Freelance writing is the act of writing for someone else or company and getting paid in return. In freelance writing, you’re simply supplying your skills in writing to do the write-ups for your client who is in need of the work. As a freelance writer, you’re not employ by any organization, instead your submit your writing to client that pays you for it.
Freelance writing has become one of the lucrative online businesses. Most freelance writers charge nothing less than $100 per article of 2000 – 3000 words. You can check out Fiverr, an online marketplace for freelance services to see how much freelance writers charge per words.
Freelancing has become a common term in today’s online Jobs. You may have come across different kinds of freelance jobs in Nigeria in your quest to start your freelance writing career.
In this article, you will discover the simplest way to start your freelance writing in Nigeria. For those who want to go into freelance writing career, this is an opportunities to grab all that you need to be successful.
A lot of people want to start making money from the comfort of their home. They want to work at their own pace and increase their earnings in the process. Some people also want to earn additional income. If you’re among the category of such person, as you read through this post you will discover simple steps to start freelance writing in Nigeria and make money.
Things to know before Starting Freelance Writing
Because you are going to work for your clients who will pay you, you need to know the following before you embark on freelance writing business:
- You should be passionate about writing. The freelance writing business is not for those who would just start a writing piece and abandon it for another.
- Timely delivery. If you don’t get things done on time, it will be difficult to gain the trust of your clients. You should adjust your time management strategy because nobody would love to pay you for unfinished work.
- Know how to market yourself. Part of this will be explained in the steps you need to follow for you to become a successful freelance writer. Marketing is a must, this point is non-negotiable.
If you are comfortable with the three points mentioned above, then you are good to start your freelance writing business. So let us get down to the main point of this post.
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How to Start Your Freelance Writing Business
Make sure you follow these steps, it will help you to have a great freelance writing business. If you fail to follow the steps, your freelance business may not get the expected success that it deserves.
Get the Necessary Tools
There is practically no reason to think you want to start a freelance business without the basic tools which will aid your success. I will highlight the basic tools that you can’t do without if you are starting your freelance business.
- A personal computer: This is not negotiable. You aren’t going to be borrowing someone’s computer and still feel you are in charge of your business. Sorry if I am too blunt, this post is expected to get you started in your freelance writing career.
- Access to the internet: Your computer will be useless to your service without internet access. Hence, you can easily get yourself any affordable internet plan available to you.
- Basic research skills: You need to know how to get information from the internet. A lot of people know how to use the internet but don’t have research skills. Don’t let this scare you, Google has simplified everything. If you can use Google, you can run simple research for your work.
- A smartphone: Your phone should be used as a device that will aid your work. It should never be used to replace your personal computer. For example, you can use it to find clients and network with other freelance writers.
When you have access to the four points mentioned in step one above, then you are set to get into the second step. I hope you are ready to start the second step?
Find a Suitable Niche
Freelance writing is not all about bringing words together. Even if you’re wordsmith, you can’t comfortably write in all the niches available. This is why you need to find a suitable niche.
Your niche will determine your clients. What I want you to do in this step is to sit down and outline the kind of things you want to write about. If you are like me that loves to learn new skills, you can choose those areas that you are not conversant with. After all, living is learning.
You should find a niche that you are:
- Comfortable writing about.
- Have a level of knowledge that would be aided by your research.
- Passionate and dedicated to spending your time and resources on.
- Broad enough to get you enough clients.
Please note that your niche can expand as you progress in your freelance writing business. Don’t feel tied to a limited niche. I hope you have found your niche? Now let us hit the third step in starting your freelance writing business.
Make Your Portfolio
Most times, when we get to the market, it is common sense to carefully look at what we are paying for. This is to ensure that we don’t waste our money on things that we may never use.
Your portfolio is what your client would love to see most times. They are going to use it to check your ability and skills. It will give them an overview of what you can do for them.
This is where you need to sell yourself. If you don’t have a portfolio, don’t worry. I will show you the two easiest ways to woo your clients using the portfolio that you are going to make for yourself.
In my opinion, I will suggest these two ways of getting your portfolio across to your potential clients. You can use these two ways. It all depends on your choice and preference.
