A flexible schedule, the ability to work from anywhere, and setting your own price. These are all the luxuries of being a freelance writer.
Nearly 60 million people are currently enjoying the blogger lifestyle. With a little creativity, planning, and self-discipline, you can too!
Are you wondering how to become a content writer?
We're here to share the ins and outs of how to become a professional blogger so you can say good-bye to your 9 to 5 and take control of both your schedule and your income.
1. Understand What Content Writing Is (and Isn't)
Before you can become a content writer, it's important to understand exactly what it is (and isn't).
For starters, content writing is NOT copywriting. There's a big difference between these two skills that most people overlook.
Copywriting is reserved for salespeople. It involves writing advertisements, sales emails, landing pages, and the like. If this is your forté, more power to you!
If you prefer to write informational articles, blog posts, and how-to-guides geared toward SEO best practices, now you're talking about content writing. The purpose of content writing is to inspire and inform while building trust and credibility.
2. Fine-Tune Your Time Management Skills
The beauty of becoming a professional blogger is the ability to make your own schedule. For some people, this is more of a curse.
Are you lacking in the time-management department? Do you find yourself procrastinating or putting things off until the last minute?
You'll need to fine-tune these skills before diving headfirst into content writing as a career.
Reputation is everything. Building your client list will take time and effort. The last thing you want to do is compromise your reputation or your paycheck by missing deadlines, flaking on emails, or failing to perform edits in time.
The world of freelance writing is often fast-paced and time-sensitive. Knowing how to become a content writer means having the ability to manage your time and hold yourself accountable.
3. Invest in the Right Equipment
Now it's time to get down to business. Just like any creative thinker, you'll need the right tools and resources to become a successful content writer.
Start by investing in a quality laptop. Depending on what services you offer, you may want a computer with specific features, software programs, and other specs.
Do your research before making a purchase and remember, in most cases, this is a tax write-off!
You'll also need a reliable internet connection. Nothing will discount your credibility and professionalism like dropped calls, shoddy video quality during meetings, or late assignments due to internet connectivity issues.
Iron out all these kinks before taking on any freelance gigs.
Working from home?
Create a professional writing space or office to conduct business. Invest in ergonomically-friendly furniture, proper lighting, and whatever other supplies you need to get your creative juices flowing.
Having a designated workspace helps shift your brain into gear, reducing interruptions and increasing your focus.
4. Find Your Niche
Freelance writing isn't the place to adopt the adage, "Jack of all trades, master of none."
While it's good to be versatile, the world of content writing is vast. You need to narrow down your skillset and focus on a few, specific niches.
What are you most knowledgeable about? Where does your experience lie -- in both writing and life?
Not sure where to start? Tap into your hobbies, interests, and background.
Are you a health and fitness enthusiast? There are plenty of websites geared toward people just like you!
The same goes for travel websites, DIY home improvement, sports, and the list goes on.
Start by focusing on a niche you're familiar with. Once you gain more experience you can start expanding your services and client base.
5. Market Yourself
Congratulations, you've decided to become a freelance writer. You want to shout it from the rooftops. And you're gonna need to if you want to start finding clients and booking jobs.
It's time to market yourself.
You can do this in a variety of ways, but start by building an online portfolio of your work (if you have any). For beginners, you may need to scrape together free guest posts you've written or content from your own personal blog.
Create an online portfolio that's professional and showcases your talent.
Word of mouth is another great way to get your name out there. Tell friends, family, and previous coworkers that you now offer content writing services. Post it to your social media accounts, but be sure to keep it professional.
Sometimes, all it takes is one job or project to catapult you into content writing stardom!
6. Budget, Budget, Budget
One potential downside to life as a professional blogger is inconsistent income. Some weeks you might be rolling in the dough while others might feel drier than the Sahara.
The whole "starving artist" thing isn't as glamorous as it sounds, which is why budgeting is an important step in how to become a content writer.
It's important to allocate funds for these ebbs and flows. Create a budget before you quit your day job and decide to become a full-time freelancer.
You need a back-up plan and a financial safety net. Calculate your monthly expenses and determine how much you need to bring in each week to make ends meet.
While you may not always hit your mark, you'll at least have a monetary goal to work towards and a reserve fund to dip into if need be.
7. Join Online Communities
There are countless online communities and marketplaces available for freelancers. After you decide to go pro, you need to join a select few that support your goals and objectives.
Not only do marketplaces match qualified content writers (like you) with clients, but they also offer countless resources and community forums.
Here, you can learn even more about how to become a content writer, network with other professionals, and hone your craft. Online freelance communities are a gold mine for income and information.
Now You Know How to Become a Content Writer and Succeed!
Starting a new career is nerve-wracking, but with these seven easy tips, you now know how to become a content writer and actually succeed!
Setting a clear budget and choosing a niche are two important first steps, followed by marketing yourself and networking with other professionals.
Are you ready to do what you love for a living? Have you always wanted to be your own boss?
Now that you know how to become a professional blogger, you can be.
Click here to find out how we can help make your professional dreams a reality.