My journey into writing didn’t start as having a fixed writing assignment. I remember the time when I will bid to freelance writing gigs. I have been into that cycle for more than a year and I can say that I’m blessed to find trustworthy clients. Most of them stayed and have been my regular clients.
I may say that bidding to various freelance writing jobs is not that easy. The competition is very stiff. For one job post, you will be competing to not less than 10 writers. It is important that you know how to play the game. In this post, I will share what worked for me; wishing that the tricks will also work for you.Photosource
Build an Excellent Portfolio/Profile
Excellence is the keyword. When you create your profile, remember that you are creating your selling points. Allow me to stress that you need to create “excellent” profile. Your gateway to a client is not your articles, it is your profile.
If you are not good at creating a profile, there are paid sites that will guide you to do one. But think about it; your inability to create your own profile is also a question of competency. How can you write articles if you don’t know how to write your own profile? I suggest that you start learning this prior to bidding.Photosource
Create a Killer Application/Bid Letter
Application letter, bid letter, or whatever they call it, one thing must be certain, yours must be something worth a second look. I divided my bid letter into two. The first part is standard. I created a personalized paragraph where I stated how passionate I am into writing. This is to allow clients to see my writing style. The second part is a customized paragraph containing the details of my bid. The contents are my responses on the project proper. It reflects my writing rate, my writing time, my proposed timeline, and my attached samples.
When drafting your bid letter, I encourage you to use this:
1. Always remember the 3 “C’s” in writing: Clear, Concise, and Complete.
2. Before you start drafting for your bid letter, make it sure that you’ve read and understood the project proper.
3. Use your “eye for detail.” Clients sometimes ask tricky questions and the answer for these are just simple. Make sure you’ll get it right.
4. Focus on the project not to yourself. This means that you need not oversell yourself. Focus discussing how you will be able to do the project.
5. Ask questions. Even if you are the most skilled and most experienced freelance writer in town, asking questions to have a clear picture of the project will help you. You do not want ending up with wrong assumptions. Asking questions will also create an impression that you are really interested to the job.Photosource
Asses your Market Value Carefully
Bid your price not too low not too high. Assess carefully how much it will cost you to finish the project. There are lots to consider. You must create your own computation (I will give you tips in my succeeding posts). Computation is different if you are writing alone and if your are maintaining a team of writers. You must also consider the competitors. The key here is to be highly competitive not just in skills but also in market value.Photosource
Be “Reachable” All the Time
When you bid, you must make yourself “reachable” to the client. You never know when the client will respond, so make sure you are there the moment they call or mail you so you can quickly answer their questions. If you have limited time, state in your bid letter the time and day when it is most convenient. The thing is you need to inform client so they will consider it in case they get interested with you.Photosource
Write Fresh Samples
Be ready with fresh samples. While some submit previous works they’ve done and it worked for them, I practice a different principle when giving samples. After reading the project proper, I create a 200 word sample about it and attach it together with my bid letter. If you can’t write at the moment, you always ask if the client wants a sample related to the project.Photosource
Build Good Reputation
These freelance writing sites can be your gateway to stardom. Creating good reputation is king. Make every client give 5 stars. To be honest though, I experienced “horrible” reviews from some clients; not because I was not able to supply their requirements but because they are “horrible” clients too. Be watchful of clients who will just get your work and then give you bad review so they can get away from the pay they owe you. Less these horrible experiences, the key to having good reputation is to be serious at work.Photosource
Be Careful in Choosing Clients
While it is good to grab every opportunity, it is also best to be choosy. You also look at the client’s rating. This will protect you from experiencing what I also experienced from other clients. If I am to compute, I lost not less than $500 from fake clients. Freelancing sites can protect you at a certain level, what comes after that is you accountability. That is why it is also important to ask clients of the project proper. You will know how serious they are as a client.Photosource
Read and Understand the Site’s Terms and Conditions
You might get too excited looking for a writing gig that you forget to read the site’s terms and conditions. Especially if the site is not from your own country, there might be limitations. So never forget to understand the rules. All sites have their own customer service links in case you have questions.Photosource
Be Familiar with the Payment Options
I suggest that you have your own Paypal, Payoneer, or Skrill accounts. These are the commonly used pay scheme of freelancing sites. There are countries where these payment gateways are not available, so familiarize yourself with them first. These payment options are easy to acquire. It’s like creating an email address. However, since money is involved, you will need to supply some confidential matters. So again, be very careful.
Well, I think I’ve said it all. These things are I think what you should keep in mind if you will venture into looking for freelance writing gigs online. Feel free to add by commenting on this post.
(I also posted this to: LinkedIn)