So, you want to start freelance writing. Well done for getting here as it’s definitely a start! When I first started writing, I found it really hard to find blogs about the topic—about how to get started and the things I needed—it’s one of the reasons why I decided to start a previous blog and why I’m moving content to this one.
Now that you’ve decided that freelance writing is for you, it’s time to look at the things you need to do to get started. Having the talent or skill to write isn’t enough. In fact, the greatest writers in the world don’t usually make a living writing!
Get ready with the right tools and tips. Here are four things you’ll need to get started.
A positive mental attitude
If you constantly look at the world with a glass-half-empty approach, you won’t be able to start freelance writing, let alone succeed!
You need to have a positive attitude. That can-do and will-do attitude that gets your foot in the door.
There’s no point thinking that you can’t make it. Don’t let the fear of failure stand in your way. These just stop you from being able to get yourself out there!
Problems will arise. It may time days to find that one email address you need for an editor. It may take months to get all the clients you need to put food on the table and keep a roof over your head. But you have to know how to deal with those problems and push past them to start freelance writing and succeed in it.
You will receive a lot of rejection. Be prepared for that. This is one of the reasons the positive attitude is important to stare down the rejection and make your living writing.
Have a freelance writing schedule
To be a writer, you need to write. There’s no point thinking that you’ll get to it tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes. Instead, you need to create a writing schedule; a routine.
This will not only help you actually sit down to write but it will help you create a routine for your clients. They’ll know that they can contact you at a certain time for a response or the days that you’re working to get a project completed.
Even if you don’t have work for clients or editors, you need to keep writing. Start up your own blog or just write in your own journal. This will soon help you build up your skills and show off your talent to the world. It also helps you create samples to send to clients to get work.
Your freelance writing schedule can change. Over time it will, as you figure out how you work best.
The support to succeed in freelance writing
Support is essential when it comes to freelance writing. The truth is the job can be quite lonely. You sit in front of the computer all day and it’s easy to find yourself bogged down with all your work.
While you may have friends and family members to talk to, they may not understand your desire to start a freelance writing business. They don’t always understand that working from home doesn’t mean they can call around for a cuppa or drop their kids off for babysitting. Honestly, it’s ridiculous the number of people who thought I’d be able to drop everything to talk to them for 30 minutes about nothing!
You need support from other freelance writers and people who will encourage you to keep going; even when times are tough.
The good news is there are plenty of groups and forums out there for writers offering help and advice to others. I recommend joining a group or two through Facebook or LinkedIn to find likeminded people.
The motivation to market yourself
People aren’t going to find you at first. It takes a while to build up a reputation and have private clients refer you onto others. Believe me, though, it does happen eventually.
Before you get to that point (and even when you do finally reach that point), you need to market yourself. You need to send out the letters of introduction, pitches to magazines, and phone various companies about their needs.
If you don’t market, you won’t get work; it’s as simple as that. I don’t recommend that you use bidding sites or gig sites like Fiverr or Freelancer to find work. They are full of people looking to pay peanuts and a lot of the time you don’t end up being paid.
So, there are my four must-haves to start freelance writing and become successful. I’ve used all of them to get to where I am now and only wished I’d known about the importance of all of them before I started.