by Elna Cain | Featured Contributor
Is your maternity leave ending soon?
Scrambling to find a daycare provider for your child before you head back to your old job?
For the many moms gearing up to go back to work, many are torn between wanting to stay home to take care of their children, and being forced to go back to work to pay the bills.
Before I had my twins, I was a teacher. But once they were born, my life changed. All I wanted was to be with them at all times. Call it being overprotective, but this was my first time being a mom and I knew nothing different.
So, I made the decision to stay home and be with them. I’ve always had this vision before I had children, but I never knew how I was going to go through with it.
How do I still contribute to the finances? Can I really work when I have twins and a house to take care of?
These questions and more were running through my mind leading up to my decision to start a freelance writing business.
If you are thinking about wanting to stay home, why not take a look at freelance writing?
Getting paid to write for online businesses, entrepreneurs, bloggers, and start-ups is very lucrative, and doesn’t take much time out of your day.
I freelance write part-time and make a full-time living from it. And if this Millennial mom to twins can do it, I know you can too.
Here are four easy steps to go from staying home with your children to working from home and having a successful writing business.
1. Find a Writing Niche
What’s your background? What are your hobbies?
When you start freelance writing, it’s a good idea to find a niche or two that you feel comfortable writing about.
You can draw from your past work experiences or from your interests and hobbies.
For me, when I first started I chose parenting and psychology. I couldn’t land any high paying writing jobs in the parenting niche and I couldn’t find many psychology-based writing jobs either.
It wasn’t until I learned about digital marketing that I saw a need for content. From there I learned about digital marketing, wrote about it and landed clients in that niche.
So while you can use your work experience or interests to start off, you may end up finding your ideal niche once you start freelance writing.
2. Start Building Your Portfolio
Prospective clients often view your writing work before making a decision to hire you.
So, when you first start, you’ll need to provide some samples of your writing when you start applying for freelance writing jobs.
There are many ways to create samples:
Use Your Blog
Do you have a personal blog? If you blog about topics in your niche, you can definitely use those pieces in your portfolio.
When I first started, I put up a blog and wrote a few posts to serve as samples. They don’t have to be long but they do have to show excellent writing that’s tailored for an online audience.
Share a Google Doc
If you don’t have a blog, you can easily draft up a sample in Google Docs and create a shareable link for your portfolio.
It’s easy to do and quick to write up. This is something I did before I put up my blog or website, although I didn’t use Google Docs; instead I made a PDF.
Having a live link versus a PDF is much better to show as a portfolio piece.
Use a Publishing Platform
Another quick way is to create a sample using LinkedIn’s Pulse. Their publishing platform is only open to LinkedIn members.
This is by far better than using your blog or a Google Doc since publishing here means it will be viewed and shared by many people.
Another option is to use Medium, a blogging platform. This also generates a live link for your portfolio and to be used when you write your pitch.
The best proof that you are a legit writer is to have your writing on someone else’s site. And, guest posting allows you to do this easily.
If you visit a few blogs, you can contact the owner and ask if they accept guest posts. Other times, you might notice a “write for us” page in the menu of certain blogs.
If it’s in your niche, then contact them and ask if you can submit a guest post.
What’s great about guest posting is that you receive an author bio tagged at the end of your post.
This is where you can market your services and let prospects know who you are, what you write about, and how you can help them.
Here’s what one of my author bios looks like in a guest post:
3. Have a Home Base
If you really want to succeed as someone who gets paid to write, then the best thing you can do is have a website for your freelance writing business.
This will be your writer website. You definitely can use your personal website to host your portfolio and advertise your services, but plan on setting up a professional looking website in the near future.
This is the place where you can tailor your writing for your ideal client. They could be bloggers, small businesses, startups, medical professionals, or entertainment gurus for example.
4. Start Pitching
Don’t expect clients to approach you once you have your Hire Me page up. You’re going to have to go out and find the clients at first.
But, where do you find good paying freelance writing jobs? The best place I found when I first started was on job boards.
I had success on these boards:
Another way you can source a job is by looking locally. Tell your friends and family that you want to start freelancing and see if they need help with editing their résumé or writing copy for a friend’s business flyer.
This not only gives you experience but you can add these projects to your portfolio.
If you want even more ways, you can check out my post on 20 different ways to find a freelance writing job.
Once you find potential writing gigs, the next thing to do is create and email your pitch. Your pitch is how you will convince the prospect you are the one for the job. Some tips:
- Clearly explain what you provide, why you’re qualified, and how you can help.
- Provide relative samples.
- Don’t mention you’re new! If you’ve been blogging personally for years, turn that around and say you’ve been a professional blogger for over three years and that you know your way around the backend of WordPress.
Wrapping it Up
Freelance writing is perfect for stay-at-home moms. I’m able to write for my clients when my children are sleeping, and enjoy the day doing arts and crafts with them.
I’m Elna and I’m a freelance writer and coach. I help people become profitable freelance writers. Check out my free email course on Get Paid to Write Online and learn the steps you need to be a freelance writer.