Freelance writing assignments seem like a waste to many people. You’ve probably experienced the difficulty of landing lucrative writing assignments that will keep you earning.
But the trick to getting money out of your writing is by starting small. Build your career one step at a time. But to do that, you have to do several things – you need to promote your business regularly, you have to work hard and not leave it to chance, and you have to constantly work at building your career.
You can’t just publish a few ads or letters, and then wait a couple more months before you promote again. Tap into every avenue you have, while building your portfolio as well.
With the concrete steps below, you’ll find yourself earning much more from your freelance writing assignments.
Create a Strong Client Base and Network
The first thing you need to do is to create a client base. After all, you won’t get assignments if no one is giving them to you. How can you do this?
Firstly, you can approach different people, sectors and organizations. Specifically, go talk to:
- Your local newspaper editor – Your local paper might be in need of a freelancer. You can be asked to cover different human interest segments, like the city council or school board. You’ll get a steady and meaningful source of freelance writing assignments. While you’re at this job, you can earn a living and earn tons of clips as well.
- Magazines – Since you have your local clips buffing up your portfolio, you can approach bigger freelance markets like small and mid-sized magazines. There’s nothing to lose by asking. You’ll hit a good source and get freelance writing assignments eventually.
- Local businesses – Business owners are in the market for people who can write their materials well. Ask for assignments and you’ll be surprised at the flow of work.
- Contacts – Throughout your newspaper and magazine jobs, you’ll be making important contacts like mayors, council members, and businessmen. They may be able to offer you freelance writing assignments like updating brochures and direct mail letters. Just be diligent and impress them.
In fact, you can maximize your ability to network and make contacts. Join the local chamber of commerce. Keep in touch with friends in the freelance writing business, so that you can exchange leads when possible. And everywhere you go, bring business cards.
Advertise Your Freelance Writing Assignments
So after personally going out of your way to ask for freelance writing assignments, you should also advertise your services. It’s time to market.
You can attract more commercial clients by running a small ad in your local paper (which is especially easy if you’ve worked for them before). With increased expertise and income, you can place more ads.
You can also get more freelance writing assignments if you advertise through direct mail, or newsletter. Target businesses you’d like to work with. Contact them regularly.
Another way to keep yourself relevant is by carrying your latest project with you. When conversations lull, you can get a new client when people ask “What have you been up to lately?” and you show them a piece of quality writing. With a good impression, you can get more freelance writing assignments.
And get your name out there. Using your previous contacts, get yourself referred and publicized.
Work on Your Freelance Writing Assignments
Getting your name out there is only half the work. The main bulk of your efforts should be on working on your portfolio.
Work on other projects while looking for freelance writing assignments. Keep money flowing by working on a book, and sending publishers proposals. You can send magazines queries about copywriting.
And don’t limit yourself. Your writing assignments can take on any form. I know someone whose client base asks them to write their correspondences, even including Christmas letters!
And read, read, read. Read the works of your competition and friends. Devour everything you can get your hands on, from novels to ads to direct mail. And then aim to write something better. Perfect your craft.
How else can you develop your skills? Well, always work on your goals. Keep working daily. Put it in numbers: how many freelance writing assignments you get, how many sales letters you make, and how many pages you’ve written for your book.
With these tips on getting new assignments and on improving your portfolio, the possibilities are endless.