Many people in India wonder about the viability of being a freelance writer. The fear is even more so when you haven’t worked as a full time content writer and are new to the world of writing, in general. The truth is you can actually earn a pretty decent living as a freelance writer if you play your cards right and have a bit of patience in the beginning. Let’s take a look at 5 tips to help you monetize your writing as a newbie!

1. Pay Your Dues, Initially

If you have no background as a writer up until now, the truth is there’s no way you are going to bag well-paying gigs immediately. You’ll need to build a portfolio of work with your by-line, and you’ll also need to be smart about how you do so. Identify topics you’re passionate about, or industries you feel might have a lot of opportunities in the long-run for paid work, such as gaming or fintech or healthcare. Then, identify a few Websites and print publications that cover these beats. Pitch to contribute a few articles pro bono, initially, if they do not commission paid work by inexperienced writers. Once you have a few published articles under your belt, that’s when you can start approaching other platforms for paid gigs.

2. Build Your Own Blog

Writing, freelance writer, freelance, freelancing, blog, blogging, blogger, writing career, SEO, monetize

In addition to writing for other platforms to build a solid portfolio before you pitch for paid gigs, you can also invest time and energy into your own blog, side-by-side. The trick is to create a niche blog so you can truly build a name for yourself and draw a loyal following. You’ll also need to cross-promote your content on social media, whether it be Instagram, Facebook or YouTube. When your platform begins to bring in decent numbers, brands will approach you for paid posts. Keep in mind listicles perform really well, as well as feature interviews with celebrities and influencers - this information will help you increase Web traffic.

3. Keep an Eye Out for Contests

If you’re keen on creative writing versus content writing, there’s good news for you, too. There are many contests that happen globally for poets and short story writers. Although many of these contests have an entry fee, if you win, not only will you earn a decent amount of prize money, you’ll also see your work published to share with the entire world. Eventually, this could lead to a publishing deal if your work is truly wonderful.

4. Harness LinkedIn Proactively

Writing, freelance, freelancing, freelance writer, LinkedIn, networking, monetize

Many people underestimate the power of LinkedIn to bag professional opportunities as a writer. There are many companies around the world who are looking for both full time and freelance writers for blogs, ads, scripts, speeches and more. You can monitor these job opportunities on LinkedIn. Also, you can connect with agencies directly, as well as publishing houses (if you’re interested in creative writing) and strategically network. Many industry experts also bag work opportunities by showcasing their knowledge through regular posts on LinkedIn that offer value to others in their field - it’s a good way to stand out.

5. Self-Publishing is a Solid Option

If you’re confident in your skills as a storyteller, and want to publish your own novel or memoir, you can always self-publish your book. However, in order to actually make money, you need to first build a loyal following for your work through social media. Many writers post short pieces on Instagram, and once their following crosses a certain number, they then come out with a book. You can also engage your followers through giveaways, online workshops, live Q&As, emailers and more. This definitely takes time, but is rewarding in the long-run.

I hope these five tips help you uncover ways to make money as a writer, whether you’re looking for content writing projects or methods to monetize your work as a poet or novelist. Persistence is key, so do not give up! Looking for more tools to help you as a writer? Click here for more writing guides!