WANT TO BECOME A FREELANCE WRITER?

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One of the questions I get asked most is ‘how can I become a freelance writer?’

If becoming a freelancer is on your career agenda, then you may be struggling with;

Where to find freelance jobs?

How to start applying

How to get experience

How to get your name out there

Sound familiar?

I struggled with this too. When I started my freelance career, I had no idea where to look for work or how to pitch for a job. The information I found on the internet just wasn’t relevant to me. So, I jumped into the deep end! Luckily, my hard work and hustling paid off!

That’s where From Blogger to Freelancer comes in! It’s to help you start your freelance career and creative business by using the strategies that I tried and tested for myself. I’m now a full-time copywriter and social media manager, working with a variety of clients from around the world.

Wait! Do I need to be a blogger to become a freelance writer?

No, but I highly recommend starting a blog if you have no/limited writing experience. If you want to start a blog, check out 5 proactive ways to start your WordPress blog

A blog will allow you to get your writing samples online, as well as helping to establish your brand. If you’re on a budget, go with a free Blogger or WordPress option for now, as you can purchase a domain once you’re earning money.

Even if you’re starting from scratch, From Blogger to Freelancer will provide you with effective methods for taking the steps to become a freelance writer.

What can I write about?

Freelance writing covers article writing, blogs, branded copy, e-commerce product descriptions, short stories, novels, scripts, as well as extending out into proofreading and editing.

If you want to become a freelance writer, it’s time to take action!

Get my 100% free e-course From Blogger to Freelancer now!

5 Myths about Freelance Work (and The Reality)

Before I started freelance work, I had a few presumptions as to what the freelance life would be like. I’m pretty sure the fear puts a few people off becoming self-employed. And, this fear generally comes from the myths surrounding freelancing. Let me tell you straight off, these myths are bullshit! Now I’m self-employed and building up my creative business, I get asked a lot of questions as to what the reality of freelancing is. It ain’t easy, but if you’re wondering about what the job of a creative freelancer is really like, then read on!

THE MYTHS ABOUT FREELANCE WORK

  • You won’t make a career from it

The main thing that puts people off freelance work and working from home is the fear that you won’t be able to make a long-term career from it. This ain’t true at all! There are thousands of freelancers who have built creative businesses and have been doing so for many years. I’ve been a freelance copywriter for a few years and the great thing about doing so, is that you can plan out your own career path. You can determine your own progression and really map out where you want to take your career. I first started out blogging as a hobby, before taking that into paid freelance writing work. I’m now doing social media marketing and making plans for my own products too. Unlike a traditional form of employment, freelance work offers you complete freedom. If you ever wanted to transition back to being employed by a company, you’ll have gained a tonne of skills that you can offer, as a result of being self-employed.

  • You can’t make money

When you work for yourself, you earning potential is infinite. Sure, you need a plan of action and you need a strategy that works, but once you do, you’ll be able to determine how much you want to be earning and how to go about that. As a freelance writer, social media coordinator or creative business owner, you can easily earn a full-time wage. Yes, you need to work hard and have a good client roster, but it’s more than possible. I started on a part-time wage until I built up a client list and gained more experience. If you’re planning on launching a freelance writing career then grab my free email course on how to grow your skills and get clients through the door.

As a freelancer, you also need to make sure you’re not underselling yourself. Pricing yourself too low is a big no-no, and it means you have to work harder to earn more. Since I increased my prices, I gained more work. Crazy huh? Despite my initial fears that I’d gain less clients, pricing myself higher (and taking into account the value of my work) has meant that I have more time to work on building my business, as well as providing a better service to my clients.

If you truly want to increase your earning potential as a freelancer, then crafting your own products is the way to go. Having a passive sales income provides security and allows you more time to grow your skills and business.

