I was recently chatting with Dainis from 1stWebDesigner.com, a friend and one of my clients, on Skype recently when we started talking about a freelance writing job offer he posted online recently. Dainis talked about getting over 250 emails from prospective freelance writers interested in getting the job and that out of all those 250 emails it was only around 50 that were impressive. The other emails were mentioning things like college degrees, CVs and the likes.
Your College Degree Won’t get You Anywhere, at least, Not as a Freelance Writer
I’ve always been an advocate of going to college, and just so you know, I have plans for college early next year – but I’m not just doing it for the sake of the degree and I will advise you not to do the same if you really want results as a freelance writer.
To really succeed as a freelance writer it is very important for you to realize that your college degree won’t take you anywhere. The fact that you had PhD in English doesn’t make you a perfect writer and the fact that you are the best student in college doesn’t make you an ideal candidate for that freelance writing job.
If you are thinking that your college degree will increase the chances of you getting a writing job online then I’d tell you to stop dreaming. I know some clients will require you to have a degree in English before hiring you, but the majority won’t. I know a lot of freelance writers making it big without a college degree, I’m one example, Carol Tice is another great example.
Let me tell you what being successful as a freelance writer is all about…
Being a Successful Freelance Writer is all about THIS…
Your clients don’t give a damn about whether you had straight As in high school or whether you have PhD in English. They are spending their money and as far as they are concerned the only thing that matters to them is results.
The key to getting a lot of clients is having experience, and having a lot of it. By experience I’m not saying you should have spent a gazillion years in college, I’m talking about real experience that comes from writing regularly. You should have great experience in writing down your thoughts, you should have great experience with storytelling, you should have great experience with writing content that moves people and you should have great experience with getting published on other bigger blogs in your field.
I personally like to think that the way we write online is different from they way we write in school. That is exactly why the writing of a professor online might be extremely boring. They write as if they are writing that assignment, or they are writing for that student whereas what people really need to learn is their thoughts.
Here’s the Key Instead
Since I’ve helped you realize that having a CV with a gazillion work experiences won’t help you with most freelance writing jobs I think I should let you know how to get those jobs instead.
Instead of focusing on writing that CV of yours with all the excellent college degrees you have why not start focusing your efforts on getting the big people online to publish your work. Spend a lot more time writing that great thought in your mind, spend a lot more time writing what you see around you, spend a lot more time reading the works of great writers and spend a lot more time getting published on the top blogs in your field.
My experience with cold pitching has shown that it’s not about how many degrees you have, or how brilliant you were in college; it’s about social proof.
At the end of the day, it’s about where you have been published before. How reputable is the publication? When the time comes for clients to hire you, they won’t be taking a look at your degree, but your work will be speaking for you.
So, if you want to land a writing job with a client in the health niche, the fastest way to do this is by getting published on one of the biggest blogs or magazines in the healthy industry. It’s that simple.
P.S. If you want to build a successful freelance writing business but don’t know where to start, you definitely should get my Success Starter Guide. It also comes with a case study of a successful cold pitching experiment, that resulted in $625 in writing income in 2 hours flat.