Become a Freelance Writer is a complete guide to the business of writing. Freelance editorial consultant, Rachael Oku, sheds light on the skills and attributes needed to become an in-demand freelancer.
Offering a realistic outlook on getting ahead, Become a Freelance Writer provides a wealth of useful information and tips on how to build a successful brand while avoiding common pitfalls. Covering everything from budgeting and prioritising to pitching and reputation management, Become a Freelance Writer also explores the benefits of social media, email marketing and analytics software - advising how writers can leverage such tools to build an expansive audience and client base.
Become a Freelance Writer is a must-read for any writer serious about taking their potential to the next level. With a no-nonsense approach that gets straight to the point, this book is written with the infamous George Orwell quote in mind: "If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out."
Guest Post: Top Five Tips for Aspiring Freelance Writers from Rachael Oku
Top five tips for aspiring freelance writers
When I wrote my eBook, Become A Freelance Writer, I wanted to encourage would-be freelance writers to make the transition from hobby to business.
You don’t have to wait for someone to validate you as a writer, you have to shout about your work and make things happen.
Here are my five top tips!
Treat writing like a business
Perhaps the most important aspect in building your freelance career is to approach it like a business. After all, it is a functioning small business if you think about it.
If word of mouth and marketing are how you rely on finding work, and your reputation is everything, how could you be anything but a business?
If you can get into this mindset it becomes a whole lot easier to separate yourself and your personal views from your work. A good way of doing so is to create a pen name and treat it as a brand.
Position yourself as an expert
To ensure you stand out think about what areas of expertise you have that will make you more valuable to potential clients than your competition.
Whether you choose to mentor, speak at industry events, enter competitions or contribute to blogs, magazines and journals, creating buzz around yourself and your writing knowledge will give you the competitive advantage.
Know your worth
The most important thing when it comes to turning your talent into profit is knowing how much to charge.
Determining the right rate is a combination of what you think you’re worth, what you think you can get and what your competition charges. This is underpinned with the reality of how much you need to make to stay afloat.
Avoid wasting time competing for low paid work. Instead, hold out for a few well paying clients which will afford you the time and motivation to produce the best work you can. You’ll also find yourself with more free time to dedicate to finding new, quality clients.
Perfect your pitch
For writers, most pitches will come in the form of query letters. The most popular layout is the hook, a mini-synopsis and finally, your biography.
Sounds simple, but it’s all too easy to underestimate the people you’re pitching to.
Research the company thoroughly; read their work, follow them on social media and find out as much as possible about them so that you get to understand what’s important to them as an employer and what they’re looking for from a writer.
Use social media
Cheap and easy to use, social media is great for self-promotion. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Google+ and Digg are ideal for sharing your content with the masses.
Start conversations with your followers and pay attention to what they say. Share things that you’ve enjoyed or that are relevant to your writing. Whatever you do don’t bore your audience with a hard sell!
Update your feeds regularly, but don’t take on too much. Choose one or two platforms and set aside time each day to monitor them.
Rachael Oku is a 27-year-old editorial consultant and writer living in London. She founded Creative-Bloc, a social enterprise for freelance writers, in 2012 and in 2013 published her first book ‘Become a Freelance Writer’.