If you are just getting started with your freelance career online, one of the first things you always need to do is to identify what niche you want to be in. So, I’ve got a case study for you today where I asked my top freelance writer: Alexandria Ingham, from UK – to share her 3 years experience in working from home online, and her tidbits to help you succeed.
It’s best to learn from real examples. I really hope you’ll find this sharing valuable as I do.
Here’s My Humble Beginning as a Freelance Writer…
Dear Aspiring Freelancer,
Writing has been a passion for as long as I can remember. I would have notebooks full of story ideas, conversations to build around and scripts for friends to act out. But it was just a hobby. That was until my husband encouraged me to start my freelance writing business and start making money from home.
I’ll be honest that it wasn’t something I managed overnight. It has taken me three years to build my business and get to the point I’m now. Like many people, though, it all started with a DREAM → a dream to work for myself.
I started out by searching for information about becoming a freelance writer and places that I could make money. At first, the revenue share websites came up, which was fine to start with. This was something I was building while I was in a part-time job. I didn’t rely on it solely for income. That has to be my #1 tip:
“Start out with another source of income and build your business slowly.”
Once I signed up to a few revenue share websites, I learned more about freelance writing from those who had already been there. They helped me find new resources, understand the market and get out to find my first real client. Fiverr.com was one of the websites that was brought up in conversation.
Getting My Very FIRST Client
I joined Fiverr after about three months of writing for revenue share websites. I set up my first gig, which has changed a few times since then, and started marketing online. It took some time for someone to actually trust me, since Fiverr is all about reputation. Getting that first client is the biggest hurdle, but my tip is to never giving up on it. I market my gig every single day using social media and online forums. Facebook and Twitter were, and still are my favorite places to promote my service.
The first client ordered around 10 Gigs from me and left glowing feedback each time. From there, more clients found me and trusted me to write their content. I then built up different gigs to cover various types of writing that people wanted. Some have taken off really well and others are stagnant, but that doesn’t stop me from getting the word out.
“1st client is always the hardest, but it’s the only way to get the 2nd client.”
Becoming a TOP Rated Seller
I finally became a Top Rated Seller in October 2013. I’d been on Fiverr for two and a half years by this point, and I’ve also taken some time out for maternity leave after having my daughter in July 2012. I decided that it was time to ask to become Top Rated Seller, instead of waiting for it to happen. It didn’t happen right away but the Fiverr guys loved my gigs and put one of them on the front page. Suddenly orders were flying in – more than I’d ever had before – I wasn’t complaining.
Within a couple of weeks, editors were looking for Top Rated Sellers in writing categories and I was promoted. I’ll never forget the jubilation of seeing that email congratulating me.
Is Freelancing Really Worth To You?
I think the main issue is the feast or famine cycle that many freelancers faced. My advice is NOT to put all your eggs in one basket. Diversify your income streams and don’t rely on one place. You never know what will happen to it!
You do need to be dedicated to improving your craft and working professionally. There are a few cases that are nightmares, but that comes in all forms of business. I continue to stay polite, but stick to the limitations I’ve outlined. Nobody gets preferential treatment!
Also, being responsive is a must. I’ll answer all questions as detailed as possible. I want clients to feel important and valued, even if they are being a bit of a pain. If I get negative feedback, I won’t be rude. I’ll find out why and take the comments on-board for the future.
Likewise, quality is always more important for me. That does sometimes come with a price though, meaning rush projects cost a little more.
To wrap up, I don’t really see many downsides of becoming a freelance writer. I’m able to work for myself, do as much as I want while working from home online. I can pay the bills without worrying about the commute to work or having a boss breathing down my neck.
That’s my story and I hope it helps you start your freelance career. Remember to remain polite, diversify your income, and market your butt off!
To Your Freelancing Success,
Alexandria Ingham, Jan 24 2014.