Kick Starting Your Writing Career
The thought of trying to find a remote writing job can sometimes be frightening. But, as someone who has over cane these same fears, I’ve decided to put together a list of some of the things I’ve done that helped me land my first gig. A lot of times the most important piece of writing, blogging, or creating content is just sitting down and dedicating time to actually get it done. So don’t be afraid, and with the help of this guide you should be well on your way to starting that illustrious writing career you’ve always wanted.
Create an Upwork Account
Upwork has probably been my favorite freelance site since I began looking for writing work just four months ago. It is the most user friendly and uses a bidding system for freelancers to land jobs. It does have a limited amount of applies per month, but I personally think that is even better. It really makes you research and find appropriate jobs rather than just willy-nilly applying for everything freelance job. This site also breaks down potential jobs by level: entry, intermediate, and expert levels. Along with that, there are also countless other filters you can apply to search for your ideal first freelance job.
Another reason Upwork is my favorite site is because it was where I got my first break. There was a smaller company in need of some motivational blog posts that I was lucky enough to get. Granted, I only got to write a handful of posts for them but two of those posts made their way to Medium. This was huge for me, especially as a new writer. For any of you who have already begun your hunt for jobs, I’m sure you’ve noticed that many places require examples of your published work. This is somewhat of a circular reference if you will, since in order to find work you need prior work but you can’t have “prior work” without having prior work (lol). So thankfully these two posts quickly allowed me to move out of that initial search and actually land some work to build more of my resume.
Network, Network, Network
This one is crucial, and maybe even the most crucial for any aspiring bloggers/content creators. This one also came for me with my first few posts, as the smaller motivational site was a great way to get my name out there. This led to other smaller pages reaching out, giving feedback, and asking for assistance on projects. And of course, all of this is very useful for your resume. There’s also the aspect of asking friends to help grow your brand. This can help you reach other networks that you typically may not have reached. So reach out to as many friends, family, and smaller companies as possible to promote your brand while helping others grow theirs.
Write As Often As Possible
This one may seem obvious, but many don’t realize how much actually goes into writing. You will not always be able to sit down and finish a piece that you start. This post here actually took me multiple times to finish just because I wanted to be sure I had every possible drop of helpful information available for you all. But that’s why constantly writing is so important. I have around fifty unfinished pieces currently stashed within my google docs. And many more ideas and blank pages that still need to be written. Plus, all of this is excluding my book which probably has another 50 pages of notes on top of the 70 I’ve already written. The constant writing only makes you a better as well, which will ultimately help your job hunt reach fruition.
Start A Blog
This may not help all people, but I found it so useful to start my own blog. One thing I would recommend is to avoid labeling your blog right away. I was unsure if I wanted a sports blog, a travel blog, a cooking blog, etc etc. Over the last four months though I’ve decided I don’t want to limit myself to only one thing, which is also how writing in general should be, because I thoroughly enjoy writing about so many different topics. But, by starting a blog you’re slowly growing your brand and gaining more opportunities to land jobs that will get you your published work examples.
My blog was actually one of the things I submitted to the first real writing job I landed a few weeks back. And even though I was applying for a sports writing position, the employer still got to see my style of writing and decided I would be a great fit to the organization. There are countless sites you can use to start a blog too. My personal favorite is WordPress because it has both the entire website aspect of a blog and its own local WordPress community that allows you to have others immediately see your work. This is great for brand growth and for receiving guest post opportunities as well, so don’t be afraid to blog for awhile before you begin the search for freelance work.
Apply for Everything Entry Level
This falls outside of the Upwork category and more into actual google searching for jobs. Before I found a writing job, I took an hour two three nights a week and applied for just about every entry level remote writing job I could find online. I heard back from a few, and even picked up a small part-time movie review job at one point. But in doing this I also was constantly tweaking and upgrading my resume as I noticed more and more things that companies looked for in their entry level employees. And don’t be afraid to apply for things that you may not be fully qualified either. I’m not saying go apply for a “Experienced Content Manager” position, but anything that can be within reach should be applied for. Even if you get an interview and the company ends up pursuing a different candidate, that is all experience you can learn and grow from!
There are thousands upon thousands of opportunities out there for all of you who are starting to look for jobs that start this new chapter of your life, and I genuinely hope this post sheds some light on things for you! As somewhat of a fairly new writer still myself, I’d love to help in any way I can. If you have ideas for guest posts, reach out. If you have any questions on what I covered, email me. I know I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am today without the people who helped me, so I am more than willing to return the favor to any of you out there who may need it.
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