Freelancing is far from a new concept. But freelancing as a means of a sustainable job, if not career, is a concept only believable and viable in our 21st century. So if it’s do-able, how can someone go about doing it? The following guide will examine the tips of the trade that will turn a blogging hobbyist into a blogging careerist.
1. Know Your Audience
Your audience is the main source of your income. While it may not come directly from them, they keep the wheels in motion and a steady stream of income flowing. Whether you are currently building up a following or keep them coming back, it is important to note who you are catering to. What is it your audience likes about your writing? Is it the actual words, the content, or are you not really sure?
Understanding your audience may, at times, require extra legwork. This is where an aspiring freelance writer needs to roll up his or her sleeves and get in the trenches. Highlighting your attributes and what niches are your strong suits is also key, as this is a way to display yourself to your future employers.
Consistency comes in two forms regarding freelancing: frequency and content. Are you posting once in a blue moon or are you posting on a regular basis to the point where your followers are anxiously awaiting your next article? Sporadic posts covering a wide variety of topics cater to a larger audience, but don’t hit on the consistency factor.
Think about that one band from 15 years ago with that one song. You might recognize it and may even sing along, but they didn’t leave a real impression on you. Now think about a band like The Beatles. They put out consistently good music and knew exactly who their audience was. Be The Beatles, not “that band” from “that decade.”
3. Content is King
Ever notice all those buttons on an article, picture, video, etc? The usual suspects of Facebook, Twitter, GooglePlus are there waiting to be clicked. But what do those buttons do and why are they there? Well, they are there to easily share that specific piece of content. They are also there to be clicked by users who find that content worthy of sharing it with other people…for free! People click these buttons because they thought something was so good that they will attach their name with that content and give it a personal endorsement. Pretty cool, right?
Content is what makes the Internet go round. Providing strong content with a high sharability factor is a great way to get your name out there and build your freelancing résumé.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Your freelancing career won’t be either. Building a portfolio with quality work will take time…lots of time. When people pay for something, they want to know what they are getting with their money. Taking the time to build a following and work with your stamp of approval on it will go a long way. Try different avenues for content placement, reach out to a variety of different sources. It’s just as important to cultivate old relationships as it is to spark new ones, so if you’re writing, say, four articles a week, send two of those along to places who frequently accept your content, but try sending the other two to new and prospective resources you have no prior correspondence with. Varying up your methods like that introduces you to new communities while still maintaining your relevancy in communities you’ve already become a member of.
5. You are a Brand
Though we briefly mentioned this earlier, considering yourself as a brand when it comes to freelancing is a key to success. Creating content is obviously the main source of income for writers, but establishing a vast online presence that encompasses several key and vital social platforms is fundemental to ensuring that potential gigs know how you are and what you’re capable of.
Flaunting an online presence with several followers is something a potential hirer can see and increases your value to their site, because if they publish your article and you promote it through your social channels, it increases the chances of that article being seen and in the long run traffic being driven to that site. So make the connection valuable for both ends: they publish your work, you agree to promote it. It requires very little time requirement on your end, and both parties win!