Becoming a freelance writer is extremely tough, especially when you are new and starting out. Whether you are unemployed, testing the waters while maintaining a full or part-time job, or just out of college and having trouble with the job market, freelancing is exciting but full of the unknown. The first and continual difficult hurdle is finding freelance opportunities.
Even as an established freelance writer, finding writing opportunities is something I struggle with. One of my favorite clients I write for, Hipmunk, has given me more insight into what it takes to find these opportunities with amazing clients that respect who you are as a writer. I have been writing for their #HipmunkCityLove campaign, and have enjoyed every minute. With this experience in mind, here are four ways to find freelance opportunities with outstanding and respectful clients like Hipmunk!
Build a Portfolio
The most important first step to find the best freelance opportunities is to build a great portfolio. This is tricky when you are just starting out. A good way to build your portfolio from scratch is to give away your writing skills free. Ask to guest blog without pay to blogs you love online, a friend or family’s blog, or a local business’ blog. While you won’t receive payment, you get experience and your name out on the Internet. It is easy to direct potential freelance clients to your expansive portfolio online with these links.
Write About Anything
Many freelance writers feel they need to set themselves up in a niche industry and never leave to be successful. This is a myth. You don’t have to write for a certain industry or topic to be sellable. Write for whoever and whatever you feel comfortable writing about. As long as you write it well and present yourself as knowledgeable, future freelance clients will take a chance on you based on skill alone, even if you aren’t an expert in their industry.
Decide What You Are Worth
Notice I said decide what you are worth, not what price you think clients can afford. I went through the tough times where I sold my skills for pennies. While these were educational opportunities and helped me build my portfolio, I also had a tough time paying the bills. I knew I was worth more, but didn’t have the confidence to tell clients I was. I thought I would get solid rejections and get paid nothing as opposed to pennies.
This is a wrong way of thinking, and it takes much courage to overcome it. Do some research about what freelance writers with your similar experience and education charge, then tailor that for your specific skill set. Stick to your guns on this price! Clients who are respectful and awesome (like Hipmunk!) will pay what you are worth because they understand the great investment you are getting.
Love What You Do
The most important thing to remember when searching for freelance opportunities is to show your passion and enthusiasm for the project. Only apply to jobs from clients you love and are excited about. If you don’t find an interest in it, the client will see it reflected in your work and you will not enjoy yourself. The whole point of freelancing is pursuing a career you love, so make sure you love every client you write for!