Start Freelance Writing in 4 SIMPLE Steps!

Starting out at anything is difficult.

I daresay the major reason a lot of people choose to remain in their comfort zones, is that any journey is toughest at the beginning.

Whether it’s a new career path, a diet, fitness routine- whatever it is.

The beginning is usually messy.

If you are interested in starting out as a freelance writer, but haven’t the slightest idea to begin, then this is for you!

How do you begin this interesting journey?

  • Decide

Yes. You’re going to make some decisions.

You’ll have to decide what type of writing you want to do [literary or commercial], the niche you’ll specialize in, what type of clients you want to take on, what platforms you’re going to work on.

The decision making process makes the rest so much easier.

Because you can’t even progress if you have no idea what you want.

  • Invest

Making a living is not cheap. Especially when you’re doing it all on your own.

See it this way, you’re the boss of yourself and every risk of the business dwells on you.

If you have no prior knowledge of the writing style you want to take on, you have to learn.

Free tutorials abound on YouTube.

Courses from online education platforms like Udemy, Coursera, Amazon, etc.

Get books.

Next, you have to invest in the gadgets you need to run your new freelancing business effectively. Your Personal Computer, constant access to the internet, telephone, Mailing softwares,etc.

  • Portfolio

The portfolio, is like the backbone of every new freelance writer.

It goes to establish credibility in the mind of your target client that you do good work.

In building a portfolio, you don’t necessarily have to had worked with xxx before you have something.

Easy ways to build portfolio:

  • Volunteer to write for a non-profit.

  • Write for a friend who owns a business

  • Make entries on whatever interests you

Just by doing these 3, you have built something great for a portfolio.

Then you can link all these works together, in your Google Library.

Better still, set up a website or blog to show off your best work.

There you are!

  • Act

I’d like to tell you that you must be perfect at writing before you begin pitching to potential clients.

But, no I won’t.

I strongly believe that you will get better with practice.

However, this is not to say you should go pitch to clients with sub-par work.

Sorry, you won’t get hired.

If you are reallyyyy confident in your skill, go for it!

Rookie Freelance Writer?

I’m wishing you the best as you embark on this journey.

Adios!

You Are Not Lost…

Early last week, I was taking the usual cruise on the bird app. You know the bird app don’t you?

Twitter.

Then, I stumbled on a random profile. Her bio (at least, part of it) said:

       “You’re not lost. You are here.”

I kid you not, I felt this deep squeeze in my chest area- the good kind.

I was not lost. I am not lost. I am right here.

I’ll tell you what I did after that.

As soon as I got off Twitter, I wrote a short note to my friends, having that line as the pillar of my message.

For most of us, the year has been tough.
You know the wild hope that 2020 would be a light, bring the much needed relief.

It was broken to many tiny pieces- for some of us. 

I mean, some others have had a great year right?

The pandemic, closely followed by economic meltdown, hunger, death, sickness.

So much pain in the world.

Place the police brutality in African countries as the icing on the cake.

I do not mention what you have struggled with in your private places [because I have no idea].

Yet, someone comes to say I am not lost?

As much as I tried to fight it, I saw the truth in those words.

And if you look closely enough, you’ll see it too.

Where you are right now, is just where you need to be for you to keep moving forward.

And I completely acknowledge that it might  not be where you really want to be.

I understand that you want it easier. You want the load lighter. You want to sink into oblivion or come out of it.

But, you are here.

I’d like to say that’s all that matters, but I will be honest with you. The other stuff are important too.

Then again, this is the most important of them all.

You are not lost.

Remember that everytime you feel you’re wandering in a deep, dark tunnel all by yourself.

Think about it when you’re overwhelmed.

Focus on it when you’re on the verge of breaking down.

Then what will you do?

Let the rage out. 

Whatever emotions are clogging your throat, let all out. 

Brood. Cry. Grieve. Pace. Yell. If you want to.

Then pick yourself back up, because you’re the shit.

Go into the new week with this consciousness. Smash goals and Kick ass!

And, you’re not lost. You are here.

❤️

Generalist VS Specialist (2): Why Being a Jack Of Some Trades Gives You An Edge

Dear Friend,

Our last conversation here was on Generalists VS Specialists- which one would work better for a freelancer.

