Many people have good imaginations and writing skills, but no experience in professional writing. They have no portfolio, writing resume or published work, but they want to quit their day job and earn their living at freelance writing. They may have the dream, but have no idea how to start. However, in both print media and online there are ways to earn through writing without prior experience.
The first thing required to be a successful freelance writer is a good grasp of English spelling, grammar and punctuation. This can be learned online. There are many sites that provide all the rules and exceptions to the rules, and anyone serious about becoming a freelance writer needs to know them.
The next skill required is typing. If a person is typing with two fingers, they need to take a typing course to increase their typing speed. This can also be done online. If the salary depends on quantity as well as quality of writing, the person needs to be able to write fast and often.
Knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Most writing for websites requires knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO). This is the clever use of keywords that get a website a high ranking on search engines. Today, content marketing is what search engines are looking for. This means that the content of websites has useful information for the visitor. It’s no longer about repeating one or two words over and over again, it’s about the optimum use of keywords once or, at the most, twice in an article that adds value for the reader.
People who would like to make money by writing need practice. They can start writing about anything. If they don’t have any ideas, they can review products or write travel content about places they have visited. This will help them increase their speed and exercise their mind.
Start a Personal Blog
One way to gain experience and connect with people is to start a personal blog. There are free domains such as Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress, Typepad and others where anyone can post their own writing. The site should have an About Me and a Hire Me page, so it is clear that the writer is ready to work. The blog can be about any subject that is of interest to the writer while giving an example of their writing style and habits for potential employers to see.
Another step is for the freelance hopeful to get a presence on several social media sites. This will help a lot when they want to market themselves. They need to be regularly active on social media to begin to gain a following. They’ll make new friends online and be able to connect with other people who are either working on becoming professional freelance writers or already are professional writers. They can offer to write articles and web content for free in the beginning to become known. There are also freelance communities and forums where beginners can meet people and learn about the business.
With all of the above connections, the beginner may be offered jobs for very little or no money. These jobs can be good, but they can also be exploitation. The beginner needs to evaluate each offer to decide if it will help their career, make them some much needed money or be a waste of precious time.
Unscrupulous People on Freelance Websites
There are unscrupulous people on freelance websites that get new writers to do the work, send it to the less than honest people who then just disappear. They may request work by saying it is required to verify the writer’s style before they can be hired. Another trick that is done by dishonest people is to pay very little and say it’s because there is high volume work. An honest person or business will not say this. The new writer should put a fair price on his or her work and not accept less. They may write content for free, but there should be some benefit. The best way to set a value on their writing is do conduct a writing skills assessment.
If writing online is their goal, there are many possibilities. Writing for a website content company is a good way to learn the value of their writing and how to set a price for freelance work. There are many different kinds of writing jobs, and the writer should have an idea of how much each is worth. For example, a product review for a coffee maker may take less skill and knowledge that an ebook on walking tours in Italy. The writer should understand the value of what he or she does.
It is recommended for beginning freelance writers to choose a wide variety of topics, because this will reach a wider audience. They may need to do extensive research, but with a little imagination it shouldn’t be difficult.
By Andre Bradley