You want to quit your day job for a freelance writing career but don’t know where to start. You’ve always dreamed of working while sitting on the beach, at the local coffee shop, or in bed, while also making a healthy living doing it.
Where do you start? How do you break into the freelance writing world?
Below are some tips for launching a successful freelance writing business.
Start your business on the side
Most aspiring freelancers want to jump right in. They leave their jobs to try to figure out their businesses without the luxury of their once guaranteed incomes.
While some people do jump right in and secure enough clients to make a healthy living immediately, that’s not the case for everyone which is why you should start your business on the side.
Putting too much pressure on yourself before your business is started can lead to unwanted stress and desperation. The smarter path is acquiring clients and freelance writing gigs before you pull the plug on your paychecks so you can justify your decisions with real results (how much money you’re making from freelancing), not emotions of wanting to leave a job.
As an added benefit, these results will help friends and family members realize you’re not crazy for leaving a secure job.
Have contracts with your clients
When you start the pitching process, it’s tempting to accept any gig that’s offered to you and begin work. After all, you need to secure clients so you can pay the bills and build your online portfolio. You might take on a client that wants dentist articles when you know nothing about dentistry. That part is OK because you can research the industry, get better at the niche, and start to build your client list.
The part that’s not OK is starting work without a contract.
Having a contract will protect you and the client, as well as make your business look more professional. It will also ensure you’re getting paid for the work you and the client agreed upon.
There are too many horror stories of freelancers not getting paid for their work. This is your business and you need to treat it like a business.
Problems arise in the freelance world, but contracts will help protect you.
Create your routine
Some freelancers don’t need schedules and get all of their work done. Others create schedules, procrastinate, and don’t meet deadlines.
When first starting out, it’s easy to push things off for later in the day or week because you have more freedom, flexibility, and you don’t have a boss constantly looking over your shoulder.
There are many benefits of working from home, but at the end of the day, you’re running a business and you should create a routine so that you hit deadlines, keep your clients happy, have structure, etc.
When creating a schedule, it’s important to create your routine, not the routine of some guru who doesn’t even work in the same field as you. You’re the one who has to live your life and do your work, and because you likely have flexibility and freedom, you should create a schedule that you’re comfortable with and can stick to.
Without a routine, you will squander time and not see as much growth in your freelance business as you were anticipating. A routine will keep you on track and in charge of your time.
More professionals are working away from their teams, making a freelance writing career a common option. Before taking the leap, it’s important to incorporate the tips above to ensure success, whether you plan on specializing in articles on dance lessons or want to become a science writer—the great thing is you can write about anything you want to write about.