If you have a strong passion for writing, consider a career as a freelance writer. There's nothing more fulfilling than spending your days doing what you love. Unfortunately, some people don't pursue their passions. But if you don't take a chance while young, you might miss out on the career choice of a lifetime. If you love writing, here's how to become a freelance writer, and make some cash along the way.
1. Don't Kid Yourself
You might sit around writing short stories, poems or thinking of creative article ideas, but becoming a freelance writer takes more than interest -- you need skills. Be honest about your writing skills. You don't need a degree to become a freelance writer, but you will need to know the basics of crafting a sentence. This might require taking a few English or writing courses, or completing online tutorials to hone your skills.
2. Don't Be a Cry Baby
I will be perfectly honest, being a freelance writer requires tough skin. Editors may rip apart your hard work, and anything you publish will be subject to criticism and ridicule. Some remarks will be nice, others won't. Here's the thing, you can't please everyone. Even if you're an excellent writer, there's always going to be an editor who thinks your skills aren't good enough. Plus, each editor and publication has its own writing style, and sometimes this style doesn't match yours.
3. Major in English
If you're serious about a career as a freelance writer, choose English or journalism as your major in college. This is an excellent start because you'll learn about different aspects of writing from social media marketing to news writing.
4. Join Your School's Newspaper
Once you're ready to apply for writing jobs, you'll need clips or samples of your work. If you join your college newspaper, you can receive weekly assignments, which is an opportunity to start building your writing portfolio.
5. Ask for a Hook up
A little nepotism goes a long way in the real world. And if you know someone who works for a magazine, newspaper or a website, mention how you're getting started as a freelance writer and see if they can use your services. Getting your first job as a freelance writer will be hard, but once you have a bunch of clients under your belt and solid clips, it'll be easier to find work. But in the beginning, it doesn't hurt to have a hook up.
6. Create a Blog
Blogging is an excellent way to express yourself, write about your passions, plus you can hone your skills. And when you're ready to apply for jobs, you can direct potential clients to your blog so they can assess your writing skills and determine whether you're a match for their company.
7. Stalk Writing Job Boards
Freelance writing is a competitive business, especially since many newspapers have laid off staff writers and these people are becoming freelancers. So you'll need to check freelance writing job boards daily. Do yourself a favor and look for long-term contracts, such as providing a company with regular print or online content.
Freelance writing can be a rewarding career, and you can realistically earn $25-$75 an hour or more, depending on the type of writing you provide. Do you have what it takes to become a freelance writer, why?