When I started freelancing five years back, I was just as clueless as you are right now. I understand how it feels when you have that passion for writing but fail to find the right opportunities. I know what it is like when you start to doubt your abilities as a writer and wish to give up.
Most of the newbie writers I connect with ask me one common question- “Did you like my writing pieces? Am I good enough to start earning money from what I write?” I understand this feeling of despair, restlessness, and anxiety when you don’t know how to make things work for you.
Trust me; it is perfectly fine if you are struggling to make a place for yourself in this field. We all started the same way. And the worst thing you can do is become sceptical of your success in this field. If you are willing to walk an extra mile and be patient in the process, I will guide you through the path I tread on years back.
Okay fine, if you are looking for instant results, I cannot assure you that. But, I promise, if you follow these tips religiously, you will be one step closer to fulfilling your dream of becoming a successful freelance writer.
I am sure you have read hundreds and thousands of articles about freelance writing. So, how will this one be different? Well, this article will give you a peep into my writing journey, and you can figure out your path as you read it along.
Before we start, I want to tell you two things. Firstly, this will be a longish one, but if you plan to stick till the end, I will walk you through the exact steps of how I began. Secondly, the path is different for each of us. Try, experiment, and learn. What worked out for me might not work out for you. So, gear up, change the plans, and make mistakes.
And yes, you are SUPER LUCKY because I never shared my writing journey with anyone in detail. What do I get in return for sharing this piece of knowledge? Well, if you know me, just drop me a text saying, “It helped you, and you want to crush it.” This is all I am looking for.
My Writing Journey – How I Started With Writing For Peanuts
It all started when I stumbled upon joining Facebook groups back in my graduation days. I was totally naïve about the promising opportunities in this field. I started by taking up a few projects which were minimally paid.
I wrote for peanuts. Yes, you heard it right. I sailed in the same boat as you must be sailing right now. I wrote at as low as 40ppw five years back. But, it did pay me well. Yes, it helped me with getting more projects on Facebook to establish myself as a freelance writer.
Takeaway – Just get started!!! I know you will be paid in peanuts but focus on building your portfolio. Do the right things to get the opportunities even if they don’t promise you enough money.
I got an opportunity to refine my writing style while I was working on multiple types of projects on Facebook. I was reading, learning and writing at the same time. Writing on versatile niches also helped me figure out areas of my interest and expertise. This gave me an edge when I started working a freelancing platform, Contentmart.
After 1-1.5 years of working through Facebook writing groups, I stumbled upon Contentmart, which was a renowned platform for freelancing. I had failed to get my profile approved on Upwork and other international platforms didn’t work well for me. I even got cheated many a time so I won’t recommend you to start there.
However, Contentmart did wonders for me. I didn’t get any projects on the platform for 2-3 months after I started bidding. It wasn’t easy with 20-30 people bidding on each project. I started the same way here as well. I did hit my lowest to get the projects to build the credibility on the platform.
However, I was able to establish myself as an elite writer within few months and starting charging accordingly with time. When I left writing on the platform, I had completed 247 projects with a rating of 4.5.
Takeaway – Build your credibility in this competitive industry. Yes, sometimes it will mean writing at low price than you deserve. Yes, it will be a hell lot frustrating at times. But, don’t give up!!!
I personally won’t recommend international freelancing platforms. Be it freelancer, upwork, truelancer, they all fall under the same category for me. Not just payment systems, but also the clients are not reliable. Also, with the market being saturated with writers, it is becoming very tough to get the projects even after the lowest biddings.
Once I had good social media presence and visibility on different platforms, I switched to writing guest posts. No, it didn’t begin with Yourstory, Entrepreneur, or Medium. I worked extensively with Writm, and Kalaage where I explored myself in creative writing and poetry. I also won several competitions with them, which added to my overall portfolio. Apart from that, I also worked with Shiksha, Campusghanta, Bonobology magazine, Hindustan Times, and more. I also got an opportunity to write for brands like Myntra, Wayfair, Jabong, and other leading e-commerce websites meanwhile. Then, I also got an opportunity to get published in an anthology “The Inspiration Collective”, wherein I contributed in the form of writing motivational quotes. Gradually, I started building my way up the ladder with thousands of followers.
Takeaway – Finding clients is easy if you have a good online presence. Make sure that everything you do in your initial years add to your skills and passion. You get what you deserve when you devote time to giving your best.
What else can you do to get started? – Baby Steps To Winning the Game
Believe me, way up the ladder to success in freelance writing will be way easier if you are doing it for passion instead of just earning a few extra bucks. It might take you about 6-12 months to establish your credibility in the market. Hence, make sure that you focus more on investing your time preciously.
Getting clients become easy when you delivery quality work consistently. Most of the clients I work with, come through referrals and recommendations. The real task is getting first 4-5 clients when you try to establish yourself as a freelancer. Opportunities will come your way with time and all you have to do is embrace them.
Just remember one thing, everything you do in the area of writing should reflect on your social media platforms. Be it Instagram, Facebook, Quora, and LinkedIn. You have to be extremely patient before you start seeing the right results. Also, you can start writing on renowned platforms like Medium, Yourstory, Entrepreneur and more.
Apart from that, I also recommend you to start attending networking events and workshops in your city. Get the exposure of how things can work out for you and make the best of it. Furthermore, you can also do certain courses online to enhance your skills.
Writing is more than just writing blogs and handling social media content for a website. It will be great if you start exploring out of the box opportunities like writing press releases, brochures, case studies, newsletters and reports. These might not be your areas of expertise but with time, you can master these uncommon areas in writing to get an edge over others.
With thousands of writers in the market, you have to work on being unique and different to be able to make yourself stand out in the crowd. Freelance writing can be a tedious job in hand if you are not working on yourself. Let the world know that you are a writer before you can start enjoying a steady income.
If you are a newbie writer, looking out for ways to get more writing projects, then you simply need to dabble into writing on various niches and find your niche to work with. It is perfectly fine if you are not comfortable with writing on a certain type of topics. Explore more to find your areas of interest and preferences in writing.
I hope this helped you. Feel free to reach out to me in case of any queries or doubts. Stay tuned for the next one!!!