If you have a passion for writing and enjoy working from the comfort of your home—or anywhere besides an office—you might want to consider pursuing the path of becoming a remote freelance writer. Along with its flexibility and limitless amounts of opportunities, there are many advantages to pursuing freelance as a career, or even for a short period. If you’re interested, keep reading, and in this article, we’ll share all of the benefits along with everything else you need to know to get started!
Unlike other writing jobs, when you become a freelance writer, you’ll be your own boss in a sense. You won’t be working for a company or organization. Instead, you’ll acquire clients and then produce writing pieces that suit their needs. There are a lot of different types of organizations and clients that need work. So, you might have several clients that you work on small projects for or a larger client that will give you steady and continuous work.
You’re probably aware that in any job or industry, you need to market yourself to employers. This is especially true for freelance writers. Not only will you need to develop skills to produce quality work, but you will also need to constantly promote yourself to clients. This means utilizing social media or networking sites to highlight your skills, previous experience, and work. In some instances, after you’ve been working for some time, you can become a ‘business owner,’ meaning that you can form your own business, like an LLC, so that you can better manage your personal and work finances.
Organizations need freelance writers because they often only need one project to be completed, such as creating a brochure. Because of this, the company doesn’t need a full-time hire to complete this job, and instead, they need a freelance writer, or independent contractor, to complete the project for them. Freelance writers are skilled, so they do not have to invest much time or money into training. Even if a company uses an individual for multiple projects, it’s still easier than onboarding a new employee. Now, with improvements in technology, it’s easier than ever to enter into a contract with a client.
Technology is another reason why online freelancers are in high demand. Many companies now operate fully online and don’t have physical offices. Because of this, they need employees and independent contractors who can work remotely. This is beneficial to them because they can work with a range of diverse individuals that are located in different areas.
One of the main reasons people are drawn to any kind of freelance work is because of its flexibility. For some people, a 9 to 5 job isn’t feasible, and they prefer to make their own hours. For example, you might be going to school during the day and focusing on your job in the evenings. Additionally, you get to be your own boss and pick which work interests you. We’ve all been there where we’re given a tedious task that we don’t want to do. Freelance jobs give you more control as to what kind of work you want to do.
While there are many benefits to working as an online freelance writer, there are a few things that you should be aware of. You will still have deadlines, and since you aren’t being paid based on an hourly wage or salary, your income can fluctuate. You also won’t always have the option to write articles that you’re extremely passionate about. This doesn’t mean you won’t have any say about which projects you work on, but keep in mind that you are job to satisfy the needs and wants of clients.
Depending on who you’re working with, you’ll typically receive your payments via invoices. You might get paid in full once your work is completed, or you might get paid half of it upfront. Many smaller organizations prefer to use PayPal because of its convenience. However, larger companies usually use more traditional means of payment. For example, they might send you a physical check by the due date stated on an invoice. This is why you must set a schedule for yourself.
The first step is to do some research. This can be done in multiple ways. You can read the work of other freelance writers via their blogs and websites. If you connect with someone while reading their articles, you could even consider reaching out to them to ask questions. There are also many articles online that can give you more specific details on what freelance writing entails.
To become an online freelance writer, you don’t need to have extensive education. However, if you’re new, you need to improve your skills to be qualified for future jobs. If you want formal training and don’t have a lot of money or time to go to school, you can consider taking an online writing class. These are usually less expensive than going to a formal college, and it offers more flexibility.
If you can’t go to school right now, that doesn’t mean you still can’t be an online freelance writer. You still need to brush up on your skills and practice, but there are many ways to do this. For example, you can use websites or YouTube to practice grammar. Or, you can practice writing or reach out to peers or mentors who work in the writing field in your spare time.
All writers face the inevitable writer’s block where they don’t know what to write and feel like they have no direction. Before starting any career in writing, it’s beneficial to have an area of expertise or passion about something to write about. This doesn’t mean you won’t have days where you’re struggling to get work done. Rather, it will lessen the chance of it happening, and it will also make your job hunt easier and more enjoyable.
