One of the things that freelance writers and content writers have in common is the fact that they can’t predict when or if they will get paying writing opportunities or how many they will get. For most, this makes it hard to know what their monthly income will be. While there are tremendous rewards to working for oneself and setting one’s own schedule, most writers who are self-employed rely on content services like WriterAccess to find the clients for them and then provide the influx of assignments.
Building a Writing Portfolio
One of the best ways to gain access to more writing opportunities, while also developing experience, is by building a writing portfolio. The more it contains, the more a writer has to show to potential clients as proof of experience in particular fields. The writing portfolio is the archive of all paid writing that a freelance or content writer does. This is where writers can look for samples to add to their writer profiles or to show to clients. The size of the portfolio is very important because it shows both experience and dedication, but even more significant is the portfolio contents.
Showing a Range of Experience
Writers who don’t stick to single areas of expertise will increase the volume of their writing portfolios while also expanding the scope of their writing. Challenging oneself to write on unfamiliar topics maybe difficult at first, but it proves to potential clients and others who may review a writer’s portfolio that the writer has the ability to write about more than one specific area. When filling out a writer profile on a site like WriterAccess, a writer’s experience in different areas is clearly visible to clients who come to the site looking for writers.
Writers who list multiple subjects about which they have written aren’t necessarily experts in all those areas. An varied list of topics simply indicates that a writer has written about the subject matter, and that shows experience. Sometimes, that’s enough to convince potential clients of a writer’s worthiness.
The Importance of Diversification
Writers who aren’t willing to go beyond their comfort zone often deprive themselves of the opportunity to get many more assignments. That means a loss of income, but more than that, it means that writers aren’t challenging themselves to step outside of the familiar. Diversity means a willingness to accept challenges and to push the envelope by learning and writing about new fields. Growth as a writer requires this, and many writers find that they become far better writers when they challenge themselves in this way or by learning to write for different audiences.
Freelance writers often don’t deal with the same clients time after time. The more diverse one’s client base is, the easier it is to adapt to the needs and requirements of different clients. Working with a variety of clients helps writers develop the flexibility required to complete all sorts of writing assignments and opens up many more writing opportunities.
Clients at WriterAccess often look at writer profiles, especially when writers apply for casting calls. Writers who are narrowly focused and limit the areas about which they write are often passed over in favor of writers who are risk takers. It’s not that different from diversifying in other types of employment. For example, a teacher who is certified to teach multiple different subjects will have far greater job security than one who is insistent on sticking to a particular discipline, even if it is one for which school budgets often lack the funds.
By broadening the scope of their writing portfolios and embracing subject matter diversity, freelance writers may also be able to avoid the problems of mental block, stagnant writing, and general boredom that writers who stick to one particular area often face. Surprisingly, many writers who are willing to explore new areas may discover that something they never thought they’d like turns out to be one of their favorite fields for writing assignments.
Susan B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.