All Posts Filed in ‘Freelancing

Post

How I Got Started As A Freelance Writer

laptop

Many friends still ask me how they can start writing and earning online so I thought I’d share this past post which I wrote for one of my first blogs. This was published on Feb. 17, 2011 but the mindset I had and the steps I took are still relevant for many beginners in the freelance/online industry. So without further ado, here’s my story.

It’s been more than a month now after I had resigned from my full-time office job. It’s been a month since I’ve started searching for full-time online jobs to be able to comply with the needs of my family yet still have a good source of income. But it’s just now that I can say, I am able to relax.

It took a lot of time for decision-making before I finally resigned from work. It even took 2 instances of house robberies in our neighbourhood before I got to brace myself to finally draft that resignation letter.

Even if I kept telling myself that, of course any mother’s priority is her children. In all honesty, it was hard to say goodbye to a career you’ve worked hard for and have loved.

Ha! My co-workers may laugh if they read that sentence, but it’s true, no matter how stressful the job was, it gave me fulfillment. But as I have said, I needed to let it go.

And so on my first days of being a stay at home mom, I juggled with the chores and internet job hunting. The stress was from the mindset that I may not land a stable job which a traditional office job offers.

Then I got my first break, well not actually the very first because I got part time online jobs since last year, but this was the first full-time online job. Good rate per hour and seems like a promising employer. I was hyped. I worked till the wee hours and my employer was happy too. My husband was ever supportive too. I can’t say the same for my children though because they continued with their squabbles and fist fights but they have their occasional bits of sweetness to each other too.

Challenges came from the need to know a certain process or software in just a matter of hours yet an output of high standard is expected. But this was so fine with me. I faced the challenges and accepted every, as well as any kind of task, and complied with every deadline. The weeks passed by with good work and great pay.

Then the thing I dreaded most happened. The thing every virtual worker fears: no payment for the hours worked and nowhere to get a guaranty of payment.

So I have to wait. My promising employer still promised to make the payment but I can’t risk working anymore if the pay is not guaranteed. I needed to move on but this means being where I started, applying for online jobs.

I weighed my just so recent previous experience with my almost previous employer and thought of a change of focus in the online career industry. I decided to turn back to writing.

Yup, turn back because I wrote some poems with free verses from grade school to high school. My mother may have still kept my collection, I think.

When I think about it, writing gives freelance online jobs its true meaning which is the ability to balance ones time between family and work. But of course, one still needs to choose the appropriate writing job so as not to be bombarded with too much articles to write.

It took me more than a week before  I finally got hired as an online writer. It also took additional learning to be much better at the skill because writing for the internet is different from writing for print. But it gave me the feeling of satisfaction again. From where in the depths of writing is it coming from, I still cannot pinpoint. It could be from the ability to let words flow or could be the final article. It’s a good feeling which I cherish along with the fact that work-life balance seems more easily attainable now.

I’ve also published a series of posts with strategies to help you get started as a freelancer. You can find them here.

Post

How Do You Know If Your Writing Is Good Enough?

“As a beginner, I have no clue how to gauge if my writing is good enough.”

 

These were the words of a new freelance writer to me.

You may have asked this yourself.

I know I have. I’ve even asked it more than once.

And in the 4 years that I’ve been freelancing, the easiest way I’ve found to know if what I’m doing is good or better, if it’s great, is by asking for feedback.

So, here are 4 ways you can approach this:

Get an 11 or 12-year old child to read what you wrote.

If they understand the scope of your topic, even if they don’t know anything about it then you’ve written it clearly enough.

Ask your client directly.

When you submit your article, always take the initiative to ask for your client’s feedback. And whether what they say is good or bad, don’t take it personally.

Then use their feedback as a stepping stone. This way when you write the next articles for them or another client, you know what’s good or not in terms of these businesses.

Remember, it’s feedback about the article not you as a person.

If you’re at a loss on how to do this, feel free to steal my spiel:

“Dear (client’s name),

Attached is the article for your review. Let me know what you think about it and if you need anything revised.”

If you’re dealing with an editor then that’s better because you get a pro to look at your article.

Get the help of a seasoned writer, or better, an editor.

A seasoned writer can help you see if the flow of your writing is good. But an editor can provide more insights on your areas for improvement.

Here’s a site where writers can get free critique of their articles. You might also connect with an editor in the FB Group, “Freelance Writers Guild of The Philippines,” if you’re a Filipino.

Read your work aloud

On the other hand, if you still prefer to check your articles by yourself, then reading it aloud will help.

I always and I mean ALWAYS read my articles aloud to myself.

And when something sounds off when I say it, then I know it’s not good enough.

But yes, I’m sometimes stubborn and still use a word or phrase that isn’t needed.

However, if this is your choice, here’s an editing checklist by Hubspot that you can use.

That’s it for now.

There are still some things I want to say about this common concern of not being good enough so I hope you stay with me and watch out for next week’s post.

Thanks and enjoy your weekend!

This post first appeared on my previous email newsletter “Web Writer’s Nook” via Aweber.