Everything you read has been written by someone and with new content being churned out day-after-day to keep websites looking fresh and exciting, the time has never been better to become a content writer. A content writer generally writes content for the web, in formats such as e-books, blogs, sales-copy, text to accompany images etc. A good content writer should be creative enough to generate new and exciting content on a regular basis, with an eye for detail so that their work error-free and easy to read. If you think that you have what it takes, here are some steps you can take to becoming a freelance content writer.
Think about the Type of Content You’d Like to Write
Choosing your niche early on will help you with all the other steps you need to take in order to become a professional content writer. You don’t have to commit to just one type of content right away, that might be too narrow when you’re first starting out. However choosing a couple of related areas, such as sales-copy and landing-page content, can help you decide what type of writing you need to develop in order to start your business. Your niche will determine what type of portfolio you build, what you might need to study, and what kind of networking you might want to do. Rather than a type of writing, your niche might focus on related areas of business or a specific theme that you are interested in. Try and pick a niche that will help you enjoy your work so that you can thrive long-term. For example, it wouldn’t make sense to try and be a health-related content writer if you have no interest in the latest health fads, even if it is a lucrative area.
Start Building Your Portfolio
This is the fun part, when you get to do what you love. You have started to think about your potential niche and now you need get some writing done in that area to show off your talent. At this stage it might be a good idea to offer to do some free work for testimonials, to build your portfolio and reputation. You can use any feedback and criticism from your free work as a way to to learn and improve your skills. Speaking of improving your skills, talent will only take you so far. You need to be better than the competition if you’re going to be successful, so immerse yourself in studying writing and editing techniques related to your niche. Now’s the time to take some courses either online or in real life, if you haven’t already and think you might benefit from learning new skills. Once you learn a new skill, then practice, practice and practice some more! All that practice will give you some great work for your portfolio.
Make a Business Plan
In order to succeed in any entrepreneurial pursuit you need a plan. Making a business plan seems daunting and complicated but it doesn't have to be. There are a few step-by-step guides available online and plenty of books written on the subject. An easy way to get started is to outline your short term, medium term, and long term goals using the S.M.A.R.T system of goal setting, in which your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. Do not forget to include less fun but important items your plan and budget, such as insurance and taxes. All solopreneurs also need to figure out how to deal with taxes or if they need to budget for an accountant. If you do not have the money to hire an accountant, plan to spend some time researching small business taxes.
Build a Website
You’ve found your niche and you have started building a great portfolio to showcase your work, it’s time to share your talent with the world and potential clients. In other words, it’s time to set up your business’s website. If you aren’t confident in your website building abilities, it might be worth it to hire a fellow freelancer to do it for you. Or you can check out some online resources for advice and guidance, but whatever you do: be sure that your website is professional looking and showcases your best work in order to entice clients to hire you. You should have the nitty-gritty aspects of how you’re going to run your business decided, such as your process for working with clients, what your fee will be and how you collect it, so you can include all the necessary information on your website. A good business website includes the following: what it is that you do, what makes you stand-out from others who do what you do, where you are located, what your rates are, how you can be reached and a few personal touches to draw people in. It is a good idea to include a blog on it to show off your writing skills, add a little personality, and give them a reason to keep returning to your site.
While your building your portfolio and website you should be using social media to expand your reach. Be sure to include links on your social media platforms back to your business website. Find and choose to be on the best social media platforms to increase your exposure in your niche area, you want to be able to follow and tag relevant businesses that relate to what you do, it’s an integral part of online networking. Joining some writer groups online or in the real world can also help you network and keep abreast of the latest practices, trends and places to look for clients.
Building a successful business takes a lot of work, and you might work much more than the standard 40 hour work week to get it off the ground. However, all that hard work comes with the reward of being able to earn a living doing what you love and being your own boss. If you have the will and the drive to follow these steps then you can succeed as a solopreneur. Do not forgot to make a profile with SageGroupy in order to increase your exposure and help more clients find you.