Want to start your freelancing journey? Want to have the freedom to work anywhere and anytime?
I understand a million things are buzzing inside your head like how to be a freelancer, how to choose my niche, how to find clients, rates, time management, and more.
But there’s ONE thing that I learned in my journey is: Jump In and take the first step. Don’t wait.
It’s time to take the first step into becoming a freelancer and start your freelancing journey. But always remember ONE thing:
Becoming a successful freelancer takes a lot of effort, a strong skill set, and open to learning from others.
To give you some inspiration, I reached out to three successful freelancer writer (and my dear friends) – Himani Kankaria, Vagisha Arora, and Pooja Dubey.
I asked them to share their freelancing journey and how they became their own bosses!
Get Inspiration and Start Your Freelancing Journey
Himani Kankaria – A Creative Writing Keeda
Himani Kankaria is a Creative Keeda at eComKeeda, an independent content writing and marketing consultant, and a brand ambassador of Hootsuite. She has 8+ years of combined experience in content, SEO, and complete digital marketing. With her content writing and marketing strategies, she has helped businesses with more than 800% growth in traffic and more than 200% growth in conversions.
Himani shares her knowledge, experience, and expertise with fellow content writers and marketers on various social media platforms and even on Twitter chats such as #SEOTalk, #SEMrushchat, and #ContentWritingChat.
How The Journey Began
I am a BCA graduate who didn’t love coding and wanted to do something that can help me without coding and MATHS (yes, it’s true).
So, I took a small course on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) from an Ahmedabad-based SEO training and services provider.
After serving SEO and social media clients for over 4.5 years, I found writing interesting. With my freelance content writing services, I help businesses to achieve more than 800% growth in traffic and more than 200% growth in conversions.
For more than 5 years, I am writing content in every industry, every domain. A few of my niches include- Technology, Marketing, Ecommerce, Cryptocurrency, Automobile, Chemicals, Interior Design, Footwear, Real Estate, and everything that needs deep research.
I am in the Digital Marketing industry for the past 8+ years. After Google’s Panda and Penguin update, it was difficult for businesses to get high-quality content. So, I started writing content, and my content was helping businesses to generate traffic.
After a year of my writing experience, I tried using my SEO experience in my content and to my surprise, my content started ranking on Page 1 of Google US, and even on the featured snippets.
I made a strategy around the content that I was planning to write and that strategy worked exactly how I expected it to be. The website started showing amazing results. That’s it, there was no stopping of writing super-duper quality content and generating unbelievably high-quality leads.
Here are a few lessons that freelance content writing has taught me:
- Never compromise on quality as it will help you earn high paying clients.
- Learn to document everything from content requests to whom you’ve delivered.
- Create a timesheet to ensure you’re not wasting your time on unimportant tasks.
- Develop your own invoicing terms based on the comfortability and industry standards.
- Learn to say NO.
My Advice for Freelancers
Going freelance is not easy. You need to be mentally, physically, and financially prepared before going freelance.
Vagisha Arora – One of India’s Top Content Writers
Vagisha was featured in Top 4 trustable writers of India (2019). She has got published on renowned platforms like Shiksha, Bonobology, Campusghanta, Medium and more. Find more about her on her personal blog.
How the Journey Began
I stumbled upon doing freelancing back in my graduation days. I got an opportunity to write on literature-oriented topics like summaries of famous novels and plays. Till then, freelancing was unexplored territory for me. It was all new and exciting and I got paid for it as well. That is how I got started in freelance writing.
I started exploring myself in other niches as well and constant encouragement and support from my family and friends helped me to shape my career.
“The journey has been fulfilling since then. After all, nothing can be better than working according to your own timelines on projects you are interested in.”
It is a great feeling to write to inspire, motivate and educate those around you. For me, the purpose is solved if I succeed in transforming the life of even one person through my words. Writing is therapeutic for me.
Nothing can be more liberating than penning down the thoughts on a piece of paper. I am in love with what I do because writing satiates my hunger and feeds my soul.
The Turning Point
The turning point in my life was the transition from part-time to full-time freelancer. Yes, I did quit my 9-5 job to pursue my passion. What really inspired me to take this decision was my inner desire to experiment with my life and explore more opportunities in writing.
My Advice for Freelancers
- Currently, market is saturated with writers who are just pursuing freelancing in pursuit of earning money.
- My advice to each and every freelancer out there is that you need to hone your skills and cultivate a real passion for writing.
- Work hard on your portfolio to build your credibility in the market. The money will flow at the right time but you need to be patient.
- Also, writing is more than just website content and blogs. Explore yourself in other versatile areas like creating brochures, promotional emailers, infographics, whitepapers, etc which can help you stand out in the crowd among thousands of other writers.
