Start By Writing
The first step is to write.
I know that seems an oversimplification, or too obvious, but believe me, not everyone who says they want to be a writer ever spends any serious time actually putting works on paper or screen. You’ve simply got to write regularly and often if a freelance writing career is what you want.
Once you’re writing regularly, it’s time to start marketing that writing. You’ll never make any money writing if you don’t get the word out somehow.
One of the best ways to get started is to combine regular article writing and submitting those articles to magazines. Yes, I’d suggest you start out aiming at least some of your work at print magazines. A copy of Writer’s Market not only tells you what magazines want what, but is a wonderful idea sparker as well.
Sure you can write for content mills and have your work show up on the web, but it’s hard for a new writer to know how well they are writing unless they’ve got some feedback system. Rejection slips aren’t pleasant, but they are part of the freelance writing game.
Once you’ve got a few credits, keep writing and marketing and get your website built. Every day that goes by without a website of your own is potential lost revenue. Get one up. Use a template. I can guarantee that no matter how you do it, in a year or so you’ll want to change it. That’s true even if you pay thousands, so don’t pay that much. Do it yourself so you’ll have a feel for how a site works. Read You’re a Writer – You Need a Website or Better Yet, Your Own Blog to help you get started.
Develop A Niche or Two
Or better, let your niches and genres develop. They will. If you keep writing and submitting and writing and submitting you’ll discover you like certain kinds and areas of writing more than others. You’ll probably also discover that those areas are the ones you sell in most often.
There’s a category here called Getting Started & Getting It Done. You’ll find, among lots of others, these five:
- You’re a Writer – You Need a Website or Better Yet, Your Own Blog
- Writing Software? Ask Anne, The Pro Writer
- Where Do Writers Get Their Ideas? Ask Anne The Pro Writer
- Rejection – The First Step To Successful Freelance Writing
- How To Stay On Track With Your Freelance Writing Business
These are a good way to start, but there’s always more to learn. This site and others, plus talking with other freelance writers will help speed you on your way.
What are your first steps to getting started in your freelance writing career?
Photo by David Ritter and found at http://www.sxc.hu