If you enjoy writing for yourself in your spare time and believe you are adept at weaving words together in order to tell a story or explain an idea, then a career in writing is a possible option for you. For many people, the notion of getting paid to write seems like a pipedream – but in actual fact, it is an attainable goal, so long as you approach this career path with a certain level of realism and pragmatism. You may have to write for several hours a day. And struggling at the beginning is normal. After all, writing is a highly competitive industry. A career in writing – any kind of writing – usually involves a slow, gradual building up of one’s skills and portfolio in order to write about what engages you the most, and which pays well.
Trying to become recognised in a diluted market (e.g. writing) can be tiring; however, it is worth the effort considering the benefits it brings. Therefore, when you try to start a career in writing (regardless of industry), you will want to do everything in your power to do it properly. This boils down to having a good business plan, impactful branding, and a willingness to network (and become skilled at it).
Recognise Yourself as a Writer
Call yourself a writer, even if you do not have anything published yet. You are a writer if you are, you guessed it, writing – whether it be learning new writing techniques or having your first novel published.
Highlight your job title of “Writer” on all your professional profiles. Have it included on your business cards, and especially have it present on your LinkedIn profile – you can even add “Writing” to your skills section and have people endorse it.
Set Up a Website
An online presence is a must for all businesses; it doesn’t matter if you’re a corporate professional or if you are a freelancer looking to highlight your writing capabilities. For the latter, you will want a website that offers information on you (the writer), the services you provide (writing, editing, etc.) and a contact us page.
Once your website is ready to be launched, stop for a moment and consider your SEO and whether you have enough branding so that your business becomes more recognisable. Branding should include a logo, the website’s design, colour schemes, a favicon, as well as your brand’s tone of voice that should be present over your social media and website copy.
There are many ways to go about getting your website’s branding done. For the favicon, use an online favicon generator, and for your logo, ensure it represents everything your writing does.
You can’t sit and wait for people to stumble across your website and then expect them to hire your services. Not only do you need a portfolio of work, but you also need to network, show your dedication to the craft, and prove to them why your services are required and worth investing in.
Head to conference events, reach out to professionals on LinkedIn, but most of all, use social media as a means to link with others. Twitter and Facebook work wonders, and by building a community, you have a place for people to talk about you and your brand as well as share your work and posts.
It is also worth considering reaching out to fellow writers who could help you with your career. While not every writer will respond to you, especially if you are reaching out to the likes of J. K. Rowling, but there are many freelance writers who have enough prolificacy in the industry to get your name out there. However, this may take time, so don’t expect this to happen overnight.