If you don’t want to use up precious writing (and money earning) time seeking out freelance writing clients and pitching ideas to them, then online jobs boards can be a quick and easy way to find writing jobs that allow you to work from home. Continue reading “5 tips on Choosing the Right Freelance Writing Job from an Online Jobs Board”
The gig economy is on the rise; in February 2016 the University of Hertfordshire undertook research which suggested that a quarter of women in the UK have sought to work from home via online platforms and a quarter of all gig workers use this work as their sole income.
Let’s say you have done your research, chosen your line of work and given up your day job. Whether you are doing copywriting, web design, graphics work or coding (all of these are common ‘work from home’ jobs) there are some questions you are bound to ask:
Do I need to set up a home office?
The answer to this one is ‘yes’ and ‘no’. If you have a laptop, it is entirely possible to work from home, at the kitchen table or even in the garden. However, although these are great for a quick change of scenery or if you are watching the oven, long-term you are going to need a space in which you can shut yourself away from the rest of the world.
Do I need to work normal office hours?
This really depends on what type of work you are doing. The gig economy is global so you might find that clients expect you to work during hours that suit their timezone. The great thing about freelance working from home is the flexibility. It would be a mistake not to sometimes take advantage of this, but if you want your new business to be a success, you will have to be fierce with yourself; if you take an hour off to go for a swim at midday, make yourself work that hour either early in the morning or in the evening.
How can I keep myself motivated?
There are lots of ways to do this but here at Fi Darby Freelance we find the following three things work:
a) Remind yourself regularly what it was like when you worked set hours and weren’t in control.
b) Keep daily records of how much you are earning. If nothing else the reality of bill-paying is a great motivator.
c) Set yourself mini targets every day. This could be a written to-do list, a target number of blog readers or even an interesting piece of research; anything that will give you a sense of satisfaction at the end of the day.
What can I do about feeling lonely?
It can be a social shock going from the workplace to home working. In many ways the solitude is a pleasant change, but you should also be aware of your mental health; we all need contact with other humans. Keeping in touch has never been easier via social media but getting out and actually meeting people is important too. Try to find other people who are working from home, attend business networking events or go on a course that will help you to make contacts.
Am I going to enjoy working from home?
The answer to this one is entirely up to you. Most life experiences are what we make them. Like anything else, there are pros and cons to working from home. Being responsible for your own wage takes a bit of getting used to and finding your initial clients can be daunting. Once you settle down however, you will find that the world is literally your oyster; which is great if you happen to like oysters!
Interested in finding writing work online? Here’s one place to start.
One of the regularly asked questions at Fi Darby Freelance is,
‘What are your writing niches?’
You would imagine that this would be an easy question to answer, we all have our own favourite topics and expertise in certain areas. In an ideal world everybody would be writing about the things they love. I would choose the outdoors and literature above another topic anytime. However, as freelance writers, we live in the business world and we can’t control demand any more than we can control the weather.
Client Choice of Niche
Clients (particularly web development agencies) require blog posts and other web copy on a wide range of topics. When I started out as a freelancer I was tempted to turn down topics I didn’t understand. This would have been a bad idea for three reasons:
- Freelance writing is a competitive world and annoying your client by being fussy about topics is not a tactic set to impress.
- Learning about new topics is actually quite easy; much of the required information is already on the web and just needs verifying and assembling.
- The more niches you can demonstrate in your portfolio, the more chances you will have of being picked up by a client.
Most Interesting Niches
It goes without saying that if you are interested in your topic you will produce a piece of work that is more lively and engaging, you will also feel more motivated. The same is true if you have developed a level of expertise in a subject. If you have got to a stage in your writing where you can be more choosy about your work, you might want to have a brain-storming session in which you consider topics away from your main interests on which you would like to write.
A great way to test your levels of interest is to write a piece. You could either do this for practice or pitch it to possible interested parties.
It also pays to know which niches you definitely would not like to write about. For me this would include sport as I find it a tad confusing.
Even if you always enjoy your writing, you should remember that freelancing is your business; it is the bread and butter that is going to keep a roof over your head and pay your bills. To this end, and to help you enjoy the freedom of freelance work, it can be a good idea to work out which niches pay best.
Traditionally these have included real estate, technology, medical writing and e-learning. However you might find in the future that other factors such as blog length, media (e.g. video scripts), graphics inclusion (e.g. infographics) and an innovative angle are the things that tip the pay-scale balance.
We have found here at Fi Darby Freelance that it pays to keep an open mind about niche writing work. What was a chore one week may well become your favourite topic the next. What pays well in February might not be as lucrative by April. We wouldn’t want to stop you having your favourite topics however; that way you can look out for matching clients and savour your writing when a job in a niche you love lands in your lap.
Keen to avoid some of the common writing pitfalls? We have some advice for you here
After some tips on how to make money from freelance writing?
The gig economy has been getting some big news headlines over the last few months. If you have been reading the news, you will have heard the company names ‘Uber’ and ‘Deliveroo’ because they have both found themselves in disagreement with employees over workers’ rights. Both Uber and Deliveroo are big players in the gig economy, but what exactly is it?