  • It’s easy work

If there is one piece of advice I could give anyone thinking of doing freelance work, it’s to graft hard. If you don’t work, you ain’t gonna make any money honey! I wish I could tell you that I spend most my days on the beach sipping champagne, but the truth is I work hard. It’s not uncommon for me to be working up until 2am, whether that’s on client work or crafting my business plan. And, I don’t mind that, because I love what I do, and I’m lucky that I get to do a job that I love. Freelancing isn’t for the work-shy. You need to be driven, you need to be motivated, and you need to be hungry. Hungry for client satisfaction and hungry to grow. If you’re passionate about what you do, and are ready to work hard, then you’ll love the freelance life.

  • The initial investment is too much

Here’s the great thing about being a freelancer; it costs you nothing to get started. Yep! I started my freelance business with a big fat zero! How? Well, you really don’t need anything to get started, other than internet access (obvs) and a few ideas. When I started my writing career, I didn’t specifically use any tools, other than an everyday notebook to keep track of my income and projects. You really don’t need many tools when you start your freelance business. If you like being organised online, then I highly recommend Google Docs and Asana. Other than that, Quickbooks is perfect for invoicing clients and keeping track of your income.

  • I’ll struggle to get clients

One of the biggest fears for freelancers is the client struggle. At the start of my career, I had a slight panic about this, and in truth, I’ve never had a problem getting clients through the door. That’s because I’m very pro-active in pitching. These days, I will only pitch for either long projects or those that are high paying. Hustling for nothing or just to write one article (unless that article pays extremely well) isn’t going to grow my business. The truth about pitching for freelance jobs is that it’s extremely easy when you know how (my free e-course tells you more about how to pitch on freelance sites). Doing your research and self-promotion are the key to attracting clients – once you’ve got this covered, you’re on your way!

5 Proactive Ways to start your WordPress Blog

If you’re planning on launching a freelance career, side hustle, product, or you already own a kickass business then starting your very own blog is the way forward. Seriously, blogging is a force on its own, and whether you’re planning on creating a blog for hobby or profit, it can be a pretty straightforward task when you know the proactive steps to take you in the right direction.

I’ve set up a few blogs over the years and one of my favourite platforms is WordPress. Why go with WordPress? I’ve used Blogger, Squarespace and WordPress, and for me, WordPress is the most professional, flexible and search engine friendly of the lot. The first time I set up this blog on WordPress, it was overwhelming, but as a freelancer, I needed to figure it out for uploading work for clients. I gotta say, knowing what I know now, I would happily take this platform over Blogger (though Squarespace is pretty awesome too – have a read of my pros and cons of Squarespace for bloggers here.

Starting up a WordPress blog comprises of five elements. I’m not down with this whole start your blog in five minutes bullshit, but, it is pretty straightforward and if you follow the steps below, you’ll be well on your way to successfully establishing an epic blog.

Choose a name

Deciding on a name for your blog can be the most time consuming step, especially if you have yet to find a vision for your brand or a niche. When it came to naming my first ever blog, several years ago, I spent ages trying to pick the perfect name. For Diary of a Freelancer, it was a pretty quick decision. If you already have a business or a product then you’re pretty much good to go as I’d highly reccomend sticking with the same name. For those of you struggling to choose a blog name, take a few things into consideration;

  • If you’re starting a blog to boost your freelance career or for a side hustle then consider using your own name. Sure, its not the most original idea, but it looks professional and anyone searching for your work will easily be able to find your blog.
  • If you’re starting a blog as a hobby or are hoping to monetise it further down the line then consider your niche. If you’re starting a fashion blog then you might want to add ‘fashion’, ‘style’ or ‘chic’ to your name. Similarly, if you’re planning on writing a food blog then add a food related word. Yes, its simple, but its direct – anyone finding your blog will know straight away what your blog is about.
  • Alternatively, you may want something completely unique. If that’s the case then be adventurous. Gain inspiration from family, friends, social media, books, television shows…anything that can help you to brain storm an idea.
  • Make sure you search your chosen name in google and in domain name providers as you’ll need to ensure that there is no other blog or company with the same name.

