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how to become a freelancer

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Freelancing is not at all about having a computer and an internet connection. It’s a complete job and if you really want to know how to become a freelance content writer, buckle up as it needs some extra personal qualities. Freelancing has increased a lot in the recent years and now 30% of Fortune 500 companies hire through best freelancing websites. Initially, it’s a bit tough to pursue a freelancing career because you don’t have any idea of the freelance jobs, how to apply and how to get paid as a freelancer

Because of the overwhelming information on internet, people often get stuck where to start freelancing. I have started my freelancing career back in 2011 and worked on some part time freelance jobs. But now I’ve been working as a full time freelancer and I would like to share some tips and my experiences that may help you to become a freelance content writer.

Let’s get started!

1. Focus on Communication

Why am I putting it as the first step of the freelancing ladder?

Because,

in my opinion, its the first and most important skill needed to become a successful freelance content writer.

Your talking style and a professional tone can lend you a job quickly.

Therefore your communication must be strong enough and you should be a pro in written and spoken English. Most of the freelance employers belong to USA, Europe, Australia, Canada & United Kingdom and therefore they look for a perfect communicator. In that concern, the top freelancing websites like Upwork and Fiverr have basic English test and you must take that test.

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Communication is considered as a soft skill, so if you think you are weak, you must improve it. While you are working as a freelancer, the communication between you and the employer takes place via emails. Therefore, you must follow these rules to make a great first impression.

how can i become a freelancer

Not only that communication also involves heavy information exchange.  Sometimes you are receiving and most of the times you are giving information and updates about ongoing work. More importantly, be prepared for a lot of interviews in the beginning. Employers on popular freelancing platforms post small to medium level jobs. So as a beginner, you can expect many audio or video interviews, chats or emails. So once again, focus on communication.

2. Build a Strong and Epic Profile

Your profile is everything and it’s the only way to make you stand out from the crowd. Whether you have a prior experience in a certain field or a fresh grad, a catchy and creative profile is all what you need to boost your freelancing career. Create a professional profile by using the following tips.

1. Write a Professional Bio

It is the first step that highlights who you are. Your bio should be comprehensive and complete. Mention the accomplishments you achieved during your educational tenure or in any previous organization. Here are free bio templates that you can go through to write your own bio.

2. Use a Professional Portrait

It’s a strong factor of a killer professional profile. Whatever your freelancing platform is, upload a professional photo with a smiling face. Here’s how your professional profile portrait should look like.

how to be a successful freelancer
3. Mention Previous Written Content

May be you have already worked in a certain content writing firm & you’ve the exact skills that a client is looking for. So write all the content details, tools you used and a URLs of the written samples. There is a common question by the fresh grads;

I am a fresh graduate, what should I put in my profile or resume?

At least you’ve done small to medium level projects during the graduation, put those projects in the profile. Do not leave an impact that you know nothing.

4. Add Content Writing Skills

Do not forget to add the skills you are good at like Content Writing, content marketing etc.

5. No Irrelevant Info

Do not put any irrelevant data that you aren’t aware off. Sometimes you might forget and during an interview, the interviewer may ask similar questions about that.

6. Any Additional Languages you know?

Speaking more than one language makes employment chances strong. Many clients prefer candidates that can speak Spanish, Russian, Portuguese with English, these are just examples. So if you know any popular languages, add them in your portfolio.

7. Employers DO NOT need that

The clients are not at all interested in your gender, race or religion. I would not recommend to add such info in your profile.

I hope these short tips will help you to create a great professional profile. Keep your profile updated all the time, whatever you learn something new, add it to it.

3. Use LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, not only you can search for millions of jobs here, it helps in link building and making connections. I got hired by two prestigious companies by LinkedIn & still get invites by recruiters. There are both on-site and remote jobs posted on LinkedIn, therefore, a professional profile on it is a must.

Furthermore, it leaves a good impression to share the LinkedIn profile with the clients. It builds trust and used as a medium in collaboration with the clients. LinkedIn is a complete professional package, you can add your bio, projects, certifications and employment history.

In short, I would say a LinkedIn profile is your online resume.

4. Focus on Your Writing Skills

If you are a pro in just one or two skills, no problems, just be a champ. Do not get distracted to learn multiple skills at one time as it will create an overhead. If I talk about becoming a freelance content writer, it’s one of the best and highly demanded skill. Hundreds of jobs are posted for content writing and freelance writing jobs. There are multiple side hustles that a freelance content writer can start like creating a business blog. Great content writers charge up to $300 per article which is a handsome amount.

how do i become a freelance writer

Practice more and check out what’s new to improve your learning skills. Additionally, search and take free courses relevant to your skills.

