1. Write for yourself if at all possible
Trying to build a portfolio or resume is a great idea. Many writers will try to join design contests to enhance portfolios and show off their work. This will definitely provide your potential clients with a few pieces of quality work to show off when they request information or samples of your work, but only if you win. Instead, design superior work that you can be proud of. You can submit to several article writing sites that accept your content. Refer potential clients to these websites or URLs for reference if writing samples are needed.
This will cover you in several aspects. Verify you are published and because you own the content and it is published on a site, it cannot be reused without your permission.
2. Require a nonrefundable deposit whenever possible
When you are beginning your freelancer work you are looking for the money. If you are able to require a nonrefundable deposit, you can have the money for your work. In addition, there are many times when a client will ask for a written sample of your work on a subject. Advise the client that the rights to the work are yours, unless the client wants to pay for the sample.
Consider this, if you submit a sample and they have approximately 10 others that are applying for the same job and they all submit samples that the client can keep. The client may have built the information or data base of work they need without paying for it. You work hard to create these articles and submitting them for free should not be an option if at all possible. If they are asking for a paragraph or two, no problem, provide that free of charge to potential clients. However, a content of work of approximately 400-500 words is worth something. It may not be worth $50 since you are just starting out but at least a couple of bucks.
3. When looking for potential clients, use the web
Consider searching for freelance writer work, search on sites that have jobs or work available. You may need to join these sites to bid on work and obtain clients. I would suggest not joining websites that have a cost to join or that you may have to pay a monthly fee just starting out. However, there are a lot of sites that are free for writers.
Search Twitter. They have a lot of groups that are free to join and writers are posting about sites and providing feedback information on great sites or not so great sites. This is wonderful to save you time and effort on which sites to join.
4. Social media is a terrific way to talk with your potential clients and network with other freelance writers
The benefit of using sites such as Twitter and Facebook is that you can network with other writers and potential clients. For example, blog designers can chat with other blog designers and possibly connect to obtain freelance work. The same is true of freelance writers.
5. Stay focused on your niche and industry and what trend or path it is going in
Many of us are already conscious of this information. However, as a reminder, stay focused.
6. Don’t provide your competition with attention they don’t deserve
When you are initially coming into freelance writer work, try not to spend hours studying and examining what your competing writers are doing. Concentrate on your own work. Take all of that valuable time and dedicate it to you.
7. Use outsourcing to your advantage
Believe it or not, outsourcing can be beneficial. For example, you may enjoy the aspect of designing blogs but not the blogging aspect. If you are taking employment from a client for both, outsource the blogging aspect. Not only can you do what you enjoy doing without struggling with the other portion of the job, it will allow you more time to devote to the aspect of the job that you enjoy.
8. Avoid overloading yourself in the beginning
If there are things that are not absolutely necessary to be done right now, don’t do them right now. Not everything is required at the beginning. If you can handle invoicing your own clients and jobs, do that. Don’t worry about purchasing an application to handle this portion of your business.
9. Use a contract. Always.
When beginning as a freelancer it’s very easy not to use a contract. In addition, many people rely on other people to do the right thing. Believe it or not, many don’t. They will take advantage of you and obtain whatever they can for free. For example, you may have a client that requests 60 blog entries and assures you that they will pay you for these after they are done. Or they may even request 150 if you can have them done on 10 days you have the job and they will pay upon completion. You do the work in 10 days and wait for payment. 20 days later you are still waiting for payment and guess what, the payment may never come but you see your blog posts out there. You held up to your end of the contract but the client didn’t. You feel terrible and mad as heck. However, you have learned an important lesson, get a contract. Use a contract, always.
If writing is something that you enjoy doing, don’t forget to keep this aspect in mind. Enjoy what you do. Not many people can say they are doing something that they enjoy and getting paid for it.
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