Starting out as a freelance writer isn’t easy.
The competition is tough, especially for online freelance work. When you start at the bottom, you have little choice but to accept lower rates compared to more accomplished and veteran freelancers.
That doesn’t mean you can’t rise up to the top. If you work hard and produce quality work, your clientele is sure to grow. Creating your own distinctive brand also helps.
Here are some ways on how you can make your online presence known:
Guest Posting is a Must!
Browse through blogs and look for those that welcome guest writers. Guest posts are great for exposure and it also allows you to build up your portfolio. When you send an email pitch to a blog, make it short, sweet and straight to the point. It helps if you include links to online posts that you did before so that the admin can have an idea of how you write.
You can also pitch an idea of a topic you want to write about or choose from a set of topics given ahead by the blog admin. Once your pitched topic has been approved, you can send your article for approval. It may or may not be approved depending on the quality of your writing.
Some helpful sites that will help you look for blogs to guest post on are bloggerlinkup.com , guestr.com  and myblogguest.com . Registration is free on these sites and when the tables have turned and you are the one that requires guest posts, you can also advertise that need there.
Make the Most Out of Social Media
If you have a facebook account but haven’t updated it in ages, it’s time to be active. As one of the most popular social networking sites, facebook can help you connect with not only friends but also potential clients. Utilize your contact list and ask friends for referrals. If you’re planning to make freelancing a business, create a fan page. Get a twitter account and link it with your facebook account. A google+ account is also a must when you’re doing SEO-related jobs.
To make managing all the different social media accounts easier, you can use MyLife.com , which allows you to access everything on one dashboard. When you start guest blogging, share your articles on the different social media sites. Once you start gaining followers, the more you share, the more your online presence will grow.
Create an Online Portfolio
There are a lot of free online platforms that you can use to store your online portfolio. One of the most popular mediums is WordPress because it is simple to navigate and it is easy to create the pages you want. Some of the basic pages you can include are home, about me and recent work. You can also blog on WordPress to keep your portfolio site updated. Make your “about me” page catchy so that it will capture the attention of your potential clients. There are a lot of freelance writers out there, so why should they choose you? If you can answer that in a creative way, it acts as a subtle way of marketing yourself.
Another option you can use for your online portfolio is dropr.com . The site’s tagline is “Dropr allows you to create and browse beautiful portfolios from music to art, photography to print and connects you to the worlds most creative community.” It cuts down the time and effort in creating your portfolio website through its easy drag-and-drop-based platform. What could take hours or even days will take just minutes. If you become an established freelancer, I would still encourage you to get your own domain.
Join Online Forums and Writing Communities
As a starting freelance writer, you need a mentor or established professionals who can help you through the unpredictable world of freelance writing. Joining creative writing groups online can help you keep your creative juices flowing as you share ideas and samples of your writing. You can get great advice from them and at the same time contribute new information that they may not be aware of yet. Sometimes, these groups promote writing contests or weekly challenges that will help sharpen your skills and make your online presence more known, especially when you win some of these contests.
When you participate actively in forums, don’t forget to link back to your portfolio site so that potential clients will be able to view some of your sample works. Fellow writers may also want to collaborate with you on a project when they see what you are capable of.
These 4 tips are just some of the things you can do to help promote your online presence. You can also add your own tips to this list as you learn new things on the way to becoming a more accomplished freelance writer.
How do get online attention? Share your tips!