Sunday, 15 March 2015

Sunday Showcase - 3 Blogs to Help Launch Your Freelance Writing Career

Lately, I've been contemplating the possibility of freelance writing.  The more I keep up this blog, the more I realize I like writing and could do this as a career.  It's funny how it's taken me twenty-something years to figure that out (since I was born, mind you).  Because of my insatiable thirst to find techniques for becoming a freelance writer, I searched the web for blogs that would aid my decision-making.  It turns out there are too many freelancers to list, and it's a whole new world I'd never even heard of.  And the answer to how to become a freelance writer?  There is no right way.  Yeah, I'm going to have to chart my own course.

That was until writers started finding me on Twitter.  Whether it be about social media or writing, people are more than willing to offer their advice, and it was partially through these people that I stumbled across these three blog posts this week that can help launch me into a writing career.

1.  "How to Start a Freelance Writing Business That Makes REAL...Money"

I woke up this morning to a Twitter message from @MariahCoz, a femtrepreneur with a confident attitude and a desire to help freelancing wannabes like myself.  She pointed me to her blog post that offers an incredible guide about the process it takes to become a freelance writer.  I have never read such an in depth, comprehensive guide.  She offers seven steps from starting a blog to getting testimonials, and even offers ways to find your first customers.

The part that caught my eye in particular was the suggestion to find your own niche.  That's something every how-to will tell you, but Coz goes one step further and gives examples of niches to give you an idea of what they are.  For someone who has an immense range of interests like myself, seeing those examples helped me figure out what I would like to explore (writing mechanics/grammar and general self help, in case you were wondering).

If you're considering diving into the vast world of freelance writing, I recommend you check out this article.  There really is no better advice.

2.  "15 Tips for Getting Started in Freelance Writing"

Here is another guide written by Meghan Ward that covers a sizable range of possibilities for newbie freelance writers.  While there is the usual "start a blog" suggestion, Ward offers specifics on how to get involved with magazines and journals, as well as becoming acquainted with social media and writing networks.  I guess I'm off to a good start with starting my own blog and diving into Twitter, but there's so much more I could do to put myself out there.  I didn't realize the scope of possibilities until I read this article.

Suggestions such as writing free to start off and seeking a magazine internship show how much dedication is needed to launch yourself into freelance writing.  Ward also covers the importance of the infamous query letter, as well as providing links to guides on how to write one.  Overall, these are 15 useful tips, and a blog you need to read.

3.  "10 Things I Wish I Knew as a Beginning Writer"

Okay, this one isn't about freelance writing, but Eric Walton does cover some good points here.  Whether you're writing blog posts, journal articles, or pretty much anything on the web, editing is important, and this list puts writing mechanics right at the top.  Now can you see why I chose this blog?  An article with poor grammar and glaring writing errors is the number one thing that turns me away from a blog.  Just ask Victoria Hoffman; it's the third reason why she refuses to read a blog, and she's not the only one to complain about it.  Editing goes a long way, and grammar police like myself need to be satiated with proper writing.  (Bonus points if you actually find an error in this post and point it out to me.)

Besides editing, Walton also points out the importance of overcoming shyness.  This is another reason I like this blog because I just wrote about how to do that.  (You can read about it here.)  That doesn't mean becoming an extrovert, but you should learn how to adapt to social situations and become comfortable with the uncomfortable.  That coupled with the need to diversify and stretch out from aspiring author to freelance writer makes this a must-read for beginners like myself.

So, what does it take to be a writer?  Hard work.  Walton says that the writing profession is not glamorous and takes steady commitment.  It's a daunting reality for a beginner, but I know that I simply have to write.

What about you?  Do you have a blog, and what's it about?  If you're a freelance writer reading this, how did you kick start your career?  Did you rummage through how-to articles like these ones?  Let me know by leaving a comment below.

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