If you’ve often dreamed of making a career as a writer, there’s never been a better time to turn your dream into a reality. The opportunities for writers are continually increasing, with content for websites, blogs, magazines, and eBooks required on a constant basis. Most of this work will be in the non-fiction sector, so if you’re an aspiring novelist or poet, that’s still a much harder market to crack. However, if you have the skills to write well, knowledge of specific subjects, and the ability to undertake high-quality research for your posts, you have a good chance of finding work as a freelance writer.

Do you have what it takes?

Writing is a skill like any other – some people seem to be naturally gifted, others can become masters of the art with dedication and practice. It’s also easy to have an unrealistic belief about the quality of your work, and your first task is to find out just how good you are at writing. That will involve getting feedback on your work, which is best accomplished by joining a writer’s group or course. Friends and family are more likely to be complementary rather than honest and critical, which isn’t going to help you hone your skills. You need impartial assessment, and you must work hard on learning your craft and meeting the standards required by editors and website owners.

Do you understand what freelancing involves?

Your first thoughts are likely to be focused on the freedom of working for yourself, and the pleasure of earning money doing something you enjoy. You also need to consider where and how you are going to work, and what your responsibilities will be as a self-employed person. You need a quiet, comfortable working area in which you can concentrate. If your house is subject to noise and distractions, then that could mean finding an office in which to base yourself. You need to check out what financial records you need to keep so you can make an accurate tax return each year, and decide whether you are able to deal with your own finances or taxes or whether you’d be better off getting some professional assistance. You also need to be confident you will have the self-discipline to work productively without getting distracted by being your own boss.

Do you know where to look for work?

Start off with the free sites that list available jobs, and often offer helpful advice on making a career from freelance writing. There are sites that charge you a fee to join, and you may find them useful, but check out the reviews of such sites to make sure you will be getting value for money. There are many free resources available to get you started, and agencies that you can join for free but that you pay a commission to when you get work. You can also pitch your ideas directly to the owners of sites and blogs for whom you think you could write. Follow the advice given on authoritative writing sites for making pitches, and make sure you follow the submission guidelines.

It will take time to get your writing career started, but if you work hard and take it seriously, you have every chance of making a successful career from freelance writing.

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