Welcome to the Reinvent Yourself series! In each of these posts, we will handle a different freelance career: An activity typically performed by professionals who want to work on their own terms, who don’t want a boss but high-quality customers, and who want to choose when and where they work. This post is all about freelance content writers. Let’s get started!
What does a freelance content writer do?
A freelance content writer creates content for blogs and other sites’ owners on a contract basis. Content creation can relate to any subject, depending on the blog or website topic. This is a fantastic option for you if writing is your passion and feels like a part of yourself – but wouldn’t really like to create something from scratch.
Some examples of freelance content writing:
- Blog post creation – You’ll usually get a topic to write about, ideally with some guidelines about the word count or the style you should be using.
- Proofreading – This is when someone writes some content, and your task is to review it. You can check if there are any spelling, grammar, or style issues to be changed.
- Social media posts – You could also write short pieces of content for social media. Make sure though to offer your freelance writing services for social media in a package – you could charge a minimum amount of weekly hours, for instance. Otherwise, the payment won’t probably be worth it due to the very short amounts of words.
- Promotional content creation – If your customer is a bigger company, they may give you some facts about a new promotion they’re going to run. Your task will be to create the content for that campaign, which may include a detailed description of the campaign on your customer’s website, the text for all ads, and also for social media posts.
Some additional notes about content writers’ work
- Calculate how much time you need to write 1k words. This will not only help you come up with the right rate for you, but it will also help you figure out how much work you can accept daily or weekly. It might not seem that important to you now, but calculating your availability upfront will avoid you many problems!
- Make sure you ask as many questions as possible regarding style and target market. You shouldn’t write with the same style if you’re writing a post about a medical condition on a healthcare company’s website as if you’re creating content for an online gaming site!
- Many companies have their own style guidelines. Stick to them, even if there is something you don’t agree with. You can point it out to your customer, but don’t insist on changing their rules if they won’t accept it.
- Proof your own writing a couple of times. You want to offer the best quality possible, and you don’t want to deliver your content with a misspelling committed out of haste, right?
- Delivering your work on time is almost as important as the best content quality. Make sure to propose deadline changes if you don’t think you will be able to deliver on time and with the highest quality standards. Especially, if you want to get new assignments from that customer!
How can I work as a freelance content writer if I have no experience?
- You don’t need work experience to work as a freelance content writer, but you’ll have to show how you write. If you don’t have any published work on your own, you should start doing it as soon as possible.
- The easiest way to start putting your content out there is with guest posts, that is, writing posts for other blogs. In this way, your content is online and, at the same time, you’ll get known by that blog’s audience, who can become your audience as well.
- Another option is creating a blog yourself! What’s a better way to show off your writing skills than with a blog of your own? Write about anything you would like to write about for your customers, and try to include several styles – this will be your particular portfolio. Writing a blog won’t only serve you as a virtual business card, but it can also help you attract customers to your site, remember?
Tools and resources for freelance content writers
- You’re going to need a PC or laptop and a good Internet connection.
- Most bloggers work on WordPress, so you could add a huge value to your content if you offer to insert the content on WordPress yourself!
- Try to get SEO-savvy. If you can offer search-engine-optimized content, you’re most likely to become an invaluable asset to your customers! Some tools which will help you are SEMRush and Yoast for WordPress.
- Make yourself visible on online platforms for freelance jobs, such as Upwork or Fiverr.
- Get a copy (hardcover or digital) of the Work for You Planner, a tool that will help you plan the steps you need to take to start freelancing.
Let me know your thoughts about freelancing as a content writer. Do you have any questions you’d like me to address? Go for it!
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