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How to Market Yourself as a New Writer
The Road to Freelancing
Writing as a Career
Have you recently decided to become a writer full time?
Becoming a writer is an exciting time. Many writers have considered their craft to be a hobby for many years before they take the plunge and make it their career. Are you one of these people?
Whether you have dabbled in writing for years or have decided on a career change, you will need to portray yourself as a professional. This is not an easy task, as the majority of companies seeking writers want someone with experience. How do you get experience if no one hires you, and how do you get hired without experience? It is a vicious circle, one that is not limited to the writing profession alone.
The best thing to do is start submitting articles to sites such as HubPages and Helium. Fellow writers on these sites are very helpful in suggesting how to improve your writing. I received a message in my Helium mailbox just this morning (April 1, 2012) regarding an article I wrote several weeks ago. I used the sentence "The first thing that comes to mind..." and was politely told it may not be what first comes to mind for everyone. I hadn't thought of that, and will be correcting my sentence to eliminate that assumption. My point is submitting to these sites will put you in front of thousands of readers; some looking for a professional writer.
On the same note be sure your articles are properly structured, are related to the topic and free of spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors. It is not fair to expect to be considered a professional when your articles are filled with errors.
In addition to submitting articles online, I suggest starting a blog or website portraying your skills. This is one of the most important steps to take. It will show potential clients you are serious about your work and have the necessary skills to produce quality work.
For those of you who have a Facebook and Twitter account, you already have an audience to market yourself to. Let your friends and followers know about your freelancing business and link to articles you have written. It is a good idea to have a "page" on Facebook for your freelancing services as opposed to going through your personal account. Facebook also has advertising packages available so you can target those who may be interested in your services.
LinkedIn is also a good site to join, as it caters toward professional clientele. Joining writing groups is beneficial as it puts you in the eyes of businesses which may be in need of a copywriter. Many are willing to give new writers a chance to prove themselves.
Joining freelancing sites is another way to market yourself to companies requiring writers. These sites encourage you to set up a profile and upload a copy of your resume as it pertains to the targeted market. Elance and oDesk are both reputable companies to register with. oDesk encourages its members to take tests to determine their skills, and stresses areas which need improvement. It is highly recommended to complete the skill tests, not only to show potential clients your abilities but also to show you your strengths and weaknesses. Knowing these will help you improve in areas you are weak in.
Connecting with freelancing sites is beneficial, but so is connecting with other businesses as well. Reading and commenting on blog posts in areas of your expertise may also lead to a lucrative assignment. Blog comment sections include a spot for your name, website and comment. If the blog owner likes your comment on their site, chances are they will visit your website. It is here you must impress them from the start. Your website must clearly state your area of expertise, abilities and contain engaging and informative content.
Article marketing is also an option to show prospective clients what you are capable of. One such site for article marketing is EzineArticles. Contributors are not monetarily compensated for their work, but may impress a reader which may lead to an assignment. It is here you are also encouraged to include a resource box which showcases your site, areas of expertise and contact information. EzineArticles also has many resources to help members improve their writing and presentation skills. These resources are available in both written and video to help members get maximum benefit from the information.
The key is to keep writing quality articles and submitting to reputable sites. Some may compensate you and others may increase your chances of being recognized as an expert in your field. Either way, the benefits to you are great. If you receive just one assignment from your efforts it is worth your time, as that one assignment may lead to many more.
Use social networking, article marketing, blog posts, positive comments and your website to market your freelancing career. The assignments will not fall into your lap if all you do is write one article or post once about your abilities as a writer. You must continue to market yourself by producing quality articles, engage readers' comments on your blog/website and continually improve your skills.
Being a freelancer is not an easy job, but if done correctly you will be able to work less and earn more. Take it one step at a time and concentrate on proper sentence structure, grammar, spelling and punctuation. You will impress someone along the way and possibly secure a long term assignment.