An education in freelance writing for the uninitiatedGuest Post By Nadia Jones
Freelancing is tough work for any trade, but freelance writers looking for work on the web have it particularly rough. I say that to anyone who expresses interest in freelancing just so they know what they're getting into. Freelancing can be a rewarding and empowering gig, but it takes serious effort and talent to make it big.
Why is freelance writing so difficult? In this (freelance) writer's opinion, it largely has to do with the sheer number of writers on the blogosphere competing for coverage and attention. Some are professional journalists and writers looking to make a living off their web writing, others are simply entrepreneurial bloggers who lack real writing experience but possess social media savvy that can pave the way for success.
Long story short: there's a ton of competition out there. So how is a person interested in freelancing expected to make a splash in an already saturated market? Consider my tips on the subject.
I wholeheartedly encourage writers to try out freelancing for themselves to see if they like it. But what I don't advocate is for those same writers to quite their day jobs and take up freelancing as their sole source of income.
It's possible to be self-sufficient on paid gigs through freelancing, but it takes time to build up that kind of loyal client base. A newcomer to freelancing would be better off keeping their job and freelancing on the side until they start making considerable profits from their efforts. Doing it any other way is simply foolhardy.
Search for potential clients and viable projects whenever you're on the web
Writers interested in freelancing should look for opportunities whenever they're on the web. A seemingly infinite number of writing opportunities await freelancers; they just have to know where to look for them. Many blogs accept guest post submissions from qualified and insightful writers, for instance.
You never know where an opportunity might pop up—maybe someone on your Twitter feed is asking for some help writing content for their site, or perhaps your favorite blog offered guest posting and you never even realized it. The point is that you keep your eyes peeled for these opportunities whenever you're online.
Don't be picky about assignments
In the same vein as the previous point, I have to emphasize that freelance writers refrain from being choosy about their assignments. For example, say a writer comes across some drab medical blog looking for writing help that doesn’t remotely pertain to their personal writing interests. While it's tempting to pass up that opportunity in hopes that something "better" will come your way, the writer would be much better off if they took the gig.
Why do I say that? Because you never know when you'll encounter work, and keeping busy on work that doesn’t exactly excite you is much better than sitting idle and wishing you had something to write about! Writing is rarely as glamorous as its made to be in popular culture, and aspiring freelancers should learn that truth sooner than later if they want to become a seasoned writer.
Nadia Jones works as a freelance blogger a number of websites, including sites focused higher education and online colleges. When she’s not writing about the overlap of technology and higher education, Nadia writes on topics as wide ranging as the food industry, small business, and the latest in mobile tech. Feel free to leave Nadia some comments!
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Writer’s Digest Website of the Week, June 25, 2012