How much more can the heart take the emotional abuse of one rejection after another? From the outside looking in, being an online writer seems too good to be true. In fact, it is but only to a certain degree as not everything is a bed of roses. Is there hope in getting hired by clients who offer reasonable compensation?
Being a blogger, a writer, and a content manager has placed me in a unique position. I understand what it is like to seek clients. At the same time, I can also see the difficulties of finding good Filipino writers.
On this post, what I am going to do is to answer the following questions:
1. How do I prepare to become a better writer?
2. How do I find great clients?
3. How do I convince clients that I am the writer they seek?
Writers are readers.
Unless one is willing to read, then it is impossible to write. Regardless of the type of content, writing is an art in which it is up to writers to transform ideas into words. For that reason, there are no templates or 1-2-3 easy-to-follow guides. In other words, there is no shortcut to becoming a successful writer.
Let me ask one simple question:
Does getting hired by great clients feel like an exercise in futility at times?
No matter the skill level, it is in the best interest of Filipino writers to prepare themselves. In fact, we can say that difficulty in closing a deal with a client is due to the lack of preparation.
People have the uncanny ability to create one excuse after another. It also seems that some of the usual reasons are already in our genetic code. For instance, how many times have we cited time as an excuse for the inability to complete tasks?
If there is no time to write, then there is no time to earn as an online writer.
It is a pity that a priceless commodity that not even the richest people in the world can buy is often undervalued. As such, some writers end up wasting not only their time but also that of clients. As a consequence, they do not get hired. Even worse, they lose the opportunity to grow.
1.1.1. Weekly Schedule
Before continuing, here is another question:
Do you have a weekly schedule with specific times of the day for working online?
Here is the thing about time. Until there are schedules, it is impossible to prepare. Without a timetable, there is no plan of action. Hence, writers end up without real and attainable goals.
Tip: When sending an application letter or email, include working schedules. Instead of asking, present your available time. Clients appreciate this.
It is a fact that employers prefer hiring people who are goal-oriented. For that reason, almost all applicants include that in their resumes. Unfortunately, most also do not know how to set goals and write a concrete plan of action.
Filipino writers seeking a full-time online job, in most cases, know their schedules. But for freelance writers, it can become problematic. In essence, working time can be flexible, but it has to be consistent.
Consistency is one key to success.
One of the best benefits of freelance writing is that freelancers work when and where they want. But I have a contradicting view on its validity. It is only true for writers who attract a lot of clients because they can be choosy. But for many others, they use too much time looking for clients.
Friends, please take a moment to think about your time. There is no way to put it to good use unless you know your schedule. As stated, without a schedule, there is no goal. Furthermore, without goals, there is no plan. Finally, without plans, there is no consistency.
1.1.2. 1/3:1/3:1/3 Use of Time
As a beginner in online writing, the difficulty of landing a good job is not shocking. In fact, it is the norm rather than the exemption. Even for writers who have years of experience, many are still having difficulties. It sounds discouraging, but that is the reality.
Looking at clients in marketplaces, most are not what we can consider as the ideal clients. Sure, there are good ones, but they do not come often. As such, whenever one does, the competition to get hired is stiff, or so it seems.
Even with a hundred applicants, clients are not sure if they can find good Filipino writers.
As you can see, it is not about competing with others. It is about your ability and capability. Everything else is secondary, or may not even mean a thing.
To put ‘time’ to good use, one in which writers place themselves in a position to succeed, I have the 1/3:1/3:1/3 schedule.
Tip: Write the time you allocated for writing on a piece of paper and stick it where you can always see it. A good place is in the periphery of vision when you sit in front of the computer. By doing that, it serves as a constant reminder to use the time for productivity.
Let me share my personal experience back when I first started as a freelance online writer.
I used a third of my time learning and then use another third to write anything I want. Finally, I spent the remaining third for seeking clients. In the first year, that was how I used my time every single day. Not once did I compromise learning time for earning money. As a result, I improved my skills and made myself more valuable and attractive to clients.
Without a track record, it is hard for Filipino writers to secure a job. As such, some veteran writers make it a point to emphasize how many years of experience they have.
The years of experience has no correlation to skills or ability if there is no constant growth.
A writer writes the same sentence every day for the next decade without learning. After ten years, will that writer be any better? Clients, especially the new ones, soon find out that what matters is growth. For instance, the ability to adapt to the tone or technique they need makes a writer valuable. Of course, that goes without saying that they also need to pay for high-quality content.
As mentioned earlier, one thing I did was to keep writing. But the purpose of doing so was not to crank out a million articles. Rather, the idea is to learn and build my showcase.
Being one, I can understand why many writers prefer to write topics they love. Even so, that does not equate to excellence. Instead, it only serves as the foundation in which one can excel. In other words, one can choose to be a writer or an excellent writer.
I had been blogging for years, but when I contemplated becoming a writer, it was when I had a realization. I can use blogs as a platform for learning and the only resume I need.
Tip: Use WordPress when blogging. Most clients use it on their sites as it is the most popular content management system in the world.
Experience and learning go hand in hand, and as a result, it leads to having a better showcase.
In everything we do, there must be intentions. When I wrote early on, it was not only to share my thoughts. It was also my means to get started in writing as well as an opportunity to improve. As such, I edit or rewrite my old posts to apply the new things I learned. As a result, the shabby posts became better and more impressive.
