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Inexperienced writer, how to gain experience

hurley-virginia
Active Member
Virginia H Member Since: Jun 9, 2017
1 of 19

I've been writing for years, however only recently have I earned income from writing. I have written for business (marketing) extensively, done a blog about a co-owned enterprise, creative stories and journalism pieces for a sportsman's publication. I'd like to go into freelancing, but lack the solid experience I ought to have. Any suggestions how to proceed? 

louisaj
Community Guru
Louisa J Member Since: Apr 12, 2017
2 of 19

Hi Virginia,

 

We all started out on here, well most of us I guess, by taking small $10 jobs for a few months. This gives us feedback, which is pretty much essential for getting the bigger jobs.

 

Attach a portfolio of any work that you have done to job applications. Just a page or two of selected chapters and blogs. Link to where the client can read the full work, if possible.

 

Start small, don't give up, and hopefully the work will roll in.

 

Best wishes

 

Louisa 

corati
Community Guru
Corinne L Member Since: Jun 3, 2013
3 of 19

Hi Virginia, you should write an overview and add some portfolio pieces

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
4 of 19

Virginia, I'm a little confused about what experience, specifically, you feel like you're lacking. Can you explain further what you feel like you're lacking when you look at a job posting?

 

Pendnig a more extensive response after hearing more about your concerns, I want to say that starting out with low-paying jobs is generally not the right approach. It's very easy to class yourself as a low-end writer with those jobs on your profile.

datasciencewonk
Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
5 of 19

If you've written in the field of marketing, then perhaps you know the good 'ole STP.

 

Segment.

 

Target.

 

Position. 

 

When starting as an FL on this platform, CHOOSE YOUR NICHE. What is your area of expertise in writing? (That's a question to ask yourself, not necessarily a prompt for you to reply in the forum.)

 

Put that expertise in your title. In your overview, briefly mention who you are and what you do, then specifically mention which types of writing services that you offer (all too often FLs use the "dating site" method for their overview; not recommended). 

 

I would strongly suggest avoiding the generic term "creative writer."

 

As Tiffany stated, there's a distinct risk with those cheaper writing jobs. You can easily lock yourself into additional cheap writing gigs. In my experience, clients DO read the titles and earnings on my profile. 

 

Also, if you add links to your other writing, and they are blogs with a separate way to contact you off the platform, this is not allowed per Upwork. They can be sent during the interview process, just not posted on the profile (or in your portfolio).

 

Buona Fortuna!

ravi_iitian
Community Guru
Ravindra B Member Since: Sep 27, 2015
6 of 19

@Kat C wrote:

If you've written in the field of marketing, then perhaps you know the good 'ole STP.

 

Segment.

 

Target.

 

Position. 

 

When starting as an FL on this platform, CHOOSE YOUR NICHE. What is your area of expertise in writing? (That's a question to ask yourself, not necessarily a prompt for you to reply in the forum.)

 

Put that expertise in your title. In your overview, briefly mention who you are and what you do, then specifically mention which types of writing services that you offer (all too often FLs use the "dating site" method for their overview; not recommended). 

 

Put in your non-Upwork experience.

 

I would strongly suggest avoiding the generic term "creative writer."

 

As Tiffany stated, there's a distinct risk with those cheaper writing jobs. You can easily lock yourself into additional cheap writing gigs. In my experience, clients DO read the titles and earnings on my profile. 

 

Also, if you add links to your other writing, and they are blogs with a separate way to contact you off the platform, this is not allowed per Upwork. They can be sent during the interview process, just not posted on the profile (or in your portfolio).

 

You can include the links to your previous work in your proposals.

 

Buona Fortuna!


 Great advice from Kat and Tiffany.

"Certa bonum certamen"
bhatiapulkit
Active Member
Pulkit B Member Since: Jun 11, 2017
7 of 19

Virginia, You are already an experienced writer but only lacks self confidence. The first thing you need to do is believe you can do the work. 2nd - Research what & how other freelancer writers have worked in the field. 3rd Create a unique profile of yourself. Do not exaggerate but highlight what you are good at. 4th Be Patience and give your best 

wendy_writes
Community Guru
Wendy C Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
8 of 19

Virginia, the worst possible advice was posted by Louisa when she wore "We all started out on here, well most of us I guess, by taking small $10 jobs for a few months."  As Kat explained, this practice will curse and haunt your time as a freelancer. On any platform.

aditipie
Community Guru
Aditi J Member Since: Jul 28, 2015
9 of 19

Depending on their circumstances, a freelancer may need to accept low-paying jobs. I would not label it best or worst, it is just what they needed to do in that moment. Is that the best way to gain experience? Maybe. If you do not have any other financial income then, accepting low paying jobs will help you with some bills. But if you can wait for the right job with right pay then that would be the best case scenario. Figuring out what is right for you is the key.   

 

I wish you the best. 

 

datasciencewonk
Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
10 of 19

@Aditi J wrote:

Depending on their circumstances, a freelancer may need to accept low-paying jobs. I would not label it best or worst, it is just what they needed to do in that moment. Is that the best way to gain experience? Maybe. If you do not have any other financial income then, accepting low paying jobs will help you with some bills. But if you can wait for the right job with right pay then that would be the best case scenario. Figuring out what is right for you is the key.   

 

I wish you the best. 

 



Given your science background, you also understand there are other risk parameters involved with taking the low paying jobs, yes?

 

Such as they tend to be more likely for scope creep and other behavioral tendencies leading into, also, a lower rating for the FL.

 

It's not just the money "feature."  

 

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