I believe anyone can become an online freelance writer. To make money online through freelance writing isn’t as difficult as you may think it is, provided you are okay with your English language proficiency.
Writing wasn’t always my thing. In fact, while in primary and secondary schools, I actually preferred getting scolded, flogged or losing marks to doing any assignments that required writing of any sort. I was that lazy when it came to writing.
I could never understand why on earth some people claimed writing was their hobby! I wondered what sort of joy they derived from it.
If you have ever felt the same way I did about writing, then your opinion is about to change. You see, anybody can become a great writer.
It is quite true that some people get born with the talent… while others like you and I have to develop it to any level.
In fact with hard work, anyone will outperform those with the ‘talent’
Even though we all cannot have writing as our hobby, the fact still remains that in this present day and age, you can hardly avoid writing.
What I really enjoy doing for the fun of it is sketching. And I am quite good at it too.
In my opinion, writing and sketching seem to share a lot in common in terms of creativity. As a freelancer I now derive just about the same amount of pleasure from both tasks because I get to bring beauty to life, seemingly created out of thin air or empty space…
How I write
In today’s post, I want to share the steps I use in my writing. I have been writing for over 3 year as a freelancer. And it’s been quite rewarding.
Although I do not consider myself an expert in the field, I believe that telling my story could be of help a few beginners who aim to improve on their efficiency.
I’ll just provide you with how I do it and then give you some links to more detailed resources.
Here, below, are some the simple steps I take through when writing:
STEP 1: Do some research
Writing could be a very tasking and time-consuming to complete. It gets worse if you don’t carry out detailed research before starting out.
Carrying out a detailed research work is like gathering quality building materials as well as a draft architectural plan required for constructing a quality new building.
A detailed research enriches your write-up. To me, this is the most important step. When you combine your ideas with those of others, the work becomes much more complete.
I devote 1 to 4 hours on my research. And if the work is on a subject I’m not so familiar with, I might commit much more time to doing the research.
While at it, I jot down all my questions, ideas and concerns for subsequent consideration.
Also, while researching I come across interesting ideas and expressions that I would love to use in my work. I write these ideas out in a notepad… That’s what Isaac Newton called “standing on the shoulders of giants.”
During my research, I often look out for information from reputable sources. I search academic journals and skim the work of the field experts.
STEP 2: Create an outline
With the research done, you now have several ideas and ways you would love to present those ideas to your prospective audience.
It’s therefore now time to create an outline. The more detailed it is, the better.
You don’t have enough information to create a detailed outline? Don’t worry. Just create something rough to guide your writing.
But note that after the writing, you may need to do some more research. Besides, you can always borrow ideas from others; “standing on the shoulders of giants”, remember?
Creating an outline usually takes me just about 25mins. My outline is simply a rough list of headers and subheadings containing points that I would love to discuss.
Sometimes your outline will point you to more areas that require enrichment by means of some further research.
The further you break down the subheadings, the better. It ensures that you don’t leave out very important points.
Furthermore, while writing your outline, more creative ideas keep coming. I jot them all down for use in the actual writing phase.
When I started receiving projects from clients as a newbie, I didn’t take the outline phase seriously. That meant, I had to spend several hours at the editing phase to make up for the lack of a plan (the outline).
The outline, therefore, will save you a lot of time because it is like the frame-work or the skeleton of your work. Writing is made easier with a proper outline.
And to me, it doesn’t have to be too elaborate or rigidly adhered to. You may change directions when you discover a better path as you write.
Although the more elaborate the better, the outline is meant to point out directions to the goals you want to meet with the writing.
STEP 3: Just Write
Remember the skeleton we talked about? The outline? Well, now is the time to pad it up with some flesh.
To me, the writing proper is the easiest step of all. This is the part where I get to have all the fun.
Sometimes, even when I have a topic to write on, I wouldn’t even know where to begin. I just put pen to paper and start writing whatever comes to mind.
Before long the ideas would start flowing again, taking the writeup to an entirely new and unexpected direction.
I become childish when writing. If it gets too boring, I start speaking out what I write as if I were chatting with an imaginary listener to whom I assume the post is for.
I write nonstop, putting on paper whatever comes to mind. Within an hour, I would have written over 1,500 words.
When writing an academic article or articles for professional fields, you ought to be as professional as is required for your audience, making use of all the industry jargon that come to you via research.
For a non-academic posts, I would suggest that you should just express yourself the way you would naturally to a close pal.
Also, while writing I highlight and skip parts that will slow me down. These are the parts that I believe require further research to strengthen. So during the editing phase, I return to them.
Remember, ideas will flow throughout the writing process once you begin writing. So just write!
STEP 4: Editing Phase
At this phase, I reorganize the ideas, words, phrases, sentences and even paragraphs. You will also be throwing out a lot of stuff that disrupt your flow of ideas.
Remember, not doing proper research at the beginning will prolong the editing phase and make it more painful.
The editing phase is where our vomit draft gets transformed to reflect the power and majesty of the dude below…
When I edit,
* I rewrite phrases or sentences.
* I include all my jotted ideas and expressions to spice up the work.
* I move words, phrases, even paragraphs to areas where they are best suited.
* New ideas keep flowing from this same big head that didn’t know what to write during the writing phase.
* This is the most hectic part of the whole thing. I could spend as mush as 2hrs on a 500 word write-up… Especially, if it is a client’s work. I’m working on cutting that down while maintaining my efficiency.
*After the first editing, I allow the draft to lie fallow for a while, say a day or two. So when next I pick it up for further editing, I’ll attack it from a fresh unbiased perspective.
You have created a masterpiece. You never expected it to turn out this good. You feel on top of the world!
I so love this phase! I get to pat myself on the back while reading through my creation.
I feel the rush of excitement, freedom and a sense of accomplishment that lasts for a while.
The confidence you gain from this phase, further strengthened by your happy client’s or audience’s reaction will help you be more daring and willing to take on more challenging projects in the future.
We have just talked about how I write articles and posts for my clients. Like I said before, I don’t consider myself an expert in that field, but I keep improving. You can do it too.
If you are interested, I have written a post on what freelance writing services a beginner can offer and get paid handsomely. Enjoy!
Hello there! Danjuma Bright, a versatile freelance writer, blogger and affiliate marketer
In addition to having studied a basic medical science course (Anatomy) at college, I am also enthusiastic about technology, and how it consistently advances our world.
My aim with this blog is to share ideas on how to make money online legitimately and with ease.