How to Start Freelancing in 2012

Well I figured out that 97.99 percent of my readers are writers or readers or people who just like to mingle in the literary world.

First writing paycheck for first two assignments. Only 25 bucks, but it was a start.

The other 2.01 percent pertains to my girlfriend and a couple other folks who keep clicking my links on Facebook. You rock! But regardless I figured that every now and then I will start dropping knowledge to help you folks out with things I have learned. After all the whole scheme upon The Gray Pen was to figure out how to make it in the writing world together- as in me and you- like you scratch my back, I scratch yours- get it?

I’ve been Freelancing. Yes I have. I mentioned this several days ago in my post Ah, Here we Go Again, that I have begun to write stuffs for moneys. For years I’ve wanted to know to do this; I’ve searched through writing forums, read books, and queried, queried, queried! For a nineteen year old with no Freelance credits behind me-the path wasn’t even. I’ve found that there are 5 necessary things for the aspiring freelance writer to do in order to secure some job offers and further build their portfolio.

Warning! I am not a super rich professional nor am I someone who has built up a massive portfolio- I have been freelancing for the past month and have secured several clients throwing a couple hundred bucks in my bank. Here we go!1)

1. Assemble your Resume`

Before I began to look up job offers I knew within myself that I needed to have something to show. I had one or two publishing credits, but I knew this wouldn’t matter and I had a resume`, but I bet that wouldn’t do either. I started from scratch. I assembled a resume` listing my blogging experience, my current degree pursuit in college (Creative Writing), and an article I had published at Bookkus Publishing and a guest post.  I tooted my own horn at my blog and it’s audience, picked a sweet template from Google Docs (I guess Google Drive now bleh), and saved it as a .doc file ready to send it out to any one I thought would be a good fit.

2. Samples of Your Work 

This is the one step that troubled me when I first started. How can I send samples of my work if I’ve never written any content for a client? See the general rules of thumb for samples of your work are broad: I generally use a nice guest post I’ve written, or a single article on publishing I’ve written, or even some of my better blog posts. Granted each of these gets a fresh edit and is assembled at its finest. Granted for a themed publication, the best bet is to show work on something similar, but I’ve noticed that some just wish to see your ability to write. If they require a link rather than an attachment direct them to your blog or even E-zine Articles. Remember the prize is in the pudding.

3.  Finding the Gigs 

Where do you find these gigs? Below I’ll leave a list of places where the majority of work may be found, but remember this is a business. You may find prospective clients on the internet, at your local coffee shop, or through friends and family.

  • Elance (High paying jobs, but you will be competing with top notch professionals)
  • Guru (Same as Elance. Just remember persistence is key).
  • Text Broker (Just started using this, seems promising; haven’t landed a client yet).
  • Craigslist (Some may find it slightly sketchy, but I’ve landed 3 clients and one ongoing one $$)
  • Loads and loads of others! Just Google it!

Remember that if something seems odd, don’t continue. This is the internet and of course, sometimes people don’t have your best interest in mind.

4. Research your Assignments 

For my ongoing client I write about online slot games and occasionally I review online casinos. Now prior to this gig I had no idea about this! I can’t even legally gamble! However, through loads and loads and loads of research I have become quite knowledgeable in this field and I knock out assignments with ease. To make things easier for myself I use Evernote to clip information from the web and then I refer to that throughout my writing. Trust me- this will save you tons of time and frustration!

5. Stick to a Deadline 

Remember time is money and so is each of your assignments. Upon receiving your assignments get to work! Nothing is worse than being dropped by your client because you can’t stick to deadline. Of course things in life come up and a well placed email can easily ask for more time and if applicable you may just as well receive that! As of right now I have three assignments sitting in my mailbox and will get to work on them the second this post is published. Don’t hesitate. Your best bet is to set a side a certain part of the day to complete your assignments- mine is in the morning after my daily walk and as I drink down my coffee. Sticking to deadline will relieve stress and assure you complete your assignments. Remember this is business.

Well here are just five tips to get you Freelancing in 2012. Depending on how this post does and how you readers like this, I will post more on freelancing.

Farewell everyone and good luck!



About Damian Rucci

D.F. Rucci is a writer, blogger, and a musician from a small town in New Jersey. View all posts by Damian Rucci

6 responses to “How to Start Freelancing in 2012

  • Adam

    Getting new gigs is really tough right now. Very few companies seem to want to pay for good quality work, but get mad when they employ someone from a non-English speaking country who can’t write so well.

    Things have been picking up for my little freelance business I’m doing on the side and I already have a good freelancer accountancy lined up for when I go full-time freelance, But it’s going to take quite a while before I can justify needing to claim freelancer expenses and other stuff like that which will make it worth while.

    How do you deal with expenses? Or do you find that as a writer you don’t really have any besides travel to meet clients face to face?

    • Damian Rucci

      Right now I’m working two part time jobs and freelancing. The clients I’ve dealt with have been purely over the internet. I hope one day I get to meet a client face to face, but luckily enough for right now my only expenses is time and printer ink. Finding gigs is rough, I’m just entering this freelance game now and hopefully will find more and more.

      • Adam

        Having a couple of stable, regular clients is allowing me to keep growing, but without that stability I’d be in trouble.

      • Damian Rucci

        I have one stable client at the moment and just as I was writing this comment- I received a payment through my Paypal. I hope to keep growing as well.

  • Ben Gunn

    Hey Damian,

    Wanted to hop on here to say that it’s awesome you’re managing to make writing pay for you. Getting paid to do something you love is paradise itself huh?

    Keep it up and soon enough I’m sure you’ll be able to kiss those part time jobs goodbye. I expect to see your name on bookshelves in the not too distant future.

    Good luck man,

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