Freelance writing is hard. Not because of the workload (though it can be once you are successful) but because it is just a hard business to break into. Yet, it is still a job so all of the regular job search rules apply: have a good resume, good examples of your work, references, be patient, be consistent, and be persistent.
#1) Don’t Quit Your Day-Job
Now I’m not saying that you’re not going to be a fantastic freelance writer. I’m merely saying that freelance can be hard to get into. So if you have things like bills to pay, you might not want to put all of your chickens in the freelancing basket. I might have gotten that analogy wrong.
Since it’s a contract-based, per job type career, you can easily work your day job and work on a couple contracts on the side. Once you’ve build a resume and a good reputation in the business (and once you feel comfortable doing so), you can make it your full time job.
“So what do you do for a living?”
“I’m a professional freelance writer. Magazines, mostly. I don’t know if you’ve heard of me. I’m Mrs. Awesome-Writer. It’s hyphenated because I’m not going to ignore my family’s Awesome lineage.”
#2) Think Of Your Platform Before You Start
This is easier said than done because it generally narrows your possible contracts. In reality it’s a good thing. You want to be able to work in the field that you have the most interest in and that you are most qualified for. So if you’re big into underwater basket weaving but you take any random job that comes along, the contract you are looking at might choose someone more qualified.
“I would like to apply for your underwater basket weaving writer position. I have been published in Trampoline Weekly and have also had my latest article published in Snobby Dog Quarterly, ‘My Dog Can Eat Your Honor Student’s Homework.'”
That being said, experience is good. If you have the credentials and can link your work to the possible job that you’re interested in, go for it:
“I have won various underwater basket weaving metals and awards. I am the Washington basket weaving champion of 2013 and I currently teach a class in underwater extra-curricular activities. My previous writing experiences have been in the craft field. I have attached my latest articles, “Underwater Activities and You” and “Hugo Weaving Baskets In The Dark.”
#3) Always Have Your Best Work Handy
All publications will ask for your professional background. Make sure that your resume is handy and have some formatted example articles at hand (double and triple check them for mistakes, of course).
#4) Don’t Get Discouraged
You’re competing with a lot of people. I’m not just talking about amateurs either. I’m talking about professional writers who have already built a name for themselves. So make sure you send your best work and don’t get discouraged if you don’t get chosen.
#5) Go Here
Facebook4Freelancers and “28 Places To Find Freelancing Jobs” and consider your local newspapers, literary magazines, and collaborate with other writers. And go here because you know you want to enter!
If you’re looking for more information about freelance writing, check out some of these other blog posts on WordPress:
- 10 Ways to Boost Your Freelance Writing Career (catherinekanewrites.wordpress.com)
- 2013 Trends in Freelance Writing: 4 Things I’ve Noticed by Combing Online Job Listings (business2community.com)
- Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners: Getting Started Online (theworkathomewife.com)
- 8 Years of Freelance Writing Online Has Taught Me… (writedge.com)
Good luck everyone! If you have any other questions make sure to ask us in the comment section below or shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.