Something that's always surprised me about the freelance writing business is just how many writers there are out there who don't seem to realize that they're running a business.
Succeeding in the Business of Freelance Writing
Of the freelance writers who send quotes to prospective employers through my website, http://www.WritingWorld.org, it never fails to surprise me just how many make no effort whatsoever to try and "sell" themselves. Some simply post a quote and nothing else: no information about themselves, no indication about their skills and experience, nothing. Others post a quote with a short message saying, "I don't know what a 'search engine optimized article' is, but please pick me anyway", or "I have no experience in this, but hopefully I'll be able to do it."
Needless to say, the writers who don't bother to sell themselves never get the gigs. So why don't they make the effort? Because they fail to realize that they're running a business.
Some – not all, but some – of the freelance writers we encounter seem to have somehow picked up the idea that all they have to do to succeed is to be good at writing. Unfortunately, it's not quite as simple as that: to really succeed as a freelance writer, you have to be good at selling yourself. And you have to be aware that you're running a business.
Marketing Your Freelance Writing Business Online
If you really want to run a successful freelance writing business, think about getting a website. Most businesses these days have websites: they're the ideal way for customers to find you, read more about your services and get in touch.
This is another area, however, where a lot of freelance writers fail. Because not just any old website will do. Sure, there are some very professional looking websites out there, run by freelance writers – but there are just as many sites which seem designed to frighten away clients rather than attract them. Amateurish design, tacky animations, clashing colors and even, God-forbid, music, are all the sign of the amateur freelance site.
Getting Your Freelance Writing Website Up and Running
While it's tempting to try and put together a website yourself, unless you have a really sound grasp of website design, this tactic can really backfire. An amateurish website tells your visitors that you're an amateur business, and that you don't have enough faith in the viability of your business to invest in a professional website. All of these things are red flags to clients, who'll go elsewhere in a heartbeat.
Get yourself a professionally designed website – and if your budget can't stretch to an entire website, consider signing up for a personal profile at WritingWorld.org, where for only $25 per year you get your own page, complete with downloadable resume, writing samples and client testimonials.
Your WritingWorld.org profile also gives you your own WritingWorld URL, which you can give to prospective clients, or even market in the same way you would promote your own website, using pay per click ads or other methods.
This article was posted on September 10, 2005