So, you have decided that freelance writing is for you. You have chosen your niche and now you want to get started.
But what is next?
Are you staring blankly at your computer not sure where to start?
Well, I have just the thing for you. Here is a 6-step quick action plan to get you started freelance writing.
- Set up your writers platform – a website and social media accounts.
- Create samples in your niche.
- Pitch, pitch and pitch!
- Job hunt.
- Guest Post.
- Set up your finances.
1. Set up your writers platform.
Your writers platform is an essential tool to build your business.
I can hear you ask, but what is a writers’ platform and how do I create one?
Your writers’ platform is all about your visibility as a freelance writer. It is the website and social media accounts that you use to promote and market your business and services.
Your writers’ platform is made up of several building blocks, but to get started quickly we will focus only on the most important aspects.
If you have time and some basic knowledge than you can totally do it yourself. I did…and I am a total nube when it comes to technology! WordPress and Beaver Builder made it super easy to do, and with a bit of time and research, I was able to build my current website into something I am proud of. My first one, well that is a different story!
If you have the budget to do it you can always hire someone to create your website for you. It certainly saves you time and ensures you will have a professional and beautiful website from the outset.
A solid social media presence
In conjunction with your website, you should set up relevant social media accounts to post your writing samples, advertise your business and build up your audience.
I have Pinterest (to build up my blog), Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. To be honest I am not really using Instagram at the moment. I just have not found the love for it that others seem to. Twitter is my favourite at this time. I have made some amazing connections and found a supportive and encouraging community.
My advice is to pick 1 or 2 social media profiles to focus on in the beginning. Build those up to a point you are happy with and then add in others. Find out where your target audience is hanging out the most and target those social media profiles first.
2. Create samples in your niche.
When you are first starting out as a freelance writer you obviously don’t have many samples to form your portfolio. The quickest and easiest way to develop your portfolio and showcase your work is to create samples in your niche. If you want to write whitepapers, whip one up and post it to your websites portfolio page. If you want to write blog posts for beauty websites, then create one and be sure to add it to your portfolio. Be sure to flag these as samples and make it clear they have not been published anywhere except your website.
Who knows, maybe a potential client will see it and want to buy it from you!
3. Pitch, pitch and pitch some more!
Of course, the biggest part of freelance writing is finding paying clients. This is where cold pitching comes in. Turn to good old Google. Search for businesses and websites in your niche. Once you have identified places you may want to write for, look at their website and identify how you can help. Do their product descriptions need reworking to include SEO wording? Do they lack a consistent blog? Find out who runs the website and pitch your services to them. Here is a handy template to help.
Pitching can take time. Jump to point 4: Job hunting. This is a nice quick way to find some work.
4. Job hunting.
Finding clients is not all about pitching, there are many other avenues out there. You can look at content mills if you want, such as freelancer.com, Upwork and Fiver. I tried these but found they really were not for me. Other people swear that they are a great place to find quality jobs and build your freelancing reputation.
Personally, I wouldn’t waste my time. Most of the jobs pay absolute peanuts, and our time is one of our most precious commodities. You want to be sure that you are paid what YOU ARE WORTH!
I turned to places like:
You can find quality jobs on these sites, as long as you take the time to weed out the clients who may be a little dodgy.
5. Guest Post.
I love a good guest post! Guest posting is one of the BEST ways to build your reputation and market your business. It doesn’t cost anything, except for time!
I have built some amazing relationships with other freelancers and bloggers by guest posting and also accepting guest posts (shoot me an email if you are interested in guest posting for my blog). It is free advertising and is a great way to establish your expertise in your chosen niche.
Not to mention, you can add your guest posts to your portfolio. Bonus!
6. Set up your finances.
The last step to your quickstart guide to freelance writing is to set up your finances.
I used to use a word document for invoicing and track with a spreadsheet. Don’t do that. Take the time and effort to invest in good accounting software. Believe me, it will save you the headache of trying to do it all yourself. There are several options out there:
I personally use Rounded. They are an Australian accounting software system that is aimed at freelancers and sole traders. Perfect for what I need. The interface is beautiful and easy to use. You can personalize the invoice so it suits your logo and branding colours. You can track income and expenses, as well as attach receipts to each expense – tax time is made super easy! I love the handy feature of setting a monthly financial goal. It keeps me motivated and is easy to see how my business is going.
You also need to separate your personal finances from your freelance writing finances. I use a personal account that is just in my name and is used only for my business, Rachel Maree. It helps to keep things organized and is easy to see where your money is coming and going.
Now you have 6 quick and easy steps to kick starting your freelance writing business! Go forth and conquer!
Now you have 6 quick and easy steps to get your freelance writing career started. Check out these other posts below which will be super helpful in further your freelance writing business:
- How to be a freelance writer: 10 simple yet powerful steps to take.
- How to be a freelance writer and WAHM: Part 1
- How to be a freelance writer and WAHM: Part 2
Do you have any quick tips for budding freelancers out there? Do you have any questions? Drop into the comments below, I would love to hear from you 😉