Being a writer has never been the easiest job. Even throughout history, when books were the most popular media format, writers often struggled to prove their worth as a writer to publishers, editors, and even their general audiences. Today, as print media is quickly becoming outdated and obsolete, many writers are struggling more than ever to prove that a talented writer truly is needed in the digital age.
Firstly, all hope is not lost for writers. There are actually many opportunities for freelance writers out there; you just have to know where to look, you must have the necessary expertise, and you have to realize that you will not always be writing the pieces of your dreams.
Secondly, with this being the digital age, you must expect to be writing for primarily digital copy on websites, in applications, and other online content locations. This puts-off a lot of aspiring writers, as their hopes of being a writer include being published in leather-bound books, and eye-catching glossy magazines. If you truly wish to pursue a career in writing, get used to the fact that the demand for written content is more likely to be limited to blog posts, copywriting, non-fiction articles, web copy, than that fiction story you have been writing in your spare time.
Thirdly, if you are a writer, have been looking for work, but can’t seem to find anyone that is willing to pay for your writing services, you must take a look at what you are offering and adjust to what paying clients are demanding, and provide that service at the highest of quality. Here are some examples of how to audit what you are offering.
- Writing Examples and Showcasing Your Experience – You must really grab your potential employer’s attention and prove to them that you are the perfect writer to provide what he/she is looking for. Be prepared to send a potential employer 5-10 original content writing pieces that are varied in their scope, style, approach, and voice; this will showcase your versatility as a writer, and will also show that many varied businesses have sought out your expertise on past projects.
- Explain the Techniques that you Plan To Use in Writing, That Will Increase the Value of the Written Content – Whether the writing is supposed to be selling a product, selling an idea, informing readers of a topic, or offer entertainment, be sure to explain how your writing is going to use techniques or tactics in order to connect with the readers and push them in a desired direction. Basically, how are you – as a writer – going to write the piece to make it effective?
- Offer Something More Than Other Writers – “Great, so you are a writer,” a client might say, “why should I pay you to write it when I can just write it myself? You may hear this from many clients while you are searching freelance writing gigs, and it is a very valid question. What can you offer that other writers can’t, and can you offer something more to prove that you can get more done than just the writing? Being a writer is a full time job, but you really need to couple your writing expertise with other desirable skills. A freelance Web Blogger – for example – should have highly-sharpened skills in web platforms such as WordPress and Blogger, and have a basic to intermediate knowledge of HTML, other coding languages, and development. A writer that writes everything and makes sure that the copy makes it live on the web and looking good, is worth more than a writer who just wants to write it, submit it, and just get paid.
Writing jobs are out there, they are great gigs, and you certainly can make a living off of 1-off writing projects. But you have to remember that anyone in the world that is literate can call themselves a writer. Ok, so you can write… What else do you have to offer? Build up your arsenal of skills, expertise, and industry-related knowledge, and you will be more attractive to those that are looking to pay for writing.