So, you want to start a freelance writing business from absolute scratch and you know you can write! But how to start making money with freelance writing with no experience? A professional writing portfolio can get you there.
Learn how to build a writing portfolio from scratch in no time!
In this post, you have learned how to come up with expert topics to write about and you have your topics lined up.
You have written your first pieces. Maybe you finished your first paid writing jobs for real clients even if it’s from a content mill. Hesitant about writing for a content mill? Learn about 12 reasons why you should give places like Textbroker a try (and one reason to tell them goodbye).
But now you will need to move on if you want to make a living writing. Picking up online writing jobs at content mills is easy but also paid poorly. You can make a lot more writing articles for money if you have samples of your writing or even testimonials. But how do you get samples, references, and clients’ testimonials as a new freelance writer with no writing jobs? How to build a writing portfolio as a complete newbie?
Don’t worry. You can start creating a professional portfolio of your writing, spruced up with references, TODAY!
Are you a rookie freelance writer who has never picked up a paid writing gig? You can still create a space to send potential clients to and make them book you. So, no excuses. Buckle down and do the work. You can do this!
What would an extra 1ooo Dollar mean to you?? You can make good money as a freelance writer, working from home! As a subscriber, you can download the guide on how to start up a freelance writing business from home in 7 steps! Start today and write your way to 1K! Subscribe at the bottom of this post!
How to pimp up your writer’s profile when you haven’t done any paid work yet
Here are 10 ideas on how to get and showcase writing samples and references. Apply for freelance writing jobs from home with confidence and a professional writer profile.
1. Create a freelance writer website of your own. It could be a blog or a simple author’s website with writing samples and references. Or you do both. A blog is great to build an audience. Publishers love authors that bring an audience of their own to the table. But at least, create a simple website for people to find you and promote your services. This guide of Write To Done goes through must-have elements and examples for an author’s website.
2. Ask former clients for references. Even if you write for Textbroker you are still the creator and author of a piece. Find out where it has been published by googling your own writing. Ask the client if you could use that as a reference.
3. Guest post on other people’s websites. Find out about guest posting guidelines and pitch an idea to any website that seems a great fit for the topics you are expert in. When your post gets published you will be in front of a large audience instantly. Make sure you have a nice headshot and contact information to go along with the post. Use the post as a reference in your writer profile.
4. Be your own client. Before you get any writing job from home imagine you already had the perfect online writing job! Write a few pieces you would love to write. Write at least one piece for each of your topics. Create a pdf, upload it (for example in Google Drive), and get a sharing link for it. Now you have links to add to an email that you sent potential clients. (Many clients prefer links over email attachments.) You can include excerpts of those texts in a document and add the link for people to read more.
5. Create a profile on a business or writer’s network. For connecting with potential clients or getting your profile out there, create an account on LinkedIn. You can gather recommendations there and it will rank higher on Google than a website you create yourself. Also try ContentWorld or Contently. Make sure you specify what you do and what your writing topics are. Add your samples and connect with other people writing online. You can even use your Facebook profile or create a Pinterest board for your writing samples to pitch for online writing jobs. Here is the Pinterest samples board of the writer and blogger Gina Horkey.
6. Offer finished pieces of your writing at a place like ContentWorld. You can set your own prices and decide if you sell it once as unique content or sell the same piece several times. Some freelance writers even offer their services on eBay or craigslist. This is great to get started as you probably already have an account.
7. Ask former employers for a reference. You have probably not done any writing for them. But if they are well-known a reference from them can be very handy. Tell them you will put it to your LinkedIn profile if you don’t want them to know you are going to be a freelance writer. Let them know what you would love them to include, for example, that you always met the deadline, worked conscientiously, and exceeded expectations. Most people appreciate start-up aid instead of writing a testimonial from scratch.
8. Offer to work for a testimonial. Brainstorm people you know that run a business or approach businesses that match your dream client. Ask them if you can help them with your writing in exchange for a testimonial. Make a deal and discuss what exactly you will be doing for them and until when. Again, you might want to tell them what to include in a reference. It will not help you much if the testimonial says how friendly you are, but nothing about your writing or work ethic.
9. Make it as easy as possible for people to share a testimonial. If you have finished a freelance writing job send an email with a short survey asking for feedback. Come up with a few easy questions about you meeting the deadline, delivering great content, or how you met the expectations. You can even include prompts. If you meet clients in person ask them if you can take a short video of them and what you would like them to share. Ready to get serious about collecting testimonials? Go through this free guide on how to run a testimonial campaign over at boast.io.
10. How to build an online writing portfolio extra fast? Creating a website is time-consuming, especially if you are not very tech-savvy. Here is a shortcut to get your writer profile out there: Create a document in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or Google Docs. Add a photo, your services, writing samples, links, etc. You can design it like a simple author website. Then, save as a pdf, upload to Google Drive or elsewhere, and get a shareable link. Voíla! Your online writing portfolio. The shareable link is long and clunky. Use a free service like bit.ly and create a custom link that is easy to read.
(no, links are not working, just an example.)
Your assignment: Choose one or two actions items to work on
Now you have some ideas. Creating a professional writer’s website is a time-consuming way to showcase your writing. If you want a head start, start writing now and line up some samples. Create an account on LinkedIn or Xing. If you are on Facebook, create a page for your freelance writing business. Later, block some time to work on an author’s website or blog. In the long run, you should have a website of your own that is not a free platform, but self-hosted.
Don’t be intimidated. We all start from scratch
Your writing is your most important asset right now. Polish it up, show it off, pitch it to the right people. Of course, if a writer has been featured in the New York Times she has an easier job to pull in writing gigs. But what people want and need is good writing. You can have great references but if you can’t deliver or you are a PITA to work with, you will not get hired again.
If your writing is fine and you deliver on time you have what people need!
And with these steps on how to build a writing portfolio from absolute scratch, you have set yourself up for freelance writing success!
Are you serious about making money from home as a freelance writer? Get the free guide “Jumpstart a career in freelance writing in 7 steps” in the resource library for subscribers. Get free resources and weekly emails. It’s free! You can unsubscribe anytime!
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