Tips to Become a Freelance Writer
Today's "I Want to Be" Series features Victoria Heckstall, a freelance writer, blogger, and online entrepreneur! Victoria has been earning an income online and has a stash of solid tips for getting started in the business, as well as increasing your earnings to a full-time income. Find out how to connect with Victoria at the end of this article.
How long have you had your business?
I have had my business for a little over a year. However, I am also currently in the process of opening another one.
What led you to pursue it?
It's really a strange story. In March of 2011, I decided to move from Florida back to Virginia while I was pregnant with my second child. I was struggling to find a job because no one wanted to hire a pregnant person. I always remembered hearing about people making good money online as a writer, and I had even hired a writer once to help me with a project from Craigslist. However, a few years ago I had tried to find work at home jobs and all were scams. Magically, when I tried this time by entering the magical term, "work at home moms" I was able to come across some great work at home moms forums such as WAHM. Then, the story began from there.
Are you full time or part time?
Currently, I work full time. Usually, I only take one or two days off during the month -- if that. However, now that I have been in busy for a year and have started exploring some new ventures, it looks like I will be able to gradually move to part time while still getting paid a full time salary.
How do you market your business?
To be honest, I have really just started to market my business. When first starting out, my business simply grew by word of mouth, discussion forums, and by my readers sharing about me. However, now I receive referrals from existing clients, use PPC sites, social networks, and even email marketing.
What is your favorite part of the business?
My favorite part about my business is the fact that I am able to work from home and basically set my own hours. Also, it is more convenient since I have two small ones. Not to mention the fact that - to an extent - I can control the amount of money that I have coming in each month.
What one question do you get most from people about your business?
"How do you manage being a full time college student, a mom of a baby and a toddler, and work full time?" My answer is easy: multi tasking, late nights and early morning, and God. Without these three things and dedication I probably would have given up a month into it!
What one myth or misconception do you want to dispel about the work you do?
It is not easy. Many people have the perception that freelance writers only have to type words up. However, this could not be further from the truth. You have to become established, do research, and so many other things along the way. If it was so easy, everyone would be doing it.
What advice do you have for others who want to get into a similar opportunity?
For those who are looking to become a freelance writer or work in any other field it is important that you do not limit yourself to that field because you will burn out. Working from home is supposed to be not only something that pays your bills but it is also supposed to be a job that you do not dread completing. After writing for a year, I had become burnt out numerous times and even started to dread looking at the computer screen. However, when I started working as a virtual assistant, social media manager, digital outreach consultant, and a affiliate marketer, writing became more natural to me as when I first begin. This was because I rotate different positions from time to time, which gives me a break from performing the same tasks constantly.
What is the first step?
The first step to becoming a freelance writer is setting a goal. This line of work is not for everyone so you have to test the water a bit for. For example, when I first thought about pursing being a writer I set an income goal of $1,000 in 6 months. However, to my surprise, I was able to meet this over this goal in just 3 months.
Your goal does not have to be income wise if that is not your motive for this career. Instead you may consider setting a goal of writing a certain amount of articles each day or publishing a book by a certain date.
What websites or books do you recommend for tips?
I have found a lot of places to be useful when it comes to gaining useful information. However, I would have to say the best book to start with would be Sell or Be Sold: How to Get Your Way in Business and in Life. I just recently received this book, yet it helped me change my entire business for the better. This is a book that I feel could have really put me off to a great start if I would have only read it a year ago!
Now when it comes to websites that is really a hard choice. However, I will say that ProBlogger.net has a lot of great information. There are also other blogs that I like to check out like Real Ways to Earn and WAHAdventures.com.
To learn more about Victoria, stop by her blog at Young Work At Home Moms, her Facebook Page, or catch her on Twitter!
*Photo by Dvortygirl via Flickr.