No office. Online Jobs. Flexible work hours. Freelancer. Stable earning (mostly). Creative satisfaction.
Welcome to the life of a freelance content writer!
Who is a Freelance Content Writer?
Let us begin by understanding who exactly is a freelance content writer or a freelance copywriter.
A freelance content writer works on a self-employed basis and juggles between different work commitments at a single point in time.
The work undertaken by a content writer can range from writing articles for magazines, an introduction for a website, a press release for a brand, or resumes. Anything that has basically got something to do with, well, writing!
And this depends upon the client and his requirement the writer is dealing with.
Wondering what exactly does a content writer do? Check out content writers demystified!
Need For Freelance Content Writers
Firstly, ask yourself, why do you need a writer? Just because everyone is getting one?
Nowadays, freelance writers are needed instead of experienced and full-time writers at the helm. The following factors act as the determinants:
- Cheap: Freelance writer for hire often charge way less than what experienced writers do. It is a dot-com world. The companies can get work done from any part of the world where the charge of the service is cheap.
- One time assignment: Work taken by freelance content editors is often a one-time job. It is not repetitive in nature and one moves on after having submitted the respective assignment to the client.
- Saves overhead cost: It saves companies of having a full-time permanent writer. They can approach the freelance writers market whenever work arises and pay them assignment-wise.
Accessibility is the most interesting factor of the online freelance writing jobs trade!
Educated, uneducated, married, student, working professional, housewife, lawyer, doctor etc. anybody can be a part of the online writing business. The bottom line is: get work done timely anyhow.
Of course, an underbelly of this statement suggests without compromising the quality of work. To enter and sustain, all you need is good writing skills, professionalism, hunger for knowledge and persistence. If you have these skills required to become a content writer, things are sorted. You are welcomed with open hands!
Well Paid Job?
But do freelance web content writers earn enough to earn bread and butter for their family? Can they earn well enough to afford cheese along with it too?
The answer is pretty simple.
More established, experienced and professional you are, more you are likely to earn. This goes without saying that the craft of writing that you have been pursuing is honed to a level which makes you experienced, established and professional.
As they say, never estimate the difficulty in swimming the way you do it on the first day. It gets easier, if not easier, obviously better. Better because the complexity level might increase or remain same, but earning would also increase along with it. And extra money disappoints nobody!
It is surely a well- paid job if you fine tune your art, have the hunger for knowledge along with professionalism. It also depends upon your ability to stick in the content writing industry for a prolonged period of time. It is said that on an average it takes 1000+ hours of the job along with 90% success rate for you to be considered among the top content writers online.
Payments could be done per assignment, or there are some companies often looking for freelance writers. These companies act as links between the clients’ freelance projects and writers. They assign work to writers every day and pay them a fixed salary, depending upon the arrangement between the company and the writers.
Take a look at this survey conducted by ClearVoice on pay rates for freelance writers.
Pros and Cons
The freelance writing work undertaken is mostly done to supplement one’s side income. However, people passionate enough to pursue this as a full-time career also take this as their primary job and do it full time.
It is a work-from-home job and comes with perks such as flexible working hours, working for different publications/companies, no fixed bosses etc.
On the flip side of the coin and like all the occupations, it has some downsides too. It is a creative job. There tend to be days when your mind is just not up for the work provided. You understand that you are having a writer’s block but your client most certainly won’t understand that.
Building your network, setting your foothold, establishing yourself, earning as per expectations etc. would definitely take time. But, anybody with a sane mind would retrospect that before stepping in.
Take a deep insight into the advantages and disadvantages of a professional freelance writer here.
Flap Your Wings: Get Established
Getting established on the freelance writing platforms – is there a more difficult task to accomplish? But it is not too strenuous either.
There is no certain time limit that would take to establish, but these things would help you for the first few months. The basics of establishing in the freelance writing business remain more or less the same in any industry – flap your wings as hard as you can!
- Market yourself: Be your own salesman. Sell yourself in the most efficient way possible. Try any of the techniques that would help you meet your clients. That could be getting registered on various online content writing websites, cold calling clients, contact website owners, use of social media to get work, etc. Avoid these mistakes while marketing and you are good to go!
- Constantly learn: There are no second thoughts about creating an edge over others. Amidst such traffic, the only thing that can act as a saving grace is your ability to constantly learn about the writing industry and its tricks.
Persistently feed yourself with knowledge about various things such as how to improve writing skills, how to market, how to create a portfolio, how to go a step further to impress your client etc.
Knowledge can be acquired via several mediums. You can learn online, you can refer a book, attend seminars etc. Here are certain ways to improve your writing skills.
- Network: It is not just about toiling endlessly and earning a living. You also have to enjoy the job in order to accomplish in the long run. Create a community or be a part of one. Create a conducive atmosphere to work with ease and peace. This would not only help to maximize your potential to the fullest, but also help to satisfy your client in a better manner.
