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The pandemic and ensuing lockdown have taught people a lot of things. For one, life is unpredictable; you never know what’s going to hit you, how or when.
Many lives have changed forever in the new normal. Ways of living, working, interacting, communicating, shopping, etc. All have undergone a drastic change. Some say it’s for the better, others say this won’t last as it’s unproductive.
Working from home, for example, has become a hotly contested topic in the post-pandemic scenario. Although a substantial number of people have always worked from home, making work from home a reality for organizations and employees used to the ‘normal’ ways of working from offices is picking up speed. For those who have lost their jobs, finding new jobs, especially conventional office jobs, in a tough market will be difficult.
Also, feel free to see if working from home is right for you.Writing as a side hustle is achievable and viable in the long run. With the right skills and attitude, earning as a writer is doable. Click To Tweet
Why Do We Focus On Writing?
In times like these, it is wise to sincerely think about an alternative means of income. Freelance writing and/or writing full time is a popular choice with many people. Even in pre-COVID times, freelance and full-time writing careers have flourished and the trend continues.
This is because writing or ‘content’ will always be in demand, it will always be an indispensable necessity. If you have just begun or are planning to begin working as a writer — this could mean a content writer/independent writer/ freelance writer — there are certain skills and essentials you will need to become a successful one.
In this post, we will use the term writing as a common term to describe all types and forms of writing – blogs, website content, short fiction, social media, etc.
According to Down To Earth, globally 400 million jobs have been lost as a result of the COVID pandemic and this number is likely to increase.
Skills You Need
Don’t be bogged down if you haven’t been a very good writer or you don’t think you are creative or eloquent enough. When we put our minds to something, we can achieve it come what may. So, even if you don’t possess these skills, you can always work toward developing them.
If you want others to read your work, you got to do it too. Unless we read, we won’t know what’s happening out there in the world of writing. So read plenty including books, novels – both fiction and non-fiction, newspaper columns, blogs, articles, essays, etc. on a wide range of topics. Don’t simply read for the heck of it but read to enrich your mind and develop a flair for appreciating writing.
Reading also improves vocabulary, it also gives ideas that you can later build on. More importantly, read the work of other bloggers, peers, and contemporaries. LinkedIn is a good place to search for established and budding freelance writers. Follow their social media handles and channels.
When your writing is well researched appropriate citations, it makes you a reliable resource. Not only this, but you will also need excellent research skills to help you source reference material to develop your content. Even though you may be an expert in your field, everybody needs to have sharp research
Writing sells when it is original. Of course, even the top writers borrow from other content. That’s how it works. However, simply regurgitating others’ work won’t take you far. By all means, consult sources but write in your voice. Present facts to make a point but add your two cents to it. This is what is called original.
You may not be the most outgoing person or an extrovert. Guess what? That is fine. Networking online does not require you to meet and greet people in person. This is perhaps an advantage that most works from home writers or independent writers have. However, you must be fierce when it comes to making cold pitches, follow-ups, and promoting your work through e-mails, connections, social media posts, etc.
Your work has to be ‘seen’ and appreciated. You can’t do that if you don’t put it out there, you cannot grow your portfolio if you don’t get in touch with people and let them know you are interested.
Writing Career Essentials
Working from home as a consultant, writer, manager, etc. all require a working space. You will need your PC pr laptop situated on a proper working desk accompanied by a comfortable chair because writing means long hours in front of your computer and at your desk. Also, the workspace will require some peace and quiet. You cannot work, especially writing, in a noisy environment.
Do not confuse work from home with slacking and relaxing. Work is work, regardless of whether it is at home or in the office. For people working from home initially, it may take some time getting used to the new routine. The quicker the better. Bear in mind that this is the new normal and your home may be your office or workplace for a long time to come. Dedicate your time and attention to getting work done. Take breaks when you have to but avoid loitering around watching t.v. or doing household chores for too long.
The best way to get better at writing is to keep writing. In order to be a prolific writer on a wide variety of topics, it is important to keep writing as much as possible. Even when you don’t have an assignment or project, write for yourself. Create your blog and begin writing on topics that interest you. Get friends and/or family members to read your work and share feedback.
8. Don’t Fear Rejection
Even the best writers, novelists and bestselling authors have had their fair share of rejections and disappointments. They became great after overcoming this all and never giving up. Writing is a creative process that is perceived differently by different people. For example, out of 100 people who read your blog or book, 10 may love it, the others may hate it. You cannot please everyone and neither can your writing. So give it your best and don’t give up. Your writing will be rejected several times but that’s part of the game. Become thick-skinned.
9. Be Open To Feedback and Criticism
Feedback only makes us better. Ask clients for feedback on work and when they do give it and ask you to improve upon something, take it in the right way. Work on the client’s feedback and make the required changes – it could be the flow of the article, for example, or you may not have covered all the points the client was expecting. It is wise to be professional and work on the feedback before you turn in your final deliverable. Be open to constructive criticism, not anything beyond that.
How To Find Works
- Get online! Update your resume, float it on freelance job websites like Guru.com
- LinkedIn is a great platform to promote your work and portfolio; it’s a high-level professional networking platform that lets you showcase your work and meet new people at the same time.
- Specifically, target the following services for which writers are in high demand on a part-time/ freelance basis:
- Social Media content
- SOPs (Standard operating procedure)
- Resume Writing
- SEO Content writing
- Website content
- Get in touch with advertising agencies who are always looking for people to write content and/or copy for various clients.
- Write your blog and become a full-time blogger. Write regularly and post pictures and videos as well to make your blog more engaging. This will get you a wide audience and ultimately sponsors will use your blog as a platform to advertise their products and make you money!
- Next, try guest-blogging. Some websites may offer you remuneration while others may require you to pay them to get published. Both are great options. If in the beginning, you have to pay, consider it an investment to achieve a long term goal. Once you are an established blogger or writer, websites will pay you to write for them!
The current job market is tough but don’t give up hope! Writing as a side hustle or second job is achievable and viable in the long run. Regardless of whether you have written a lot or not written at all, there is always scope to learn and become a good writer. With the right skills and attitude, you will surely figure out a way to earn as a writer. Check out 18 Best Freelance Websites to Find Work in 2020 and get your writing career to a flying start!