How to Start a Career as a Writer
To begin a career as a writer, immerse yourself in reading diverse genres and styles to understand different writing techniques. Practice writing consistently through a personal blog, short stories, or essays. Seek feedback from peers or writing communities to improve and refine your skills.
Consider taking writing workshops or courses to enhance your knowledge further. Build a portfolio of your work and explore opportunities to submit your writing to publications, websites, or literary magazines.
Networking and attending writing events can also help connect you with fellow writers and potential mentors. Embrace rejection as a natural part of the process and keep honing your craft persistently, allowing your unique voice to evolve and flourish.
Starting a career as a writer can seem daunting, but anyone can make it happen with the right mindset and approach. In this article, we’ll explore the steps you need to take to start a career as a writer.
What Does a Writer Do
A writer creates written content for various purposes, including informing, entertaining, persuading, or educating. Writers can work in various industries, including journalism, marketing, advertising, public relations, publishing, and academia.
The specific duties of a writer’s role will vary depending on the industry and the writing the writer specializes in. However, some common duties include:
- Researching assigned topics
- Developing and organizing ideas
- Drafting and revising written content
- Proofreading and editing work
- Meeting deadlines
- Collaborating with other team members, such as editors, designers, and marketers
Writer Salary Expectation
Writer salary expectations vary depending on several factors, including:
- Experience: Writers with more experience can typically command higher salaries.
- Industry: Some industries, such as technology and finance, tend to pay writers more than others.
- Job title: Some job titles, such as technical writer and copywriter, tend to pay more than others.
- Location: Writers in high-cost areas can typically expect to earn more than those in lower-cost areas.
PayScale says the average salary for writers in the United States is $64,790 annually. However, salaries can range from as low as $35,000 per year to as high as $98,000 per year or more.
Develop Writing Skills
The first step to starting a career as a writer is to develop your writing skills. You can’t become a professional writer without first honing your craft. There are several ways to improve your writing skills:
Reading is one of the best ways to improve your writing skills. Read books, magazines, and articles in the genre or niche you want to write in. Pay attention to the writing style, structure, and tone.
Write every day
Writing every day is essential to becoming a better writer. Set a daily word count goal and stick to it. It doesn’t matter if what you write is good or bad; the goal is to build a habit of writing.
Take writing courses
Writing courses can help you learn the technical aspects of writing, such as grammar, punctuation, and structure. Look for courses at your local community college or online.
Join writing groups
Joining a writing group can provide feedback on your writing and help you connect with other writers. Look for writing groups in your area or online.
Choose a Writing Niche
Once you’ve developed your writing skills, it’s time to choose a writing niche. There are several types of writing niches to choose from, including:
Fiction writing includes novels, short stories, and screenplays. If you are passionate about storytelling, fiction writing might be your niche.
Non-fiction writing includes articles, essays, and memoirs. Non-fiction writing might be your niche if you’re interested in writing about real-life events.
Copywriting is writing for advertising and marketing purposes. Copywriting might be your niche if you have a knack for persuasive writing.
Technical writing includes writing documentation for software and hardware products. If you have a background in science or technology, technical writing might be your niche.
Build a Portfolio
To land clients as a writer, you need to build a portfolio. A portfolio showcases your writing skills and demonstrates to potential clients that you can write in their niche. Here are some ways to build a portfolio:
Create a blog
Creating a blog is a great way to showcase your writing skills. Write blog posts in your niche and share them on social media.
Submit articles to publications.
Submitting articles to publications can help you build your portfolio and get your name out there. Look for publications in your niche and submit articles to them.
Participate in writing contests.
Participating in writing contests can help you build your portfolio and gain recognition for your writing. Look for writing contests in your niche and submit your work.
Once you have a portfolio, it’s time to find clients. There are several ways to find clients as a writer:
Freelance platforms like Upwork and Fiverr connect freelancers with clients. Create a profile on these platforms and apply for writing jobs.
Job boards like Indeed and LinkedIn have job listings for writers. Look for job listings in your niche and apply for them.
Networking is a great way to find clients. Attend writing conferences and events and connect with other writers and potential clients.
To succeed as a writer, you need to market yourself. Here are some ways to market yourself:
Use social media to promote your writing and connect with potential clients. Share your blog posts and portfolio on social media.
Create a website to showcase your writing skills and services. Include a portfolio and contact information.
Create business cards to hand out at networking events and conferences. Include your name, website, and contact information.
Word of mouth
Tell everyone you know that you’re a writer. Word of mouth can lead to potential clients.
Manage Your Career
To succeed as a writer, you need to manage your career. Here are some tips for managing your career:
Set goals for your writing career, such as the number of articles you want to write per month or the amount of money you want to earn. Having goals can help you stay motivated and focused.
Create a schedule
Create a writing schedule and stick to it. Treat your writing like a job and set aside specific times for writing.
Keep learning and improving your writing skills. Attend writing conferences, take courses, and read books on writing.
Writing can be a solitary and challenging profession, so it’s essential to stay motivated. Find ways to stay inspired, such as reading quotes from successful writers or taking breaks to recharge.
What kind of writing pays the most?
Copywriting and technical writing tend to pay the most. However, choosing a niche you’re passionate about and enjoy writing in is important.
Do I need a degree to become a writer?
No, you don’t need a degree to become a writer. However, taking writing courses can help you improve your writing skills.
How do I know if I’m a good writer?
The best way to know if you’re a good writer is to get feedback from others. Joining a writing group or submitting your work to publications can provide you with valuable feedback.
How long does it take to become a successful writer?
There’s no set timeline for becoming a successful writer. Building a successful writing career takes time, dedication, and hard work.
Can I make a living as a writer?
Yes, it’s possible to make a living as a writer. However, it takes time and effort to build a successful writing career.
Starting a career as a writer takes time and effort, but it’s possible to make it happen with dedication and perseverance. Develop your writing skills, choose a niche, build a portfolio, find clients, market yourself, and manage your career. Remember, writing is a journey, not a destination.