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In the modern age of the internet, social media and more efficient websites, content is king. Companies and personalities often rely on content to help ensure that their digital presence is constantly felt. And where there is a demand for a constant supply, there is an opportunity to make money. Enter, the online freelance content providers.
First of all, freelancing is a legitimate career. Gone are the days when people would look at online freelancers with uncertainty thinking that it’s an in-between office jobs project to help pay the bills. Freelance work is a great primary source of income especially for people who want to spend more time at home with their families or for people who would rather pursue their dream adventures and travel. It’s easy, all you need is a laptop, a stable internet connection and the courage to start doing it. One of the easiest ways to get your foot in the door is to be a freelance writer. But wait, don’t hand in that resignation letter or your 2-week notice yet.
Before you start on your career path as a freelance writer, here are the three important things that you must first ask yourself:
- What are my goals?
- How am I doing financially?
- What are my talents?
Like any major career change or company transfers, there is a need to prepare or do the necessary groundwork so to speak. Let’s walk through this questions one by one so that we can see why we need to answer them in preparing for our career as freelance writers.
- What are my goals? As cliché as it sounds, we can’t possibly go anywhere if we don’t have a destination. This is also true in freelancing. Before we make the big leap, we must ask ourselves why?Do I want to do freelance work because I want to spend more time at home with my family? Will I do it to help fund an adventure and have the actual time to do it? Asking yourselves this question will make it easier to weigh things and eventually help you decide if you want to hand in that resignation. Some people make the mistake of looking at their freelancer friends and start comparing themselves to them without actually looking into the details. It’s easy to look at your friends that does online work in his shorts at home while sitting in the sofa and comparing it to yourself who needs to wake up early, dress up, catch the morning commute, grind and fight your way home through the afternoon traffic. Your friend might be at home in his shorts on the sofa, but that doesn’t he doesn’t go through the same grind that office workers do. Again, freelance writing is a career and just like any career, we need to have clear goals.
- How am I doing financially? When starting online, we don’t get the big bucks right away. Like any career path in any company, we have a structure. While there might not be any clear corporate ladder that we have to climb in freelance work, everybody has to start from the bottom rung. If we are just getting started, we might start with small projects and work to get the feel of things or to at least build our online portfolio. That’s why we need to ask the “financial question.” Like any career in the real world, we start to get the raise when certain tasks or completed jobs are attributed to our name. So it’s important to have a stable financial background when starting an online job, don’t expect to rake in the big bucks in the first month or two. Build your name and portfolio, and while waiting for that, make sure that your finances are dug in and ready for the first few months.
- What are my talents? Professional self-awareness is very important when starting an online job as a freelance writer. Starting in this career can be very, very cumbersome and uncomfortable. It’s important for you to know what your talents are especially in freelance writing so that you can start from a place where you are comfortable. Do you love cooking? Find writing opportunities in that field while settling in. Do you ride a bike or play golf on the weekends? Look for projects under that category. Do you listen to jazz or collect antiques? Then search for stuff related to it. Find something that you are good at in your life and start there, that way there is a certain air of natural comfort in what you do and write while you focus on refining your writing skills and on the nuances of your new job.
THE QUESTIONS EXPLAINED
Answering this three questions before you make the big leap into online freelance work will ensure that you are ready to make that leap (finances), you know your targets when you make that leap (goals) and more importantly, you know where to start when you do decide to make that decision.