What right do I even have to talk about freelance writing?
Well, simply because I’m a testimony of how freelance writing can change someone’s life. It’s not about writing a daily blog post or simply having the gift of writing. It goes beyond that. For me, it’s all about acknowledging that you have a passion for writing, consistently stirring that gift and then taking steps to turn that passion into a profitable business.
Early this year, I made the decision to start writing for major publications and take some of my talents, gifts and expertise to the next level while earning in the process- from public speaking, writing, trainings, to starting a technology company. While doing an evaluation of my year, I realized that so far, freelance writing has brought in the fastest and largest amount of income for me this year, followed by the trainings I conduct. Note that, last year, I was still doing freelance writing, but I struggled while doing it. Then I decided to go back to the drawing board, with God, hardwork and perseverance, I’m reaping the bountiful fruits.
It’s unbelievable sometimes!
I also realized that a lot of people in my community are writers, bloggers or creative entrepreneurs looking to take their different passions to a more profitable path. I decided to do my bit by teaching and empowering those in this circle, to grow to the next level.
In today’s post, I’ll be showing you some of the first steps that helped me grow my freelance writing business to the next level.
Trust me, you still need a plan for your freelance writing services or other services you offer.
Now, let’s do this! Here are the key steps that will help you to start creating a freelance writing action plan.
STEP 1: DEFINE YOUR PURPOSE
Off course! Purpose in everything you do is very important. This sounds pretty cliché right? But honestly, if you don’t have a strong reason that connects with your desire to start offering freelance writing services, you’ll most likely go through a wobbly trajectory.
Go to the drawing board and write your honest reasons for venturing into this path. Do you have a passion for writing? Do people always compliment your writing style? Is writing all you think about everyday? Do you love blogging and writing? Do you just want to write and earn?
Whatever the reason is for you, make sure you also have the right motive attached to it. If you think you can force yourself to write without any true desire, you’ll probably get tired along the way.
Define your purpose and let’s get started!
STEP 2: DECIDE ON YOUR NICHE(S)
There are different things you can write about, by defining your niche, you’ll give your writing services a clearer focus and also know the kind of clients to approach.
If you’re a versatile writer like me, you should still have some core niches that really interest you. For me, I love writing about start-ups, entrepreneurship, passion/purposeful living, God, lifestyle and fashion. So, with these niches listed, I understand that it’s not every writing job that I should spend time applying for.
Figure out those categories that truly interest you and make you happy. You can start by first asking these few questions:
- What are the things I truly love?
- What kind of news do I find interesting?
- What do my friends compliment me about when we speak?
- What areas can I truly add value?
If you’re sincere while answering these questions, you should have at least three core categories to start with.
STEP 3: WRITE YOUR FREELANCE BUSINESS GOALS
At this point, it’s very important to write down goals that are attainable, especially if you’re a newbie.
While writing your goals, be very specific and don’t try to achieve all of them at once. Remember you can set milestones.
Your goals might look like this:
- Start writing on Forbes, Huffington Post, Bella Naija, Brit.co and BuzzFeed
- Find better paying clients than the previous year
- Start a blog and position myself as an expert in my niche
- Save enough to hire 5 more writers for my writing business
When your goals are very specific and attainable, they’ll be easier to achieve.
STEP 4: CREATE AN ACTION PLAN
Once you’re done writing down your goals, it’s time to start planning your ‘HOW’. For each goal, write out the different action steps that you need to take in order to achieve them.
Ask yourself- What do I need to do to achieve Goal 1? What are the best strategies that will help position me to attract high paying clients?
For example, if your aim is to get on Forbes, you should start planning on the right pitch to send to an editor who writes about your niche. Make sure you read most of their works to make your approach even smoother.
For each goal you set, find out how you can achieve them and the most efficient approach to take.
STEP 5: BUILD AN ONLINE PROFILE & GROW YOUR NETWORK
Don’t think you’re just writing for yourself alone. In order to really grow your writing services, you need to be willing to put yourself out there. You can decide to create social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) depending on your niche, or a blog to help you position yourself as an expert, share your knowledge and earn the respect of other people in your niche. In this post, I talked about the important of networking.
Also start engaging with other writers and clients on forums, events, online job boards and on social media. You’re not in this alone. You might just meet someone who holds the key to other doors, so don’t hide underneath your own light. Don’t forget, your network is your networt so it’s time to start building those circles.
STEP 6: TRUST YOURSELF
Hey! This is as important as the previous steps. If you don’t trust yourself, and believe in your abilities, no one else will. In order to truly succeed in anything, you must come to a place where you trust yourself to deliver excellent results. It’s time to face your Goliath and kill them! Don’t let fear hold you down anymore.
In the beginning, you might still have feelings of doubts, but you need to grow beyond those feelings. When you trust yourself and can confidently stand by your gifts/talents/skills and passion, you’ll not only make others trust you, but you’ll also inspire those with similar passions to do the same.
While it’s absolutely great to have a plan, don’t forget that in order to get achieve those goals, you need to start acting. Push yourself beyond your comfort zone and start working towards your passions. Stop giving excuses!
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