- Write some articles in your area of expertise: You can write articles, then attach them to your Google Drive account which you can send to your clients as a link. Don’t rush through this step. Make sure you take out time to do this effectively because it can ruin your plan of getting clients.
- Start a blog. Blogging is another way to showcase to your clients your skills, knowledge, and ability. Guess what, your clients most likely have a blog. So they will easily understand you.
I would end this step by saying, you should try the two ways mentioned in this step. It will give you a better chance of gaining clients. If you don’t have much time, you can start with the first method. It is faster and easier to start.
Pitch Your Potential Clients
Now is the time for you to start looking for clients. This is where many would-be freelance writers get the complaint of not getting clients. Alas! It is part of the rough start of any business, calm down, and pitch your potential clients.
Pitching is the act of letting your potential clients know that you have an idea that would be beneficial to their business.
You can pitch them with an outline of what you want to write for them. Remember to attach your portfolio to your pitches, this is proof of your skills, knowledge, and ability to deliver.
Make sure you read through their writing guidelines before pitching them, this will reduce your chances of submitting off-guide pitches. You will understand what they want and how they want it.
Please, at this point you need to remain calm if you aren’t getting the expected response from those you have pitched. It is part of your learning process. Just make sure you keep working on your skills by guest posting or writing on your blog.
When you land a writing gig, make sure you do your best to give the client an excellent work. It will speed up your success in the long run.
Do the Work Well
Freelance writing is not like the way students sit for an exam. Now that you possibly have a project at hand. Treat the project with all sense of urgency. Don’t allow your client to keep reminding you of your deadline.
My simple advice at this point is for you to
- Set a deadline for yourself. Possibly shorter than the expected day that you have agreed to finish the work.
- Plan your work process. Make it flexible so that you will enjoy doing it.
- Put in all the necessary work. Make sure you do effective research and follow the client’s guidelines because you are not writing for yourself.
Your utmost goal is to satisfy your clients by helping them to achieve the goal they want to gain with the project you are doing for them. It’s time to find out how to get more clients using your existing clients.
I want you to understand that it is much easier for you to get a new client if someone you have worked for referring you to the new client.
A referral is a great way to get more clients without much marketing. This is why I would advise you to first and foremost do a great job for your existing clients. Then you can ask them for a referral to anyone that might need your service. If they love the quality of your work, you may get a couple of referrals from them.
You can also connect with your current clients via social media, it will be easier for them to refer you to anyone on their network.
Grow Your Client Base
Now that you understand how to start your freelance writing business. It is necessary to grow your client base to make more money and also to gain a consistent flow of work.
At this point, I would say it is time to engage your social networking skills. If you depend on referral from your clients, you may not go that far. When you jump out and pursue your leads through networking, you are sure of getting the flow of clients. These new clients may also refer others to you.
This last point is the greatest fear of most freelance writers that are just starting. Don’t settle for less. The more your client base grows, the more money you will make.
You can use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social networks to connect with potential clients.
Now that you know the seven simple steps that you can take to start your freelance writing business; I hope you will get started without delay? A lot of people just wish they want to do something without taking the bold steps into doing that thing.
If you have any problem starting your freelance writing business, you can add your question in the comment below. But ensure you have applied the steps mentioned in this post.
Top 5 Freelance writing Websites in Nigeria
Check out our top 5 Website for Freelance writing jobs in Nigeria:
- Upwork – Upwork, formerly Elance-oDesk, is an American freelancing platform that connects businesses of all sizes to freelancers, independent professionals, and agencies for their hiring needs. Upwork connects you with top work Agencies around the world, or near you.
- Fiverr – Fiverr is an online marketplace for freelance services in different categories. The company provides a platform that connects businesses with freelancers offering digital services in 300+ categories.
- Freelancer – Freelancer is an Australian online marketplac in which freelancers can bid jobs to complete by employers.
- Indeed – Indeed is an American worldwide employment-related search engine website for job listings. So, you can sign up and search for freelancing writing jobs. With Indeed Nigeria, you can search millions of jobs online to find the next step in your freelance writing career.
- Uvocorp Nigeria – Uvocorp Nigeria offer writing jobs for skilled English writers. So, you start your writing career by signing up on Uvocorp Nigeria.
I wish you a successful freelance writing career. We hope you write for us someday.