Have you ever dreamed of becoming a writer?
For many people, it’s a dream come true to be able to sit around in coffee shops watching the world go by as they put pen-to-paper in their work as freelance writers. But starting a freelance writing business today requires hard work and strategy.
In an ever-competitive world where everyone is trying to make it, getting your bylines out there and making a living as a writer is tough. But it can be done—and the rewards of doing it include waking up every morning with a smile knowing that you will be doing something you truly love.
While this article primarily focuses on general steps for beginning a freelance writing business, specific guidelines vary by state. If you're in the Sunshine State, for example, learning how to start an llc in Florida can be a valuable step in building your business's legal framework.
Here's how to set up your own writing business in general, and top tips to start reaping the benefits of a thriving freelance writing business online sooner rather than later.
1. Build Your Portfolio
The first question any client or editor who is going to hire you is going to ask themselves is is this writer good? This is hard to judge if they've never written anything before and most editors or clients will pass at the chance to work with an unknown first-time writer.
You first need to build a portfolio. But how do you do this if no editors or clients will hire you without first seeing published work first?
Set up a personal blog and start blogging about your favorite topics to see what becomes of it. If you are worried about writing for free then try using Google Ads to place adverts on your website and optimize it for SEO. You may then start to make some money from advertising.
2. Consider an In-House Copywriting Role First
One way to get some writing bylines is to work an in-house job first. Many major businesses have copywriters or agencies that they hire to write their copy for them. Getting good at copywriting and understanding how the freelance copywriting business works is the key to building a successful, million-dollar business from copywriting.
Taking an in-house copywriting role is a great way of showing not just that you are a great writer, but also that you are disciplined and can meet deadlines on time. It also proves you can take direction and won't react badly to criticism.
Remember that one of the key differences between working for an in-house employer and working for yourself is that you will need to create form w2 yourself. Be sure to get some advice from the accounts and HR departments before you leave.
3. Market Yourself
Another important aspect of starting a writing business is to market yourself. If you want to take on copywriting clients or to write for the top blogs, newspapers, and magazines, then you need to get yourself noticed.
The key to getting noticed is having a great website that showcases your best work and also being active on social media networks where your target audience is. Also be on the lookout for editors and PRs posting opportunities on social media.
Finally, be helpful to editors and brands you want to work with where you can even if there is no immediate reward for you. One example of this is if an editor is looking for a story in an area that is not your expertise, but you know of someone who could plug that gap. Be sure to link to them.
Ultimately, starting a freelance writing business is hard work, but it is totally worth it. Writers face rejection all the time, and when you're first starting as a freelance writer it can feel as if you often hitting a brick wall. But don't despair. Market yourself, build up a strong portfolio, and remember you can always fall back on an in-house job if the market is dry.