I am going to state it here again that “I am not really pulling for any side”.
You can just pitch your tent anywhere, all I’m doing for you is to outline how either of these can be great for you as a freelancer.

Okay, let’s get into it.

• Why Is It Great to be a Generalist?

As a freelancer, you have tons of reasons to go the generalist way. And why ever you decide to do so, is valid.
Do not forget that.

It is possible to be a generalist writer, graphic designer, content marketer, – and still kick ass.

Why do I say so?
A lot of people are doing it, and it’s going great for them.
Why not you( if you want it) ?

Image: https://medium.com/@jijimajiriugboma/expert-generalist-why-a-diverse-skill-set-is-good-for-your-career-and-personal-growth-8311cbb49954

1. Build a Solid Portfolio
This is a great recommendation for would-be freelancers, the newbies,and those who haven’t got any gig yet.

You can try your hands at various niches just so you can build a strong portfolio.
I know, I know.

As a freelancer, the portfolio is everydamnthing.
No, this is not saying you should take on jobs you don’t like. I do not recommend that.

The point is this: taking the generalist approach gives you a solid background for when you’re bidding jobs in the future.

You get a feel of projects you would really like to work on in the future, and those you absolutely hate.
This is a great way to find your niche, if you ask me.

2. Varied Experience
In the last post, I said that clients are attracted to specialists.
That is true.
It is also true that potential clients also love someone who knows a bit of everything.

I have met a lot of them in my time. I think you might have too. As a freelance writer, that’s our reality.
There’s no escaping it.

These guys who need a website copywriter, who can do some scripts for a marketing campaign, and has a background in email marketing.

*rolls eyes to the back of head*

Tough life fam. Tuff.

Well at this point, when you find this kind of job posting, and you have what it takes- by all means go for it.

It’s all about adding value to the client, and getting paid for it.
Clients -sometimes– do not want this guy who’s obviously very knowledgeable in his niche but knows zilch in the others.
That’s why the varied experience can be great for you.

3. Get More Clients
Like it or not, being a generalist can build your credibility on the freelancing streets.

After a job is done, and you have delivered good work- word gets around.
This client says to a friend [who is also a business owner] over a friendly email,

” Yes J, the freelancer I hired for xxx was so good. Can you imagine she could also do yyy?
That’s so sick. I never thought.”

Annndddd, just like that.
A recommendation is made.
You get more clients, repeat jobs simply because you have more experience in various niches than your specialist friend.

I always say this, if you decide to pitch tents with the specialists or generalists, you must always deliver.

Stellar jobs. Over the board. Amazing.
You have to be trusted to always deliver high quality work.
If not, none of these extremes are going to work for you.

That’s how it is.
Oftentimes, clients don’t really care whether you are a specialist or generalist.
What they want is summarized in this one question.

“Can you solve the fucking problem?”

This brings us to the end of the Generalist VS Specialist series.

I hope you pitch camp wherever you want, and do a great job of it!
I wish you the best in your freelancing journey.

XX.

Generalist VS Specialist (1): How a Laser Focused Approach Can Skyrocket Your Income   

The debate among freelancers on which pays more -being a generalist or specialist- doesn’t seem to be ending soon.

And no, I’m not here to speak against one party. Because obviously, the people who swear by these polarities have had it work for them.

I’m only here to fuel the debate. 

Not between you and another freelancer this time, just you and yourself.

  • Who is a Generalist?

This is someone who has knowledge on different aspects of a system.

The generalist can work almost anything- has an idea of how every job should go, the process, the outcome, etc.

For example, the generalist copywriter can write a landing page for a course, a white paper for a PR company, 

a B2C copy for an agency.

This could be your go-to person for most jobs because they probably can handle anything right?

But this is not always the case.

  • The Specialist

The specialist is your guy for high intensity jobs. 

The one where you need the expertise of the expert.

This guy is niche specific, and has what we call a laser-focused approach to work.

If I knew a copywriter who specialized in web copy, she would be my go-to person for any copy I want on my website.

Some say that this is the best approach to freelancing, while the others say it’s better to do a bit of everything.

What do you think? 

  • The Laser Focused Approach

The Urban Dictionary  describes laser focus as paying attention to a single concept, while shutting out everything else.

