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How to Get Started Writing for Online News

There are many reasons why you may want to write for online news platforms. Maybe you’re looking to make some extra money, build your resume, or want to establish yourself as an authoritative voice in your industry. Whatever your reasons, once you’ve decided to pursue freelance writing as a career, the next step is to figure out how to get started.

Fortunately, establishing a freelance writing career doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think. There are numerous ways to quickly and easily get the necessary experience to prove yourself capable of writing for a global audience. With a little bit of effort, research, and timing, you can launch your freelance writing career successfully and professionally.

Choose a Niche

The first step to gaining experience is to carefully choose a niche and build a reputation within it. Since you’ll be writing for a particular topic, gaining experience in a particular industry, or in a particular type of article (news article, business article, etc.), you’ll need to make sure that you’ve chosen a topic that’s both interesting and accessible to your target audience. Of course, this is easier said than done, but finding a niche that suits your skillset and has enough demand within the industry to keep you consistently productive is not an insurmountable task. For example, if you’re a skilled copywriter, you could consider exploring the lucrative world of product descriptions for e-commerce websites. Or if you have a background in journalism, developing a steady stream of news stories for publication on a large platform like Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post, or Business Insider could prove to be a fruitful endeavor. The key is to find a way to prove yourself capable of producing solid content on a consistent basis while demonstrating your expertise in a specialized field. Once you’ve found your niche, stay in it.

Find Your First Clients

Once you’ve established yourself as a capable freelance writer, your next step is to find your first clients and begin generating revenue. This is where most new freelancers stumble. Finding your first client is not as difficult as you might think. You can begin by looking for potential clients within your niche, checking their websites to see if they’re already employing a freelance writer, or asking friends, family, and coworkers for referrals. Alternatively, you could consider using freelancing platforms to connect with potential clients. With so much competition, it’s important to take the time to find the right clients for you. Once you’ve found them, communicate with the prospective clients frequently and build a relationship with them. They may someday become your greatest source of freelance work and even lead to new opportunities.

Get Paid Up Front

As a freelance writer, one of the most crucial aspects of your employment is getting paid up front. Since you won’t have any previous publications to reference, providing your client with a written estimate of the project cost is virtually essential for getting paid. Furthermore, most clients will want to see some sample of your work before making a decision, which is why you’ll usually need to send them some previously unpublished pieces before they choose you. Luckily, establishing yourself as a freelance writer means that you have several options available to you when it comes to getting paid. You could sell your artwork, take on project work as a subcontractor, or ask local businesses for submissions for review. Regardless, making sure that you get paid on time and in the proper amount is vital to your success as a freelance writer.

Join a Society Of Writers

One of the best (and free) ways to get experience as a freelance writer is to join a society of writers. Most online news publications and even a couple of print newspapers offer opportunities for budding freelancers. By becoming a member of a writing association, you’ll gain access to professional editors who can help you improve your work and get it published online quickly and accurately. To find out more, visit One Great Writer or the Niche Women Bloggers Society if you’re looking for female-focused writing opportunities. Remember, though, that since you’ll be taking on more work as a freelancer, you’ll need to make sure that your work is of the highest quality. To this end, you may want to consider becoming a member of a professional editing association as well. Doing this will also allow you to connect with other journalists, bloggers, and creative content creators who are also looking for help with their work. Having connections within the industry is almost essential if you want to be able to get your work published. Having a pool of professional editors and reviewers at your fingertips is incredibly valuable, not just as a way to get your work published, but as a way to get more work published. Through a combination of careful planning, research, and hustling, you can put yourself in the right place at the right time to secure your first few paying clients.

Secure At Least Six Months Of Financial Stability

If you’re looking for a stable source of income as a freelancer, you’ll want to secure at least six months of financial stability. This will give you enough time to get your feet wet and establish yourself as a reliable writer before you start seeing a significant decline in income. Since freelance writing is such a low-margin business (most publications will only pay you once or twice for a piece that’s between 500 and 1,000 words), it’s essential to have a steady stream of income coming in before you begin asking for investment or loan capital. Additionally, having at least six months of financial stability will allow you to cushion any unexpected financial hardships that may come your way. You never know what could happen in the course of a year. Securing at least six months of financial stability will give you the flexibility to either pursue further expansion or maintenance of your existing operation.

Hopefully, this article has helped you see the many ways in which you can get started as a freelance writer successfully. Now that you know what elements are necessary to get the job done, you can begin researching potential markets, industries, and niches that seem interesting and profitable. Once you’ve established yourself as a reliable and productive freelancer, continue to build upon your existing network of contacts and begin looking for new opportunities to grow your career. At the very least, building a reputation as a reliable writer makes you a desirable candidate for future editorial positions if you decide to go that route.