Today we have got a guest post written by the quite frankly amazing Ar from over at Actual Ar who is a seasoned professional when it comes to freelance writing and wants to share her top tips with you!
In this post, I’m going to share a few tips for how you can potentially earn some cash through freelance writing. I say potentially because there are a few caveats to this statement that you’ll need to take into account.
First and foremost, if you’re planning on becoming a freelance writer for the express reason of making money, then you’re not going to make much money. Simple but true. Successful writers and more specifically ones who get paid are at the heart of anything else good writers. They write well because they love writing. They craft the work they produce. The do not churn out any old shit and expect £100+ in return for it. Bear in mind that if you don’t actually enjoy writing, and if you’re not actually committed to creating good, interesting pieces of work, then you won’t make any money no matter how hard you think you’re hustling for it. If you’re not putting the effort and skill into your writing, nobody will reward you for it. Fact.
Next, a reminder that this will not be easy, and you’ll not always be able to write about things you want. Paid opportunities for writing aren’t always going to be on topics you’re well-versed in, and so you might have to get creative about how you present your content. You’ll need to put the time in to research the piece you’re producing for your client. Remember, this is a business transaction; just because you may be typing an article up from home in your slippers does not mean you should treat a writing assignment as anything less than a professional endeavor.
With all that said, it is very possible to make money from your writing.
Before you begin, you should decide on the type of writing you’re most confident with. We’re quite not talking about writing a book here, although that is, of course, a viable option. Many writers are now able to self-publish their own eBooks and put them on Amazon, and with the power of social media at their fingertips, promotion is free and easy too.
However, to dip your toe into the water of freelance writing is a wise move before going all-out a la J.K. Rowling. Starting a blog of your own is a good way to do this and to build a bit of a content portfolio for yourself. I believe that if your writing is good quality, it will speak for itself and the opportunities will come to you. Plus, you need to practice your skill. Publish posts consistently, on a variety of topics, and you’ll become a versatile writer who can produce solid copy that other outlets will value.
Value is a keyword. How valuable is the writing you’re planning to sell?
Online magazines, news sites, travel companies and many businesses are in the market for content – and you’re in a strong position to offer it to them. There are ways to do this. A direct approach or a ‘pitch’ to a brand’s PR contact is a good place to start. Remember to be polite and professional, and not to sell yourself short – or offer your work for free! I’d advise building a bit of a back catalogue of writing before approaching companies for paid opportunities though; they will almost certainly check out your social profiles and website to see if you’re worth their spend. Make yourself invaluable by putting the time into your writing beforehand.
Another option is to register with a blogger-brand outreach service, and also to check Twitter regularly for journalist and PR request opportunities. Occasionally, other bloggers or writers may wish to collaborate with you in order to get their workload finished. Don’t be afraid to help out – you may get an offer of partial payment for your efforts. There are also lots of freelance writing sites you can sign yourself up with; a bit like a Yellow Pages of skilled people, where you can basically offer your writing services for a set or hourly fee.
They key to all of this is research. Work out the kind of writer you are and craft your style. Be patient, consistent and professional and remember to price your writing according to the time and effort involved. Don’t look to other people and charge their fees. Be your own writer and be fair with yourself. Give yourself a minimum hourly rate and calculate your work accordingly.
Good luck, and if you’d like any further advice feel free to get in touch with me and I’ll try to help you out on your freelance writing journey.