It doesn’t take much to become a freelance writer. All you need is an engaging writing style and a story to tell. I started off with a tiny fan gaming blog! Freelance writing as a profession is highly saturated, yet there’s always room for more writers. Yea… that doesn’t really make sense but it’s just how it is.
Why you ask? Well you see when it comes to writing, there’s a lot of different writing styles. There’s so many niches, there’s way too many things to write in the first place! If you want to write click bait articles that get shared around on reddit and made fun of because “the author doesn’t know what he’s talking about” then you’ll do fine without worrying about all this.
But! If you’re interested in high quality content that would cause readers to keep coming back to your website, then you’re much better off hiring people who actually know what they’re talking about.
Knowing Your Clients’ Intentions
This is why it was important to write those last couple of paragraphs. If you know what kind of articles your clients are looking for, it’ll be a lot easier to satisfy them. Say they’re hiring you to write about the latest update to an app. Well they just want you to cover the changes a little bit and boast about how good the update is. On the other hand if they’re hiring you for a review of their products then it’s a good idea, they probably want a positive one. But this isn’t the case for most of the reputable affiliate websites! Don’t start writing fake praise in an affiliate article, it doesn’t work.
Knowing your clients’ intentions lets you figure out if you need to be more or less formal, whether they’re looking for criticism or praise, etc. All of these things help you avoid having to do revisions after you’re done delivering.
Writing Styles Matter
If your client is interested in affiliate articles then they’re looking for a persuasive writing style, combined with a little bit of honesty. But affiliate articles are a completely different breed and require a lot of practice and learning before you’re ready to jump into that market.
I’ll be sure to write a separate tutorial on affiliate content in the future. Let’s get back to the topic at hand right now.
One of the best way to figure out your writing style is to start a blog of your own. There are plenty of free blogging services out there and you shouldn’t be shy of trying some of them out. Practice makes perfect and writing is something that requires a lot of it.
Figure out your niche
You can’t be expected to write about everything, a single person can only know so much. This is where niches come into play, highly specialized writers can not only charge more for their work but also finish their work much faster than a “jack of all trades” writer.
And just in case you don’t know what niche means, think of it as a fun way of saying “specialization”, ask yourself two simple questions, “what is my specialty?” and “why should i specialize?”
Let’s answer those questions.
For Personal Preference
For example, when it comes to writing about technology, gadgets and stuff, I can write pretty damn fast. But when a client asks me to write for a lifestyle blog, I struggle hold my pace.
It’s not because I can’t write about lifestyle, it’s just that I’m not experience with the niche and don’t know enough about it off the top of my head to continue writing about it.
For Your Clients
Figuring out your niche is very important for writers – even more so for people hiring said writers. Clients tend to look for writers that have experience with a niche, if your clients are satisfied with your services then they’re likely to come back.
It’s very easy to tell that a writer doesn’t really know what they’re talking about, they’ll repeat their opinion, keep beating around the bush, never get to the point, or just not have an opinion. All of these things combined lead to an article that’s not just hard to write, but also hard to read.
One can’t add comedic relief if they don’t know anything about a niche. I’ll be sad if most people don’t understand this meme but it’s here to make a point. Knowing your audience is important for far more reasons than the average person realizes.
It’s not all for comedic relief alone, knowing your niche helps you make brave claims without looking like an idiot. The famous “Android vs iOS” flame war is a fine example of this.
Where the fanboy thing to say would be that “Android is better than iOS in everything”, anyone worth their salt would be honest with you and tell you the facts like “Android offers far more customization and personalization options compared to iOS”
Can you tell which operating system I prefer?
Start A Free Blog
This should be one of the first things you do if you’re interested in becoming a freelance writer. Yes, it’s possible to become one without ever owning a blog but you’ll learn way too much if you do and it doesn’t cost anything!
Having a blog doesn’t cost you anything! Why are you not blogging? Don’t do it to earn money, just do it so you can practice your writing and start learning about things like proper article length, search engine optimization and how to plug your other articles into existing ones.
Feel free to read my post about starting a blog for completely free.