You can go the route of setting up your own website or blog. Alternatively, you can also look for jobs through other sites. One route you explore is a job-searching platform such as JobGet!
Even if you don’t want to use online platforms to find a job, it’s still helpful to conduct general research about areas that interest you. The purpose of this is that because freelance work is always changing and evolving, you can gain a better sense of what kind of work is needed currently. This will also help you pick a niche or area you want to focus on in your career!
Whether you decide to market yourself to others or use online websites to get your career started, you still need to promote yourself. When you set up times to talk to potential clients, make sure to remain respectful, professional, and answer any phone calls or emails as soon as you can. It’s also helpful to have an elevator pitch ready. Because being hired as a freelance writer is different from the traditional hiring process, they most likely won’t be asking you those typical, daunting interview questions. Instead, they might ask you to give a brief overview of your experiences and skills, so practice a 30-60 second overview of your abilities.
Promoting yourself goes beyond the professional world. Think of it this way, you can consider yourself as a brand. In addition to looking at your credentials, clients might do additional searches on the internet. Make sure your website, blogs, and/or social media sites accurately depict who you are. You don’t need to fill your Instagram with your headshots or links to your blogs. However, make sure none of your posts reflect your reputation and image positively.
Part of promoting yourself is proving your abilities. Each job that you apply to will require you to share writing samples. This might seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Whether you have relevant articles that you wrote in school or for previous jobs, as long as it showcases your abilities, that’s all you need. You could even consider starting a blog. Not only will this be an easy way to share with clients your previous work, but it’s also an effective way to regularly practice your writing. This will also give better insight to clients about your skills as they can browse numerous samples.
Networking is important in any industry, and it can be extremely helpful to find an online freelance writing job. In terms of finding work, reach out to others in the field. Did you have any mentors, bosses, or teachers that made an impact on you? You can reach out to them for advice or see if they know of any companies looking for freelance writers. If you went to college or took any other training courses, you can reach out to alumnae to see if they know available jobs.
Networking also goes beyond just finding a job. Freelance jobs as a whole are always changing. Whether you’re just starting or have already been working as a freelance writer, you can always learn. In your spare time, reach out to these people who have the experience to learn from them and to gain valuable advice.
Like we said earlier, one of the main advantages is having a flexible workload and hours. However, if you aren’t disciplined, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and behind on work. Find a time each week, like Sunday evenings, to set up a schedule for the week. Set achievable goals for each day, and give yourself some wiggle room. Something might come up in your schedule, so you must be proactive with your work.
Varying pay, strange hours, and distractions in your work environment can sometimes make online freelance writing difficult. While setting daily routines and a work schedule for yourself can be helpful, you’ll likely encounter some obstacles—but this isn’t a bad thing. It makes your job more interesting as long as you’re prepared.
If you plan to make a career out of freelance writing, there are a few steps that you can complete to mitigate those obstacles. First, figure out a way to manage your finances. Unlike typical jobs, you won’t be given tax forms to fill out, healthcare, or a retirement fund. Making a long-term plan before starting your career will help you make sure that you are managing your income properly.
Especially if you’re a new freelance writer, it can be tricky to find a job right away. If your search is going nowhere, you might want to consider starting with a staff job. There are many websites and publication agencies that hire writers, and they often hire full-time positions. Why is this a good option? No matter how much experience you have, there will always be other people who have more skills that you can learn from. They can act as mentors and give you physical experience and education that you can’t get anywhere else. Working with experienced editors and other writers from different backgrounds will help you to become a better writer.
Some smaller, local organizations might be looking for online freelance writers. You can make posts on social media or networking sites to advertise your skills, and you can also reach out to these organizations directly. Even if you can’t find a job this way, it’s a great way to make connections and practice reaching out to clients.
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