Although freelance writers have been hit hard in recent years due to cutbacks in book publishing, newspapers and magazines, don’t despair. Plenty of online tools can help you find work and improve your writing skills.
Or maybe you’re a freelancer, but in a field other than writing? Great writing is an asset in almost any career search, and you will up your competitiveness by improving your writing skills.
So if you’re looking to improve and expand your work, here are seven pieces of advice, plus where you can find those tools online:
1. Seek out trade groups
The National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE) is a trade group for writers and editors that provides networking tools, a website and services such as accounting and house sitting (the last one being a great perk for writers in need of a writing retreat).
2. Scour writing job boards
A good online job board for any kind of regional work, including freelance work, is Indeed. Online Writing Jobs is bare bones, but it’s updated regularly and pulls in listings from a variety of freelance writing job directories with magazine- or resume-writing gigs. If you’re looking specifically for blogging jobs, the ProBlogger job board is one of the best sources.
3. Learn to love grammar gurus
Solid grammar can make or break an article submission. The legendary grammar guide The Elements of Style is now completely free online.
Another fantastic resource for a freelance writer is Grammar Girl, an online resource with all of the grammar tips you need. This site will help you master comma usage and subject/verb agreement.
4. Seek out buddies in your field
Your best allies as a freelance writer are other writers who can provide feedback, career tips and support when you’ve hit a tough patch. While an in-person meeting may be the best choice for some writers, test out some online writing groups through The Writer’s Site. This list at Squidoo also notes online writing groups.
5. Up your blogging know-how
If your personal blog is a critical component of your freelance career, you’ll want the expert advice provided by Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger. From monetization tips to blogging best practices, Rowse has experience blogging in several industries and generously shares what he’s learned after years of being a leading blogger.
6. Check out Purdue’s OWL
Look up citations and sharpen your writing skills at The OWL, Purdue University’s online writing workshop. Whether you need to verify word usage or learn how to cite a website for a magazine article, The OWL is extremely comprehensive.
7. Try a freelance expenses calculator
One more thing for freelancers of any kind: make sure you’re charging enough to cover your expenses. Luckily for writers, costs of doing business are usually low, but still try a freelancer cost calculator to make sure you’re on track.
By checking out job boards, refining your craft and seeking work from the best online sources, you’re on your way to expanding your client list and earning more.