Summary: Being a freelance writer can be awesome, but you need know how to bid for projects and get freelance writing jobs on a regular basis. Here are some tips for that
This is a guest post by Anna Miller.
Being a successful freelancer means you're able to secure assignments on a regular basis; in short, the busier you are, the more money you make. There are both pros and cons to being a freelance writer, and the biggest advantage is that you are your own boss. On the downside of course is the fact that you don't earn a regular salary.
But then again, you could turn this around to your advantage by earning much more than you would at a full-time position with an organization. To do this however, you need to know how to bid for writing projects and get clients on a regular basis, and to this end, here are a few tips to help you along:
Build up a solid portfolio
Prospective clients are going to want to see stuff that you're already written when they're considering hiring you for their writing projects, so if you're just starting out and have no samples to provide, start your own blog where people can see for themselves just how well you write and how erudite you really are. A writer's portfolio is easy to create in this day and age because of the Internet – blogs and social network pages are free, so take advantage of them and build your collection of sample articles (preferably in the niche you want to work in) right away.
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to cover letters
Don't send out the same cover letter to all your clients; instead write different ones according to the projects you're bidding on. When you customize your cover letters and also choose sample articles (to send) that are relevant to the assignment, clients know that you mean business and are dedicated to detail, qualities they admire in a writer.
Be willing to provide samples
Instead of being offended when clients ask for further writing samples, be willing to write one test article on a topic of their choice. They generally want to test the waters and see if you're as capable as you claim to be and also ensure that you're not the plagiarising kind. Don't take it personally – all clients run this check before hiring writers for the first time.
Don't go dirt cheap
When you lower your asking rate according to the client's wishes, you're also giving them the impression that you're desperate for this job and that you'll do anything to get it. This makes them start wondering about the quality of work you're going to produce. So while it's ok to bargain a little, be wary of agreeing to all of the client's terms when it comes to payment. Don't short-sell yourself even if you're desperate for work.
And finally, the best way to find more work is to do quality work on the assignments that you already have. The best testimonials are those that come from satisfied clients – they not only give you work on a continuous basis, they also make it easier for others to hire you when they praise your work and say they're satisfied with its quality and your professionalism.