8 Important Tips for New Freelance Writers
The start of my freelance writing career is the most exciting part of my life yet. Here are some tips to start you on yours.
- Should Have Done this a Long Time Ago
- Tips for Newbie Freelance Writers
- And so I would just like to say...
Should Have Done this a Long Time Ago
So I’ve been freelance writing for some time now, and everything is doing pretty good for me. I’m not doing it on a full-time basis but I do hope that someday, however far off it may be, I will be doing it full-time. There’s just something about being my own boss that attracts me, and perhaps a million other people too.
Freelance writing has changed me a lot. My time management skills have improved and I write everyday now! Before, it would take me like three hours to finish a four- to five-hundred article, but now, I’m proud to say I can finish it within an hour or one and a half, and that includes the research needed.
I still have a long way to go when it comes to improving my writing skills, and every other day I think, I should have done this a long time ago. Many of you may probably be also thinking about doing freelance writing and since I believe that sharing is caring, I would like to share some tips to get you started. Please note that I can only give tips with experience in oDesk as it the freelancing site I am only active in.
Tips for Newbie Freelance Writers
1. Get a savings bank account solely for your freelance earnings. (If you live in the Philippines, use BPI Easy Savers. You can enroll for an ATM card for only 350 pesos. PLUS they don’t charge you for the transaction fee like other banks do.) Although it may seem funny that I put this at the top of the list, I think it’s really important because you are freelancing to earn right? Some friends get discouraged with doing part time freelance because they don’t have ATM cards or any other way to receive payment.
2. You should at all times have a reliable internet connection. I know you know why.
3. Get started on a trusted and proven freelance site. As mentioned, oDesk is awesome. I’ve been receiving payments from them since December last year and they are just daebak (“wow” in Korean). The sign up process is very simple and fast. Remember to NOT use aliases on this site. You have give them correct information.
4. Set up a killer profile. Any freelancing site will usually ask you to set up a profile where you can let employers know who you are and your qualifications. This is important. Give it adequate time and attention as it could either make you or break you. Be honest in what you put up and upload. Use a friendly but professional photo of yourself as well, not the one you use on Facebook.
5. Prepare samples. When you’re just getting started, good-paying employers are less likely to hire you when you don’t have work history, so it’s best to prepare article samples to show them as attachments to your applications. A simple 300- to 400-word article on something you have knowledge on will work well. You may even create a portfolio site for yourself to showcase your work.
6. Prepare a cover letter template. This is really an oDesk-related tip. At oDesk, they would ask you to send a cover letter to employers who posted jobs you may be interested in. Do not take this lightly and just place, “I am the one you’re looking for” in your cover letter. I’ve heard of some doing that. Modify it according to the job post and don’t use the exact same thing in every application. Give it a personal touch. Treat it as you would a cover letter for a personal application, you know, in the real world.
7. Start with little work if you have totally no experience with this. Yes, don’t bite off more than you can chew because you will choke! It would ruin your chances of getting future online work if your first job didn’t turn out so well. It’s also better to start with something you are familiar with.
8. Write everyday and enjoy it! I’ve realized over this short period of time how I just love to write. So now, I make it a point to write every day, may it be paid or not (well, mostly paid). Either way, it has helped me to become a faster writer, and you cannot believe the amount of things I’ve learned since I started freelance writing. It’s additional income and I’ve discovered my passion. I especially write faster when it’s something I’m passionate and knowledgeable about.
And so I would just like to say...
I still consider myself a newbie but I hope this will be useful to others who want to take the freelance journey as well. I plan to be active in freelancing and I hope to succeed in it and eventually make it my livelihood. I’ve even started my own portfolio site and I hope you can give me tips on how to improve it. You may also leave messages there so I can see if everything works.
If you have other tips that could help other freelancers and myself, please feel free to leave them in the comment section!