As the owner of an SEO writing company, I receive a lot of questions from new/wannabe freelancers on how to go about becoming a freelance writer. As an aside, one of the reasons many cite turning to freelancing is that they're unable to find decent-paying, full-time jobs. They may have lost a job, been downsized and/or are just trying to get back into the job market after an absence of some kind.
Why America Is the Land of “The Freelance Boom”
Whatever the reason, more and more statistics show that freelance and temporary jobs are shoring up the American economy. Proof?
According to a study conducted by software company Intuit in 2010, by 2020, more than 40% of the US workforce will be so-called contingent workers (ie, freelancers). This is more than 60 million workers. Furthermore, between 2009 and 2012, there was an almost 30% increase in temporary workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In light of these statistics, freelancing is no longer an option that many are using as a stop-gap measure between jobs. Freelancing is becoming THE full-time job.
It’s against this backdrop that I advise freelancers who contact me about freelance / SEO writing that the main thing they need to do when they start this type of business is market, market, market. It has to be done consistently; preferably something every day.
If you want to become a freelance writer - one who makes a living full-time from home - and you don't market consistently, one (or a combination) of three things will happen.
1. Jobs Will Dry Up: Marketing is the lifeblood of every business. If it wasn't, do you think McDonald's would pour tens of millions of dollars into TV ads every year? They do it because they know that "out of sight is out of mind" for many consumers.
And Mickey D’s – as we call it where I’m from – is a well-known, national brand. But if they’re not constantly in your face – and other chains are (eg, Burger King), they know that their revenue will drop.
The same principle applies to starting a freelance / SEO writing business.
2. You Will Never Gain Traction as a Freelancer: Starting a business is like pushing a rock uphill. You have to put a lot of effort into it at first to get the rock up the hill. Once it gets to the top of the hill and starts down the other side, gravity takes over and you don’t have to push at all.
Well, there will always be something you have to do when starting an SEO/freelance writing business. Gravity will not take over to the point where you don’t have to do anything.
BUT, things will become easier the more you market. Referrals will come more seamlessly, people will find you via the article you wrote, the tweet you sent or the YouTube video you posted.
It’s one of the reasons I do article marketing. Even when my sales are slow, I know that if I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing (ie, consistently getting my company name out there), sales will come.
3. You’ll Doubt Yourself and Start Looking for a FT Job Again: If you stop marketing for writing jobs, the work will dry up. And instead of blaming it on your lack of marketing, you’ll start to doubt yourself (eg, your skill as a writer, your ability to run a home-based business, that the competition is too stiff, etc.).
Then, panic will set in and you’ll go back to what you know best – looking for a full-time job because in your mind this “freelancing thing” just isn’t working out.
Only, that’s not the case. The real fault lies in the fact that you didn’t consistently market yourself to give yourself time to build up traction to get the jobs flowing in regularly, which increases your confidence in your ability to do this “freelance writing thing” right.
SEO writing is one of the hottest niches in freelance writing to come down the pike in the last decade or so. And, with content marketing being all the rage, the demand is greater than ever. So if you’ve ever wanted to become a freelance writer, there’s never been a better time – especially if you commit to the marketing process.
About the Author: Yuwanda Black heads New Media Words, an SEO writing company she founded in 2008, and is the publisher of Inkwell Editorial, a blog devoted to helping others start successful, home-based writing careers. She's also the author of over 50 ebooks, most of which cover some aspect of freelance writing. They can be found on major outlets like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Get everything you need to start a successful, home-based SEO writing business.
Learn more about Yuwanda via her Google+ Profile.
Keywords relevant to this article: seo writing, writing for seo, how to become a freelance writer, seo content writing