Writing is work. Writers make it look effortless because that’s their job. |
Writing requires talent. Talent can certainly help and talent is what separates the great writers from the good writers. But the truth is that talent is not enough to make a writer great or even good and talent is not a necessary requirement to be a good writer. Writing is a skill that can be learned, developed and honed.
You may want to consider freelance writing as a way to make a good living from home.
Freelance writers write anything from newspaper columns to web content and even ebooks.
Before you go looking for freelance jobs, you should build up a portfolio of articles. You can write for your own website or blog, offer to write free articles for friends, or contact your local paper about writing a column for them. Work on some articles that you can use as samples of your work and build a list of references for your potential clients to contact.
Where To Find Potential Clients
The next step will be finding potential clients. You can visit some of the big freelance sites like elance and bid on projects. It is also a good idea to set up a website that showcases some of your writing, tells a little about you and your area of expertise, and of course you will have your contact information on the site. You may also want to consider adding a blog to your site. It’s an easy way to add articles, short tips and any other writings to your site on an ongoing basis.
Networking is another great way to find work. Think about friends, former colleagues, bosses and clients that would be interested in having some writing done and call them up. As you start building your own client base, ask for referrals. Do you know someone that successfully freelances now? Ask them for advice on getting started and spend some time with them. They may refer clients to you that they don’t have time for. Do the same for other freelancers if you are contacted with a project you can’t handle.
Many magazines will accept freelance work. Keep a spreadsheet with names and addresses of the editors of the various publications and pitch story ideas on a regular basis. It can be tough to get a foot in the door with magazines, but once you start getting published it will become easier and in many cases more lucrative.
How much you will get paid will largely depend on the size of the project and how involved it is. Short articles on general topics that don’t require research may pay as little as $5.00 a piece while doing research for and writing an ebook may bring you several hundred dollars.
If you love writing about a variety of topics, I encourage you to give freelance writing a try. It’s a great way to do what you love and stay home with the kids at the same time. The main key to becoming a successful freelance writer is to practice writing all the time, whether you get paid for it or not. Just get out a pen and paper, or open you favorite text editor and start writing.
Some freelancers hesitate to ask for referrals because they feel it is unprofessional. They feel asking for referrals is like asking for a favor. That is not the case. If you have faith in your ability to deliver good work you are actually helping your client because of your willingness to provide quality work to their friends or business associates. That will reflect well on them too. It is a two-way street.
Write with meaning; write with truth and skill. Write because you must, not as a path to riches and stardom. It may come; it may not.
The real writers (beginner and pro) don’t talk about it; they do it. Be one of those.
NEVER STOP WRITING. Don't make publication of your work the ends and means for your writing. Write because you love to write!
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Copyright © Anne-Marie Ronsen
You have permission to publish this article electronically, in print, in your ebook or on your web site, free of charge, as long as the author bylines are included.
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