Welcome back newbie freelance writers! Today we’re moving on to part 2 of 3 in my 9 Step guide to becoming a freelance writer. If you need a refresher from last week, here’s the link to Part 1.
If not, here’s a quick summary anyway.
Last week, we talked all about the prep work. The research and writing you need to do before even thinking about applying for a freelance job.
The three steps we’re learning this week should look familiar. That’s because the process of finding and applying to freelance writing jobs is super similar to “normal” jobs.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started with Step 4!
4. Fix Your Resume
Not all freelance jobs require a resume. Some do, especially high paying jobs and technical writer positions. So just in case, make sure your resume is polished.
As a writer, you should already be pretty good at typing up a stellar resume. If not, here’s a quick guide for drafting the perfect freelancer CV.
For newbie freelancers, the most important part of resume writing will be to highlight the aspects of previous jobs, volunteer work, and education that contribute to your success as a freelancer.
You can do this by including targeted keywords to catch your prospective employer’s attention. Employers usually list targetted keywords in the job description– only they cleverly disguise these words as job qualifications.
For example, freelancers in general should:
- be self-motivated
- have excellent time management skills
- require little to no supervision
- have great communication skills and
- have flexible schedules
Freelance writers in particular should:
- be excellent writers
- have a writing niche
- be decent self-editors
- have flawless proofreading skills
Using these keywords to target your resume toward the specific job or opportunity you’re applying to.
Don’t let your lack of experience hold you back from creating a killer resume. Even if you haven’t worked in writing before, prospective clients will recognize your potential if you optimize your resume.
Need more help creating your freelance writer resume? Here’s a post that tells you how to optimize your resume. It’s specifically targetted toward marketers, but works just as well for any industry.
5. Join a Freelance Platform
Upwork, Fiverr, and other platforms are excellent places to find freelance writing jobs when you’re first starting out.
If you haven’t heard, these platforms let you make a profile and upload your portfolio and resume. You find clients by applying to jobs and get paid through the platform’s escrow.
If you want to know more about freelance platforms, here are some pros and cons of using freelance platforms.
- an escrow to protect your intellectual property and income
- a quick and easy way to find and work with new clients
- gain experience while you get your name out there
- up to 20% of the money you make goes to the platform as a service fee
- you may have to take some low-paying jobs before you can land the good ones
- you will run into scammers and schemers
That last con may scary. Yes, there are scammers on freelancing platforms, just trying to take advantage of your beginner status.
But if you know your worth and adhere to the freelancing site’s policies, you’re in the best position to avoid getting scammed.
Freelance platforms are the best way to get experience as a newbie freelance writer before you jump into the frosty trenches that are cold-pitching. We’ll learn more about cold pitching in Part 3 of this guide.
6. Get Freelance Writing Experience
You need experience but, before applying to your first job, you should determine your rates as a freelance writer.
As a beginner freelancer with little to no experience, you’ll have to accept a lower wage for your work.
At least at first.
Once you have some good client reviews of your work, you can start raising your prices. In the meantime, read this post for an in-depth breakdown of how to determine your rates.
You may also benefit from doing some jobs pro-bono for reputable companies.
Yes, it’s frustrating when you work hard on a piece of writing and don’t even get a dime to show for it, but these pro-bono jobs have the potential to do more for your career than any paid job could.
Not only do you get to build up your portfolio but the best clients (the ones you want coming back for more) will also recognize your value and willingness to work hard for future success.
So there you have it! Be sure to tune in next week for the final part of this guide to getting started as a newbie freelance writer. Leave a comment and let me know if you want to read about my experience with Upwork and Guru as a novice freelance writer. Happy writing!