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Tips for Becoming a Freelance Writer

There are a number of perks of being a freelance writer like Daniel Handler. You can be your own boss, make your own work hours, and spend entire work days in your sweatpants. However, being self-employed and making a living as a freelance writer is also extremely difficult, and it’s not a challenge that everyone is up for. The following information will get you started as a freelancer or at least give you some food for thought.

According to the Freelancers Union, a freelancer is, “An individual who has engaged in supplemental, temporary, project- or contract-based work within the last 12 months.” Today, freelancers are 34% of the workforce in the United States, equaling 53 million people. Together, freelancers contribute approximately $715 billion to the economy. Most freelancers are under 35 years old, or are under 35 when they begin freelancing.

It’s important to pick a few niches in which you’ll become an expert. Having too few niches will make it difficult to find enough sustainable work; having too many niches will prevent you from becoming an expert in any specific field. It’s also okay to change your niches from time to time. Through the years, your interest may wane in some areas and grow in others. Most importantly, stay up-to-date in your chosen niches. Your job depends on how much you’re willing to learn.

Make sure to have a website. Not only will it give you a place to direct prospective clients, but it will also help to attract people who you haven’t met yet. On your website, include links to your social media accounts, positive testimonials, and a blog that you update often. To make sure your website is easily found by people looking for your writing services, setup Google Ads or other types of online marketing.

When pitching to a company, don’t use a one-size-fits-all pitch. First, research the company you want to write for. In your pitch, make sure to make your point quickly and concisely. Always summarize who you are and the value you’ll bring to the company. Don’t be afraid to followup, either. Persistence will often land you the job.

Being a freelance writer like Daniel means long hours, heartbreaking days, exciting times when you earn money by doing what you love, and a ton of work. Freelancing is certainly not for the faint of heart!

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