There’s no doubt, you are reading this blog post right now because you want to become a freelance writer.
Perhaps, you have questions like:
How do I get started?
What does it take to become a freelance writer?
How and where can I get freelance writing jobs and, hence make money?
If you are really interested in getting answers to these questions and others about freelance writing, then you are in the right place!
NB: This content is solely based on my personal experience, thorough research and a positive attitude that you can learn from it. Hence, there will be a mix of storytelling and teaching in this blog post.
I started out as a freelance writer by launching two blogs back in 2016. One was hosted by blogger and the other was a self-hosted blog. And this was because I wasn’t particularly great at writing although researching was never a problem.
I assume you know that the best way to be good at something is to practice over and over and over again. That’s why decided to use a blog.
However, if you want to become a freelance writer with no writing experience, you don’t necessarily have to take this route I took but I felt that was the way I could develop myself –I’m still learning and improving though.
One thing I want you to know is that freelance writing is much more than writing. You have to be good at researching and doing a number of other things that I’ll discuss later.
Back to my story: So I was writing and posting on my blog for a long time with no form of financial compensation whatsoever. I basically focused on improving my writing skills by learning via Google.
Just so you know, Google is your friend!! Everything and anything you need to learn is right at your fingertips (or are you reading this blog post from a book?).
If you ask Google the silliest of questions, trust me, you’ll get an answer.
In addition to this, I read the English books I could lay my hands on.
One of these books is titled On Writing Well by William Zinsser. I highly recommend this book for all new and experienced writers.
So after writing for good 9 months, one of my mentors, Mr. Patrick, who’s a badass Copywriter and Internet Marketer put me through how to get clients on the internet and I’ll forever be grateful to him.
Well, that’s what freelance writing is about: Getting paid to write! ?
So, how can you become a paid freelance writer in Nigeria?
Candid answer: Learn to research and be a versatile writer.
You’ll be dealing with different clients that’ll demand several types of contents.
What client A wants can be extremely different from what client B wants, so you have to be flexible when it comes to freelance writing.
Unlike creative writing which makes use of imagination, artistry and emotions, freelance writing is about researching and putting your research together in a unique way your client wants.
Therefore, learn how to write contents in different ways.
Let’s say you’re given a topic to write and it’s titled “How to Start a Blog.” There are actually several ways this topic can be written but your goal, as a freelance writer, is to satisfy your client, so you’ll have to ask a lot of questions to ascertain the way it should be written.
- Is the content a blog post, case study, video script, press release, white papers, sales copy, ad copy, email sequence or product description?
- Should it be a Search Engine Optimized (SEO) content?
- Should it be written in a first person, second person or third person?
- What should be the word count? 250, 500, 1000, 1500 etc.
- What should be the keyword(s)?
The above, I think, are basically the important things you need to find out. This will guide you as to how the entire content should be structured.
You’re not writing for yourself.
You’re rendering a service. Hence you must know how to render quality service to your client or satisfy your client’s readers and give them what they want.
Now, let’s proceed to discuss freelance niche writing, how to get gigs and make money. ?
Freelance Niche Content Writing
Some people are often faced with the challenge of specialization.
They want to know which is better: Being a writer in a particular niche or being an all-rounder.
Well, based on my experience, I’ll not advise anyone to focus on just one niche -but you can be an expert at one.
Say writing about Technology only or health contents only, or cryptocurrency contents only.
Learn how to write for different niches, but, again, you can be an expert at one.
When I started out, I used to be a writer of medical, health and science content only (you won’t blame me, I studied a science course, so writing in that niche was easy to come by).
Along the line, I discovered that I wasn’t earning much money and my client base was very small. So I decided to ditch Freelance “Niche” Writing and expand my horizon.
I was fortunate enough to get a Nigerian client via telegram at this time.
He wasn’t rendering a specific niche writing. He got jobs of different kinds; SEO writing, research writing, proposal writing, blog posts and articles, storytelling, press release writing and especially copywriting on any and every area: tech, crypto, agriculture, business, finance, real estate and all.
This was when I made the big shift and made sure I solved any writing problem that came my way.
What basically kept me going was my positive and welcoming attitude towards these writing assignments.
Believe you me, becoming a freelance writer in Nigeria isn’t as easy as most people think it is.
Or maybe I should say becoming a professional or well-paid freelance writer in Nigeria isn’t as easy as most people think.
A mediocre writer will be paid below average. On the other hand, a top-notch writer will undoubtedly get good pay.
You have to be really flexible when it comes to writing and what will keep you going when things are tough is your attitude.
Along the line, you’ll learn a whole lot about different things. Cryptocurrency, fashion, business, finance, travel and all.
My client, whom I met on telegram, eventually became a mentor and we worked for many months (2017 – 2018) before I moved on to getting gigs/jobs the way he does.
He’s a big man and I have to be one also. ?
Freelance writing is lucrative. ?
So, this will lead me into the final section about becoming a freelance writer in Nigeria.
How to Find and Get Freelance Writing Jobs in Nigeria (and Eventually Get Paid)
There are countless ways of getting freelance writing jobs and we’re fortunate to have the internet.
Since I’ve been a freelance writer, I’ve never set my eyes or meet, in person, any of my clients. NOT ONE!
…and so can you!
All I do is sit at the comfort of my room, or my office, or anywhere (I’m in a garden right now, under a tree)
As long as I’m connected to the internet, I’m good to go.
So, where are these jobs, if there’s no need to walk around searching for a job?
Social Media Platforms
You can get freelance writing jobs on social media platforms like Facebook and Telegram. LinkedIn is also a very great place –and the best– to connect with people that need your services.
You just have to search for and join serious groups and pages with common sense and use the right keywords to search.
There’s no company that doesn’t need a writer –especially if they have a website/ blog.
So shoot your shots. Make your social media accounts presentable and sell yourself there.
You can also get jobs through referrals, thus don’t underestimate the power of letting the world know that you’re a freelance writer.
I have gotten many clients through this method and I remember how I met one of them through my sibling.
This particular client assigned big and long-term contracts to me and I’m thankful for meeting such a person (through referral)
I basically get my foreign clients from freelance websites.
There are a whole lot of these websites and freelance writers from Nigeria are making it big via these freelance platforms. This is basically because they know and have what it takes to make money online in Nigeria
Although there are countless of them out there, I have thoroughly researched and written on 10 Best Freelance Websites You Can Find Work in Nigeria.
Now that you finally made it to the end of this post, what are your thoughts?
Do you have any questions you’d like to ask? Go to the comment section down below and leave a comment. I’ll be waiting to reply.
Until next time!