest posting:
This is another good way to reach out to popular websites in your chosen niche. You can guest post for them for free and if it works out well, you may also become a regular with the website.
An important factor with freelance guest posting is that you must understand the audience of the site and talk to them about what they really want to know.
Your article must be relevant to the TG of that website for it to be successful. Randomness won’t work! Write a great pitch which is short and effective, and you are sorted.
Guest Posting Websites:
Suppose your niche is technology. In that case, you may contact the following websites regarding guest posts. Do read their Guest Posting guidelines before you submit it.
6. Increase your visibility:
Join relevant freelance content writing groups, attend seminars and webinars, follow relevant people on social media, basically, do what it takes to be seen and heard.
Being in the right place at the right time matters! Increase your visibility and establish your credibility.
You need to prove your worth and gain some experience to survive in the fast-growing competitive industry.
Once you have your feet grounded firmly here, then you can make good money!
7. Make a rate card:
Many newbie freelance writers and content creators often are not aware of the market rates and thus end up charging really less.
Make sure you have a know-how of what’s going on in the industry.
Talk to some writers personally. You can find them on professional websites like LinkedIn.
Decide how much you are going to offer your articles for; it can be per article rate card or per word rate card.
Depends upon how you want to go about it but have all the information in place beforehand, so you will not find yourself clueless when clients actually read out to you.
8. Find clients:
Honestly, clients would not have a dream to offer you work when you decide to take up freelance writing as a profession.
Initially, you have to be proactive and find real clients for yourself and set up your base in the business.
You can get references from friends and family, join writing and media groups on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter among other things.
Again, LinkedIn is a good place to connect with clients who have content writing requirements.
Also, there are websites that you can join and become a writer with and, they will provide you with freelance writing work if you are suitable for their clients. Sharing a few here:
9. Start your own blog:
If you want to practice your writing skills and feel underconfident to write for clients as yet, start by creating your own blog!
I started ideasthroughwords not only cause I want my freelance business to flourish, but… cause I love writing.
This can be the most beautiful thing that can happen to you, trust me when I say this!
Every writer loves to write for themselves without any restrictions and guidelines to follow, it indeed is liberating.
Also, it will put you into a habit of writing, offer you a platform to showcase your work to the world, have feedback and new clients can see your work and reach out to you!
You may read our Ultimate Guide to Start Blogging for your better ease.
10. Learn basic SEO:
Thanks to the prevailing competition, most clients and employers prefer writers who understand basic SEO or keyword analysis for better search results.
While learning SEO in depth can be time-consuming, you can just take up a crash course or read up a few posts about Search Engine Optimization and you are sorted!
Here are a few informative articles by digital wizard Neil Patel:
11. Start Reading more:
Reading is again underestimated by many, but it actually helps you in so many ways. It broadens your mind and expands your thinking process.
It gives you new perspectives to look at. You understand different writing style and learn vocabulary. Read books on subjects you like and then talk about them.
My Instagram is full of books and I just keep sharing what I learned from every book or story that I read. With the advent of the internet, there is a flood of knowledge available online from across the globe.
Read e-books, audio books, blogs and articles from the influential people and your mentors.
Digital personalities like Neil Patel, Ramit Sethi, Marie Forleo, Deepak Kanakaraju, Harsh Agarwal and others are great advisers and you surely will learn a lot from them.
Visit their websites and start exploring what they have to offer in your free time. You won’t be disappointed at all.
Some Hand-Picked Articles by the Author:
- Solutions to the Top Challenges Faced by Freelancers
- Ultimate Guide to Grow your Freelance Business Network
The only reason why some people make it to the top in their respective fields is that they are consistent and committed to their goals.
As Marie Forleo rightly said in one of her videos, “Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally, it comes from what you do consistently.”
So be regular and set a writing routine. Follow all the steps mentioned above and get your freelance content writing career rolling!