You love writing.
Writing was something you did as a child. From short stories to poems to your unfinished masterpiece, writing is in your blood, and you know you want to write.
And for many writers, learning that you can make money with your writing as a freelance writer, sounds amazing, but fear starts to creep in.
I know I can write – but will people read my writing?
You’re afraid to put yourself out there and fear what others will say about your writing.
Can I share a secret?
This is exactly what happened to me. I put myself out there and shared my writing, only to be told my writing was…wait for it…
junk food writing
Writing with no substance or quality.
I couldn’t believe it. I was new to becoming a freelance writer and seriously doubted myself if I could really write.
I have no degree in writing; no book to my name, and my job at that time was mostly hands on. Maybe this journalist was right – that my writing sucked.
I should give up. Never do this again.
One person – a complete stranger – almost made me stop my journey entirely to becoming a freelance writer.
But, thankfully, that didn’t happen. Thankfully I chose to ignore this person and move on. If you’re worried whether or not people will like your writing, here’s the thing –
Not everyone will like your writing or read your writing.
And that’s okay.
But having insecurities about your writing isn’t okay. Let’s look at the small steps you can take to put your writing out there for everyone to read.
First – Get Comfortable Showing Your Writing Online (To Stop Your Insecurity)
1. Use Wattpad
Wattpad is a community for writers.
You can showcase your stories with other writers that get you. They know about the insecurity you might be feeling and can offer encouragement for you.
If you are a secret author wanting to share your stories, get on Wattpad!
2. Get on Medium and Write With Freedom
Medium is a free blogger platform that gets over 220 Million visitors a month, but it’s one of the best places to write with freedom.
You can write your op-ed piece or rant about a book you read or just write about life. This is the time to let your guard down and not worry if someone will read your post or not (most likely no one will…at first).
What’s great about this strategy is that people you work with or family members probably won’t find your article on Medium – or even know about Medium.
I know I never knew about Medium until I began blogging and freelance writing.
3. Start a Twitter Profile
Uncharted territory – social media!
Do I really have to be on social media to write?
No, but if you want to be an online writer, I highly suggest you get on Twitter.
Start a Twitter profile and start posting your thoughts. You can post motivational quotes, your feelings, a blog post you read and how it made you feel or just express yourself with a GIF. Use Twitter as a way to express your creativity, but realize that you will probably use this profile for your freelance writing business (so keep it PG).
4. Start a Blog
Every day there are 4.4 million blog posts published a day.
So, if you start a blog and don’t tell anyone about it, no one will read it!
And if you are insecure about your writing, then this is a blessing. This is the time you can be free and write about topics you want to write about.
This can be a personal blog of yours, and it will help you improve your writing because you’re uninhibited. This is YOUR blog and YOUR writing.
Be proud of that and enjoy the time you sit down at your computer to write.
5. Write Every Day
One of the easiest ways to be a better writer is to write every day.
It doesn’t matter what you write – poems, social media posts, blog posts, or a chapter in your unpublished book – the act of writing itself will help you become more comfortable and confident.
It will also help you form a habit to write every day – writing begets writing.
Second – Work on Your Writing Skill (So People Like Your Writing)
Okay, now the fun part.
You’ve built confidence with your writing, and you can now slowly work on improving your writing skill so that you can get paid for your writing.
Because if you don’t already know, freelance writing is different than blogging or writing stories. You might also be wondering why this step isn’t the first step to ensure people like your writing.
Well, I think for new writers, having that confidence is EVERYTHING.
The majority of writers that enroll in my free course have a fear of sharing their writing online. So, if you can become more comfortable writing online and sharing it, then you can enjoy the process and not worry about having to “fix” your writing.
Let’s look at three simple things you can do to be better at writing online content.
1. Have a Headline That Makes People Want to Read Your Stuff
People see hundreds of things on social media, grabbing their attention.
If you want those people to read your stuff (because at this time you should have the confidence to want that), then craft a headline that stands out. This will take time, but a great way to learn is to see popular headlines.
You can do that by using Buzz Sumo.
Find a popular blog like CopyBlogger or Elephant Journal and see what their most popular content is.
For example, CopyBlogger’s most popular posts are list posts.
This can give you an idea of how to structure your headline. Another way to craft a good headline is to think about your audience. Headlines that attract usually have something for the reader.
These headlines use You or call out to the audience type – marketers, authors, writers.
For example – 22 Reasons Authors Are Afraid to Write
2. Use Shorter Paragraphs
Reading online is different than reading a novel. Online readers scan, and it’s easier to read shorter paragraphs on their phone or computer screen.
As you can see with my content, I typically write 1-sentence to 2-sentence paragraphs.
3. Break Up Your Content
If you want to be an online writer and write for businesses and brands, one of the things you need to learn is to break up your content with:
This provides a good reading experience for the user.
Third – Write for Someone Else (To Prove People Like Your Writing)
Now comes the best part – writing for others.
You’ve proved to yourself that you have no problems sharing your writing on your blog or in a community. You’ve also practiced writing for the web and are now confident that you can write for others.
This is a big step.
To make it easier, start guest posting first. Brand new bloggers do this, which means you can do this as a brand new freelance writer also.
Many blogs offer guest posting opportunities. To find them, run a Google search of your niche + write for us.
For example, here’s the result for Gardening sites that accept guest contributors.
Make sure to read the guidelines, and an easy way to stand out in your guest pitch is to check that site’s blog on Buzz Sumo to see which posts are popular.
For Balcony Garden Web, you can see that their most popular blog posts are How-to and list types.
From that information, you can start generating some content ideas to pitch to.
For your guest posting process, you can start with sites that are more niched and less popular. These sites will give you more of a chance to guest post on than a huge site like Pop Sugar would.
Now the Hard Stuff – What If?
What if you pitch to guest sites and you hear nothing?
What if you shared your writing, and no one liked or commented on it?
I want you to move past that and continue to write. There is an audience for YOU. If anything, study online writing and writing for the web. Study engaging copywriting so that you write with color.
Improve your writing even more, and then try again. Once you land a few guest posts, your confidence will SOAR.
I’m proof that even though one person thought my writing sucked, hundreds (well maybe not that many…yet) have told me my writing is engaging and valuable.
Here’s one more:
I know I’m not the best writer.
But, I do know that my writing is easy to read, informational and valuable, and my clients love it.
So, if you’re new to freelance writing, know that it takes time and practice to become comfortable sharing your writing with others. But I encourage you to read online content on varies BIG blogs (personal blogs won’t show you how to write as a content writer) and see how they structure their content for an engaging blog post.
Over to you –
Are you scared to share your writing to the world? Have you found these tips helpful?
Let me know. I want to help you overcome your fear of being a freelance writer!