Are you a passionate writer, or freelance hopeful wondering how to start a content writing business? You might be an ex-corporate wondering how to become a business writer, or a university graduate wanting to produce some academic copy. Well, grab a cuppa, because this article will tell you just that – how to start a content writing business.
What is content writing?
Content means to be fulfilled. Websites, Instagram feeds, Pinterest boards, blogging platforms and YouTube accounts all need to be filled with material. That material is your content. It comes in the form of blog articles, engaging Instagram posts, dynamic YouTube videos, catchy written explanations for your website.
Content is now the ultimate currency for many brands. This is because digitisation has re-directed almost all consumers off of the high streets and onto the social medias of these businesses. It is therefore vital that businesses constantly produce captivating and easily consumable content to drive sales or promote their services.
Content writing forms a vital part of this. It is all the content that involves words – your Instagram captions, the copy on your website, the prose you find in a blog article. Therefore, marketing yourself as a content writer means you are prepared to write this kind of material for your clients.
Obviously, content writers can ‘niche down’ and cover only certain kinds of copy for certain subject areas. You wouldn’t expect someone who is used to writing blog articles about cryptocurrency to be a dab hand at the copy for a beauty brand.
How to build a successful freelance writing business
As you would with any other business, the road to building a successful freelance writing business begins with a plan.
Freelance writing business plan
- Determine your niche
No one could possibly cover all the kinds and topics of content that needs creating. Even the most erudite of us couldn’t handle a 500 word blog post on becoming an estate agent in France if we had no knowledge of real estate – or France for that matter. Determining your niche also makes you highly attractive to clients who require your exact skillset, increasing your chances of finding work.
- Decide how to advertise your services
Every client must be viewed as a potential consumer, and you need to advertise yourself like the product they have always needed. So, how does one advertise themselves successfully? First off, there are plenty of freelancer platforms out there – Guru, Freelancer, and Upwork to name but a few – which carve out a space for you to display your credentials, experience, and portfolio. It is, however, advisable that you also use a website and/or social media platforms to advertise your services. After all, it doubles your chances of being seen, and forms a safety net for when you don’t win the bids you hoped you would.
- Building a loyal clientele, whilst remaining the lookout
It is important once you have found clients to build and maintain their confidence in your services. That way, you increase your chances of their return, providing a reliable income stream for you. This means you should schedule and organise your work appropriately, making sure to meet their deadlines.
One of the most important tips I have been given is to keep on the lookout for fresh freelance work, even if you’re currently working. It is a known fact of life that the work you need won’t come when you’re ready for it, and therefore it is important to line up work as and when you find it – not merely when you have a clean slate.
Starting a writing agency
The main difference between starting out as a sole-trader versus forming an agency is that you will not only need to be on the lookout for hirers but competent writers too. As an agency, you will be receiving greater quantities of work, and with that you’ll need the human capital to ensure you can meet this kind of demand successfully.
So – you’ll still be starting out with that all-important business plan, but the contents of that plan will look slightly different. You won’t only need to incorporate a talent search into the plan, but a marketing strategy for finding businesses that require the services of an agency as opposed to a sole trader writing alone. This might include a weightier ad campaign rather than solely relying on freelance platforms. You will also need to take into consideration the need to form a company and all of the intricacies that come with this.