Answers for a Newbie Freelance Writer
An aspiring freelance writer recently sent me an e-mail to ask if it is advisable to jump into the adventurous waters of freelance writing. I thought it best to share my answers with all of you since his questions are the usual concerns posed by a newbie freelance writer, as I once was.
Is freelance writing a viable alternative career?
It is, if you are really determined to succeed and focused on making this particular career choice work. In other words, like all other endeavors, it requires hard work. It is advisable though to have some savings set aside before you go full-time. Or you may transition gradually until you have gained some momentum, and are confident to expend all your energy into freelancing.
The good thing about freelance writing is that it is not all about feature writing. For example, if your native language is other than English, then you can also go into translation. There's also the wonderful world of blogging where you become your own boss, and your previous articles continue to earn for you without you needing to re-write it or re-submit them to other publications.
How do I get started?
If you want to go into translation, you may want to try out TraduGuide.com. Once registered -- it's free -- and have created a profile, you will start receiving offers from translation companies or from individuals.
If you want to blog, read my article on blogging and download Yaro Starak's free e-book on blogging, Blog Profits Blueprint. Yaro also offers a paid course on blogging called Blog Mastermind. Blog Mastermind will hold your hand as you learn the basic steps of blogging, including creating a blog, and earning from it. Yaro has also created a new site for the absolute newbie blogger called BecomeABlogger.com. John Chow also has a Free Make Money Online e-book. And there's the ultimate blog/resource on blogging, Darren Rowse's Problogger. Any question you have on blogging, most probably Darren has already written about it.
How do I avoid scammers? What is the guarantee that I will receive my earnings?
The freelance writing markets I listed in my article How to Look for a Publication (Which Will Pay You Dollars) for Your Freelance Writing Idea are usually verified by the owners/publishers of the sites listing these markets. International publications that you find in magazine stands assure you that they are reputable publications. When in doubt, just Google for a particular publication or company with the word "scam" in your search.
When it comes to translation, it is advisable to start out with translation agencies or companies. Check out their background by exploring their sites or Googling their company names.
Can you recommend surefire "freelance writing companies?"
If one means by "surefire" that your pitch or article proposal will immediately be accepted by the publication, then there is no "surefire" way. The best you can do is write a persuasive pitch. The important thing is to always have your "freelance writing idea" antenna out, keeping an eye out for ideas which will interest publications.
Hope these answers help our newbie freelance writer and all aspiring freelance writers out there. :D
Dino Manrique is the owner/publisher of FilipinoWriter.com. You may reach him at writelit(at)gmail(dot)com.