Decide between free and paid hosting

WordPress offer a free option, which is ideal for those wanting to create a blog, without having to spend any initial investment. However, you’re limited as you cant use your own domain name or personalised blog design.

If you want the free option

Go to WordPress.com and sign up for a new account. Type in your blog name to get your free WordPress domain (you would need to pay extra to use your own personal domain). Free domains end in wordpress.com

You’ll then need to choose a username and password. Enter your email and check your emails to activate your WordPress account. Log in to your new account and you’ll find the dashboard on your left hand side. Head to personalize and themes, where you’ll be able to find a free design theme. Select live preview to view how your blog will look and when you’ve found the one for you, click save and activate.

Click on configure and settings to establish your security settings and comment settings. To add plugins, go to configure and plugins or visit https://en.support.wordpress.com/plugins/ to learn more about what you can add to your free WordPress blog.

You can then add content by clicking on blog posts under publish on the left hand dashboard.

If you want the paid option

For paid WordPress, head to wordpress.org This is what I use for Diary of a Freelancer. From here, you’ll be able to create a badass blog within a few minutes. At this point, you should have your blog name and have checked that your preferred name is free with a domain name provider.

Find a host

As wordpress.org requires self hosting, you’ll need to find a provider to host your blog. This is essentially where your blog will ‘live’. There are several providers – I personally recommend 1and1

Advantages of using 1and1

  • completely hassle free and easy setup
  • Affordable payment plan
  • They take care of any updates regarding the WordPress platform
  • You can test how optimised your website is
  • Takes care of your online marketing needs
  • Expert support

I use the WordPress Unlimited package which literally gives you everything you need, including unlimited webspace, a free domain, unlimited email accounts and complete enhanced security and webspace recovery.

Regardless of the host or package you choose, once you’ve chosen the ideal plan for you and your needs and entered your payment details, its time to set up your blog.

1.First, you’ll need to download WordPress org. Go to the website and save it to your computer. If you’ve opted with 1and1, go to your dashboard and click on MYSQLAdministration under the database section.

2. Next, click New Database and enter a description and password (note, you’ll probably want to ensure you’ve got a complicated password for security reasons!). Once you’ve done this, click set up. You’ll then be given details about your database setup, which you should make a note of.

3. Next, you’re going to upload WordPress by clicking on webspace explorer under access in the hosting section of your dashboard. Click upload at the top of the window in the webspace explorer window. Now select the wordpress file that you downloaded to your computer and click ok.

4. Once you’ve uploaded it, click unzip (at the top of the webspace explorer window), click on the drive icon in the following pop up window (the top icon) and click ok.

5. In your 1and1 dashboard, click on manage domains in the domain section. Check the box on the left hand side next to your target domain and click ‘destination’ and then ‘edit destination’ from the drop down box.

6. Click edit and then search, in the pop up window, find your wordpress folder and click save. Then click ok to save.

7. It may take some time for your site to be set up, however, once everything has been updated, you should see a WordPress notice that you dont have a wp-config.php file. On this notice, click on create a configuration file, you’ll then need to enter the information you saved in step 2.

8. Once you’ve entered all the required information, click submit. You should then be asked to run install. Click this button and enter your site title, username, password and email and click install. You should then be set up and you can enter the username and password you just created. You should now have access to your WordPress dashboard.

Find a blog design

You’ll now be interested in customising your blog to make it look epic. You may already have a designer on board, but, if not, I highly suggest taking a look at etsy. You’ll find a range of wordpress templates for around £20 and they’re very handy if you’re just starting out on your blogging journey.

Start writing your content

Now the good stuff! Its time to get writing and getting your content out there. Planning your content can be a challenge, which is why you can download my Get Started! Blog Planner completely free to help you on your way. This five page planner includes an editorial calendar, mood board for inspiration, post planner, blog stats tracker and email contact list.

To receive this epic blog freebie, just fill in the form below and check your email inbox for your completely free blog planner.