Once I stepped into the great world of freelance writing years in the past, I naturally had a ton of questions.
How do I discover purchasers? What ought to I cost? How do I construct a private model?
How do I get began?!
Now, years later, with triumphs (and naturally, a pair failures) underneath my belt, I need to reply your frequently-asked questions on making a contract writing profession or facet hustle be just right for you.
Learn on for solutions to 5 of your most urgent questions on tips on how to change into a contract author.
1. How do I get began as a contract author?
Typically getting began is the trickiest half.
The easiest way to get began, particularly you probably have little-to-no prior freelancing expertise, is to do these two issues:
Use the work you’ve already carried out to construct a portfolio.
You will have no “freelancing” expertise per se, however I wager you do have samples of the form of work you need to do on a contract foundation!
For instance, if you wish to change into a contract author, you would possibly have already got a weblog that showcases your writing. If you wish to do social media for small companies, maybe you’ve already labored or volunteered at a small enterprise and handle its social presence.
Use these samples to showcase your experience and that can assist you attain towards paying alternatives.
Contemplate working totally free.
Controversial matter alert, we all know. Let me make clear: strategically work totally free, to start with, to realize expertise or to realize publicity.
All through your profession, you might uncover alternatives the place writing totally free is value your time. To start with of my freelance writing profession, I wrote unpaid visitor posts for credible web sites as a result of I noticed the worth in having my title and work related to these websites. I knew they’d assist me get to the subsequent paid alternative.
2. How do I discover professional freelance jobs?
Freelance jobs might be difficult to seek out as a result of there are a lot of scams on the market. You positively need to keep away from these in any respect prices and watch out as you’re evaluating potential alternatives.
Nonetheless, there’s a wealth of actual, professional and superior freelance writing jobs out there on-line, too. It’s as much as you to do the analysis to find out what’s a real alternative for you. (Our e-book on freelance writing jobs for freshmen is a superb place to begin!)
First issues first: Keep away from content material mills and freelance-bidding websites. I’ve personally by no means used one in all these websites as a result of it looks like an terrible lot of labor for a small reward; the businesses are sometimes trying to rent somebody at a particularly low-cost fee, and also you compete with numerous different writers all bidding on the identical venture.
As an alternative, spend your helpful time researching and pitching professional potential purchasers.
Networking also can result in paying purchasers. I bought one in all my first main gigs after I talked about a weblog put up the corporate’s founder had written in a put up of mine. He reached out to thank me, and from there we developed an expert relationship. I started writing for him often, and after a few months, I turned the weblog’s editor. Six years later, we’re nonetheless working collectively!
three. What ought to I embody in my on-line portfolio?
That depends upon what providers you’re planning to supply! The gadgets beneath are nice ones to think about to your on-line portfolio:
Case research for advertising and marketing or social media initiatives you’ve labored on
Hyperlinks to related social media accounts, web sites, and so forth. the place your work has been featured
Testimonials are one other nice advertising and marketing instrument to your on-line portfolio. Ask the folks you’ve labored with to jot down a short advice for you that you could embody in your website or LinkedIn profile. I’ve a devoted “Reward” web page on my web site that options a number of testimonials; I additionally sprinkle testimonials into my “Work With Me” web page.
Don’t have your individual web site to deal with your portfolio? Take a look at these nice portfolio websites for freelance writers.
four. How a lot can I earn as a contract author?
Dun, dun, dun…that is the primary query I hear from most new (and skilled) freelance writers. How a lot ought to I cost my purchasers?
The trustworthy, and never very useful, reply is: it actually relies upon.
As a freelancer, you may select to cost purchasers hourly, or on a retainer or venture foundation.
For my running a blog/writing purchasers, I cost per put up or per article. Some purchasers choose to pay by the phrase.
For my content material administration purchasers, I cost a flat month-to-month fee for all of the work I do. I select to not cost hourly for any of my purchasers as a result of I wish to base my payment on the worth I present, relatively than the period of time I put in.
In fact, after I’m placing collectively a proposal bundle, I take into account how lengthy a venture will take me to finish, however I don’t let that change into the deciding issue.
When it comes to freelance writing and running a blog, I’ve discovered most blogs that pay have a tendency to supply writers between $50 and $150 for a put up of round 500-700 phrases.
For longer characteristic tales, maybe in or different sort of publication, the speed can go a lot larger; between $200 and $1,000, or much more, relying on the venture.
Right here’s a chunk of recommendation The Write Life founder Alexis Grant taught me: ALWAYS purpose larger than what you actually count on to be paid for a venture. It doesn’t damage to ask for extra, and the worst that may occur is the shopper says no and also you negotiate down (however not so low that you simply’re uncomfortable).
For extra on what to cost, try this put up filled with rate-setting assets.
5. How do I ship an bill and receives a commission?
Fear about touchdown purchasers and producing nice work first. However when you’ve bought that down, you’ll have to create an bill.
This can be a problem all new freelancers face, so we’ve outlined tips on how to write an bill and supplied an bill instance.
A easy PDF bill despatched by way of e mail might be the best place to begin, simply keep in mind to specify the way you need to be paid (for instance, by way of PayPal or test). When you’re jugging a number of purchasers, you’ll in all probability need to transition to a software program that generates invoices for you. Most provide a free model or at the very least a free trial, and so they’ll allow you to maintain observe of which payments have been paid and that are excellent.
There’s quite a bit to determine as you begin freelance writing, however relaxation assured that everybody faces this studying curve initially. If in case you have extra questions and wish solutions from profitable freelance writers, The Write Life Fb group is a useful useful resource.
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Concerning the Writer: Jessica Lawlor
Jessica is the founder and CEO of Jessica Lawlor & Firm (JL&Co), a specialty communications company targeted on content material administration and creation. She and her staff run widespread, high-traffic blogs, together with The Write Life, the place Jessica has served as managing editor since 2016. Jessica’s an achieved author, speaker and private branding skilled within the Philadelphia space.