How I Landed My First Freelance Writing Gig
While it is still hard to believe that I have dove so deep into this passionate hobby of mine — writing, I never thought that it would be a part of my professional career.
I just simply started writing to release the built-up stress and brokenness that I was feeling in college three years ago. To think that I would have received a freelance writing gig and be paid for my writings is crazy to me. But I have gotten to this point by following a simple formula:
Write — Hit the Send Button — Repeat.
But before diving into that formula, I realized I couldn’t just aimlessly write on hundreds of topics. I mean, I could, but to make my writing journey much easier and fulfilling, I had to find my particular niche.
1. Importance of Finding a Niche
In the world of content creation, expertise is essential and can help you stand out amongst the other thousands of writers in the world. When you have a particular niche, it shows potential clients that you have the experience and knowledge that is necessary to create valuable content for them. For example, I have decided to focus on B2B writing. Specializing in writing thought leadership articles and inspirational content for internal and external corporate communications.
In my short professional career in the corporate world, I have held positions in sales, business operations, communications and marketing, and an assistant role to two fantastic executives. I decided to write on what I know, what I have learned, and the expertise I have gathered from this experience.
To find your niche, do these three things:
Figure out what you love.
Identify your strengths.
Identify your personal and professional experiences.
2. I Researched My Niche
After I discovered my niche, I researched opportunities and companies that would benefit from my experiences and expertise. I did this by simply searching on Google.
3. I Created a Pitch
You can find hundreds of resources on the web of how to create a successful pitch. So I will keep this short and brief.
1. Do your homework. After finding the business or editor you would like to write for, do some research on the business and find the appropriate person to speak to. Linkedin will help tremendously with this step.
2. Grab their attention. Make this short and snappy. The subject line should be catchy and to the point. This should scream, “OPEN ME!”
3. State your business. Everyone is busy, try not to send too long of a message. Give a headline, state who you are, and tell them what you can do for them.
4. Follow up. Again make it concise. Your message should be no longer than 1–2 short paragraphs. If you are unsure where to start, find a template online and craft it to your voice and writing style, that’s what I did.
5. Stay confident. You will more than likely not receive an email back from your first send out. That’s where the formula below comes into play.
Write — Hit the send button — Repeat.
This is the formula I lived by before receiving my first writing gig. And after about my 50th pitch email, I finally got a response. I ended up crushing the test article and receiving the gig. I believe this will be my first of many because I got the process down, and I am improving my craft every day.
It is too easy to get bogged down just because you haven’t heard anything back from these potential clients. You have to be persistent, committed to the process, and never give up. And frankly, you have to be a good writer.
If you send five pitches on Monday, great, send five more on Tuesday, and the next day, and the next day.
Remember, this is your career. If you want to become a freelance writer, make it happen. There are so many opportunities going around right now for writers. The need for content is at an all-time high right now. Take advantage of this current content surge; be confident in your skills as a writer.
There is a client out there for you, waiting to hear about how your experiences and expertise can help their business.
If you can take away one thing from this article I hope it is this: Write — Hit the send button — Repeat.