How do I become a freelance writer?
This question is asked on a daily basis by individuals who enjoy the art of writing and want to make a steady income doing so. From the dream of writing the next great American novel, to simply wishing to see their name on a byline in the local newspaper, becoming a freelance writer is a common goal. These tips will help you begin a journey toward making a living while living your dream.
How To Become A Freelance Writer
Take a few classes. While many freelance writers have a natural ability to weave a story in prose, not everyone has the basic groundwork to become one. The ultimate first step in how to become a freelance writer begins when you educate yourself on the basics of grammar, language and how to form a story or informational article that others will enjoy reading. Even if it is simply going to the library and grabbing some books to brush up on your grammar, spelling and editing skills – it is a great idea to get some formal education on the matter. There are literally millions of online resources to help you learn proper paragraph style, how to avoid common grammatical mistakes and how to build characters or stories with ease.
Utilize the tools available to better your natural talent. Build a portfolio. In the beginning you’ll likely have to do some pro bono work, or at minimum publish your own content online on a blog or website to have a portfolio for a future employer to look over. Ultimately, practice makes perfect. The more you write the better you will become. You’ll notice your mistakes, errors and common phrases and learn to build and change as needed. Check out your local newspaper, city magazine or even local community college for chances to send in work to be published at no fee that will allow you to share a published piece with potential employers.
Find a mentor. One thing you can do to really change how your freelance career begins is to find a mentor. Whether that is a popular blogger you can follow and learn from, or a local author you know who has already made it in the business doesn’t matter. Learning how to become a freelance writer often takes getting to know other successful writers and finding out what worked for them. A good mentor will offer you encouragement, constructive criticism and some suggestions on where to begin seeking future clients. Worried you will annoy them by asking? Don’t worry. Some won’t answer, but some will. Just keep trying politely until you find someone that is willing to take you under their wing.
Start offering services. Once you have a portfolio in place, you can begin offering services to those you would like to work for. Remember however, knowing how to become a freelance writer also includes realizing that not everyone will like your work. You’ll need to focus on making changes when suggested and targeting the right clients. Start small with local to you publications you might already have a contact with. Build up to applying for positions you find online, sending in work to magazines or even offering your services through Fiver or Odesk for clients to find you.
Learning how to become a freelance writer is the beginning of finding your dream job. For so many individuals writing is a passion they have had for many years and are excited to pursue. These tips are just the beginning to finding the life long career you will love.
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