Here, I was talking about freelance writing, you can check out these free courses.

5. Take Courses on Freelance Content Writing

Certifications play a key role in any freelancer’s success. Though not everybody can afford it because some certifications are a bit costly. But it is such a big investment in yourself that won’t ever regret it. Any field you name it, there will be a certification. There are network certifications, IT, Microsoft, Google, AWS, Project Management and Sales certifications.

When you’ll start your freelancing career, you’ll notice that yourself. Most of the employers clearly mention that certified candidates will be proffered. On Udemy, these are the Best courses on freelance content writing that make recruiters start liking you.

6. Be Persistent & Consistent

It’s true that freelancing is a little long journey who’s beginning can be really hard. But I promise you if you keep calm and stick with it no matter what, you’ll be a rocking successful freelancer one day. Being a fresh guy in a certain platform with no feedback or history, so it’s difficult to earn the client’s trust. But it’s a universal truth, everything starts from a zero. Therefore, if you show up and start applying for jobs and get no response, leaving it with frustration is really a bad idea.

It may take a couple of days, a week or even a month or two to land your first contract. Honestly when I started back on Upwork, I got my first tiny little job after three months of continuously applying. There will be chances that all of your proposals get rejected.

So never loose hope & keep applying.

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7. Avoid Canned Proposals

Never copy paste a pre-written proposal template while applying for jobs. Please stop it, because certainly you’ll waste time and a job opportunity. Show the client you are interested in that job. Ask some questions, that’s the best trick that works. When you’ll ask relevant questions to a job, client will get back to you with answers. From here, your conversation will begin and try your best to get the contract.

I am interested, kindly review my profile.

You might have experienced such responses on LinkedIn. If you’ll send a similar response like above, your application will be in the trash bin. Instead you should write a proposal like that:

=====================

Hey,

Thank you for reading out my application. My name is David and I am a Freelance Content Writer . Saw a content writer job posted by job & I’d like to talk about that because it matches my skills set. I am a certified content writer & worked on multiple content marketing projects as well during the last 4 years and attached a couple of my work samples that you can find in the attachments. I would love to talk to you more on that, I am available via Email & Skype.

Talk to you soon!

Best,
Dave

=====================

This is just an example, so the long story short, craft your proposals that catch the client’s attention.

8. Meet the Deadlines

On time delivery of tasks assigned makes the clients or a buyer happy. You will earn an excellent review and a 5-star rating. Therefore, it’s so important to fulfill the employer’s requirements on time. Lack of delivery on time can badly effect your profile reputation.

freelance writing work

Do not take it until you make it. I mean to say, when you have multiple ongoing jobs, do not take more until and unless you are done with the current projects. So be relaxed and have a cup of coffee, complete the work within the given deadline and handover it. It should be your uttermost priority when you head over to the freelancing career.

9. Keep the Rates Lower

In the early stages of freelancing career, I’d suggest to set a reasonable rate. Competition is too high and it gets immense even more for simple and easy jobs. There are hundreds of applications with lowest rates. You are an absolute newbie and putting $50 or $70 USD hourly rate is insane. The possibility is you may never get a job as you can see the below image as an example.

If you belong to United States or UK, then these high rates work. Because $20 dollar is a normal salary in such countries. But if we talk about countries like India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Bangladesh, it’s a very high demand. You can try with such rates & if you get hired, it’d be great, otherwise, decrease the demand & re-try.

10. Top 5 Freelancing Platforms

I have discussed in a bit detail about the top 5 best freelancing sites in the world and you must join them to become a successful freelancer. These are the most trusted platforms with thousands of small to medium level jobs. I wouldn’t mind to mention those sites here again.

  1. Upwork
  2. Fiverr
  3. Freelancer
  4. PeoplePerHour
  5. 99Designs

Why am I recommending these top 5 platforms?

Because it’s really important to stick with the genuine freelancing websites instead of registering profile on multiple shady sites. So without any further ado, start creating profiles using these major tips that I mentioned here in the post and start applying.

Time to Wrap it Up

I use to say that freelancing is internet biggest gift. Without internet, there were no freelancing sites and no such work. Therefore, we must take full advantage and build an online freelancing portfolio. But it needs some attention and a little bit dedication. It’s easy to become a freelance content writer, so make your communication skills stronger and stronger. Capture a professional portrait, get a full grip on the skills and create an impressive online presence.

No matter how it goes in the beginning, keep your focus & don’t loose hope. One more thing that I’d like to mention here, don’t charge your clients for anything you learn. That’s your personal benefit and the best self investment.

Finally, I really want to help if you have any query, shoot your questions in the comments.

Share in your network!

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