Something I’ve learned in my short stint as a freelance writer and Internet marketer is that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. But what does that mean exactly?
It simply means that unless you start out with an end-goal in mind you will simply be spinning your wheels and have no clear sense of direction on where you want to go with your writing, and what you want to do as a freelancer.
Simply stating “I am going to be a freelance writer” isn’t going to make it happen. Unfortunately we can’t wish ourselves into successful beings, as much as we might want to!
Now this doesn’t mean you have to have some long and complicated business plan drawn up, but it does mean that you need to sit down and have a conversation with yourself on some clear-cut goals and how you intend to reach them.
Some (at times) hard questions you need to ask yourself:
Are you actually meant to be a writer?
Meaning objectively are you any good at it or do you love it with enough passion you’re willing to GET good at it?
How do you intend to market your writing?
Will you create your own blog? Use social media? Send out manuscripts and query letters? Pass out flyers and business cards? Ideally you will be using a blend of marketing methods to draw eyes to your talent.
What is your chosen niche?
What market or markets do you intend to focus your talents in? Are you a fiction writer? Prefer commercial writing? B2b? Catalog? Whitepapers? Press releases? Non-fiction? Self-help? News? Sports or entertainment? What are you passionate about?
Narrow your focus
Choose a focus and concentrate on that for the time being. Yes you can write for more than one market but when you’re just getting started it’s best to narrow your focus so you don’t get distracted or overwhelmed. Build expertise and credibility in one and then branch out into another.
How do you intend to get paid? If you’re a freelancer you can work from just about anywhere and take on clients from all over the world if you like. It’s important to figure out a system that makes getting paid fairly easy on everyone, especially you.
For myself, I use PayPal for the bulk of my freelance writing and don’t generally accept checks unless it’s a local offline client. Everything else goes through my PayPal account.
Find suitable location/s
Where do you plan on working exactly? At home in the midst of your family? At your local library or local Starbucks? Everyone will have a location that appeals to them best, just keep in mind that the place you work needs to be distraction free so you can focus and write productively.