How to get started ?
By Elise Brooke
- Having a Creative Writing qualification and experience helps
- Brand yourself, e.g copy writer, content writer
- Get experience, build references and work samples
- Find work and keep finding work
To brand yourself sell your value as a person, a one person business not just as a writer. Branding is how you communicate your value, ask yourself;
What value do I bring?
What is your niche/topic? (Pick only one or two)
What is your style? How do you write, what words you use, are you casual or formal?
Once you have established the above create a mission statement answering the above questions. E.g “I am honest and raw, simple and casual or formal and always respectful. I specialise in one niche or am adaptable in topics. Ask yourself what specific value do you give clients/editors? Your value is for sale.
Get some experience, take on a few unpaid jobs. Do not join content mills e.g textbroker, upwork or fiverr as these places take a huge percentage of your pay to be on their platform. There are two ways to get experience;
- Write for publication – print, blogs, magazines etc
- Write for clients – small business, resumes etc
To write for publications, guest posting, bloggers and online magazines look for their ‘writers guidelines’ page or ‘submissions’, ’write for us’ section. Read guidelines and follow. Pitch before sending your article, ensure you are credited by name in the article. Set up a portfolio of your articles to refer to, use LinkedIn, put portfolio on your website. You do not need a contract here.
To write for private clients use a platform such as “Redit” a hire community and job boards, “freedomwithwriting” and “problogger.” Always have a contract, you can use a template to create this. Request payment upfront, half – show half the project, then other half- show the rest of the project.
To find work re approach who you have written for, build relationships, sign up to newsletter. Refine your pitch, focus on value and keep it short, five lines, e.g “If hired I can A,B,C. State a project rate not per word or hourly charge. Use and personalise a template. Follow up on pitches after 2-3 days, it is a numbers game.
For starters you can also register yourself on freelancing content writing websites here.
By Elise Brooke