How to Start a Writing Career with Little to No Experience
For something we pick up as children, you’d think a writing career is easy as 1-2-3. However, with the staggering number of writers in the market today, it’s easy to disappear into the crowd.
Here’s how to set the stage for a fulfilling career in writing.
The act of observing precedes the act of doing. Before you book writing jobs, cultivate a reading habit with a book by your bedside.
This way you can expand your vocabulary, improve your sentence structure, and develop your own style of writing.
Seek out a niche and stick to it.
What is it that you want to write about? It’s better to write about something when you’re genuinely interested, be it sports or science.
While having a diverse set of skills would never hold you back, it’s better to master just one or two areas of expertise.
So you’ve figured out your niche, what then? To thrive as a writer, you have to present yourself as an authority in your chosen field.
This entails an in-depth knowledge that could only be acquired through intense study.
Publicize your portfolio.
Nobody starts out with an extensive body of work. Keep a record of your writing for future reference.
An online presence that’s as accessible as much as it is active will draw in readers and clients.
Try guest posting.
You should never give away your work to other people for free. But for a start (and for experience), you can submit blogs to author sites that do not pay its contributors.
This way, you get more confident as you submit to websites that drives good traffic. If your name appears in the byline of a popular blog and this redirects to your own page, you will broaden your reach.
This would then lead to freelance writing jobs that are paying gigs.
Here are some sites you can check out:
- The Write Life
Price yourself right.
Guest posting may have its benefits, but exposure alone cannot pay the bills. So-called “content mills” are crowd-sourced websites that cater to businesses and provide them with cheap copy.
In these content mills, writers seek freelance jobs that pay very little for the volume of high-quality articles milked out of them.
It may be a good place to hone your skills when you’re still starting out, but when you’re confident enough, never hesitate to price yourself right.
Learn how to network.
A lot of people in freelance writing score projects due to referrals, so it’s wise to connect with peers and idols alike.
If for nothing else, you get to make new friends who share your passion.
Gather client testimonials.
It’s more than an ego boost. When former clients can vouch for your work ethic, this encourages potential clients to seriously consider you for content and creative writing jobs.
Prepare for possible misfires and dead-ends.
In writing careers, praise goes hand in hand with criticism. Hard work does not guarantee success will be gift-wrapped and hand-delivered to you all the time.
Your calls and emails may be ignored, write-ups rejected—these are the cold, hard realities every writer must endure. Analyze what went wrong and grow from failure.
Internalize your identity as a writer.
If you can’t convince yourself that you’re a real writer, how are you going to get people to believe you? Build up confidence in your capabilities to perfect your craft.
At the end of the day, these are just guidelines and tips. It all starts with one word, so go out there and get work done. The world will never know it needed your voice until you speak up loud enough for them to hear it.