As a writer, this may sound familiar:
You write and publish content, but no one reads it.
This can be frustrating. I get it.
There are a lot of factors that affect read rates—from the publishing platform to your headline down to the publication time.
Luckily, there are proven ways to engage more readers.
In this article, I describe twelve ways to write better content that people actually read.
If you want to be a successful freelance writer, you need to do one thing:
Prove you’re a good writer.
In the beginning, gaining the trust of prospective clients is your biggest hurdle.
Before someone considers paying you, they need to know you can write.
Which means, you’ve got work to do.
I didn’t plan to become a full-time freelance writer. In the beginning it seemed like a great way to make money while I searched for a more ‘traditional’ job. Spoiler alert: that’s not what happened.
One year ago, I quit my job (on purpose) and became a freelance writer (on accident). I completed my first freelance writing project on 10/15/16, making yesterday my one year anniversary as a full-time freelance writer. Hooray!
Before I put in my two weeks’ notice, I applied and interviewed for several positions. After quitting, I interviewed for a few more positions before relocating and calling it quits on submitting applications. (Except that one position I applied to in May—more out of curiosity than true desire.)
When I was a kid, I thought salespeople were sleazy. All of ’em. I remember getting into an intense argument with one of my childhood friends when she said my Dad worked in sales. How dare she say that?! (FYI: He does. He’s a business owner.)
That was clearly a juvenile understanding of sales (i.e. all salespeople go door-to-door and try to rip people off). As a 25-year-old sole proprietor, I realize that’s a SUPER inaccurate perception. Nonetheless, it still took me a while to recognize that every business owner, freelancer, independent contractor–you name it–is effectively a salesperson. And more importantly, salespeople do not need to be sleazy.
You can be ethical and successful.
Which brings me to my list of 3 challenges. Number one–you guessed it–selling.
You know it:
You love (or hate) it:
The gig economy.
Google produces the following definition of the gig economy: “a labor market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs.” While that’s true–the gig economy is full of contract work–it’s so much more.
As a full-time freelance writer, I experience and contribute to the gig economy every day. And while there are drawbacks to working as a freelancer (stay tuned for my next post), at this stage in my life, the pros outweigh the cons.
Here are 5 reasons I love the gig economy:
There are a lot of traits that will contribute to your success as a freelance writer. Like your understanding of proper punctuation, grammar, and syntax.
Beyond that basic knowledge, one trait will be central to your success:
I’m tellin’ ya. Self-discipline is crucial to succeeding as a freelance writer.
As a new freelance writer, I was fixated on the idea of finding a niche.
I kept seeing articles like, How to Pick a Freelance Writing Niche and Why You Need a Niche as a Freelance Writer.
People even claimed that writers couldn’t find high-paying clients without a niche. Kind of dramatic.
I’m not against niches—in fact, I’m on my way to having a few—BUT, the idea that you need a niche to be successful is misleading. While there’s value in discovering your niche(s), don’t get sidelined trying to find one. In due time.
I completed my first freelance writing project for $7 on October 16, 2016. I spent 15 minutes editing a resume.
This might be my biggest accomplishment to date.
I realize that sounds funny. How could $7 be my biggest accomplishment? But here’s the deal, it’s not about the money.
You know why it was such an achievement?