Step 1: Read up about the freelance writing industry
Going on from no skills to getting income by writing articles and content should start from knowing what opportunities are there in the field and what niches are there too.
You should list all the various types of gigs or jobs that exist in freelance writing.
- Resources: The Internet has several websites dedicated to freelance writing. You can also get freelance writing books from your local library or bookshops.
- Cost: Free.
- Time Required: Anything from one hour to as long as you want. But I will recommend not spending more than six hours in total before you go on to the next step. However you can continue reading all through your learning and working career as a freelance writer.
Step 2: Write content in various freelance writing areas
Begin to write different types of article or content. You would have already made a list of the various niches from Step 1. Use that list now. You can select three of those to try your hands on.
- Write a 300-word long pieces for each niche. Time how long it takes to write each.
- Write another set of articles also timing yourself.
- Repeat. At the end you would have three articles each for the three types selected.
- Total time required: Some hours to a few days.
It is important you try writing for yourself before you go ahead with your next steps, and that is the essence of this step.
Going through this task would help you discover a lot of things about yourself and writing. For example you would know what type of content you are naturally adept at or which requires more work from you.
The task would also let you know how easy, boring, interesting, or time-consuming writing may be in your own specific case. This will actually prepare you for the task ahead.
Step 3: It is time to find out about writing good content and getting a review of your work
- Check your freelance writing books and websites to write out what the best practices (what makes a good writing and what makes a bad writing) are in each of the three areas you earlier selected.
- Analyze the nine pieces you wrote and see which of the best practices are present and which are absent.
- Identify areas you need to improve on.
- If you have an avid reader or two around, you can pass the set of nine articles to them and ask them to select which are the best. If you are interested in knowing how bad your writing is, you can ask them to evaluate too.
- Total time required: Some hours to a few days. Wrap this step up in two days at most.
Step 4: It is time to “intern” or on the other hand launch, if you are desperate to earn an income
- Get sites that will consider accepting content from you
If you know anyone who has a website in your circles, this is time to leverage them. Also search the web for websites that have blogs and make a list of those that are not spam or questionable sites. You should also include blogs as bloggers are often interested in content.
- Contact the owners of the sites asking if they would be interested in a few pieces. Tell them they are not obligated to you in any way. Of course you would know what topics they would need simply by going through their websites. So tell them you would be writing those pieces or articles along that topic
- Think of something simple, and better if you can come up with something unique to write about for each of the web owners who agree to post your content.
- Total time required: Some days, seven days maximum. You should wrap up your search for venue and sending in your articles within a week. Don’t waste time getting venues that will accept your guestwriting offer. There are numerous blogs out there that would accept to consider your articles.
Step 5: It’s writing time; you are in business now
You are ripe to actively hunt for clients if you actually carried out the preceding steps. There are several freelance sites and classified sites looking for freelance writers or posting freelance writing gigs. You definitely would have found some since you started from Step 1.
There are various ways of getting clients aside from taking up gigs, applying for jobs etc. That is a topic for another publication.
- Take a writing course or more than one (yes finally). You will still learn something from there.
- Have your own blog to write once in a while. You should not pressurize yourself with that blog if you ever decided to. Or is a blog a bad idea?
- Keep up Step 4, no matter how high you go.
- Send us your story. Yes we want to hear from you as you go on the pathway from zero skills to freelance writing jobs.