I’ve always wanted to write for a living because well, I can write 😂 But, it is really different being out here in the real world.
It was hard mainly because I did not take a writing course. I finished BSBA Major in Financial Management. Maybe I just got lucky last year when I got into a digital marketing company. I think that paved my way to the ‘writing industry.’
(*Note: these are all based on my experience, others might have it differently)
Obviously, There Are Lots of Jobs Online
There are lots of online jobs, sure. However, it does not mean that you are the one the company is looking for. It is the hard truth, but with the amount of demand, you will surely find something for you!
I really thought I was not capable of writing for a living because when I looked up for writing jobs, most companies require people who graduated with a writing degree, or anything that comes close.
I was desperate and I thought I might be looking at the wrong places. So, I searched more from these websites:
There’s really A LOT. It can be in other fields, too—so, if you are looking for other freelance jobs other than writing, go check those.
All I did then was submit proposals and resume, to be honest. I was not even sure which website got me my first writing career. I sent my CV to a lot of companies from these sites. I was really that desperate because I needed extra 💰💰💰
CV and Portfolio
I think it helped me that I have this blog and other websites where I contributed my writings—especially Thought Catalog. I make sure to include my online portfolio. It will give off the impression that well, you write. Now, I am glad that I can finally send a year worth of writing samples and include my features on:
Use Your Degree As An Advantage
The thing with freelance writing, especially in a digital marketing company, you can’t choose your topic. There are TONS since the clients are from different industries.
I’ve experienced writing about window tints and Smart Switch App. Sometimes, it is about training dogs or Eminem’s daughter. It can be news or entertainment! Really, it can be anything.
But since I am a Business graduate, I am often assigned with business related-topics—mostly in finance. It is usually about insurances, cryptocurrencies, inflation, and whatnot.
I must say that it is an advantage if you have a different degree aside from writing. If you are an IT specialist and you want to try freelance writing, look for companies who are looking for content writers in that certain field. It is already an advantage for you because clients would want writers who know what they are talking about. Sometimes, it is not enough that you just know how to write and wring some words.
There Are Rules and Keywords are Annoying
So, how do you write topics you have no idea about? Research. LOTS AND LOTS OF RESEARCH.
Sure, it is easier given that almost everything is in the internet now. However, you need to see to it that your sources are reliable. You don’t want to write with false information, and plagiarism is serious. There are also tricks on how to avoid plagiarism if you are doing rewrites. You can learn that too as you go along in this venture.
The good thing about other digital marketing companies is they will teach and train you. Of course, they would not want to submit subpar articles to clients. It’s a huge no-no.
In the first company I’ve been, we have a manual and guides on how to write certain article—there’s SEO, News Writing, Web Contents, Product Descriptions and Reviews (before, I didn’t know they are different!), Web Contents, and Blog Posts just to name a few. Indeed, content is king.
Oh, and keywords are really annoying, but it helps the business because it’s for SEO purposes. Still, it’s annoying especially if you hate redundancy like me. Keywords have to be used all throughout the article, repeatedly. Sometimes, it is even in the wrong grammar that Grammarly is insisting that you correct. Frustrating.
Not All Pay Big, Some Are Just Really Cheap
Some employers really pay cheap, but you have access in premium tools for editing and stuff, so it’s still good. Some articles are worth PHP20/100 words. (I wouldn’t recommend this type of rate now.) At first, it was okay for me. I mean, I didn’t have any experience in content writing then, so who was I to demand? 😂 You just really have to find the projects that pay your worth.
I even put $3 for hourly rate on my Upwork before. After getting some projects done, they put the ideal rate I should put per client when I submit a proposal. But here is the thing with Upwork, as a freelancer, they will charge a fee of 20 percent. Say, you have an hourly rate of $4, you will only receive $3.20
I don’t like hourly rates that much, to be honest
(or even per word count scrap: i like it now)—per project/article is the best deal.
You must remember that once the client pays for the write up, it is not yours anymore. So, make sure that even if you do best, do not get too attached with your articles. It was hard for me at first because I was used to creative writing, and I really pour my heart out when I write. It is completely different creating contents for others.
Also, there are clients who always look for NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKERS. I do not bother sending a proposal when that’s the case.
As I’ve mentioned, freelance writing involves lots of research. You will struggle with some topics, but you know you’re learning. The Web is an interesting place to be in, there is so much more beyond social media. Freelance writing is fun in the sense that you keep on learning.
Also, you meet lots of professionals! You will learn from each other, and it is a great relationship to have.
Know Your Worth
Knowing your worth applies to everything, including your career. It is okay to take in projects that pay cheap if it is not that hard. When it is and you really use all your brain cells for it, they need to pay the right price. It is intellectual property; love your craft.
It is also true that you do not have to suffer from traffic if you work from home. Though, I must say that there are lots of freelancers who also need to go out and meet with the clients or certain brands. Some even work more than 8 hours a day. There might be no boss around or colleagues who can ruin your mood, but there are still set of deadlines. You may say you don’t have a ‘boss’, sure. But if you have different projects, then you have various employers—let alone some of them can really be demanding.
You must keep in mind as well that you are basically paying for your electricity and internet, unlike in the offices where it is not your problem. If you work in a coffee shop, you have to pay for your food and drink. Consider your expenses, too.
These are the only things I could think of right now. If you have other questions, you can comment them below. Or if you have additional info, that would be great, too! Some people who are reading this might be looking for freelance works, and we might be helping them somehow.
Freelancing is about building connection. There are lots of awesome people we can learn a lot from in the industry.
By the way, if you have on going projects that you think will suit me, send me a message. I’d love to take editing/proofreading right now more than content writing. But, I will definitely take it if it’s creative writing! I’m so exhausted from all the technical writings 😂 Unless you really pay good amount of 💰💰💰, let’s talk about it. I promise I’m so easy to work with!
*this post is not sponsored by any of the website mentioned above*