If you enjoy writing and you believe that you can write well enough so that other people will find it enjoyable or informative, you can start earning money from your talent. Because of the Internet boom, there are now countless opportunities for writers like us. How?
When you searched for “How to make money online”, chances are you found this blog presented to you by Google. There are millions like you all over the world looking for information. All the websites you visit has to have valid and unique information so that they will be listed by Google and other search engines. Every single day, thousands of stories and articles are needed online. Simply put, words, articles and content is the fodder that makes the Internet go round. Without content, a website is dead.
How to Start Your Freelance Writing Career
You need to decide upon the topics that you want to write about. Assess yourself and focus on your strengths. Here are several questions that you might want to ask yourself:
- Are you a techie who knows stuff about gadgets and technology?
- Do you know a lot of things about relationships, philosophy and human behavior?
- Can you write fiction stories?
- Do you have a background in sales?
- Do you write poems and other creative pieces?
- Do you like Internet browsing and research?
Your answer to any of these questions will help you find your niche. Take note that most website owners and online may need different sorts of topics for you to write, so be prepared to open yourself to different niches. Most articles that are needed these days can be easily researched online. You just need to know how to write about a topic without compromising your article’s uniqueness.
Market Yourself Properly
Once you have assessed your skills and your strong points, you can now build your profile. As a beginner, you can start off with your resume. But some online employers don’t bother with it, so the best option is to create your profile via your chosen freelance platform. Here are some freelance sites that you can choose from:
- Freelancer.com – This is a good platform for starters and beginners because the clients here are less picky and the articles needed are pretty generic. Just keep in mind that you will be competing against thousands of others here, but if you build a strong profile, you can get chosen rather quickly. I, myself, started with Getafreelancer.com 6 years ago, before they changed it to Freelancer.com and when the industry was just budding and not a lot of people were in there. Creating a profile in Freelancer.com is relatively easy. You just have to fill in the pertinent fields to create your online profile. Upload a really good picture so that your future employers can connect a face to your name. Showcase your skills, not only as a writer. If you have other skills like typing, research, data entry and translation, you can put those, too.
- oDesk – oDesk is the most popular freelance platform to date, with millions of freelancers and employers registered worldwide. This platform is pretty much like Freelancer.com , however the platform looks cleaner and the bidding process is much more streamlined. You can choose to work on Hourly contracts (which guarantees payments) or work on Fixed contracts (paid outright by clients). Building your profile in oDesk is advantageous because you can pretty much jumpstart your freelancing career here and be successful. There are thousands of people in oDesk who left their day jobs and just focus on freelancing. Why? Because it pays them well and allows them many advantages.
Now that you have chosen your freelancing platform, how will you go about building your profile and marketing yourself?
You have to put together several samples of your work. If you have been previously published in a newspaper or magazine, put the link or a copy of that work in your application letter or profile. Freelancer.com and oDesk allows job seekers to include their portfolio along with their jobseeker profile. If you are a regular blogger and you have some work published online, put the information in your profile, too. You can also tell your potential customer that you are open to a test article that will allow them to gauge your skills and writing style. This way, the client will be impressed by your enthusiasm regarding the possible project.
Put together testimonials and recommendations from your employers. If this is your first time, do all that you can to please your first client, and get a feedback from them. At the onset, tell your client right away that it is your first time, and that you still have a lot of room to grow. You can lower your rates a bit so that they can give you a chance, and build your profile from there. Building your online freelance profile always starts from zero, but as you gain experience, you will find that you will be able to get higher paying jobs as well.
A Little Self-assessment Goes a Long Way
Evaluate yourself. If your grammar is terrible and your spelling is not your strongest points, you have to acknowledge it. Bring yourself up to speed and upgrade your English. Review your high school grammar lessons and get the help of online grammar checkers. MS Word has F7, use it. If you see a red line in your document, it must be incorrect. Pay attention to what the spellcheckers say, and remember those words. Nobody starts perfectly, remember that. The key to a freelancer’s success is in acknowledging your errors and learn from it.
Read other Freelancer’s Works
Look for blogs made by freelancers and written for freelancers, like cashoutdecently.com. Try to emulate the tone, and learn how they do it. By reading blogs like this continuously, you will eventually pick up the tone and the style, which will eventually help you. You should be an avid reader, that’s very important in being a freelancer.
Image courtesy of adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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