You can get paid for your thoughts. Seriously.
You can be at home in your pajamas or on the beach sitting under the frangipani trees and still get paid.
Don’t believe me? Well, start writing and see what happens (or join the Billion Dollar Blogger Bootcamp!).
I actually became a freelance writer unexpectedly. It wasn’t a part of my ten-year plan or on my vision board. Nope! I quit my job as a Certified Public Accountant in financial services thinking I would attend business school but I ended up becoming Ms. Corporate America 2015. A few months later I was traveling on a 6-month world tour (dancing and singing!) within the United States, Mexico, Bermuda, Sweden, Denmark, and Belgium. Talk about a change in plans! More details later!
Yeah, I had a lot going on in this big brain of mine. So, of course, I wasn’t thinking about an alternative career path or side gig at that time. Freelance writing was just an idea that landed on my lap when I decided to take action to become a better writer and share inspirational stories through various channels.
So the plan was to write a book. But I started thinking, “What the heck am I doing? I’m not a writer. How do I write a book?”
So I set out on a mission to become a better writer so I could write a book. I decided to write 500 words a day. I also hired a strategist who could give me insights on writing for major publications. Then I started guest posting on tons of other blogs on the web.
My strategist was impressed by my actions. So when she found a paid blogging opportunity for a magazine in London, she forwarded it to me.
And I applied….within seconds!
I had these three items by my side so that I could take advantage of opportunities at lightning speed:
- Mini Bio (2-3 Sentences)
- Writing Samples ( I maintain an excel spreadsheet that documents all of my blog posts)
As my writing experience expanded, I created a freelance writing resume (contact me if you need an irresistible resume that turns heads!). And, of course, my resume led me to more gigs!
It was amazing. I had no idea that I could get paid just for blogging. Wowzers!
In a few short months, my writing pursuits expanded to include copywriting, health and wellness, travel writing, accounting & taxes, and lifestyle writing. I even started to write for various brands and professional organizations.
But it didn’t happen overnight. There are a few things I had to do to position myself for success.
So, if you’re like me and aren’t equipped with a fancy degree in journalism or A+ rated experience that you can vaunt about, here’s how you can get started in the writing world – and land a freelance writing gig within weeks!
1. Start a Blog
I needed proof that I could write before anyone would agree to give me money for my work. So I created my own blog using blue host and I began to flood the internet with my articles. Career Goddess Academy was born and it became a place where I could write about anything I want and share my thoughts in an unrestricted manner. I OWNED the content. If you are a freelance writer, you want to own something so that you can position yourself to start a business later.
2. Share Your Blog
You can’t be a secret squirrel in the writing world and expect to get freelance writing gigs. People need to know that you exist in order to hire you. Duh!
Write your blog posts. Share it with a friend or proofreader to make sure you have quality content. Then share it with the world! Make sure you have an Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook account so that you can reach different types of audiences and build your brand.
3. Hang with the Pros
Surround yourself with people who do what you want to do. Just don’t try to be a leech or imitate someone else’s style. You will only go so far if you haven’t defined your unique voice and identified your compelling why for doing what you do. Use others as a source of motivation to help you get where you want to go.
4. Find a Coach
If you’re really serious about learning a new skill or being accountable to achieving your goals, you should consider hiring a person you admire as your mentor or coach.
Pay for a coach? What the What?
Yep! You read it right.
If you’re hungry and want food at the store you pay for it, right? The same concept applies when it comes to achieving your goals. Sometimes it takes people years to do what could have been done in months because they were too cheap to invest in themselves. They would rather spend $5 a day on Starbucks then $25 a week on a coach who would help them earn enough money to own a Starbucks.
5. Don’t Be a Social Media Ghost
One of my first coaches taught me the importance of being active on social media and helped me to create a strategy. Well, that strategy paid off within 30 days. It paid off because I was consistency.
If you need an updated LinkedIn profile, contact me today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Create a Bio
Freelance writers don’t always get to take credit for their work but when they do, they need to make sure they have an irresistible bio. Start creating your bio now. It can include what you do and why you do it. Share any personal websites, blogs, or downloadable freebies.
7. Maintain a Portfolio
If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready. Sometimes the early bird gets the gig!
That’s why it’s important to maintain a folder that contains all of your work to make the submission process faster. I created an excel spreadsheet. It includes date, the name of the article, link to article, and publication.
8. Flood the Internet With Your Articles
In less than 12 months, I’ve written over 100 articles for 20 publications on the web and in print. So, as you can imagine, it’s not hard to sell my work for freelance writing opportunities. In fact, more people come to me asking if I can write for them. It pays to be consistent!
How Did I Land Hundreds of Freelance Writing Gigs (in less than a year!)
Bottom Line: I was intentional.
I didn’t walk around wishing, hoping, or second-guessing myself.
I took action and kept going. I had no idea that it would lead to me landing a blogging gig and owning a freelance writing business. I just wanted to write a book.
But life always works in amazing ways: either you get what you want or you get something better.