In The Beginning
Writing is an excellent profession to pursue. But getting started can be quite daunting and difficult. Over the past year, I have been on that same journey. I have had my share of hurdles and challenges and still face adversity. I will share what has worked for me and what has not. I don’t possess a College degree in writing. I do not claim that the advice I’ll give here is foolproof or will guarantee your success. But I will speak on my travels through the written world in hopes it may inspire, enlighten or just spark some ideas that may work for you.
As a brand new writer with no experience whatsoever, the best advice I would give is just to write. Write every single day. Create some interesting articles or lists. Start working on some short stories or even a novel. Even though you don’t have any clients or paying gigs. Writing all these pieces will help you hone your craft and will become things that you can edit and sell later down the line.
Content Mills are an option to pursue as a beginner of this craft. Content Mills are websites that will pay you money to write content for companies. You usually get no credit for these pieces and the pay is definitely not great. I have used content mills and with minimal effort (1-2 hours a day) I can make well over 150$ a month. I’ve heard of other writers who put in maximum effort and are able to make enough to pay the rent. Still, many writers see content mills as a waste of time. But as a brand new writer, these assignments can expose you to things you need to know such as revisions, SEO, and niches. They also give you the opportunity to gain some experience with clients. Each content mill has its own application process and requirements. The few content mills I have used and would recommend are TextBroker, Contently, and Crowd Content.
Volunteer Your Writing
Volunteering your writing services is not the most financially appealing proposition. Through volunteering your writing will not make you any money, but you will gain from it in other ways. First of all your able to help a nonprofit, a local company, or a charity. Secondly, you will get credit for your work via a byline and can use these pieces to start building your portfolio. Lastly, these volunteer pieces can create connections that can lead to paying work. If you’re going to volunteer your writing services I highly recommend choosing a company or charity you are passionate about. You should be passionate about writing regardless but without the financial incentive writing about a cause you deeply care for makes a huge difference. To get a volunteer writing gig simply get in touch with a charity or company you care for and offer to write for them pro bono.
Once you have some experience under your belt through content mills or volunteering you can graduate to freelance websites. Freelance websites are where companies offer a job and prospective freelancers bid on the job. The company or individual rewards the job to one or many of the freelancers who complete the work and get paid. The idea of freelance websites is amazing but competition can be stiff. For every 6 or 7 jobs that I bid on, I might get one of them. You also need to be on the lookout for scammers who will attempt to get you to work outside the freelance platform and never pay you. But freelance websites can be a good place to make some actual money. The freelance writer websites I have used and would recommend are Upwork and Flexjobs.
Sharpen The Sword
It will not happen overnight, but you need to constantly focus on becoming a better writer. Taking writing courses at your local College or online can help. You need to decide what type of writer you wish to be. There are many different disciplines to follow. Here I will list the most popular types: Content writing, blog writing, Copywriting, Technical Writing, and writing novels and e-books. I would begin by focusing on one of these disciplines and once you’ve achieved success in it you can branch out to others. Many organizations can teach you pearls of wisdom. One such organization that I am a part of and advocate for is AWAI (American Writers & Artists Institute). AWAI offers seminars, webinars, courses, resources, and even a monthly magazine focused on making you a better skilled and highly successful writer. Regardless of the path that works for you, there are many books, courses, and organizations out there to help you on your journey.
There Is No Ending
Your evolution as a writer is a never ending process. You should always look for ways to improve yourself and your skills. Of the paths to begin your journey content mills only worked for me up to a point. Volunteer writing worked when I could afford my time for it. Freelance websites have worked for me when I was lucky. Once you get to this level you really need to find a steady contracted writing job with a company. As a freelance writer we are always looking for the next gig. But the freedom afforded to you in this profession Is well worth it. I get to work from home and make my own schedule. I see no reason why I would ever stop. Because I absolutely love it.
Until My Next Post
Stay Happy, Healthy, and Free