For many, the idea of being a freelance writer is a dream career. How many other professional pursuits allow you to work from home in bunny slippers, express your creativity, avoid office politics, and side-step the skyrocketing gas prices from a daily commute to the job?
Count me in!
Word to the wise! Though this career is relatively easy to break into, and requires a minimal investment compared to other start-ups, it can be difficult to maintain, and to be profitable long term.
I should know. In my over 20-year career, I have witnessed countless writing buddies come and go. Drop in and out. Perhaps you’re one of them. If so, read on.
Contrary to popular opinion, “success” in freelance writing requires more than “an Internet connection and command of the English language.” If only it were that simple…
HERE ARE 8 TIME TESTED TIPS TO GO FROM ZERO TO HERO WITH FREELANCE WRITING…IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:
1. MARKET CONSISTENTLY.
It’s no secret that, for most writers, the real joy is in the act of writing and sharing stories, not in selling our services. Still, ongoing marketing is a necessary evil to avoid feast and famine cycles. Marketing need not be labor intensive or time consuming. It can be as simple as sharing links to your books on Amazon. Or participating in a virtual blog tour, or sending email blasts to friends and followers regarding new projects.
2. OFFER REAL VALUE TO YOUR CLIENTS BY PROVIDING QUALITY, DIVERSE SERVICES.
There’s great validity to the expression, “never put all your eggs in one basket.”
I once heard millionaire comedian Steve Harvey say, “You’ll never become rich by depending upon one source of income.” And, he should know. As a writer and/or blogger, more than likely you have varied skill sets and transferable skills. Use them. These days, everybody’s looking for the most bang for their buck. Particularly potential clients.
3. KNOW YOUR U.S.P.
According to Wordstream.com: “Simply put, your unique selling proposition is what makes your business different from everyone else in your market. A strong unique selling proposition can help you attract and retain customers, and reduce client churn.” Are you an expert with Search Engine Optimization? A bodacious blogger? Do you have a reputation for working well on tight deadlines? Browse your clients’ testimonials for clues as well. Assess and position yourself accordingly.
4. BRAND YOUR BUSINESS.
This is an extension of point #3. Branding your business helps to identify what you stand for and what clients can expect from you. It consists of things like your mission statement, your business cards, your website, your social media posts, and your collective image.
5. KEEP HONING YOUR CRAFT TO INCREASE YOUR CASH.
In today’s competitive writing environment, your know-how will definitely dictate your net worth. Keep learning. Keep growing. Whether you choose to take classes at a community college or take online classes, every little bit helps.
6. SAVE MONEY TO PREPARE FOR FEAST AND FAMINE CYCLES.
Be forewarned: writing money can vary from month to month, and year to year.
Trust me. Sometimes writers can enjoy a lifestyle that rivals the well-to-do. And, other times? One step away from homelessness. Make sure to save a portion of what you earn in order to survive the tough times.
7. MANAGE YOUR TIME WISELY.
Govern how you spend your writing time and business hours. Don’t waste endless hours on Facebook, or watching cat videos. If your online efforts are not moving you forward in your goals, or making you money, what’s the point? “Time is money.”
8. CONSIDER THE BENEFITS OF A BLOG.
If properly launched and maintained, a blog can be monetized, and provide an additional source of income. Some bloggers have even been able to ink lucrative book deals for their efforts. Blogs can be used to sell products and services, to offer ad placements, and to participate in affiliate programs. My blog has partnered with major brands and noted authors to earn money and gain important exposure over the years. Yours can, too.
If your goal this year is to go from casual freelancing to a serious role as a writer and full time content creator, these eight strategic tips will make all the difference.
- Becoming a Full Time Freelance Writer Takes Time, Planning, and Work. Here’s How I Did It!! – by Ingrid Cruz – 12 2017
- I Quit My Full-Time Job to Write Freelance. But, It Took Work! – Adesoji Michael – 06 2018
- I Finally Found Freedom! How I Quit My Corporate Job, Moved To The South China Sea, And Became A Freelance Writer By Walter (Walt) Simms – 05 2015
- 4 Reasons to Hire a Publicist to Promote Your Book(s)! – by Jennifer Brown Banks – 09 2022
- SELL MORE BOOKS! Virtual Book Tours Are Now More Accepted Than Ever – by Jennifer Brown Banks – 04 2022
- 6 Paying “List” Markets for Writers! – by Tatiana Claudy – 04 2022
Jennifer Brown Banks is an award-winning content creator, editor, author and poet. Learn more at her popular blog for writers: Penandprosper.blogspot.com.
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I appreciate your positive feedback and time here. Thanks.
Great article, thanks Jen! Can always count on you for solid advice.
Thanks so much. Glad you found it helpful.
Great information. Thank you.