So you’ve decided that you want to be a writer. More than that, you’ve decided that you want to become a freelance writer. You’ve read the blogs, the articles, checked your financial situation, realistically look at the time you can do your writing in, dotted all the “I’s” and crossed your “T’s”, you know you have the discipline that it takes to make this work for you, and now in the recession ridden global economy decided that writing freelance would be the most ideal setup for you and your bank account. You, after all, just need that extra income to cover your day to day expenses, and/or add on to the savings. The day job isn’t cutting it, but you can’t leave it because of the health insurance and the access to the wonderful canteen downstairs with free rice every meal.
What do you do? Well you’ve already taken the first step by making the decision. The next step is to actually do something about that decision. That being said, how does one START, and where?
For online and/or offline writing jobs, one of the best and cost efficient ways to look for writing jobs is to scour the Internet. Type in “freelance writing”, “part time”, “work” or whatever other keywords you think would help you, and click “enter”. There are a number of sites there (aside from this marvelous one) that will lead you to a job or gig that you can write for.
Another way, which is also on the Internet, is utilizing all the social networks. You don’t have an account yet? Make one. The best website as of now would be Facebook just because it is fast, it’s easy to understand, and it seems that everyone and their brother is on it. Make your status a shout out for those who are looking for writers, such as “Juan is now looking for a writing gig in any industry…” If you’re looking for something specific, don’t be afraid to say so. Play to your strengths especially when starting out. When you feel more comfortable in your style and way of writing, branch out because in this business variety is good.
An added bonus to these sites is that they usually have a blogging feature. By all means run wild with it! Complain, write poetry, write open letters to the government, or even discuss a controversial topic. What better place to showcase your talent than on the Net? The people you’re advertising to can just click onto a sample work that you’ve posted. These should be as varied as you can possibly make it, just so that the prospective client can see the “range” of your talents.
One of the best places to advertise your services is really online, at 88db.com. They are specifically geared towards helping freelancers (of any kind) be connected to the right people offering the jobs that are needed, and vice versa. It is easy to sign up, and more importantly, unlike some places where information (phone numbers, addresses and the like) aren’t up to date, 88DB makes it a point to make sure their database IS.
Another tip would be doing it the old fashion way, which is to say, word of mouth. Start talking to your friends and family members that you’re looking. Ask who they think you can talk to, or what direction they suggest you go towards. You never know how helpful your lawyer cousin is until you’ve talked to them!! You never know who’s out there that needs a writer. Some have even put out ads in the Classified Ads.
The more work, the better really, so it follows that if you’re offered a job you REALLY don’t want, scrutinise it first and then decide. For example, your forte is writing about online games, but someone has come to you for a write up on plumbing services, specifically for office buildings. Regardless of the money, you should try and weigh out what you might get from it as a writer. Will it in the long run help you exercise your grasp on technical terms which you’re not too keen on? Will it help you look into editing the details of your article or write up? If yes is the answer to these questions, then the plumbing gig should warrant another look. Always look for projects that you not only like (there are unfortunately fewer of those than you’d think), but will actually learn from and improve your writing. That after all, is the skill you’re trying to advertise, so the better you are at it, and the more variety you’ve got in your work, the more clients will come rolling in!