Whether you have a passion for creating copy, a vested interest in producing persuasive content or you’re just curious about how to take your first steps towards becoming a writer, there are many paths you can take. So if you’re wondering how do I become a writer?, read on for a few top tips and our expert guidance on how you can embark on this exciting new avenue.
Develop a portfolio
As a vocation, writing is a cross between a traditional workplace role and a more creative endeavour. As such, when it comes to becoming a writer one of the first things you should consider is how you’re going to sell yourself to potential audiences and clients. Jamie Endick at XOJane, who at the time was new to the world of writing as a job, describes just how important a great portfolio is to landing your next client, or that big job, as how you’re perceived by the person you want to work with is based on that small insight into your capabilities.
No matter what type of writer you would like to become, a portfolio is a must if you want to remain profitable and impress potential new clients. For writers, especially those that work freelance, a large part of the job isn’t the writing; in fact, a great deal of time is taken up with admin tasks as well as communications with clients and even pitching for new work. Being able to show your talents off passively thanks to a great portfolio can allow you to gain more clients and become a proper writer in the meantime.
According to Nicolas Cole at Inc, “As an independent writer, the ability to write with a range of voices will be your most valuable (and easiest to monetise) skill”.
This is true of any form of writing – learning to develop the skills to match your client’s needs and their requirements are a must if you want to become a writer. Your portfolio should reflect this message, and show variety in what you can do.
A copywriting portfolio can mean a lot of things, but in the modern era, it’s generally a website, or even a blog, that provides insight into what you can do, as well as a version of your CV that can tell prospective clients or employers more about you.
An excellent writing blog includes examples of your work, or a place where clients can request them, a history of work you’ve done in the past and, if applicable, great feedback you’ve received from writing you’ve already completed. These are some of the first things many clients will look for and are a must to become a professional writer.
Keep on writing
Unsurprisingly, the first skill you need when it comes to being a writer is the ability to write well, and be able to create content that persuades and engages the audience, leaving them wanting more.
The first step to developing this skill is simple; put fingers to keyboard, or pen to paper, and start writing. Practice makes perfect and using other writing work as inspiration and even a template in the initial stages can allow you to develop your own writing skills.
Reading as voraciously as you can is also another top tip when it comes to broadening your insight into various styles and topic, and your mastery of language.
According to Han-Gwon Lung of Tailored Ink, a large part of being a good writer is to keep on practising and believing in your skills as a writer. Talent and motivation are an excellent start to persevering with your writing, but when it comes to blocks and obstacles, being able to go over or around those concerns is a must to ensure you can carry on learning and growing.
When it comes to becoming a writer, having the diligence and discipline to create compelling copy, develop insightful articles and author entertaining blog content every day is a must. Developing these skills early can put you on the right track to becoming a great writer. After all, to become a successful writer you need to be able to prove you can write in a way that matches the voice, needs and expectations of your clients, or else you won’t survive in the field for long.
Do your research and get educated
If you’re unsure about what type of writer you’d like to be, or you’re unsure about how to become a writer full stop, then honing your research skills can go a long way towards providing you with the knowledge and information you need to become a writer.
These skills are a must of many writing jobs, as you’ll be required to find out more about a subject, research other articles and even provide source material and statistics depending on the work you’ve taken on.
Though writing is not a field that necessarily requires any formal training in regards to qualifications and accolades, those additional letters after your name or that certificate hanging on the wall can be a huge help. Especially in kickstarting your knowledge and information on how to write effectively, and some courses can even provide you with guidance on how to navigate the world of writing, from winning clients to creating contracts as needed.
Education comes in other forms, too, whether it’s researching writing techniques and developing skills yourself or simply sitting down with someone else within the field and having a good chat about everything that is involved in a writing position or as a freelancer.
There are many different ways to research and learn about how to break into freelance writing, and it’s well worth taking advantage of as many as possible.
What else do I need to become a writer?
The exact requirements you need to become a writer can vary from person to person. After all, writing is such a vast field and encompasses many different forms of creation, from website copy to blog posts, articles to novels and anything in between. But one universal factor that’s a must to become a writer is being able to gain work and impress your clients with the writing you produce for them.
Choosing to work with a copywriting agency can provide you with a way to connect with clients, choose the type of copy you want to produce and become a writer without the steep learning curve of pitching for jobs. For those looking to become a professional writer, there’s no better place to start. If you’re wondering how do I become a writer with Copify, take a look at our guide.