Are you an avid writer? Do you enjoy the flexibility to set your own hours doing what you enjoy? You should consider becoming an online freelance writer.
Writing for an online audience has a number of perks. Online writing is one of those businesses you can get into without leaving your house.
Getting started as an online writer
What goals do you intend to set for your online writing business? Don’t launch your business before you can answer that question. As you start to figure out your goals, make sure you can answer the following:
1. What kind of writing do you want to get into?
There are many styles of online writing. Some writers provide SEO copywriting services to help websites drive their search engine traffic. Others writers specialize in writing engaging blog articles. Still others write sales copy. There is no reason you can’t write in a variety of fields. The important thing to do is find your own voice and know what works for you. The most important thing is to make sure that you don’t try to market yourself for writing services you don’t have the right skills for. Recognize your best talents so you can put your best foot forward with all your clients.
2. What topic do you want to write on?
You need to know what kinds of topics are going to work best for you. As a freelance writer myself, I have written on personal finance, entrepreneurship, news in the medical industry, internet marketing, online poker and a variety of other topics. You should obviously consider the topics you are familiar with or have some background in. However, you don’t necessarily need to limit yourself to these niches. You can easily educate yourself on a number of different topics and get started on amazing projects. Just make sure that you don’t pass yourself off as an expert in a regulated field that you don’t have the credentials for.
3. What can you offer your clients?
You want to be realistic about what you can do for the people you work for. This isn’t only a matter of practicality, but also one of ethics. When you market yourself, you need to focus on what you really have to offer. Be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses.
Once you have identified what you want as an online writer, you need to get started.
Pursuing your career
Starting a career as an online writer is going to take a lot of work. You might find it is a little hard getting started, but you will definitely find it worth your while. You just need to have a little patience.
First, you are going to need to create a portfolio of writings samples. I got started by writing a few blog posts on other sites. Many sites will want to see samples of your work before even looking at a submission they don’t intend to pay you for. Often, the easiest way to get started is to create your own blog.
The bottom line is that you need to start your writing career by actually writing!
Once you have started your career as a writer, there are a variety of ways you can start locating clients. You can consider the following:
1. Go to online marketplaces such as elance or freelancer.com
I personally don’t use these sites, because they have a lot of clients looking to pay low rates for the work they are asking. However, many people have gotten good results from them.
2. Look at jobs boards at sites like Problogger
These sites offer a lot of great opportunities for bloggers and copywriters. The gigs tend to pay better and usually result in a long-term work project. When you applying for these sites, you want to have at least three compelling writing samples to showcase.
3. Start networking
One of the greatest ways to get in touch with other bloggers and sell your work is through networking. If you are working as an online writer, I suggest you start your networking process on social networking sites. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the obvious places to start. You can also participate in blogging communities and engage with bloggers directly. Once you’ve established a firm connection with other great bloggers, you can pitch your services. You will need to take more initiative, but you can get many clients that aren’t asking for their services. Many great bloggers don’t waste their time posting on jobs boards or going to elance. They want great writers and will look for people within their own contacts.
Freelance writing can be an awesome business to get into. You will need to put in a lot of work and make sure you deliver excellent results to your clients. As with any business, you will get out whatever you put into it.
About the Author: Kalen Smith is a lifelong Internet entrepreneur and the Founder of Onlinerookies.com where he helps other entrepreneurs learn Internet marketing strategies. He has also developed a variety of Internet marketing research studies for entrepreneurs striving to grow their business.