by Elna Cain
I recently became a freelance writer for hire and I love every minute of it. I stay home and take care of my two-year-old twins and when they are sleeping or in childcare, I write.
If you are a mother considering working at home, freelance writing gives you an opportunity to hone your skills as a writer and explore different areas of writing all in the comfort of your home.
What Type of Freelance Writer Are You?
Do you like writing factual information with data to support it? Or, are you more interested in ghostwriting a novel with mesmerizing characters? When you freelance, you can choose what style of writing you want to do.
Here are only small samples of the different writing needs online businesses seek out:
- Article writing – Many online business require articles on various topics to help with their search engine ranking. This can involve research if you are unfamiliar with a topic.
- Blog post writing – Some online companies own blogs, but not enough hours in the day to constantly update it. You can fulfill this void by writing quality, but engaging content for their website.
- Copywriting – If you have a knack for advertising or marketing, copywriting is something that is in demand from many companies.
- Press Releases – Write various press releases on technology equipment, mobile apps or residential buildings to name a few topics. Writing information in a persuasive manner is important when doing press releases.
- Ghostwriting – Many authors may be stuck in certain parts of their novel. Or companies may want to brand themselves on certain written material. Whatever the case, when you ghost write for someone or some company, you write as if they are writing it and your name does not appear in the content.
- Web content – Companies may need someone to write their bios, product or service descriptions on their website. They may lack time or find it difficult to write content and will oftentimes hire it out.
What are the Steps to Start Freelance Writing?
If you are thinking about offering your writing services, then make sure you brand yourself.
How do you do that? By having your own website and a social presence online.
Here are the preliminary steps to start branding yourself as a freelance writer.
Register a Domain Name
There are places that offer free blogs and websites, like Blogger, but if you want to brand yourself and appear professional, buy a domain name. A popular place to buy a domain is at GoDaddy. Registering is easy and only costs around $10 per year.
Once you have a domain name, the next thing to do is find a place to host your web content. This will run you anywhere from $5-10 per month. Your domain register will often provide this service.
After you register your domain and find a host, I suggest using WordPress to install custom themes and make your website personal to your brand. For more detailed steps please visit Location180.
Provide Written Samples
Many new freelance writers may not have published work to include in their portfolio. This is fine. All you need to do is write a few articles on topics you are interested in and put them on your website. It’s a good idea to vary the length of each article to show future clients versatility in your writing ability. If you are unable to write a few sample articles right away, starting a blog on your website will provide you with samples too.
Get Social On Social Media
It’s highly important as a new freelance writer to have a social presence online. You may already have a personal Facebook account or Twitter account, but clients want to see your professional presence on social media. Update your professional accounts regularly and utilize hastags to reach a greater audience.
Now You’re Ready to Guest Post
Guest posting is an opportunity to brand yourself in the niche you want to ultimately write about. For example, if you enjoy writing about fashion, find fashion websites and see if guest posting is possible. If it is, read all the instructions as each website will have different requirements.
Once you feel you can contribute to their website, write a piece and submit it. You may not hear back from them for a while. That is okay. Sometimes it will take a week or two before they contact you. If they like it, they will publish it. You may be asked to write a little bio about yourself and your services.
Use guest posting as a way to improve your writing and expand your writing style. The more you guest post, blog, and keep up with social media, the more chances you have of potential clients finding you. Improve these odds by seeking jobs yourself on various freelance writing websites.
These steps are only the beginning to kick starting your business. Making a name for you can be challenging but for many stay-at-home moms, it is a breath of fresh air. Take it from me, cut out some time to work on starting your own freelance writing career. It’ll give you the freedom to choose your projects and the flexibility to take care of your children and home.
Elna Cain (@ecainwrites) is a freelance writer for hire who lives in Northern Canada with her husband and twin children. As a writer, she specializes in parenting, health, education, career and work-at-home mom advice. You can find more about Elna at Innovative Ink.