Congratulations on embarking on the exciting journey of becoming a beginning freelance writer (or at least considering it if you haven’t started yet). 😊 As a fellow writer who has been down this path before, growing my business to multiple 6-figures after leaving my 9 to 5 (and being really nervous about doing so!) I wanted to what I wish I had known from the start in my own journey.
Keep reading or watch the video below: What I Wish I Would’ve Done from the Start as a Copywriter.
Tips for Beginning Freelance Writer Success
Lock in a Niche
At the beginning of my freelance writing journey, I wasn’t sure what my niche should be, so I wrote about everything and anything. While that gave me a good breadth of experience, in hindsight, I would’ve honed in on one particular niche sooner. Not only does a niche help you develop your expertise, but it also makes marketing yourself much easier.
Take the time to explore various topics and identify the ones that genuinely resonate with you. I’ve mentored nurses who have become healthcare writers, teachers who have gone on to write for education apps, and bookkeepers who have transferred their expertise to write for the finance industry, with 10 times the freedom as their own boss. Whether it’s technology, health, travel, or finance, finding your niche will set a solid foundation for your freelance writing career.
Build a Copywriting Portfolio
When starting out in my copywriting business, I underestimated the importance of maintaining an up-to-date portfolio. Clients want to see what you can do before hiring you, and keeping your portfolio up-to-date saves you a ton of time remembering what you wrote, when, and for whom, later on.
Even if you haven’t landed any paid gigs yet, don’t be afraid to create your own writing samples for a start portfolio. Start a blog or contribute to reputable platforms within your niche. A well-curated portfolio will be your ticket to landing those initial gigs and eventually attracting higher-paying clients.
Then, once you begin working with clients, create a system where you save projects you’ve worked on so you can continually update your portfolio as you grow. It will save you a ton of time and effort to keep track along the way.
As a beginning freelance writer, I was hesitant to put myself out there, and often preferred doing behind-the-scenes work like reading informational articles online. But I soon realized that networking (even online) is a game-changer in the freelance writing world.
Engage with business owners, join writing communities, and attend industry events or webinars. Building a network not only opens doors to potential clients but also allows you to learn from experienced writers and share valuable tips. Remember, sometimes, who you know can be just as valuable as what you know.
Build Confidence in My Rates
Determining your rates can be tricky, especially when starting. I initially underpriced my services to secure clients, but this led to burnout. Know your worth, and don’t be afraid to charge accordingly. Research industry standard rates for your niche and factor in your experience, skills, and time invested. Clients who value quality content will understand the value you bring and be willing to pay for it.
As you embark on your freelance writing journey, remember that every writer’s path is unique. Learn from your experiences, both good and bad, and use them to grow and improve. Don’t be afraid to take risks, and always stay curious and open to learning. With determination, passion, and a willingness to evolve, your freelance writing business can offer you more freedom, fulfillment, and finances as your own boss.
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