The good news is on the Internet you can easily work as a freelance writer and be successful. The bad news is the same fact is true for thousands of freelance writers who want to be successful on the Internet. On top of that there are only a few publications that pay a decent amount to freelance writers. So with so many writers and so little money do you think you can ever be successful on the Internet working as a freelance writer?
Of course you can. There must be millions of engineers in the world, millions of doctors, millions of nurses, millions of actors and actresses, and so on. We live in a crowded world, so there are always big numbers whether you are looking in the actual world or on the Internet (actually, the Internet too is the actual world and the line is rapidly blurring). There is cutthroat competition on the Internet for you as a freelance writer but then there is cutthroat competition for every profession in every field. There are always too many service providers and too little opportunities. How do you succeed? Can you really be successful as a freelance writer on the Internet in a sense that you can eke out a full-fledged earning? Sure you can.
What sort of competition do you need to tackle in order to be successful on the Internet as a freelance writer?
Frankly, there isn’t much competition. Agreed, there might be thousands of freelance writers looking for the same writing opportunities that you are looking for, but eventually it is a talent and persistence that matters. Are you in it for the long haul or just passing your time?
Fortunately for you most of the so-called “freelance writers” are looking for writing jobs because they cannot find anything else to do. Funnily, everybody who can write a couple of sentences without grammar or spelling mistakes thinks he or she can write as a professional freelance writer. To be successful as a freelance writer on the Internet you don’t just need stellar writing skills, you need to persistently market yourself, deliver quality work, build a portfolio and constantly network with clients. This is something very few people can do, and if you can do that, you have an unbeatable edge. Writers come and writers go but there are only a few writers who really stay on and command respectable projects.
How do you reach at that juncture? How can you make sure that you become a much sought-after freelance writer on the Internet and become successful at that? The following points may help you:
Have a credible online presence
In order to get work you need a presence on the Internet. This presence can be in the form of a website, a blog and a couple of social media profiles. Your clients want assurance that you can be reached when they want to reach you. They want to know that you are a real person and you are a professional that can be relied upon for a long period of time. You are not just there because they don’t have anything better to do.
A professional website is a must. If you want to get professional assignments and if you want your clients to pay you professional rates then you have to look professional and you have to act professional. Spend a considerable amount of time preparing your website both in terms of its layout and content. It should definitely look like a freelance writer’s website with well-written and compelling copy and nicely arranged text. Provide all the information that may help your client decide favourably. Aside from the homepage, have a services page, an about me page, a contact page and whatever other pages that may help you communicate better what sort of freelance writing services you provide and what your rates are whether you charge hourly or per assignment.
Your website must also be on your own domain and not on some free hosting service. This is very, very important. If you cannot spend money on your own website it means you are not confident about your business, it means you are not investing in it. And if you are not ready to invest in your business how do you expect your clients to take you seriously?
Provide comprehensive information on your website
As mentioned above you want to look professional and like any other business you need to have all the information that can help your clients decide whether they want to do business with you or not. Clearly define your working conditions and terms and conditions. Explain to them how you charge and why you charge what you charge.
In order to look more professional you can also have an FAQ page where you can properly explain how you work and how you deliver.
Put testimonials on your website
Testimonials let your new clients know what your old clients think of you. Reading testimonials can be a great reassurance. The older the testimonials are the better it is because it conveys that you have been providing professional freelance writing services for a long time and there is a long list of satisfied clients who are eager to take enough trouble to express how awesome you are.
Publish a regular blog
As a freelance writer looking for work on the Internet and aspiring to be successful if you are not publishing a regular blog you don’t seem very convincing. Through your blog you can regularly communicate your thoughts to your visitors and develop a community around your presence on the Internet. It is also a great way of showcasing your writing skills and establishing yourself as an authority. Regular blog posts also give ample reason to other website publishers and bloggers to link to your content and consequently help you improve your search engine rankings. The greatest advantage of publishing a regular blog is that it helps you establish yourself, as mentioned above, as an authority figure who has got a lot to say about his or her profession.
Publish an online newsletter
This might not be necessary but it will help you portray a much more professional image compared to those who don’t publish an online newsletter. Publishing a regular online newsletter requires commitment on your part and if you can display that commitment it shows that you are really serious about your business. A newsletter also gives you an excuse to constantly stay in touch with your older clients provided they have subscribed to your newsletter. This way they never lose touch with you and can contact you whenever they want your service.
Stay active on social media
Most of your clients must be on Twitter and Facebook these days and these are the best places to be visible and find them. It won’t portray a good image if your prospective clients check you out on Twitter and Facebook and don’t find your profile page. Of course it goes without saying that you have to be really careful of what you publish on your timelines.
All the points mentioned above can help you stay ahead of the game and be successful on the Internet as a freelance writer.