If you are just starting out in the world of freelance writing, you may be concerned about how to find freelance writing jobs for beginners. It often seems that everyone wants someone with two or three years of experience or a writing degree. If you have neither experience nor a degree in writing, it doesn’t mean you are doomed to failure. You just need to know what to do to get started earning your first income as a writer.
Create a Portfolio
Just because you have never written for someone else, it doesn’t mean you have never written anything. Take your personal writings and select two or three for your portfolio. Experience won’t matter if you can prove that you can write.
If you don’t have anything relevant, create a few pieces for your portfolio. Perhaps you have only written fiction and you are trying to break into website articles or blog posts. Write two or three 400- or 500-word articles on a subject that you are knowledgeable about.
Since you are trying to find work online, you need to have your portfolio online for others to view. Create a simple site where you can post your articles. Then, when someone asks for a sample of your work, you can give them a link to your page. Writerfolio is one I recommend because it is fast and easy to set up, and it looks professional. You can include a photo, which you should always do so that clients know they are hiring a real person.
Once you have something to show prospective clients, you need to create a few profiles for yourself. Start out with LinkedIn and create a profile that lists you as a freelance writer. You can include the link to your portfolio so that potential clients can find you and review your work.
You can also set up a professional page on Facebook or an account on Twitter where you can be seen by anyone looking for a writer. While you shouldn’t expect to get a lot of requests based on your profile in the beginning, it has long-term potential once you are established. For the beginner, it gives you a place to send prospective clients to learn more about you. Another way to use your profiles is by adding them in your signature for any emails you send out.
Search for Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners
Once you have samples of your writing and your profile set up, you are ready to start looking for jobs. One of the easiest ways is by entering a search for freelance writing jobs. For even better results, narrow down your search by subject. Choose a subject that you are knowledgeable about, such as something relevant to a previous job. For instance, if you worked in banking, search for freelance writing jobs in personal finance.
You can also use job boards like ProBlogger or freelancewritinggigs.com to browse job listings specifically designed for writers. These sites will list writing jobs that you can click on and read the details for applying. Many times, they ask you to send an email with samples or a resume. Since you have no previous experience, you will want to do a few things to stand out and improve your chances of being hired:
- Follow the directions precisely. If they ask for two samples of your work, don’t send just one.
- If you don’t have a sample on the subject for which you are applying, write one to prove your capability. It doesn’t have to be long, just a 350-word blog post will suffice.
- Prove why you are the right person for the job since you don’t have writing experience. If you worked in the industry, highlight that experience to show that you speak the language and understand the audience.
- Focus on the client’s needs instead of yourself. While you want to sell yourself to the client, you have to do so in context of how it will benefit that person.
- Make it personal. No matter how many emails you send out (and you will send out a lot in the beginning), make sure each one sounds personal to the client.
- Be professional but personable. Your email is your first impression, and you don’t want to come off as too casual or boring.
Most of all, be persistent. Don’t get discouraged if you never hear back from the first 10 or 50 emails you send out. Getting a freelance writing job is all about the numbers. The more applications you send out, the more likely that you will get a job.
While you are working on getting your first job, make time to learn more about writing. Keep perfecting your technical skills while learning what is current in the world of freelance writing. Understand how online writing differs from print writing. Read articles and blogs by successful writers to learn the secrets of their successes. This can help you become successful faster.
Take a class or attend an online seminar. Many writers allow you to attend for free with the hopes that you will purchase some product they are offering. Even if you can’t afford to buy the product, you will learn valuable information by attending the free seminar or workshop.
Consider investing in one or two paid courses or resources. Many of these products are books that outline the basic steps to becoming a paid freelance writer. They range in price from $2 or $3 to $20 or more. Find one that you can afford that offers helpful tips and insights.
Everyone started out as a beginner at one point in their writing careers. It is possible to find that first job even if you are a newbie freelance writer. By following these tips, you can cut down the time it takes you to make that first milestone and be on your way to freelance writing success.