FREELANCE WRITERS: RESOLUTIONS FOR THE NEW YEAR

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Submitted Date 12/28/2018
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Strive to Get More Readers & More Clients

 

The New Year is soon approaching. As a writer, I wanted to share some of my new year resolution ideas for freelance writers. I have worked on some of these myself over the past year and I plan to continue working on many of them this coming year.

 

1. Increase your rates.

As a freelancer, you must consider expenses for running your business as a freelancer. You also have to pay your own social security. I learned this lesson the hard way when I first started freelancing. Granted, I accepted lower rates in order to gain some reviews on my freelancer profile. You do not have to do this for long. Know your worth. Increase your rates.

 

2. Build an online portfolio.

A portfolio is like a resume. I use Journo Portfolio, but I have also looked at sites like Squarespace and About.me that seem to be common. For me, I love the template on Journo Portfolio, and it only costs me $5 a month. If you are a student, I believe you can even get a free account. Whether you display your work on one of these apps or build your own site from scratch, you want to get your profile and work out there while also keep in mind the idea of user-friendly.

 

3. Stalk yourself.

As a professional in any field, your name is out there. You need to know what is out there on Google and social media platforms, so you can build your brand. As a freelance writer, you are a brand. Make sure there is nothing out there you would not want a client to see. If you find something, there are companies that can assist with removing content. I personally have never had to do this, but I have heard it is possible to manage your reputation online.

 

4. Brand yourself.

For me, I have a common name, so I tend to put J.D. on anything legal related since it stands for Juris Doctor. Having this qualification helps me market myself as a legal content writer. If you have any qualifications to help market yourself in the genre you are writing, do it. As for other genres, I stick to my standard name. While I publish everything under my full name, I have my social media channels and blog set to Kerri_jiujitsu to stand out from all the other women in the world that go by my full name. As a writer, you can also brand yourself using a blog with a customized domain.

 

5. Learn SEO.

Become knowledgeable about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to drive traffic to your content and the work you write for your clients. Be mindful of how many characters will be displayed on search results and on home pages. Typically, you want to stick to less than 50 characters.

You also want to have a subtitle and a customized description, if the platform enables you to do so. This will help you control what pops up on google search results.

 

6. Befriend Google.

Take advantage of Google Trends to make proposals to clients. When I notice something trending on Google that I would love to write about, I reach out to clients that I know want related content or just content in general. I tell them what topic I want to write on and why using SEO principles and I back it up with Google Trends reports.

 

7. Continue to learn.

I take courses on sites like Coursera and Edx to fill in gaps of knowledge. While these are my favorites, there are others you can also check out. Sometimes, you can simply audit a course. You can also earn certificates for a small fee. If you want to take it even further, you may be able to apply for financial aid to earn a degree.

 

8. Get a robotic editor.

Take advantage of Grammarly. Everyone needs an editor or proofreader from time to time. No one is perfect.

 

9. Network locally and in cyberspace.

I use apps like Meetup and Shapr to meet people in my area and throughout the United States that could be potential mentors, clients, or contacts.

 

10. Continue to publish under your own name.

As a freelance writer, there are many opportunities to develop content for web pages and blogs for other businesses that require ghostwriting. While this can help bring in some income, you need to continue to market yourself as a writer. Some clients do not feel comfortable writing reviews as they want their names to remain confidential. This can make it difficult when you are trying to land a potential client. By continuing to write under your own name, you show clients that you can write compelling work, you’re aware of SEO principles, and you have a following.

The bottom line: Do not neglect yourself, the content you love writing about, and yourself as a writer. You may discover ways to diversify your income as a writer.

 

These are my ten suggestions for freelance writers in the new year. These resolutions will hopefully help you market yourself as a writer and as a business. Writing is now more than grammar and style. It is also about the more technical aspects of publishing content online -- web design, SEO, and possibly coding. Writing is so much more than its craft.

To all my readers, please comment below with any suggestions or comments on resolutions for freelance writers in the coming year.

 

Photo by Thom Holmes on Unsplash

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  • Andrea Hope 5 years, 4 months ago

    Did you take a SEO course on Coursera? Or do you have other courses to recommend? I definitely want to improve my SEO and continue building my brand this year. Thanks for the reminders!