In particular, I focused on learning writing techniques and readability. At the same time, I invested in having my own host and domain. As such, I also learned the technical side of setting up sites and its maintenance.
The most important thing about using time is to make it productive not only in earnings but also in growing.
Every little bit and pieces of new things I learned became a part of my knowledge. Desire is a powerful motivator. Because I wanted to excel, everything I did has to be a learning experience.
Once I attended a workshop hosted by John Maxwell himself. Among the things he talked about was intentional living. While he talked about the way we live our lives, I used the same philosophy in another way.
Tip: Invest in personal development books. A few authors I recommend are Dale Carnegie, John Maxwell, and Stephen Covey. Instead of reading their books in a few hours, spend months applying what you learned in each chapter. In essence, each of their books can take over a year to put into practice.
Not only do I have planned times for learning. I also viewed each job I took as a means to further hone my skills. Soon, I already have the ability to not only write but to also do so much more for clients.
1.4. From 1/3:1/3:1/3 to 1/3:2/3
Let us do a little recap.
To have a successful online writing career, we need to know our schedules. Then we plan and use the time for learning, writing and seeking clients. As such, we write with the intention to grow by putting into practice all new things we learned.
Focus on improving, and you will soon find yourself with the preferable 1/3:2/3 use of time. As mentioned, learning is non-negotiable. Hence a third of the time is for continuous growth. Of the remaining time, it is all work.
Notice how there is no more need to seek clients and if there is a need, getting hired becomes easy.
Have the insatiable desire to keep growing.
“Son, I don’t care if you get a D in tests,” I told my kid. “What is important is that you give your A+ effort in learning.”
Here is the reality. If my son exerts effort, then he is more likely to get an A+ in his tests. Even for people who are not inclined to writing can, at best, be above average if they put in the effort. Having said that, how much can writers improve if they put their hearts into growing?
Tip: Showcase articles or samples are often the deciding factors in hiring. Speedy delivery is necessary. But what matters the most is the article itself, as well as the tone and technique that clients need.
Writers who keep improving and growing will have an excellent showcase. It could be any of the many articles they have written and ready to send to clients. In my case, it is a blog or some sites I have worked on.
2. Getting Great Clients
Already, there are several means in finding great clients. For most writers, the obvious choices are freelancer marketplaces and job portals. Although these are great mediums for seeking clients, they are also not the only means to an end.
Using the Pareto Principle, we can assume that 80% of employers are not exceptional. In the same manner, 80% of writers are not qualified.
Looking at job postings, many clients are seeking slaves who can write. In most cases, they have no concept of excellence. In spite of their desire to hire the best people, they end up with the worst.
Tip: Keep an eye out for jobs that may have a less-than-ideal pay rate, but can be a great learning experience.
As for writers, it is only but natural to seek once-in-a-lifetime dream-come-true clients. Unfortunately, only excellent writers have a real chance of turning it into reality.
Successful people keep learning, and that is what the best writers in the world do.
At times, searching for the right client feels like a never-ending quest. But once an opportunity arises, getting hired is even more challenging. For the bottom 80% of writers, they can share the 80% of clients.
3. Getting Hired
In theory, it is possible to gather the best clients in the world in one place. Does that mean they will hire all the writers who presented themselves? In fact, it is within the realm of possibilities that no one gets hired.
After having mentioned the pathetic 80% of clients and writers, it is time to look at the positive side.
We want to work with the top 20% or the exceptional employers. Hence, we need to be among the top 20% of Filipino writers. For that to happen, then we need to place ourselves in a position to succeed. It means that we need to have the right attitude and prepare.
Getting hired is not about being the first to submit a CV. In fact, it is not even about the content of a resume. Employers hire writers who can deliver the kind of content that they want. In general, the higher the quality, the more clients need to pay.
An excellent preparation ensures that writers can do the job. Furthermore, continuous growth paves the way for better opportunities.
Can clients resist articles that not only matches their needs but exceeds it too?
Tip: Offering to write a custom article is an excellent way of showing your ability. I did that in the past and at times, submitted without the client even asking. In the case of voluntary submissions, I let clients know that I am putting the same article up on my blog.
On the side of employers, if there is a chance to hire an excellent Filipino writer, the only issue is if they can pay. Secondary to that is if we are willing to settle for a lesser pay rate.
Great Clients Hire Well-Prepared Filipino Writers
Getting hired is easy, in theory, that is. In the scientific community, the best brains that the world has ever seen spend their lifetime proving theories. Fortunately for us, we do not have to rot away the rest of our lives finding a great job.
After sixteen years or so of formal schooling, the real learning has only begun. Colleges and universities gave us the foundation, but it is up to us to grow.
Dear readers, some of you are students while most are already professionals. In more ways than one, each one of you already had a good head start. I never completed my college education, and that is a fact I never hid from clients. Like I said, CV means nothing but results and content is everything.
Seeking clients is not an issue as there are platforms we can use. As such, the only concern is if we qualify for the jobs that have a higher pay rate. Once again, I reiterate the importance of the never-ending preparation.
Patience in continuous growth is as important as having the desire to be great.
Each time I review a batch of applications, I see many who lack the necessary preparation. Most of these people will move on to another profession within a year or two, while a few will go on to excel. These are the Filipino writers who put a high value on growth and have the patience to keep persevering.
In ending this article, let me leave you with one word.
No matter how difficult it is today, you can be better. The choice is yours on whether or not to strive for excellence. The truth is that most people cannot, but the few who do, they have the fortitude.