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5 Tips to Landing a Freelance Writing Gig

5 Tips to Landing a Freelance Writing Gig

 

When searching for a freelance writing position, one should proceed with caution. There are many offers with too good to be true promises that actually are and many that similarly cannot be trusted. Searches should be kept open, but smart. It is also important to continually improve how you sell yourself along with your merchandise.

To land a position, it is important to stay busy. Learning new skills and improving one’s portfolio are necessary for an edge over the competition and there’s a lot of competition.  Below is a step by step guide to landing a freelance writing position, including tips for finding, applying and maintaining consistent assignments.

Search

Freelance writers have opportunity for work now more than ever with help from the Internet. Big corporations and small companies alike are on the lookout for talented writers to help them keep pace with the times.

To find the right corporation or work, it is important to search the smaller websites that also specialize in freelance opportunities and not just Monster or Mediabistro. There are a variety of websites out there dedicated to mediating between you and a potential employer, such as freelancewriting.com. It is also important to query editors often, emailing them with ideas that show knowledge of their content needs. This not only works to introduce you, but could develop a relationship with an editor that promises regular work.

Improve

Improving your value and demonstrating dedication, continual self-improvement is the perfect way to put yourself ahead of the game. Improve your online presence and show an ability to drive a crowd by creating a personal website or developing another online social media form.

Make an impression by perfecting your portfolio and putting it on display. When properly arranged the finest pieces of your work visually sell you and your abilities. In a constantly changing environment, it is important to stay ahead. Continuing to learn useful skills such as photo editing or web design can make you a more rounded employee and provide an advantage against the competition.

Apply

Don’t be discouraged from applying for a position based on diploma requirements. Often experience outweighs the piece of paper in value. Also, be sure to follow any instructions when applying. Often they exist to weed out anyone who might be a potential bad listener. A mediocre or even bad resume can be leveled out by a good interview. Being a good communicator and demonstrating a willingness to learn goes a long way. Do your homework. Demonstrate knowledge of the company or maybe even reference something from their online material or other publications. Something to remember when applying is that talent doesn’t guarantee you the position. Many a writer has been turned down based on a bad or even flat personality.

Deliver

It’s important to meet the expectations of any editor or employer, keeping them happy can ensure future assignments as well as good recommendations for future work.

Write the expected story and do not stray from the original topic before talking it over first.  Be sure to turn in articles and other media in their specified or with minimum formatting. The only potential fatal error a writer can do is making a promise they can’t keep. If for some reason a deadline cannot be met, it is important to let an editor or employer know as soon as possible. This helps them to plan accordingly and unexpected surprises are always best to avoid. Be aware that your work is subject to change.

You are the writer, but media production is a group effort and an editor may have some expertise to add. Openness to any editorial changes may help to improve your future assignments and allows the process to flow smoothly. It is also important to be open to assignments and to not turn down a story just because of your comfort level. Showing a willingness to adapt will earn an editor’s favor and also send more assignments your way.

Network

It is important to network and get your name front and center.  Hanging out with other writers allows for brainstorming, improvement and possible job opportunities. If there is an assignment you cannot accept, your recommendation of someone who can, could earn you the same favor in the future. Also, after completing an assignment for any project, you will benefit from asking for referrals.

This allows you to infiltrate an editor’s or company’s network, which expands your own and your job opportunities. Getting your name in front of potential employers is the key to future assignments. Along with referrals, you can get your name out there by joining forums, groups and other networks. Keeping a profile such as LinkedIn or attending conferences are also good ways to be found by potential editors.

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