Pooja Dubey: Writing is her Oxygen
Pooja Dubey is a content strategist, a freelance writer and a trainer who prepares freelancers to begin their journeys in the writing world.
She has helped many companies, individuals, and professionals with her writing services.
Pooja loves to learn and share her knowledge with others which is why you will find her frequently blogging on the LinkedIn pulse, posting answers to queries on Quora, creating resources on her own website, and helping learners through her online courses.
How Did the Journey Begin?
It was during her MBA that she was exposed to the concept of blogging and her journey as a writer began.
But she was not always the writer material. As a kid, she was one of the introverts and very under confident – about speaking and about her writing skills.
Till the age of 20, she could not even make a single sentence in the English language comfortably, and yet she kept dreaming about writing in the same language one day. Somehow, she came up with a plan to self-teaching the language as well as public speaking.
She doesn’t remember what changed her life, but she succeeded in commanding the language and also becoming confident enough to speak before the world. Today, she confidently delivers lectures to not just the students but also professionals and entrepreneurs.
She has been writing since she was a kid and she says, “Writing is my oxygen”. She always knew that one day, she will be a writer. “What could be a better profession than something you love and can’t live without?” She says.
Throughout her career, she has been planning, was purposeful, and always kept adding learning bits to support her ultimate dream, or just to be what she loved.
In writing, she has over 9 years of experience and has explored not just a variety of subjects and genres but also most of the formats. Her best catch is her ability to mold into any genre, any format, and any style, giving equal justice to everything she writes.
She has done academic writing (written many 200-300 pages theses as well as books for institutes), creative writing (has written stories for kids, biographical accounts of entrepreneurs, and has done copywriting for companies), business writing (product description, blogs, website content, and more), and technical writing (case studies and whitepapers).
Her first attempt to publish her stories was on Google Sites where she started a blog and wrote articles and stories. She came up with an idea to write episodic stories and started creating new episodes daily for a story she started.
She loved creating stories and her buffer increased as she started not just adding chapters to her story but also more stories until she realized that she had already crossed 400 pages on the website and there were more than 5 stories she was writing already.
Her job got her busy and she discontinued. That was when she started receiving emails from unknown readers who were following her blog. They asked her on email why she was not writing, and they wanted her to continue because they like the suspense she created.
Of course, she was not aware of her readers until that point. And that was her first turning point when she realized she had something to say which people were curious to read.
Then, there was no stopping. She soon expanded her portfolio to other platforms and explored eblogger, SiliconIndia, WordPress, Whatpadd, and Shutterstock. Between 2009 and 2010, she also found herself networking with a lot of on social media platforms and meetup.com.
Meeting more people was an eye opener and she came to know about freelance writing. She started to explore it but was finding it challenging to get projects as companies were asking for published samples from clients.
As a person who would never quit, she came up with an idea of offering free writing service for a month to entrepreneurs. She got several responses and within a month, had her portfolio ready.
With this portfolio shown as samples of her work, she ended up getting assignments from two companies. Within a year, she got connected to an agency for academic writing and assignments started to pour.
She waited no longer and quit her job in 2010 to venture full time into freelancing.
Through her academy, she keeps delivering lessons and has even started a free learning group on WhatsApp for new writer. But these are her favorite nuggets:
- Writing is not about playing with words but more about experimenting with thoughts.
- You do not need to use complicated words to create an appeal. Simpler, the better!
- No matter how good a writer you are, first draft can always have hitches so never skip editing.
- Too much work can be very tempting, especially in the growing stage, but taking too much on plate can either get you exhausted, or you would end up compromising your quality.
- If you are a freelance writer, you are more than just a writer. You are a one-person company who should know how to market, negotiate, acquire clients, build relationships, plan for growth, and a lot more. So, be open to learning and doing more.
- Every writer is an artist so, instead of thinking like a typical .professional, who is only learning different ways to write, think like an artist who explores and has his or her own style.
Her Advice For Freelancers
Just do it! But only if it is your passion. If writing is not your passion but only a way to earn because you feel you can be good at it, you will quit after a few years.
So, choose writing as a freelance career if you really feel it is your calling. And if it is, be prepared to deal with all the challenges as this would not be an easy path.
Along the path, you will find many people who would keep telling you that writing is not for you, and that you should take up a better job which pays better (of course). What better job could be rather than doing something you love?
Stop listening and start writing. If you feel frustrated by what people talk, how about a poem that throws your frustration out? In time, you will grow with persistence!
Now It’s Your Turn!
So if you want to be a freelance writer, Start TODAY! Find your first client, then second, and go on.
Do you find these freelance journeys inspiring? Or want me to share your freelancing journey in my next article?
Just drop your thoughts in the comment section below! Thanks for listening to my stories!