Try and form a group of fellow freelance writers looking for work. Join an already existing group and include people from different fields but similar to your work such as website owners, designers etc. They will help you get more work.
Looking For Inspiration?
Every trade needs an inspiration. It requires them to project a picture for everyone to observe and also encourage people outside the industry to be a part of it.
The freelance writer and editor industry is no different!
Following are the stars amongst blog content writers who cover varied spectrums when it comes to writing content. Some of them also earn a whopping 6 figure salary!
Excited? Ready to get some motivation?
- Kristi Hines: Kristi is a social media marketing wizard. You name the trend and she has got it all sorted. Runs a website named com, she helps businesses and professionals sync the latest social media tools for them to have a wider reach and also increase profits. Her profound research on topic and attention to details is what filers her from the rest. Freelance content writers interested in carving a specific niche for themselves, she is a perfect example.
Her website: www.kikolani.com
- Eric T Wagner: Also known as ‘The Synthesizers’, Eric is a serial entrepreneur and a columnist for Forbes online. He usually covers entrepreneurial topics as to how to start a business, why doing business is not as difficult as it looks etc. Backed with an experience of 20 years in entrepreneurship, his articles also give tips such as how to make money, and how to make more money with that money!
One distinctive quality about Eric is his ability to simplify the information that seems very complex in nature. When not writing for Forbes, he consults small business via his own website.
His Forbes Page: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericwagner/
His personal website: http://mightywisemedia.com/
- Jeremy Girard: If you are into web designing, you cannot afford to miss his blog. Bringing his A-game whenever he writes, his articles are all about how to become, survive and succeed as the web professional. Some of the top articles such as ‘Habits of successful new professionals’ and ‘Building a better responsive websites’ has garnered him a lot of appreciation and also a huge fan following. He is funny, experienced and also knows his job in and out. What more do you expect of a content writer?
He writes for: Smashing magazine
A portfolio for writing of Jeremy Girard: http://www.pumpkin-king.com/blog/Web
- Gregory Ciotti: Marriage between psychology and content writing sounds to be a fairly interesting idea. This man has that power to bring it to reality. He writes on very interesting topics such as ‘why consumers behave the way they do’ and psychological tricks that can be used to sell products. His ability to use direct examples, providing definitive knowledge and also most importantly attempting something unique and useful makes him extremely special.
His website: www.sparringmind.com
- J Maureen Henderson: She is a writer for Forbes and also handles her own copywriting and media consulting business. In this world of extensive information and attention craving brands, it is an excruciatingly difficult task to garner eyeballs of your consumers. Henderson eliminates this by giving useful tips on how to actually gain maximum media and press attention. She also gives fantastic advice to young job professionals on how to sell themselves and interact with others. She has written quality content for top publishing houses such as TIME, Huffington Post, Thought Catalog etc.
Her website: http://www.jmaureenhenderson.com/
Her Forbes column: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jmaureenhenderson/
Though they are diverse in the topics they cover, there are some common threads that we can extract from their reach, the way they write, and also the reason behind their massive fan following. They are:
- First, they have their own unique voice. They all started as part time content writers. And there were thousands of them. One of the prominent factors that have helped them climb up the ladder faster than anyone is their unique voice. It is original, unique and most importantly it is connected with the audience. From the beginning itself, they keep it different and original.
- Second, they have carved a specific content writing niche for themselves. They cover a specific topic which they think they can excel at. But reaching to this level, one is required to understand the business and write about everything that is possible and comes your way. Getting a 360-degree view of the trade help you cut down on topics which you are not wonderful at and concentrate on the good ones. Basically, first few months is all about constant learning and attempting everything in the quest to find your true calling.
- Third, just stick around the scene if you actually believe in your writing and think if it can actually make a difference. You too in future can be a part of this esteemed list of coveted creative content writers!
Tips to Earn Money
As mentioned above, many people opt for content writing jobs from home to supplement their side income. But people who are thinking this for long term also have to sustain themselves, and this would require at least minimum amount of finance. Here are some of the steps that would help you gain income and earn:
- Register on websites: Register your services on various websites. Register on as many websites as you can. There are a lot of companies who approach such websites for professional copywriting services. Being affiliated with the company would help you to get the initial work easily. Have a look at this list of sites that will pay you for your writing.
- Approach companies: There are a number of companies who act as a mediator between the client and writers. Apply for a part-time/ full-time job in such companies. Before employing you, they might ask you for your previous work experiences and also may ask you to write some sample articles for them on a given topic. This guide about content writing interview questions and answers will help you out!
- Open marketing: Shamelessly market yourself anywhere possible. Don’t leave a single opportunity behind. Use social media, friend circle, approach colleagues, family members etc. for any kind of work. You would be surprised to know the amount of work that is available. Charge them as per the industry standard rate and your experience as well.
- Proper profile: This might not be one of the direct ways to earn money, but an organized profile with the good resume and CV does attract a lot of clients and help you gain traction.
Neat profile = more clients.
More clients = more money.