When I talk to budding writers who are just getting started in freelance web content writing, I sometimes realize how much I still have to learn about this profession. Even though I’ve been doing it for awhile I still lose track of some of those basic tips that you need to get your startup on the road. Here’s a look at some of the advice that I received when I first started, and some of the advice that I wish I had been given that would have made the journey a whole lot easier.
Follow Your Passion
This is the type of feel-good advice you hear so often from cheesy self help guides, but the truth is it’s still one of the best bits of advice anyone can get when it comes to starting up their own business.
When you work for yourself, you have to put in a lot of grueling hours, often with no outside source of motivation, so it’s absolutely crucial that you love what you’re doing. If you want to become a web content writer but have no interest in writing, the journey’s going to be much tougher than if you have a passion for writing.
I’m not saying it’s impossible, just that the already steep hill is going to look more like a cliff.
Narrow Your Niche
The biggest factor to success isn’t what you decide to do, it’s choosing something that nobody else is already doing. The narrower your niche, the less competition there will be, and the faster you’ll be able to become an authority in that particular facet of your market.
If your niche is really narrow, it’s also a good idea to be able to explain it succinctly in just a few seconds; otherwise your potential clients may not realize the value of the niche. As you get better at your craft, you may want to expand or even change niches, both of which are perfectly fine. It’s all about being flexible, evolving to meet your clients’ needs. Take a note from Bruce Lee and become like the water.
Your Website is Not Your Business
A lot of people focus first on the website and then on setting up their actual business plan. I believe that having a website is a must for freelance web content writing, but it’s not the whole of your business. When I first started I took most of my clients from social networking sites and some freelance writing sites, and it’s only recently that I got a website up devoted entirely to my business.
Keep Recurring Costs At a Minimum
It’s almost unbelievable how many services are available these days for nothing or next to nothing. You can almost always find a free version of something you would otherwise pay for, so take advantage of it! When I say that I don’t mean go find the pirated software; I mean in the sense that there are email marketing services that charge $10 or $15 per month but then there are companies like MailChimp that offer the same services for completely free. Speaking of which…
Build Up an Email List
Emails aren’t as hot as they may have been 3 years ago, but email marketing is still an excellent way to get the word out about your business. Some people build up a whole business using nothing but a newsletter and a few powerful email marketing strategies.
Just Do What’s Comfortable
Should you hire a staff of employees or should you work completely by yourself? Different people have different answers, but the main thing is to just do what’s comfortable – that’s where you’ll find the most success. I started my freelance writing business from the beginning with a partner I trusted because that just sort of came naturally to me.
If you work better with a group of people, bring in a few employees to spread the workload around. I can’t name the number of times I would have been less stressed if I had a few extra people on my team, but in the end I’m just more comfortable with me and my partner behind HandleyNation.