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By: Carla Lopez of boomerbiz.org
Freelance writing is a great way to make some extra money on the side while you're still studying—or to support yourself as you enter the working world after graduation. It can even become a full-blown career. This is a job that allows you to work whenever, wherever, giving you a great deal of flexibility. However, it takes more than being able to string sentences together to establish a thriving writing career.
Marlene C Bertrand is a freelance writer, editor, and publisher who is dedicated to helping others discover the joys of writing while earning a living. This guide explains how it's done.
Sharpen your skills
If you're going to sell professional writing services, you've got to be good. Hone your talents using educational courses. You can find affordable or free learning opportunities online via resources like edX. Obtaining certifications like these can also help boost your resume, making you stand out from the competition. Make sure to add any courses or certificates you complete to your resume.
Determine your niche
When you're first getting your start, it can be tempting to take every job that comes your way. However, it's often beneficial to establish yourself as an expert in a certain field. By carving out a niche, you may be able to get higher-paying jobs that demand more in-depth subject matter knowledge. There are always new market areas to watch out for. Some in-demand fields include finance, cryptocurrency, and technology.
Take care of the administrative aspects of business
Setting up your writing side hustle as a formal company will make it easier to manage your money. Founding a limited liability company, LLC, is one straightforward option with clear perks. You'll enjoy tax advantages, reduce your liability in case of legal issues, and enjoy more streamlined bookkeeping and tax filing. A business formation service like ZenBusiness can help you get set up according to your state's guidelines and is cheaper than a lawyer.
Create a website
Your website establishes your brand and shares your services with potential clients. An SEO-optimized website is also a cheap digital marketing tool. Include details about your education, experience, and any niches you cater to. Further, it's helpful to provide a writing portfolio with clips of your best work. This allows potential clients to get a look at what you're capable of. Check out some samples of attention-grabbing portfolios to get inspired.
Start hustling for your first work
Getting your first gig as a writer will take some effort. You can start by browsing online search engines and work-for-hire platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. Also, tap into your network for gigs. Writing website content for a friend or family member is a great way to get some work you can show off early on in your career, for example. Following networking best practices can also help you find jobs, like always carrying business cards.
Leverage the power of technology to streamline your business
When making a living as a writer, it's easy to get lost in your creative craft. However, it's important to approach your job as a business. Invest in the administrative tools and technology you need to keep it running smoothly. Examples include a calendar app to keep track of deadlines, cloud-based file sharing to liaise with clients, and accounting software. These tools will save you time, stress, and money in the big picture.
Making a living as a writer is possible. There are so many types of content needed these days, from blogs to websites and ad copy. The key to success is planning your writing career carefully, selecting an appropriate focus area, and treating your career as a real business.
Want to learn more about establishing a thriving writing career? Consult the Marlene C Bertrand blog.