Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Stacey Wonder, freelance blogger.
Freelancing provides an excellent opportunity to create residual income and free up time while working from home. Nowadays, becoming a freelancer in a field that you enjoy or are very familiar with is easier than ever before!
However, becoming a successful freelancer isn’t as easy as opening up your computer and taking on clients. There are many obstacles to overcome if you want to stay motivated, focused, and on the path toward career satisfaction.
Getting the information you need to make your freelancing career a success is as easy as following these 7 Must-Do Steps:
- Conduct research
- Set your goals
- Find your niche
- Read more
- Practice writing
- Create your portfolio
- Organize and Prioritize
1. Conduct Research
Regardless of whether you want to become a full-time or part-time freelancer, it’s always crucial to educate yourself on the best ways to connect with clients, organize your portfolio, and set up your freelancing business.
Search for the most popular platforms used by freelance bloggers and follow blogs written by professional writers.
Taking an in-depth look at how other freelance bloggers create, organize, and find work, will give you a better idea of what blogging is and how to best market yourself as a freelance blogger.
2. Set Your Goals
The second must-do step to starting your freelance blogging career is to set clear, attainable, and specific goals. Ask yourself:
- Why do I want to become a freelance blogger?
- How much money do I want to make per month?
- How many hours do I want to work a week?
- What type of work do I want to complete?
- Do I want to charge by project or by the hour?
- What skills do I have that can be applied to freelance blogging?
- Who do I want to write for?
- What do I want to write about?
The answers to these questions will dictate the type of clients you take on, the amount of work you complete, and the trajectory that you keep your freelancing career on.
3. Find Your Niche
At the start of your freelance blogging career, you will probably be taking on any work that comes your way to build up your portfolio and reputation. We recommend being ready to research and write on a variety of topics ranging from lifestyle and travel to technology and healthcare.
This early work is a great opportunity to learn about topics and writing styles you enjoy the most. With every new blog you are contracted to write, you get the chance to strengthen your unique voice as a writer. In time, you will be able to structure your workload for projects that showcase your talents on a particular topic.
If you already have a topic that you are interested in, do some research to see what has already been written about it in other blogs. Freelance bloggers are most successful when they can create unique and original content that is specifically focused on a target audience or niche.
4. Read More
Reading is the best way to improve your writing skills outside of actually sitting down to write. By reading a lot of literature, blog posts, and articles, you can get a broader perspective on content organization, sentence structure, and wording.
When reading other content, pay attention to the semantic load and logical flow of the text. Take notice of keywords and how they are used to increase traffic and engage readers.
Understanding the general flow of blog style articles will be a vital tool for creating your own unique and original content.
If you are going to be reading, why not read some of these helpful books on starting a freelance writing career:
- Starting Your Career As a Freelance Writer by Moira Anderson Allen;
- The Well-Fed Writer by Peter Bowerman;
- The Content Code: Six essential strategies to ignite your content, your marketing, and your business by Mark Schaefer.
Your freelance blogging career will be over before it starts if you don’t learn to write!
Even if you think you don’t write well, the fact is that you won’t improve if you don’t practice frequently. Start with a few small posts a week to get into the routine of writing and creating content from scratch.
Posting your practice writing also provides you with an opportunity to get feedback from your audience on ways to improve and new topic ideas to cover in the future.
These practice blogs can also be great samples for your writing portfolio. The more content you create, the better a client can understand your capabilities as a freelance blogger.
6. Create Your Portfolio
A strong portfolio that showcases your abilities and skills as a freelance blogger is vital to freelancing success. Keeping all of your writing samples organized, up-to-date, and relevant to the area of writing you specialize in is the best way to attract and retain clients.
The top blogging freelancers maintain online writing portfolios that allow clients to check out their work, read about the freelancer, and make project requests.
Remember that your portfolio is the first impression a client will have about your ability to write compelling and engaging blog content. Keep it clear, easy-to-navigate, and focused on the specific type of writing the client needs.
7. Organize and Prioritize
In addition to actually wanting to be a freelance blogger, there are a few other skills and qualities you will need to nurture to achieve success:
- Excellent time management skills
Taking control of your work discipline and motivation should be the first priority for any freelancer. Poor time management skills, ineffective communication, and slow completion time are the main pitfalls that will keep you from freelancing success.
Enhancing your writing skills so that you can quickly and accurately create content for your clients is also important to maintaining a successful freelance blogging career. Websites like Coursera, Skillshare make it easy to take the courses you need to keep your writing skills in peak shape.
Freelance blogging is a career that allows you to grow your career professionally without having to be stuck in an office. To be successful, you need to remember to work at it every day to reach the goals you set for yourself.
With diligence, patience, and time, you will be getting paid to create blogs on your favorite topics for clients all over the world!