by Gilly Brewster
(Los Angeles, California, USA)
There are more opportunities to earn a living as a freelance writer today than have ever existed before.
Before the advent of the internet, a freelance writer generally had to rely upon the small chance they had of being published in written form. Even those writers who were able to get a job writing for a business had few choices and those were unstable sources of employment.
Today, virtually every website you see has some type of written content on it, ranging from a few introductory paragraphs to blogs filled with hundreds of articles. Almost every business now needs written content to develop and maintain customer relationships.
Even self-publishing books has become easy. As a result, there are countless and varied opportunities available for freelance writers to earn money.
Getting started as a freelance writer requires little to no investment. If you have a computer and an internet connection, you are set and ready to go. You can work from the comfort of your own home office or at a coffee shop. You can set you own hours, your own deadlines and your own prices.
If you want to make a living as a freelance writer the first thing you need to do is WRITE.
Write a lot. Write something every day. One of the easiest ways to get noticed is to build a portfolio of your writing published around the internet. Make finding your writing samples easy for potential customers. Submit articles regularly to article directories and, more importantly, directly to websites. The more your articles are published the easier it is for potential customers to know how well you write. Tip: Be sure to include a link back to own website offering your writing services whenever you can.
Many writers specialize in one specific form of content. This could be eBooks, short reports, articles, search engine optimized articles,autoresponder or follow-up emails, even forum posts and social media updates. Some writers specialize in one subject area. This works well if you have a background or training in a certain field. For example, a writer with experience in the mortgage business can market their services as a blogger to individual mortgage originators around the country. Most writers do a little bit of everything.
You can also get a start by using one of the popular freelancing sites such as elance.com, guru.com or freelancer.com. A simple website will turn up more sites to market your services on. Each site is different, but most of them use a process where potential employers post a job they need done and then freelancers bid on the job. Once you win a bid, you get together with the employer to finalize the details. The payment for the job is placed in escrow with the hiring site and released to you when the employer declares the work to be satisfactory.
Another excellent and virtually untapped source of business for a freelance writer is the local business market. Every business today needs a website and needs to get it ranked highly in the search engines. Most of them also need to impress customers with their knowledge. Writing is essential to both of these tasks. Blogging is an excellent way for a local business to get noticed. Volunteer to give a presentation on search engine optimization at business networking meetings and offer to sell your services on monthly or weekly contract basis as a blogger.
Spend a few hours each day working on writing and a few hours each day soliciting clients and before you know it, you will be making a living as afreelance writer.