Thank you so much for your blog and freelance writing wisdom which you share so generously.
I have a question; if you’ve answered it elsewhere, do let me know.
The question: I graduated this May from an MFA program in writing and have now turned my attention toward the world of freelance so that I can keep writing and support myself. I have a very basic website (www.sherissealvarez.com) but would like to build a client list.
Is it ever a good idea to offer editing/writing services for free as a way of “beefing up” your resume?
I’m glad you find the site helpful.
I have written about writing for free, buy your question is a bit different. You’re writing resume or credit list isn’t on your website and it should be. Although I’m glad you’ve got a website, as it stands now its not going to do much good because you haven’t built in any credibility or given me a reason to hire you. And I can’t tell if you’ve got a strong resume or not. So, for you, beefing up the website would be the first order of business I would suggest.
You don’t have to write for free for someone else when you’ve got your own website. Just post several articles as samples. You could do the same thing with the editing by using track changes to edit one of your own pieces and posting that, with all the editing marks showing.
For coaching you need to spell out more or less how your coaching will work. Let Anne Coach You! is one place I pitch my coaching services. You can google writing coach or some such and get more examples than you’ll ever be able to use.
As you might guess I’d prefer to see you beef up your marketing than start giving away samples of your work as it were.
If you truly value your skills you’ll either refuse to write for free or you’ll severely limit it. I sometimes will write for free for a cause or organization, but never more than a single article or two.
Other professionals will disagree, some here. There are undoubtedly people who have made good use of writing etc. for free. If you do decide to give away some of your work set firm boundaries, and even ask them for pay after the first piece or session. Have a very specific plan in place so you don’t find yourself giving away far too much.
Have you ever given your writing away? How has it worked for you?
Do you have a question about freelance writing? Contact me with Q&A in the subject line and I’ll do my best to answer it.
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