If you grew up with parents who believed in you, as good parents do, they probably said, "You can be anything you want to be!" They were trying to instill confidence in you but at the time, you had hope that you could become the unicorn, mermaid, or knight you always dreamed of being. Well, now that you know you can't really be anything, you've decided you want to be a writer. To get you started on this journey, I'm going to tell you how to be a content writer online in 4 steps.
Being a content writer isn’t necessarily the job for everyone, but if you think you’ve got what it takes and are willing to put your dreams of being a unicorn aside, you can start taking steps today toward becoming a content writer. Let's get to it!
Hone Your Craft
While your parents may have really believed you could do anything you wanted to do, you may have realized since then that passion doesn't always equal talent, and learning a skill takes an enormous amount of practice. There’s nothing with being a beginner and learning a new skill has numerous benefits. But the desire to be a content writer isn’t enough to help you find success, although it is a good thing to have. If you want to be a content writer, the first thing you need is writing skills.
Talented writers aren’t always successful because, without discipline and focus, talent won’t get you very far. However, combining talent with hard work and determination can lead to a successful writing business. Not everyone is cut out for this writing thing, but if you're confident that you have what it takes, it's worth giving it a shot!
You don't need a writing degree to make money as a writer, but you do need writing skills. Participating in writing classes or workshops can be a great way to become a better writer, but if that’s not an option for you, practicing writing every day is a great place to start as well. And if you are a writer (or aspire to be!) you should definitely spend time reading.
Build an Online Portfolio
As you begin to search for writing jobs, you’ll quickly realize most clients want to see what you’ve written before hiring you. The best way to show what you’re able to create is with an online portfolio, but the idea of putting together a portfolio can feel intimidating for writers who are just starting out.
There are a few different options for you if you need to start a portfolio. If you’re writing on the side and have time to build a strong portfolio before you begin making money, you can try to get your first byline by submitting work to different publications. Work with a byline is simply work that has your name on it, and yes, bylines do matter in many cases. However, you can still build a portfolio even if you don’t have any bylines yet.
It is possible to build an online portfolio out of sample pieces that you write specifically for your portfolio. Byline or not, having samples of your writing is going to be critical when trying to get online writing jobs.
Learn How to Pitch
No matter what path you take to find online writing jobs, it’s essential to learn how to pitch your services. Whether you’re pitching to a publication or applying for a freelance job online on sites like Upwork or Fiverr, it’s important to know what clients are looking for.
There’s a lot you can learn about writing a successful pitch, but the one main tip I’ll leave you with is this: focus on what you can create or what you can do for the client and skip the lengthy bio. While you may be tempted to share all your previous experiences or even personal details about yourself, most clients aren’t interested in all that.
To write a successful pitch, focus on telling the client exactly what you can offer and convince them how you’ll make their business, website, blog, or even publication better with your services.
Grow Your Freelance Business
Once you’ve started gaining momentum as a content writer and you’ve got your first job, you might think the most difficult part is over. Getting your first few jobs is definitely something to celebrate! But the hard work is just beginning. Now it’s time to grow your freelance business so you can have consistent work coming in.
Growing your business may look different for everyone, depending on what kind of content writer you are. However, if you’re freelancing it’s important to plan ahead. The best time to look for a new job is while you already have a job. Experienced freelancers know that jobs can come and go, so being prepared is vital if you want to have a stable income.
Part of what makes freelance work interesting is getting to work with different people and work on new projects all the time. However, if you’re constantly scrambling or looking for new work you’ll burn out pretty quickly. Find a way to streamline the job search or pitching process. This might look like creating an optimized writer website or using a service like SolidGigs to get leads sent to you.
How to Be a Content Writer Online with Hire a Writer
At Hire a Writer, we obviously think writing is a worthwhile career. As a content writer, you get to meet a variety of people, learn about new topics, and influence the world with your words. If this sounds like the kind of work you would enjoy–why not become a content writer?
If you’re wondering how to be a content writer online, it’s going to take time to learn the necessary skills and build a business. Lucky for you, we have a blog that’s filled with informative articles that can help you thrive in your freelance career. If you don’t want to figure this writing thing out alone, subscribe to our blog to get helpful tips sent straight to your inbox!