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) beneath my belt, I need to reply your frequently-asked questions on making a contract writing profession or facet hustle give you the results you want.
Learn on for solutions to 5 of your most urgent questions on find out how to change into a contract author.
1. How do I get began as a contract author?
Generally getting began is the trickiest half.
The easiest way to get began, particularly in case you have little-to-no prior freelancing expertise, is to do these two issues:
Use the work you’ve already completed to construct a portfolio.
You’ll 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 may 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 will help you attain towards paying alternatives.
Think about 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, it’s possible you’ll 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 identify and work related to these websites. I knew they’d assist me get to the following paid alternative.
2. How do I discover official freelance jobs?
Freelance jobs might be difficult to search out as a result of there are a lot of scams on the market. You undoubtedly need to keep away from these in any respect prices and watch out as you’re evaluating potential alternatives.
Nevertheless, there’s a wealth of actual, official and superior freelance writing jobs accessible on-line, too. It’s as much as you to do the analysis to find out what’s a real alternative for you. (Our book on freelance writing jobs for learners is a good start line!)
First issues first: Keep away from content material mills and freelance-bidding websites. I’ve personally by no means used considered one of these websites as a result of it looks as if an terrible lot of labor for a small reward; the businesses are sometimes seeking to rent somebody at an especially low-cost price, and also you compete with numerous different writers all bidding on the identical undertaking.
As a substitute, spend your worthwhile time researching and pitching official potential purchasers.
Networking also can result in paying purchasers. I bought considered one of my first main gigs after I talked about a weblog submit the corporate’s founder had written in a submit of mine. He reached out to thank me, and from there we developed an expert relationship. I started writing for him sometimes, 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 is dependent upon what companies you’re planning to supply! The gadgets under are nice ones to contemplate in your on-line portfolio:
Case research for advertising and marketing or social media tasks you’ve labored on
Hyperlinks to related social media accounts, web sites, and so on. the place your work has been featured
Testimonials are one other nice advertising and marketing device in your on-line portfolio. Ask the folks you’ve labored with to put in writing a short suggestion for you that you would be able to 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 accommodate 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 undertaking foundation.
For my running a blog/writing purchasers, I cost per submit or per article. Some purchasers choose to pay by the phrase.
For my content material administration purchasers, I cost a flat month-to-month price for all of the work I do. I select to not cost hourly for any of my purchasers as a result of I prefer to base my price on the worth I present, slightly than the period of time I put in.
After all, after I’m placing collectively a proposal bundle, I contemplate how lengthy a undertaking will take me to finish, however I don’t let that change into the deciding issue.
By way of 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 submit of round 500-700 phrases.
For longer function 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 undertaking.
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 undertaking. It doesn’t harm to ask for extra, and the worst that may occur is the consumer says no and also you negotiate down (however not so low that you just’re uncomfortable).
For extra on what to cost, try this submit full of rate-setting sources.
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 must create an bill.
This can be a problem all new freelancers face, so we’ve outlined find out how to write an bill and offered an bill instance.
A easy PDF bill despatched by way of electronic mail might be the simplest start line, simply bear in mind to specify the way you need to be paid (for instance, by way of PayPal or examine). 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 supply a free model or at the least a free trial, and so they’ll enable you hold monitor of which payments have been paid and that are excellent.
There’s loads to determine as you begin freelance writing, however relaxation assured that everybody faces this studying curve initially. You probably have extra questions and wish solutions from profitable freelance writers, The Write Life Fb group is a useful useful resource.
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In regards to the Writer: Jessica Lawlor
Jessica is the founder and CEO of Jessica Lawlor & Firm (JL&Co), a specialty communications company centered on content material administration and creation. She and her group run well-liked, 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 professional within the Philadelphia space.