Adity is the coder turned full-time freelance content writer. She has been into the freelance content writing for almost 8 years now. We spoke to her to understand how it is to be a freelancer. She talked about her journey in detail.
When and how you decided to start content writing?
It was in the mid of 2012 when I decided to quit my 9-6 office job of a developer at TBSS (Tata business support services) to start something new. I was devastated with targets, pressure and other madness at the office. I wanted to live my life freely. I wanted to attend all the events, festivals and other family celebrations without being worried about leaves. I wanted to work but the way I wanted to not the way someone else wanted me to.
I never ever wanted to be Bossed.
Then one day I took the final decision of leaving this job and let myself free from all the hassles. I desperately started looking for some work that can be done from home and that is when I received an SMS on my phone mentioning “want to work from home? Buy this CD and start work”. The CD was priced at 1300 INR at that time. I ordered it and received the CD within 7 days. Several options of working from home were mentioned including details about freelance content writing. I searched and got to know about freelancer.com So, signed up there and explored the site. I saw several options for freelancers such as developer, testing jobs, graphic designs, logo designs, content writing, data entry, to name a few.
It was then when I decided to work as a freelance content writer. Leaving a full-time job for a work about which I did not know much was very tough. I was a little sceptical about, whether my family will accept my decision. However, my family stood by me through the tough times.
What were the initial hardships you had to go through?
At the very beginning, I had fallen for many scams as I did not have any idea about the freelancer.com works. I did not know how the milestones system worked. I worked for several clients without getting the projects awarded to me, milestone, and did not get any payment. Also, got complaints from some clients about wrong grammar, spelling mistakes, etc.
But I did not lose faith and kept on working hard to improve my skills. Gradually, I got to know about many tools that are helpful for content writing such as Grammarly, Copyscape, Google keyword planner, to name a few. Also, learned about keywords, SEO, WordPress from many of my clients and with the help of continuous search on Google. One client had told me that “you have the potential to outsource work”. I thought about it and started hiring 1-2 writers to share my work. I kept on expanding the team and at one point had 14 such professional writers working with me.
How tough it is to get the work initially?
Initially, it’s tough to get work.
If you see there are 43,253,226 registered users in freelancer.com. And the number is increasing every day. So, there is huge competition. The good part is that there is a continuous increase in projects as well. Till date, there are 17,558,360 open jobs available on freelancer.com. So, I never lost hope and kept on bidding for the projects.
Starting will definitely be a little tough but as you become more experienced you learn to defeat the hurdles to become successful.
What is the process to get the work?
I use freelancer.com to get projects.
Also, I have many offline clients for whom I have been working for the past 3-4 years. Some clients referred me to their professional network for content writing work.
Along with that, I have been working on to set up a digital marketing channel to reach potential customers offline. I have a portfolio site(https://www.aditybera.me/) to drive offline leads who are currently looking for such services. It’s a long way to go but a promising path to drive sales.
How u guys collaborate for daily meetings?
Besides hosting 1-1 meeting and skype calls, we use different tools such as Jira, Trello, Airtable, Slack, Google sheet, Google doc for daily collaboration, work planning, assignment and progress.
Any suggestions for the budding content writers?
There are no shortcuts to achieve success.
Be ethical with your work, time commitment, and proactive communication with the customers can keep your work life healthy and help to build a professional relationship with the existing customers. Also, work on any project until the goal is met.