I’ve only, technically, been a freelance writer for a week now. I left my previous role in mid-February, took a break, and started applying for freelance positions last week. However, I have been building my website, getting everything set up for my freelancing career (office equipment etc.) and researching freelancing for about two months now. I started researching before I’d even decided whether or not I was going to quit my job.
While doing research, I learned a lot about the freelance writing world, however, it’s only now I’ve fully delved into it by starting to look for and apply for jobs that I’ve learned the most. So, here are 3 important things I’ve learned about freelance writing so far.
1. You Should Find a Niche
I read this sentiment a lot when I was in research mode and, honestly, I didn’t think having a niche was that important. I thought, surely being able to write about any and everything is more useful? And, yes, while being able to write well about anything is definitely useful, being an expert in one or a few things is infinitely better. You always know what subject you’re going to write about, you don’t have to do a ton of research (although you’ll always need to keep researching your niche to keep up to date with it), and you have more of an idea of where to seek job opportunities.
While job searching, I noticed that a lot of job ads out there are specifically looking for writers who specialise in one subject, or who have knowledge or experience writing about one area in particular. Those jobs were also usually better paying or more likely to be ongoing work.
2. You Need to be Resilient
I’ve worked in sales and telemarketing so I’d say my resilience level is at 100%. I’ve only been applying for jobs for a week so, relatively speaking, I haven’t applied for many. However, I have applied for at least ten jobs by now and… nothing. No responses. Not even a rejection email.
Now, of course, companies get a lot of emails regarding freelance writing, even if they haven’t put out an ad, so if they aren’t interested in you or your work don’t expect a response. And don’t take it personally. On the other hand, the fact that they get a lot of emails could also mean that they just haven’t got to your email yet. Either way, you need to be resilient. You can’t be put off by no responses or you’ll never find work. Think of it like normal job hunting. You send out your CV and apply for way more jobs than you get responses from, right? Freelancing is no exception.
3. Quality Content is Everything
Website content is very important for businesses now, which is great because it means more work available for freelance writers. Website content is also becoming better quality, which is also great because who wants to write low quality content, anyway? But this also means that companies now require a lot more from freelancers. Many jobs I’ve seen require extensive research before writing, they want long, detailed pieces (1,000 words or more) and the companies will likely be more particular about who they hire to write for them, for example, only looking for writers whose niche or expertise is in their area. All of these things are not a problem because, as I said, who doesn’t want to write great quality, well researched content?
The problem, from what I’ve noticed, is that companies will expect more from freelancers while not paying them more. So, ensure that you are creating useful, well researched, great quality content and that you are being paid fairly for your hard work.
I’m sure I will learn many more important points as I continue my freelance journey, but I think these 3 points are key when beginning freelance writing. What were the first few things you learned or are learning about freelancing?