Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the privilege of interacting with many aspiring writers. The passion to write is there but they’re not ready to pursue it fully mainly because when you first start, writing does not pay so much. With the way our economy is right now, you definitely need all the money you can get.
So today I’m going to share how to survive as a freelance writer. I remember when I took the plunge into the world of freelancing. It wasn’t something I planned. After creating issue after issue of Y! Magazine, I got bored. I also did not like dealing with the celebs. Too much drama. I preferred to seat behind my laptop to write or curate other kinds of content that did not involve dealing with celebrities.
Not exactly sure what my next move would be, I decided to enroll for the NYSC. I needed time to think and it was the perfect opportunity to go and serve. While I was in camp, I joined the Orientation Broadcasting Service (OBS) where I wrote and edited news articles. After leaving camp, I moved from being a member of the Oyo State NYSC Editorial Board to being the Vice President. I served for two terms working on the two publications we had for corps members in Oyo State.
Knowing how little the NYSC allawee is, it became necessary to look for another source of income. The only thing that I knew I could do was to write. Hence, I decided to take plunge to being a freelance writer. Naturally, I turned to my colleagues at my former place of work. It’s very necessary to build relationships if you want to succeed as a freelance writer. A former editor who I had worked with commissioned me to write four articles for a popular magazine and I was well paid. Shortly after that, another editor I had worked with also commissioned me to do a research piece. I was excited. I was making money and then the calls stopped.
For months, I didn’t make any money from writing but I didn’t stop pushing out my work. I wrote on the Y! Africa website weekly for free. I also contributed to other websites here and there just to create more publicity for myself. You won’t get jobs as a freelance writer if no one knows you. Start your blog. Offer to write for free. Take up guest posting opportunities and make sure whatever content is posted from you has your bio. Oh let me add; let your bio be outstanding. That’s an opportunity to advertise your skills.
I’ll add one more thing – make good use of social media. That’s your platform. Let people know what to do. Add value with everything that you write and post. Next week, I will share with you how I started my blog and how that blog helped me to build my authority as a writer and how I also got writing jobs through my blog. Don’t miss it!