Everyone knows how hard it can be to make ends meet financially as a college student. Tuition, room and board, books, and so many other things are really expensive. One can easily blow through student loans, grants, and scholarships within months and need to find ways to earn cash. Traditionally, taking a part-time job was the obvious solution. But even this has been challenging because a student often needs to fit the job into his or her schedule. However, in recent years, a new trend has emerged: freelance writing and it’s becoming quite popular amongst students that have great writing skills and want to work on their time and on their terms.
Here are six tips for getting into the gig market as a freelance writer:
1) Start by Searching On-Campus Opportunities
A great place to start looking for writing jobs is right on-campus. Check the school paper or journalism department for job opportunities. They usually have a revolving door of college writers that for one reason or another can only work for a couple of semesters. So if you don’t find an opening in one semester, make sure you check again in the following semester.
2) Research the Paying Writers’ Market
Go online and research the paying market for freelance writers. Check online publications, specifically those that are geared towards your specific interests and areas of expertise. Most places want to see at least a few published pieces as samples, but when it comes to young writers such as yourself unpublished articles, blogs, and stories can demonstrate your skill and get your foot in the door.
3) Set Aside Time to Write and Build a Portfolio
College course schedules are quite hectic, so if you plan on launching a good writing career as a freelance writer at this point in your life, you need to carefully set aside time to write regularly. Keeping a schedule will form a good habit that will increase your productivity. Even if you aren’t working on freelance projects, you can work on building a portfolio in order to have sample pieces ready to go when the right opportunity comes your way.
4) Network Aggressively (But be Friendly about It)
Networking is an important skill that you should develop as early as college. Looking for a freelance writing gig is a great opportunity to learn how to reach out to existing contacts and to build relationships with professionals that can help your early career. Use social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and others to post your skills and connect with people in the industry. Tell your existing contacts that you are looking to find writing jobs and ask them for leads or to share your profiles when something comes up. You’d be surprised at how many opportunities will land on your lap.
5) Learn the Fine Art of Sending Custom Proposals
A lot of publishers can see right through a template-based proposal and will quickly reject it without even contacting that applicant. This happens because the proposal usually doesn’t address a publisher’s key needs and will instead mention things that are unrelated to the job at hand. Learn how to write direct and concise proposals that cater specifically to a potential client’s needs and you’ll see greater success much sooner than applicants who stick to templates.
6) Reach Out to Academic and Freelance Writing Sites
If you have trouble landing writing gigs on campus or with other publishers, you might want to consider reaching out to assignment writing help. Academic writing sites are a great option to start because you will gain experience writing and editing academic papers within the subjects you are totally comfortable with. Freelance writing sites (like Upwork and Fiverr) are also great because you bid on individual projects and can negotiate rates depending on your skill level.
The best part about the freelance writing industry is that you get to work on the projects that interest you the most while earning a decent income. You get to set your own hours and can start networking in ways that can keep the money rolling in for several years, possibly even launching a professional career as a certified writer in your specialized industry. Follow the tips described above to get started in freelance writing and you’re certain to get a head start over others with similar passions.