Any person who decides on a freelance writing career has to start at the beginning. I mean starting out with no clips of their work, no endorsements, and an uncertainty of where they are going to find an offer to write.
I’m sure you have read many stories about new writers dealing with questionable companies and websites that offer ridiculously low sums of money. How then should you go about getting those great first assignments? I started out like everyone else with no previous articles and was basically unknown when I was offered my first writing job. And I didn’t look for the job . . . the company came to me.
I started out writing a blog and making sure that several social media sites saw my work. I linked my articles to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and many other social websites. The goal was to place each article where it made the most sense.
If I wrote a parenting topic, Mommy Bloggers got a link. If I wrote about blogging itself, there were a few blogging groups on LinkedIn that would see my article. In fact, it was because of those articles on Linkedin that I landed my first job.
A company saw what I was writing on a LinkedIn group, saw how people in the group were interacting with what I wrote, and decided I would be a good fit for them. They asked me to write a 300-500-word article on a financial topic. My very first assignment, and it landed $65 in my pocket. I had no clips. I hadn’t even been a guest writer on another website.
Of course that might just be considered a lucky break. What should you do if you aren’t being approached by others? Write as much as you can. Choose different topics to show your range of abilities. Advertise your work on relevant social sites. Basics you should be doing each day.
Once you have been writing and sending out articles for a while, your next step is to ask for the job. All of that social networking hopefully has created a strong following of readers. Take the time to write to these readers and ask if you can be of assistance to them.
Look through your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn contacts and take a look at the company they work for and what their job title is. If they seem to be a decision maker, who might hire the freelance writer and more importantly, need a freelance writer, I email them. I let them know what I feel I could do for their company. Suggest writing blog articles or a press release for the company. Make sure your offer makes sense to the person you write to. If you have knowledge about finance and you are writing to a financial company, tell them what your background is and why you would be a great choice for writing their articles.
Personally network with people in your community. Join your local Chamber of Commerce, the PTA or even a writing group through Meetup. You never know who has a need for your skills or who might have great advice where to seek a job.
Finally, if you feel more comfortable starting your career by going to the websites that offer writing opportunities, just make sure when you sift through these job opportunities that you go to reliable companies offering fair wages. If it sounds too good to be true, or easy to get, it just might be.
I hope the information provided helps you out in your own career.
BIO: Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media manager who works with several companies, big and small. Taking a different path with her blog, Searching for the Happiness, Wendy writes openly about her personal and business life and how they intertwine. Searching for the Happiness can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. Check out her website at: http://searchingforthehappiness.com Connect with Wendy at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wmccance