An Article by contributor Leila Dorari.
When you think about it, everything you do for the first time, you do without experience, especially if you’re a student or a recent graduate. Freelance writing is not different. What you need is talent, some basic skills, and connections. The talent is either there or not. However, the other two are what you gain with experience. Here are a couple of tips for a successful jump-start.
Write 3000 words a day
To convince yourself you can do it, start doing it. Pretend you are writing a blog post. Choose several topics you enjoy and start. This is a warm-up phase. Ask someone to read your articles. If you have an experienced writer at hand, they are your first choice. Otherwise, ask anyone you trust and find out how appealing and readable your style of writing is. This will also help you gain structure, routine and hence confidence.
Read a lot
Once you start writing, you will notice that your active vocabulary may not be as broad as you thought it was. This does not mean you are not eloquent, only that you keep on repeating the same phrases. The language you use needs to be dynamic and involve variety. It is mainly linking words and sentence connectors that will give you a headache. Unfortunately, they are the ones largely involved in the structure and dynamics of a text which makes them very important.
The world of the internet has made job seeking much easier. You do not have to go knocking on doors anymore. Use various platforms available to advertise your freelance work. Social media will help you make connections, share knowledge, and gain visibility. Remember, a friend is always likely to do another friend a favor, or return one. Also, satisfied customers will have no problem providing references or recommending you further.
The best-known freelance platform is Upwork. There are many more, however, which made freelance writing their specialty. Choose several and give them a go.
Do your research
Once you start, you need to find out as much as you can about different styles and your given subject. Think about what it is you are writing. Is it a brochure, a website home page, a blog post, etc.? Make sure you understand what is required for each one of them, and what info they need to contain. Also, in order to write an original article, you need to understand the background of your topic. Find resources which will help you zone into the subject.
Mind your audience
The audience is the one you are writing for, not an editor or your contractor. Make sure you know who the text is intended for, and make sure you understand what it means. Your audience will determine your language register and the info you include.
Craft your language skills
Whether you’re a native speaker or a non-native who strongly believes he can write in a foreign language – in order to be taken seriously your grammar and language skills have to be flawless. Luckily, nowadays there is a plethora of different ways to sharpen your English skills – from various online English courses on Udemy, to English courses for Japanese students and finding a language exchange partner in London – the options are countless.
Apply your experience. Regardless whether it is good or bad, it is a learning opportunity. When editors reject you, don’t take it to heart. Make sure you understand the reason behind it and improve based on that. When editors love your work, use it to build your portfolio.
Chin up, you are an artist-tradesman. You use your talent to create content for commercial purposes. Stay confident and work hard.
Leila Dorari is an entrepreneur and freelance writer from Sydney. She’s passionate about self-growth and living better lives by nurturing our minds, bodies and souls. You can usually find her blogging from the comfort of her room or hiking with her furry four-legged friend.