The No B.S Freelance Writing "Action Plan"
|Published at WritingLaunch.com and FreedomWithWriting.com|
Big takeaways from WritingLaunch.com's online freelance writing courses. Plus, a fail proof 5 step Action Plan to get you started on your content creation career.
By Jessica Joe
It can feel extremely overwhelming to start the process of a freelance writing career. Too many people are excellent, passionate writers with lovely pieces to provide and yet, you may find you have no set plan or specific goals to really concretely achieve the freedom with writing you know you absolutely could have.
In this article, I will lay down a step by step action plan and list resources specifically designed to launch your writing career off the ground.
First, lets define where we are at. You may find your story to be eerily similar to mine..
I had always known I wanted to write for a living. I was good at writing and was perfectly capable of providing my content as a service to those who were in need of it. Not to mention, being my own boss while doing something I loved? Yes, please! Sign me up.
But the specific how-to’s of the freelance writing world became increasingly daunting as I realized, not only did I not know what I was doing but I didn’t even know where to begin!
A few years ago, perhaps by the miracle of fate, I had subscribed to an email newsletter written by Jacob Jans, called “Freedom With Writing”, a free subscription that sends you tons of paying publishers who are looking for freelance writers. I had subscribed to this mailing list because the name clearly appealed to my ultimate goals and a frequently sent list of writing jobs sounded like the perfect way to start my writing career.
I had the writing and now I had the jobs, but over time it became apparent there was something in my creative formula that was still missing. I felt petrified to send queries and pitches (something I had to google search to define) because I wasn’t positive on the etiquette. I was not at all confident in my pitching process-- a process I would later learn holds such huge weight on whether your article is considered or not.
And that was just one simple example, I had not a single clue about: legal contracts, processing payments, invoices, following up with editors, finding publications and well paying job boards, or even how to structure a good article properly.
I wasn’t confident in the little (and big) details of freelancing, so I froze in place and slowly let my dreams sit on the back burner of my life.
It wasn’t until I happened to stumble upon an email from Freedom With Writing’s newsletter, suggesting I take a Freelance Writing Course, created by a brilliant established writer named Ian Chandler, that my confidence in a Freelance writing career really began to kick off and take flight. The courses at WritingLaunch.com provided me with the running start I truly needed to jump off the edge and excitedly dive in full force to content creation.
There are quite a few invaluable courses available on the site, covering everything about freelancing from how to write articles professionally from scratch, breaking into freelance web writing, integrating your creative writing skills, creating a bullet proof pitching system, a crash course on copywriting and getting your first publication.
Not to mention all the fine details the courses goes in depth about, like refining the process of finding great(not just bearable) jobs, following publisher guidelines, creating a legal contract, invoices, setting up payment processors, recording editor information, properly following up on emails and creating an organized, structured, fail-proof system of writing and pitching.
I can honestly say, taking courses from Writinglaunch.com was the biggest step I’ve taken to solidify my content writing career.
So now that we know exactly where we are coming from, let's dive in.
A No B.S Freelance Writing Action Plan:
If you are unsure about any of the crucial factors to freelancing that I’ve mentioned above or would like to better refine your skills, sign up for a freelance writing course that will teach you everything you need to know about the field. It will launch your career dreams into reality and you’ll feel confident in your abilities to provide content and work as a professional.
I would highly suggest signing up for a course at Writinglaunch.com. You’ll get tons of value out of it and while most classes like these easily start at $300, Writing Launch is only $50 a month. You can plow through as many courses as you’d like and cancel your subscription anytime.
You can’t miss out on their invaluable database of over 1700+ paying Publishers (100’s more added monthly). They also offer personal feedback and constructive criticism on your pitches, queries, content and more and will give you helpful pointers via email.
They even host exciting zoom class chats where you can ask questions in real time and connect/network with other writers like you!
Take a moment to subscribe to Freedomwithwriting.com’s newsletter.
You will receive tons of great freelance content jobs from publishers that are looking for good writing and willing to pay for it.
Grab a couple of notebooks.
In sharpie, title your first notebook, “Ideas” (or something to that effect). You will keep your “Ideas” notebook with you all day, at all times possible and write every single article or story idea that floats into your head, down. You’ll be stunned by how many ideas you actually have! They don't have to be perfect ideas, they don’t even have to be good. What's important is that you begin the habit of generating ideas and recording them.
Title your second notebook, “Publications”.
You’ll record all the publications you can find that pay well and are often looking for submissions. Record the Publisher and Editor’s name and the article idea that corresponds with it. Bonus: keep a calendar(Google Calendar works great so you can attach links) to record when you send a pitch and to what publication, so you can keep track of who you’ve contacted and get a general idea of when to follow up.
Set clear goals by getting real with what you are currently capable of.
Ask yourself and record the following questions:
- How many hours am I willing to dedicate to writing a week?
- On average, how long does the content creation process take me?
Ie: How long does it take me to write the average article/story?
How long does it take me to form, edit and send a pitch?
Once you’re clear on those questions, apply the following formulas I learned from a Writing Launch course:
- Articles per Week Formula:
Hours available to write per week / Time writing & pitching process takes =
# of Articles you can produce
2. Pitches per Week Formula:
# of Articles you can produce x 2 =
# of Pitches you should send
Of course the variants in this system will change as you refine your process and evolve as a writer, but the formula will remain the same and will help you define what is possible for you.
Write these results down somewhere you will see them, everyday, to remind yourself of your clear cut, totally realistic writing goals.
Follow the following process :
-Generate article/story ideas and record the corresponding publishers you’ll pitch
-Pitch ideas to publishers according to weekly # formula
-Rejection is a given/natural. Continue this process until your article becomes published
-Remember that YOU are your own boss, you make your own hours, you make your own pay rates and you choose which clients to work with. Don't settle and remember: your success lies in your hands!Add a comment