Freelance writing is becoming one of the most rapidly growing employment opportunities in the country. Nearly every household has access to wireless Internet, and many jobs can even be completed through the typing and submission functions on a basic smartphone. Writing can be done anywhere, at any time of day, and by writers with a variety of experiences–not just graduates of English PhD programs.
The advent of writing services, such as ThePensters, has made jobs for writers easily accessible and readily available. However, they can be highly competitive, and it’s not uncommon for writers to be turned down due to factors such as lack of skills and relevant experiences. Luckily, there are a few tried-and-true tips to help you make sure you land the job–or jobs–of your dreams.
1. Join a Range of Services
This tip is pretty easy to execute. Don’t limit yourself to just one online writing service. There are hundreds of services out there. Register for and complete profiles at a variety of writing services to enhance your visibility and likelihood of being hired. As an added bonus, this helps prevent boredom and burnout while you’re waiting to hear back from various postings.
2. Select Strong Samples
This should go without saying, but whatever you do, make sure you pick only the cream-of-the-crop articles to use as your samples. Writing samples are what your clients see first from you. Don’t pick the so-so piece in College English 101 that has gained you a B+. Pick the best pieces and make sure they are formatted so that they are easy to read.
3. Start Small
If you have no writing experience, consider working for no or for little pay. Building up your portfolio is advantageous as you can show how strong writer you are before moving on to bigger, higher-risk projects.
4. Present Yourself Well
Don’t rely on your samples to tell the full story. Include a resume or other relevant information about you, your academic background, your work experiences, and your writing history. Make sure you really sell yourself, as this is your only opportunity to do so.
5. Post a Variety of Work Samples
In addition to selecting high-quality samples of writing, you should also aim to select a diverse grouping of writing samples. If you write for a wide range of audiences, don’t pick samples that only reflect articles written for a business magazine, for example. Show your future clients how diverse and flexible you can be in your writing, even if that means stepping outside of your comfort zone.
6. Use Your Website
If you post regularly on a blog or another website, make sure you provide links to show how well you can manage your time and resources.
Reach out to writing buddies to revise and proofread your samples, or for recommendations for related jobs. Make connections with publishers, web editors, and other influential individuals.
8. Ask for a Referral
If you’ve already built up a small or medium-sized client base, ask for a reference or a referral. Like reviews on products sold on Amazon, referrals and references help future clients see what previous clients liked best about working with you.
9. Dedicate Serious Time
Finding good, reliable work takes time. Don’t expect to become an award-winning, million-dollar salaried writer overnight. This is a competitive business. Be patient and diligent, and the work will come to you one day.
10. Know When to Say NO
Although it doesn’t hurt to pick up the occasional low-pay job, know your overall worth. If you are regularly landing high-dollar contracts, don’t waste your time by fooling around with low-budget employers or clients. Know when your resources are stretched to the max and don’t be afraid to say ‘No!’.
When you’re looking for the perfect online writing job, it can, at times, seem radically overwhelming. By exercising some patience and practicing your craft of writing regularly, you’ll soon find that your applications move to the top more frequently, and you receive jobs more often than not.