DO. THE. WORK.
Of course, the next question for a person brand new to the field would be “What IS the work, EXACTLY?”
At least that was MY next question. I don’t think I am alone, though.
Down to the BIZNESS of it!
What IS the work?
Here are the basics:
- Get your domain and website.
- Set up your presence.
- Socialize and learn from influencers.
- PITCH, PITCH, PITCH!
- Then, once you land a gig, WRITE YOUR LITTLE HEART OUT!
1. Get your domain and website.
Those in the know strongly suggest SELF-hosted sites for the most professional options. Most of the big name bloggers swear by Bluehost, HostGator, or SiteGround.
I went with BlueHost on my first self-hosted and am meh on their services so far. Not to say they are horrible, but they don’t knock my socks off.
If you get all the bells and whistles, it will run you about $100-$300 per year for a self-hosted site. The bargain budget plans can be as little as $3-$4 per month, though.
If you’re starting on a tiny (microscopic) budget, then you can squeak by with a domain on WordPress.com for under $30 per year. WordPress has HUNDREDS of FREE themes with great stock photos built in so it can be easy peasy.
Of course, you really should at least spring for some different images and/or a Premium (paid) theme to REALLY get ahead of the game.
1. Set up your presence.
Then you ask me “What is this presence thing you speak of?”
“Presence” is the pro YOU online. It’s your business accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. If you REALLY want to get jiggy, you can do Instagram and YouTube too.
The need for all this is to promote your butt off for FREE. It is the most cost-effective way to spread the word about who you are and what you do.
You use all the other platforms to give out good information by sharing links to your website and blog and your main offer. It’s all about giving VALUE to people so that they know that you can be trusted to deliver the goods if they decide to pay you for your writing.
3. Socialize and learn from influencers
This part actually can be put into a few sections: Facebook, Twitter, and blogs
FACEBOOK GROUPS ARE YOUR FRIEND!
Elna Cain has a great post about the absolute tippy top Facebook groups to get in on. If you take her Write Your Way to Your First $1k course, her success group is AWESOME.
In Facebook groups, you will find a ton of like-minded people on the same journey as you but at different places along the path. You can ask questions and answer them for others too.
TWEET THOSE TIPS!
If someone has thousands of followers, there is probably a good reason. Join the throngs and when they post something extra great, reply and retweet.
A lot of these influencers are super approachable and will even reply back. Then you can learn even more!
COMMENT ON THE BLOG(S)
When you read a blog post that really struck a chord with you, leave a meaningful and value-adding comment.
What I mean by that is instead of just “Hey nice post,” say something like “Jim, this post really touched on what I am dealing with in [xyz thing you are dealing with] and I will definitely implement your suggestions here.” (If you implement them, it would even be cool to do a follow-up comment later.)
Just like with Twitter, a lot of these mega-bloggers actually take the time to read the comments on their blog posts and reply to them. So again, you are getting more opportunity to learn.
4. PITCH, PITCH, PITCH
THIS is the clincher. IF YOU DON’T PITCH, YOU DON’T GET JOBS. And if you don’t get jobs then you don’t get paid.
And as much as we love to write, we still want to get paid to do it!
The best thing to do is to pitch AS OFTEN AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN. Since most companies have a lot of prospects pitching to them, it’s really a numbers game.
A lot of new freelance writers have to deal with a TON of rejection. So be prepared to deal with that at first.
Is it possible that if you pitch a lot that you may get flooded with great offers? So many that you have to turn down some? Sure, but what a great problem to have if you’ve got it!
5. Then, once you land a gig,
WRITE YOUR LITTLE HEART OUT!
YOU GOT THAT FIRST GIG! GO YOU!
Now is the time for you to shine! Do all the necessary research. Find the awesome royalty-free stock images if needed. Write that stellar piece of copy that will wow the readers.
YOU’VE MADE IT!
Now… Lather, rinse… and REPEAT to get more work. YOU’VE GOT THIS.
Freelance writing can be a great way to earn a living without having to be chained down to a specific location so that you can work from home or on the go.
You can be successful if you follow the basic steps: Get your domain and website. Set up your online presence. Socialize and learn from influencers. PITCH, PITCH, PITCH! Then, once you land a gig, WRITE YOUR LITTLE HEART OUT!
Bottom line, you have to do the work in order to get the result.
NOW GO OUT THERE AND GET ‘EM, TIGER!