The Internet has created a plethora of new opportunities. Today’s students aren’t limited to the library and volumes of encyclopedias for research; all they have to do is open Google. IT departments didn’t exist even a few decades ago. And ask most adults age 40 and above, and they can probably tell you when they got their first computer. With the development of technology has come the need for experienced web writers. Some companies keep these positions in-house, but many contract out these services. Should you be one of them?
It helps if you’ve already established yourself as a writer, but that’s not always necessary. If you have the talent, desire, and creativity, you could easily find work through an agency or writing company dedicated to providing web content.
Keep in mind that being a “web writer” can mean a lot of different things. Companies re-create and update their websites regularly and need quality copy. Product companies need general copy to post on their landing pages and product descriptions for every item they sell. Corporations post articles and compelling stories to attract customers. Thousands of email newsletters are sent every day, and there’s a need for writers there. The same goes for blogs. And you could even consider video script writing as a web writing opportunity, since the website is often the main distribution channel. Opportunities abound, but are they right for you?
Characteristics of a freelance web writer may be completely different than one who’s in house. Consider these issues:
- You may think you work well independently when you have an employer, but when no one clocks you in each day (literally or figuratively), you still have to “show up.” You can work in your pajamas at your home office and no one cares, but you still have to be accessible.
- How technologically savvy are you? Because tech support is no longer a phone call away. Oh, and don’t forget your CEO hat, business developer role, customer service hotline, and billing department. Yep, as a freelancer you are a one-stop shop and wear a lot of hats, all at once.
- Having the discipline to start a project and meet deadlines can be tricky when you’re on your own. Your client hands a project off to you and expects you to do it. They don’t have the opportunity to run into you down the hall or stop by your desk to see how things are going. If you have a question that needs to be answered, it’s up to you to reach out to your client.
- Do you have patience to wait for that great client to follow through? Many web writers have met potential clients that don’t pan out for months, sometimes years.
- Once the project is completed, do you follow up with your client? The follow up can occur in many ways, such as an email, a quick call or voicemail, or even sending the invoice and requesting any feedback on how to improve your services.
- Can you afford to go it alone for a while? This is a big question you really need to consider. Maybe you can freelance on the side if your work allows it until you build up some clientele. Consider the cost of healthcare, housing, and food. Think about any outstanding payments you have, such as student loans, auto loans, and mortgages. Make sure you can afford the freedom of freelancing.
If you’ve thought it through and freelancing is right for you, congratulations! Start with your network and go from there, or make contact with My Web Writers for any opportunities that might be available to you.
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