Starting a Freelance Writing Business

starting a freelance writing businessBy Donald Michael Schwartz

Starting a freelance writing business is a dream of many people. Part of the allure is the thought of working from home and choosing your own hours. There is one problem with that thinking – deadlines. Freelance writing, although, can be a rewarding business. But, be ready to be very patient in the building of such a business. You may not get paid that much when you first start out, but you can get better paying assignments as you establish your reputation. There are many specialties within the freelance writing business, you could work as a newspaper or magazine reporter, contribute content to blogs, write grant requests, work on speeches for special occasions, etc.

Job duties

When starting a freelance writing business your most important duty will be prospecting for writing jobs. Once you find jobs you are interested in, you will need to bid on them. When you win a bid, you need to make sure you understand all the needs and requirements of the job. You will need to make sure the jobs are done in a timely manor. You will also need to edit for grammar, spelling and style. If you are doing academic writing, you will need to prepare the papers according to the MLA handbook or whatever style book the customer is using.

Where will you work?

When starting a freelance writing business much of the work is on the Internet, so you can work anywhere there is a good Internet connection. It is good, though, to work in an area with a lot of up-and-coming small businesses and organizations. They will need press releases, and other types of letters written. Non-profits need grant writers. A resort area could also be a good source for writing assignments.

Basic Costs

When starting a freelance writing business you will need to buy a good computer set up, and pay for an Internet connection. For local prospects you will need a gasoline budget. You will also need to set up an unlimited phone account so that you can communicate with clients and interview subjects. You should get a good laptop computer, so that you can write as you travel around. You should also have a printer and good quality paper made for that type of printer.

Starting a Freelance Writing Business Tips

  • If you want to make money as a poet then think outside the stanza – you could solicit wedding planners to offer their customers custom vow writing services. Or, you could market custom eulogy services to funeral homes. It is difficult to make a living publishing poetry books, but there are many poetry contests available.
  • Check out the job boards – many job boards charge you a commission and have too many people willing to work below minimum wage. But, it is a place to start, and as you build your reputation on the board you can start winning bids for better paying assignments.
  • Keep an open mind and observant ear – think about different kinds of professionals who need to make speeches, and could use a good speech writer.
  • Do volunteer work for people or organizations you want to write for – volunteering for college departments or non-profits is a good way to establish a reputation.

Not sure about starting a freelance writing business? See a list of small business ideas

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