Breaking into freelance writing and making a living as a freelance writer seems mysterious, scary and almost impossible at first. But if you’ve got any writing ability at all, and some persistence, it’s doable.
Start with deciding what writing you want to do. This is not to limit your creativity or your dreams, but give you a place to begin.
Decide if you want to focus on fiction or non-fiction. Some writers do both but I think it makes sense in the beginning to focus on one or the other. If you’re going to write fiction you’re looking mostly at magazines, a few websites, and books. It’s probably easier to get a foothold in writing non-fiction. It’s also what I do and know best.
Will you write for clients or for yourself? By that I mean will you look for clients who will hire you to write on their behalf or will you seek out markets to sell your writing to? It’s not always easy to tell the difference between these two. One way to think about it is do you want to send queries or articles over the transom or book proposals to publishers or will you contact businesses to offer your service. Again, some writers do both, but I’m suggesting you start with one and as that develops, if you want, expand to the other.
Develop your marketing plan. As you get clear on the kind of writing you want to do, what kind of marketing you’ll need to do will also become obvious. For example, you’ll need a website and business cards no matter what kind of writing, but what those say will be determined by what you’re offering. Set some workable goals for your marketing plan – things like two phone calls a day, three queries a week, are the kinds of goals to begin with. Then, follow your plan and be willing to adjust often.
What kind of writing do you want to do?