Written By Alexandra Romanov

The Top 10 Ways to Boost Your Freelance Writing Career Today

Getting started is often half of the battle in developing a freelance writing career. The problem that many people face is where to start and what to do to really kick it into high gear. You can relax, I left cold calling off of this list!

Maybe you have a couple of paid writing gigs under your belt and that feels great but you aren’t making enough writing yet to call it a career or even a part-time job. Or perhaps you have been going along fine but suddenly are lacking work or just feeling drained. Whatever the problem, it’s easy to give a boost to your freelance writing career.

Writing is a largely solitary mental profession. Many different elements can go into boosting your writing but all of them can be done today and most of them take very little time to accomplish.

1.) Change Topics

Next to psychologists, the highest burn out rate is among freelance niche writers. There are only so many ways you can write about a specific topic before you have exhausted your ability in that area. I once did some ghost blogging for a lawn care company. Each 300-word post was about a different type of lawn care issue. After 3 months I didn’t care if I ever saw grass again. There are only so many ways to write about leaf mold and dandelions before you start repeating yourself. This happens with every overly specific topic.

So if you are beginning to dread writing a particular subject it’s time to shift your focus. Your writing will be cleaner and your copy tighter as a result of the switch. For example, instead of writing about rose care, cover other flowers as well. Instead of writing about the stock market, write about the coming student loan crisis. Always try to keep your topic open enough that you can switch subtopics as necessary.

2.) Sign up at one of the best online writing companies

The best sites for picking up an occasional gig here and there are Scripted, FlexJobs and Journalism Jobs. I’ve reviewed all of these companies previously but in this particular case where they stand out is in both the ability to pick up good paying single gigs when you feel like it without committing to working for them fulltime. With FlexJobs and Journalism Jobs you have the added benefit of making long-term contacts as well.

3.) Find one new client

If you sit down and figure out how many clients you have, how many you might need and look at it from that angle you will become discouraged before you even start. So just find one new client. Signing up for online writing companies counts but only if you actually grab a gig.

Several of the tips here can help you find a single new client. Once you have this down, do it again. You can repeat this as needed. The best ways to find new clients is through a direct email marketing campaign and through networking.

4.) Network online

Online networking can serve two critical functions in boosting your freelance writing career. First, it introduces you to new people that can commiserate with you over freelance writing, similar to a gossip fest at work. Secondly, it puts you in touch with other freelance writers that may be able to refer you to their clients. Many niche writers are asked to write something out of their area and rather than deal with it they will hand it off to another freelance writer that excels in that area. Through other freelance writers you can make valuable long-term contacts.

One of the best sites for online networking is LinkedIn. Join the writers groups there and participate in the discussions. Be sure to completely fill out your profile and keep the site updated. This is easiest if you allow Twitter and Facebook to automatically post to your LinkedIn account.

5.) Go to a network meeting

This is important in a similar way to networking online but for different reasons. Yes, you will make useful contacts and get clients this way. But what is really important in boosting your freelance writing career is not just clients. Clients are only half of the game. The other half is you.

Freelance writing is generally a very solitary profession. We tend to spend a great deal of time alone and in our heads. We need to get out every now and then and be around other people in a social setting. This helps keep us relaxed, we make valuable contacts and we stay up on the latest local trends and issues.

6.) Get out of your head

This is so important for your writing career but it is also frequently overlooked. Writing is not like most professions. You need to be able to get out of your head for a bit and let it clear out. The best ways to do this are praying or meditating, talking a walk or even soaking in a hot bath. Whatever you do, don’t think for a bit. Just focus on what you are doing and give your brain a chance to shift gears.

Virtually every writer I have ever known has said that they get some of their best ideas doing something other than writing. For some it’s taking a walk with their dog and for others it’s chopping vegetables for dinner. Whatever relaxes you and takes your mind off of writing is what is necessary. You will be amazed at the ideas that suddenly clarify themselves in your head during that time.

7.) Update your website

If you have nothing else to do, work on your website. Update your samples, make sure contact information is current and the layout is pleasing as well as professional. Then sell it.

Not literally, of course but a great way to boost your freelance writing career is to get your name out there. A fast way to do that is to attach your website to your various profiles on social media sites.

8.) Start a blog

Starting your own blog is a great way to boost your freelance writing career because it allows others to see the various aspects of you as a person and as a professional. If your niche is writing financial articles you can continue that in your blog but you can also write on other topics of your choosing. This is probably the best way to avoid niche burnout.

Another aspect of starting a blog is that blogs attract readers and blogs with a great many readers are valuable to potential clients. This shows that you have a following and you may lead those readers to their website or product simply because your name is on the article.

9.) Go to the Library

This actually ties several tips together. For writers, the library is our natural habitat. Thousands of books on every topic imaginable are our haven in the world. It makes sense then that a library would be a great place for a writer to recharge and pick up new ideas. Wandering around through the various topics might just be what you need to shift your focus from one topic to another or even to help you pinpoint a subtopic that you never before considered.

Don’t go with a specific goal in mind. Go to the library and just wander through the books to see what jumps out at you and piques your interest. This is a great way to move into entirely new areas of writing. I have a writing friend that was wandering through his local library and came across books on knitting. He started a successful blog on the subject and has actually written a few books on knitting. He even learned to knit, something he didn’t do until well after the blog was established.

10.) Launch an email marketing campaign

This is not as bad as it sounds. The short version is that you target a group of potential clients and you send out a tailored and on target email to the entire group of them.

To make this even easier, look into a free mass email program that will allow you to keep track of your contacts as well as which letters are having the greatest impact. Look into a trending need and figure out a way to address and meet that need. There are big changes coming in healthcare regarding medical coding and many clinics are struggling to keep up. So far my email campaigns regarding the medical coding change has been 10 clients out of 10 letters sent.

Boosting your freelance writing career isn’t all about finding clients and finding more work. If you are stressed and not thinking clearly then your work will suffer at a time when you are most in need of success. Meeting new people, contacting potential new clients and getting out of your head for a bit will do wonders for your writing.


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