Deciding to ‘go freelance’, whether that be in the field of design or writing (for me, it was writing), can be incredibly daunting, and the writing world has definitely been no exception. However, if you have a passion and build up the right amount of motivation, there is no reason why you can’t become successful. As we browse around the internet, we are constantly bombarded with spam emails and adverts telling us to quit our day jobs and make money from home, but why should we need to quit our day jobs? There’s no reason why you can’t build success and make a decent living while you are at it. Of course you can decide to bite the bullet and become a full-time freelancer, but there’s no reason why you can’t express your flexibility to employers and work part-time, too. While I built my freelancing profiles and connected with employers, I worked in retail to fund my creative aspirations. I did not ‘quit my day job’ until I was confident that I could live comfortably from freelance payments, and there are certain things you can do to give yourself the best chance of becoming successful.
One of the best ways to find work is to build strong connections and relationships with editors and employers. When you first start out, you should spend a few days researching what kind of publications you would like to write for, and approach these publications with ideas, and samples of your work. Don’t just tweet or email employers offering your services. Make the extra effort and email them a cover letter and attach more than one idea that you think would suit their company, and attach other samples of your work. This way, they can see that you can write to suit their style, but will know you’re not a one trick pony. This makes you appear as a flexible freelance writer. If they review your services well, and are happy with your work, it may happen the other way round in the future. Editors may choose you as the person they turn to for assignments, resulting in you having consistent paid work. To do this, you need to ensure that you always complete work assigned to you to the best of your ability on the required deadline, or beforehand. Editors want their job to be easy, and if you make things simple for them, you can prove yourself as a freelancer who delivers a quality service with no fuss. If things go well and they hire you regularly, you will be a step closer to being known as a trustworthy and proficient freelancer, and you will be likely to have a more stable income.
Another really important tip is to be a flexible worker. This relates to what I said previously about not being a one trick pony. You may be brilliant at writing fashion articles or recipes so you feel your writing would fit in well with companies of this focus. It’s important to write about what we love, but if you can prove yourself to be a flexible writer who can adapt your tone around different topics and target audiences, you are much more likely to reign in more opportunities. And of course, more work means more income!
The competition is fierce in the writing world, but there are still plenty of magazines, newspapers and news outlets who are all desperately searching or content. And thanks to the internet, you can pretty much make yourself half-an-expert in any topic by researching, so apply for all kinds of writing projects – you can educate yourself beforehand!