A professional writing job is a rewarding role. Spending your days creating great content is an enticing prospect for aspiring writers.
But professional writing is a competitive industry. You need an edge to get yourself noticed by prospective employers and clients, and if you’ve got no experience under your belt, it can seem daunting — but it’s not impossible.
Read on to discover some simple tips that you can do to land your dream professional writing job — no experience necessary.
Contribute a guest post to a blog
When you’re pitching yourself to a prospective employer, the first thing they’ll want to see is your portfolio. You can talk about what a great writer you are until you’re blue in the face, but without hard evidence to back it up, you’ll go nowhere.
Guest posting is the aspiring professional writer’s lifeline. It’s free (you should never pay for the privilege of giving someone great content) and it enhances your writer presence online.
The whole process is very straightforward. Simply create a list of websites in your writer’s niche (your favorite blogs you regularly read are a good start), and reach out to them to offer them a free, high-quality post for their blog.
The key to a successful guest post strategy is in your pitch. These websites get dozens, even hundreds, of guest post offers a day, so your titles need to shine. Trawl through their existing content and spot any topic gaps that they might need, and head to their Write For Us page to check their guidelines.
Take an online writing course
College is prohibitively expensive for many, and in a post-recession America, it’s an expense most of us can ill afford. But you don’t need a college degree to land a professional writer’s job. It’s possible to boost your writing credentials without the need for an expensive college course.
Online writing courses are a great way to teach yourself in a flexible environment. You can work around your work schedule, and you receive personalized feedback from qualified professionals.
And you don’t need to break the bank either. Online creative writing courses are flexible and effective, and there are plenty of affordable writing courses available online — Jericho Writers offers a rolling monthly subscription, which is a good place to start if you’re working a full-time job and tight for money.
The important thing to remember when embarking on an online writing class is to take it at your own pace. Landing a professional writing job is a marathon, not a sprint. Take the time to work on your skills and develop yourself as a writer, and your work will improve as a result.
Create a professional online writer’s portfolio
A professional writer needs a professional portfolio, an online résumé that showcases your skills and experience as a writer. It doesn’t need to be overly flashy — a simple website will suffice.
There are countless content management systems you can use to create your online portfolio, but WordPress is the most popular. It’s easy to use and, if you’re happy with a wordpress.com domain, free too. While it’s not mandatory, claiming your own domain does give you a professional edge, so it’s recommended you do so. Find out how here.
Your writer’s portfolio should include the following:
- About Me: this is where your personality shines through. Talk a little about your past work and educational experience, but focus more on what you’re like as a person too.
- Past work: include a few links to your published work, including your guest post catalog too. You don’t need to go overboard — just choose your best pieces.
- Personal blog: this shows prospective employers that you’re always writing, outside of your guest post strategy.
- Contact details: add your email address and phone number so potential employers or clients can reach out to you. It’s also worth including links to your social profiles as well.
Don’t rush this. Spend some time creating a slick, professional-looking writer’s portfolio, and prospective employers or clients will be all the more impressed.
Don’t let a lack of experience stop you from pursuing a job as a professional writer. Follow the tips above and you’ll be well on your way to landing your dream writing role.