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The Journey of Thousand Steps to Freelance Writing

By Eric

Admit it: you’ve always been a scribbler. Always writing something down, maybe in a journal, or a notepad, or even on your own blog. Maybe you re-purpose others’ posts or articles, putting your own spin on them. And maybe, you feel the time is right for you to take your “scribbling” to another level. You want to step into freelance writing.

We all have to begin somewhere, and making the decision to become a freelancer is that first step, on what may seem to be a journey of a thousand miles. If you enjoy writing, can write well, and would like to work for yourself, then freelancing might be your dream career. But what should you do after making that decision? The obvious thing would be to spread the word.

Spreading The Word

Don’t feel shy about using friends, family, co-workers, etc to help with this. I know when I started writing it was hard for me to tell people, because I was afraid they’d ask what I had live, or what I had published, and I’d have to tell them, “well, nothing yet…” Don’t let this stop you! Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get a foothold.

Social media can also be a great way to do so, through use of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc. But don’t take them all on at once! Start with maybe two or three, and leave adding more for later. Maybe even never.  “Having some social media presence is vital. Prospective clients who follow you on Twitter are likely to be well-disposed to hiring you. And if your current clients become “fans” of your business on Facebook, their friends might well check you out,” says Ali Luke of aliventures.com. She also recommends LinkedIn for it’s more professional focus, “to add credibility”. This is a good one, in my opinion.

I was invited to join by a friend of mine, and within a few days was networking with other young professionals in my area!

Create separate profiles for yourself as a freelancer, vs the one you keep personally. And always keep in mind what message you’re sending.

Your First Clients

Work might come in a little slowly at first, but don’t worry.

One of the things you can do while you’re working towards being really well-established is pro bono (free) work. Pro bono can be done for friends, for blogs and/or websites that allow guest posts (some with a byline), for charities or non-profit organizations who need the word put out about an event or other notice-worthy news. You can find information on these by searching the web, looking around your town, and keeping your ears open.

A blog or business website is definitely another good idea. This can increase the internet presence, but sets you a little apart from the mainstream social media. Things to include on a website would be:

  • Live samples of your writing, whether it be from photos, screenshots, pro bono work, etc.
  • A profile/home page where you can give prospective clients an overview of what you can do.
  • Testimonials from clients. If you don’t have any testimonials, go to clients and ask them to write one!
  • A contact page. This might seem a little “duh” but it is important to remember. Whether you choose to be contacted by phone, email, chat, or smoke signal, it’s important to remember to include that information.

Finding clients might seem like the hardest part of getting started—it can be daunting as you picture the hours waiting for someone to stumble upon your blog, or notice your Facebook freelance profile. But rest assured, there are jobs out there!

Good ways of finding clients include job websites or boards; reading other blogs and webpages; and touching base with your current contacts, both business and personal.

There are many more things to learn as you go along – everything from dealing with clients to tracking your income for taxes. But you’ve made the decision, you have the start up advice, and you’re off! Your journey of a thousand steps just got shorter.

Please share ‘The Journey of Thousand Steps to Freelance Writing’ on your social networking sites if you enjoyed it.

Eric Pangburn is a blogger who enjoys helping others and sharing his passions of blogging tips, SEO copywriting, and entrepreneurship.

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Category: freelance writing

8 Comments on "The Journey of Thousand Steps to Freelance Writing"

  1. Heather Villa (@HeatherVilla1) says:

    This post is right on! Thank you for helping other writers.
    Heather Villa

  2. Hey Heather,

    Thank you and I always enjoy helping other writers. I always when I teach and help others that I am in return usually learn more 😉 It’s always interesting how it works out that way.

    Thanks again,

    Eric

  3. This post came at a good time for me because I find myself fighting through another case of cold feet. This is the pep talk I needed!

  4. Kalen says:

    Thanks for the post Eric. I want to build off of what you said about blogging and social media. I think that the two really need to be used in conjunction with each other. Your blog is like your online resume and the most important online marketing tool. Your social media efforts are what draw attention to it and also supplement your branding efforts in other ways too.

  5. Everyone succeeding today had to take the first step at one point or the other. The greatest enemy to this great step is the force of inertia. This is one enemy we must overcome in our entrepreneurial journey, if we must experience success.Thanks Eric for the post.

  6. Thanks for the tips. This is especially helpful to beginners like me. I have an idea though. As a total novice in the business, will it be wise to offer a prospect with a free article then make a deal with them to hire you if they like your work?

    • Amit - Digital Creative Network says:

      @Thomas, if you never mind offering something for FREE to your client then I bet nothing can be best than this. Everyone likes FREE stuff and if your free article can add some value to them, they will definitely like to hire you as per their requirement.

      Just go ahead….. opportunity is knocking the door, just bang it…..

      Best of Luck 🙂

  7. Amy Obin says:

    I think your article is going to help me a lot on my quest to become a freelance writer. Thank you very much for your insight and advice!

Onibalusi

Welcome! I'm Bamidele Onibalusi, a young writer and blogger. I believe writers are unique and highly talented individuals that should be given the respect they deserve. This blog offers practical advice to help you become truly in charge of your writing career.

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