It is being niche specific, and doubling down on the chosen niche- in order to reach the state of near perfection.

This approach to your business, will indeed help you get to that point of being called a specialist.

That, my friend, is not an easy tag to come by. Wear it proudly.

I mean, it’s easy to say

 “oh, I’d rather do a bit of web copy, and whitepapers; some sales letters here and some blog posts there.”

Doesn’t it mean more income after all?

Sorry to break it to you, but that’s not always the case.

Using the laser focus to sharpen your skills to the point of perfection, is often the better option for a freelancer.

It gives you the edge over the generalist guy who can do a bit of everything.

  • Why Should You Try Being A Specialist?

First off, I’m just going to say that the points I’m going to outline below, will have an effect on your income.

No, don’t panic. It’s the good one I mean.

1. Clients LOVE specialists:

You should see when I’m speaking to a client, and outlining the steps I’m going to take to solve a problem.

I often come off as this knowledgeable person who knows what’s what.

Why?

This is because I have already made it clear to said client, that so-so is the only kind of job I take on.

This assures the client that they have made the right decision in hiring you.

At this point, they really do not care if you charge more than the average because you’re an expert in your field.

2. In Constant Demand

Specialists in various niches are in constant demand.

Some guy will always need a script writer in FinTech, 

another will always need a writer for Landing pages, 

an agency somewhere will need a SQL Database Server.

So why not?

As a specialist, you are always needed in the market for knowing what you know. And it’s like a dream, your name is rolling off clients’ tongues as a recommendation.

If you always deliver top notch work, then that’s a plus for you.

3. Less Competition

Contrary to what the dear ol’ generalists think, there is lesssss competition in the market when you’re a specialist.

See the way I emphasised that. Lesssss.

This is due to the fact that potential clients, are more attracted to specialists.

In their minds, it’s this way.

 “Why exactly should I pick a jack of all trades when this guy has skills tailored to suit my needs?”

It would seem like an ego thing but it’s not.

Less Competition equals, higher demand. This in turn can reflect in your income.

4. Higher Rates

I was going to leave this at three points in favor of the specialists but I thought, no.

Specialists can, and should charge better hourly rates.

Don’t ask me why.

You’re a specialist. Why not act like it?

Image: https://www.thestartupdelusion.co.uk/single-post/2018/09/09/The-frustration-with-generic-business-advice




Since you got that laser focused thing going on, then you’d most likely transfer all that energy to your client’s job.

In a way, you under promise and over deliver.

  • What Now?

The most beautiful thing about the whole freelancing journey is that you have the power of choice.

You can choose who you work with.

You choose what you charge for an hour’s work.

You decide if a client and pay is worth it.

You got the power. Act like it.

Despite all I’ve listed above, it makes no sense if you do a crappy job.

Nobody will hire a freelancer who claims to be specialist but performs poorly on gigs.

Therefore, if we’re going to try this laser focused approach, then apply it in perfecting your skills.

You can do it!

By the end of the week, I’ll be publishing the second part of this topic.

Remember I said, both sides of the coin are profitable.

In the meantime, do leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Adios!

My imaginary interview with you…

Say hello to the new freelancer on the block.

Who are you?

I’m Oma, and I run a freelance Copywriting business.

I’m a super talented undergrad who’s seeking to break ground in the freelancing world.

That is how much I can say by way of introduction, really.

  • Why WordPress?

In all honesty, I just want to document my journey. 

I need to learn what works and what doesn’t, while sharing with you.

WordPress just seemed the easiest option. Solid and efficient.

  • Target Audience?

As much as I would like to say “all freelance writers”, that’s not really the case. 

I want to reach, teach and learn from young freelancers like myself- who are trying to make sense of the journey.

The ones who haven’t got everything figured out, but are willing to learn. Really that’s my audience.

  • What do you hope to achieve in the long run?

I hope that through our correspondence on this blog, we can actually figure out freelance writing. 

-How to write better copy, 

-get great clients, 

-increase our income and 

-live life on our own terms (this is the soul of freelancing)

Of course, the ones who are going to stumble upon this page sometime later, would learn a thing or two.

I sincerely hope that through this blog, you- this young freelance writer- get what you need.

Willing to offer any help along the way, and it would be great to read from you.

See you soon.

Oma.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

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