Experience is worth a thousand words.
You've found an available assignment on Scripted, but it's not on a topic you usually write about; it's an overview of using polycarbonates in the construction of greenhouses. After scratching your head for a moment, you have to make a decision: Can you turn this topic into a compelling, informative article?
If you've been a freelance writer long enough, chances are you'll take that job and write a terrific piece. That's because longtime freelance writers know a secret: If you want to make a living as a writer, you constantly need to broaden your knowledge and expand your areas of expertise. Ask any successful content writer and they'll tell you that they've written about everything from nuclear fission to diaper rash. How do they do it? By relying upon their freelancing technique and by leveraging their education and vocational background to push their writing boundaries.
Here's how to leverage your experience to increase your versatility and grow your portfolio.
Use Your Research Skills
As a journalist and content writer, you're no stranger to research; you already know how to find and format information into a well-written post. Thanks to the wealth of resources on the Internet, you can use your research skills to tackle a wider range of industry-specific pieces, even if it means doing more homework than usual.
Rely On Your Technique
As a professional freelancer, you already have the ability to extract the most important points from your research and pare them down into a sellable post. By applying this technique to fields outside your comfort zone, you can teach yourself how to recognize the essentials in even the most unfamiliar topic, and effectively write about them.
Use Your Work Experience in a Creative Way
If you have a marketing background, you can find ways to parlay this into technical and business writing, because these fields overlap in so many ways. Likewise, your talents as a chef or food writer can serve you well if you want to write about fashion, because, as you've probably already noticed, food and fashion writers use many of the same techniques (not to mention the adjectives)!
How can you tell if it's safe to stray outside your comfort zone? If you can apply your existing research techniques to the assignment, you should be fine. If, however, the assignment involves a highly technical discussion of information that's not readily accessible, or that you can't process in a sitting or two, you'll need to pass it by.
By using your techniques as a freelance writer you can leverage your vocational background and education to write about things you'd ordinarily never dream of tackling. Don't be afraid to try it; you may end up surprising yourself.
To Read More About Finding Jobs, See Below:
How to Write for Trade Magazines
How to Write Quality and Profitable Freelance Articles
4 Reasons You Didn't Get That Freelance Writing Job (and How to Avoid It In the Future)
Photo credit: KristinNador via Flickr
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