Fancy yourself a wordsmith and want to capitalize on your skills? Opportunities to make money writing are ample, but it’s often difficult to know where to start.
I still remember my first writing gig. I was a recent college grad who was so excited about the $75 dollar check I had just earned from my freelance story. Before depositing it, I snapped a picture of that check to commemorate the moment.
While I am by no means an expert, I have produced dozens of freelance stories and I have had a few full-time writing jobs.
Here are my top five tips to help aspiring freelance writers find their first gig.
1. BUILD AN ONLINE PRESENCE
Before someone is willing to pay you to write for them, they will need to see samples of your work. This is your chance to define your brand (and your price!) while showcasing your skills.
The way you go about this will depend on what type of writing you want to do. You can make writing samples readily available on an online portfolio, which you may then share with potential clients or post to various social media channels.
I maintain an online portfolio, which includes writing and photography samples.
2. CONSIDER USING UPWORK
Upwork is a freelancing platform that allows professionals to connect and collaborate remotely, and there are plenty of paid opportunities for writers. From ghostwriting for bloggers, to writing pamphlets for a church publication, Upwork allowed me to try my hand at a little bit of everything. I made about $100 dollars from working on three projects, so it is worth looking into.
3. REACH OUT TO LOCAL MEDIA
Does your city have any small, independent publications? Reach out to them to see if they are looking for freelance writers. This is a great way to build your portfolio and make a bit of money while doing so. I got my first paid freelance writing gig by cold emailing an organization in my college town, and it transformed into my first job post-college.
4. NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK
There have been times where people I have written for or about in the past have reached out to me to to work with them again. It you do well once, your reputation will grow and you will be able to build on that relationship. After writing a story or completing a project for someone, reach out to them to see if they have any more work that needs to be done.
5. SOCIAL MEDIA IS YOUR FRIEND
When you write something, share it. You never know who might read it. If you are actively seeking work, let your online communities know that you are looking. Someone might reach out to you with an opportunity that you didn’t know existed.