Freelance writing, as an industry, continues to grow — but so does the competition for articles and income. Those who wish to have long-term success in this burgeoning industry would be well-advised to follow a few basic steps in order to establish themselves and create a brand that keeps clients coming back and requesting more articles. In a profession as volatile as freelancing, it’s important to develop a reputation that cultivate clients and ensures longer-term success.
Establish a Brand
Freelance article writers should remember that, even though they’re operating as an independent contractor, their “brand” is as important as a major company’s. They’ll have to do all of the marketing, advertising, and leg work, and they’ll be responsible for selling editors and article-requesitng clients on their ideas and their prose. Given these tasks, it is essential to establish an identity online — probably via a website — and craft a unique brand.
They key is come across as both professional and memorable, so writers will want to pair examples of their work with a discussion of their education, experience, and knowledge of the field. They’ll want to throw in some personal stores, some quirks, and things that will stick with an editor or a potential client long after they’ve left the website. A memorable author, or brand, is the one that clients will naturally gravitate toward when they need have work for authors.
Show Samples of Work
Writing is something that must be seen to be believed, something which must be read to be understood. A future client or an editor will want to work with an author whose work they have already seen. It is said that capable people admire capability, so you’ll want to show off only the best compositions that you’ve created throughout your writing career. These need not be online articles: research papers, blog entries, and even newspaper articles or short eBooks you’ve written will be perfect examples of your talent.
The important thing is simply to show that you have what it takes to produce high-quality articles quickly, professionally, and consistently.
Engage in Networking
Just like traditional jobs encourage their employees to attend networking events in order to spread their brand, talents, and name, freelance writers should commit to networking with other publications and freelance writers. Some freelancers prefer to do this in the form of a “guest post” on a blog or small publication’s website, while others have decided to stick with social networking websites like Twitter, Digg, or LinkedIn.
No matter what the approach, the goal is to make connections in the field in order to encourage word-of-mouth promotion among future clients and editors at major publications. And networking with fellow freelance article writers will help you find out about new jobs and freelance websites online which can help to boost your portfolio as well as your monthly income.
Pursue a Diverse List of Employers
Freelance writing is a broad career that spans many publications, websites, and other employers. A freelancer who is dedicated to the profession and wishes to make it his or her primary source of income should never stick to just one website or publication when selecting who to write for. Because the nature of freelancing means that work ebbs and flows, having multiple avenues of work lined up means that there are more potential revenue streams. That leads to a lesser risk of “dry spells” which can damage income and decimate savings accounts.
A further reason to pursue diversification has to do with skill level and earnings opportunities. Not every freelance website or employer will judge a skill level the same — some websites may judge you a low-paid amateur while others will consider you a professional worth the highest rate of pay. Trying out for multiple opportunities will allow you to find a community which best recognizes your skills and compensates you accordingly.
Pursue Raises Independently
Your skill level might rise naturally as you write more articles, but your level of pay certainly won’t raise itself. The key to success in freelance writing is to monitor the rate you’re charing clients, and the rate you’re being paid by freelance websites, and to periodically request raises from those freelance websites and raise your per-word or per-article rate periodically. Be sure to inform clients of the change, and be sure not to over-compensate yourself for your talents, and you’ll be able to turn less words into more money over time.