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Ten things you need to have as a freelance writer in Nigeria

Freelance writing has become the ideal career prospect for virtually every young mind in Nigeria due to its high profitability and the employment opportunities it offers. 

Freelance writing is one of the most accessible skills anyone can learn. This is because every child who passes through the primary education phase learns to read and write, arming them with the essential skills that can be further honed to become seasoned writers. 

However, to become a freelance writer, a few things are a must-have to thrive in the freelance writing industry.

1. Skills
You can never truly master a trade without arming yourself with the necessary skill set. To become a top-notch freelance writer, you must, first of all, learn your trade! 

This may sound quite simple, but the truth is that it isn’t what you think! Besides knowing how to come through with an engaging piece, you must also master the art of communication, time management, and client management altogether to become successful.

Writing falls deeper beyond the shallow depths, understanding writing tone, engagement, clarity, etc. Is key to writing an engaging piece that distinguishes you from just any Nigerian writer out there.

2. A PC or smartphone
To become a freelance writer, you will need a tool to help you compose your content, edit, as well as proofread. For this, you will need a personal computer (Note, this can be a desktop or a laptop) and depends solely on what you have lying around or a smartphone.

 Unlike other skill set like graphic designing or web development, freelance writing doesn’t require a PC with cutting-edge specifications or quality. An average PC with an MS word program, access to power, and the internet is just okay.

3. A working space
I know you may be thinking you need to rent ample office space to become a freelance writer, well that isn’t always the case here. 

All you need is a small area in your apartment designated for your job; it doesn’t have to be spacious, a little space in your sitting room, perhaps on your couch, or a little area in your bedroom set aside for this purpose is just fine. 

What this does is it lets you separate your regular life from your job knowing that the little space becomes your office when you’re ready to work.

4. Access to power
This is the problem most freelance writers in Nigeria are faced with. Let’s face it, becoming a full-time freelance writer will require steady access to power or at least for the duration of time you choose to work. 

Owning a generator set or a power pack if you choose to utilize your smartphone for writing can solve this problem. Otherwise, living in an area that provides steady electricity will keep you at the top of your game and ensure you don’t miss those particular deadlines.

5. Premium Editing and Proofreading tools
As a freelance writer, the responsibility of writing, editing, and Proofreading your content is solely yours; therefore, acquiring the essential tools to aid you in writing top-notch content is pivotal.

 To that end, owning a premium Grammarly proofreading tool will up your writing game by a considerable margin as it scans your content for Grammar errors and correctness.

6. Premium Plagiarism checker
When people hire you to provide content for their websites, blogs, etc., they expect you to write 100% unique content. 

This means your content should not be copied from other already existing sites or shouldn’t be a replica of someone else’s work, which is where a plagiarism checking tool becomes your much-dreaded ally. 

A plagiarism tool scans your content for similarities, resemblance, and likeness of any kind and highlights such similarities for you to work with. Tools like Copyscape are great for this.

Additionally, always go for premium paid tools whenever possible as this will do the perfect job while leaving no room for errors.

7. Online freelance writing job site membership
After putting together the tools you require to become a freelancer, the next step is gaining clients! 

A number of freelance sites enlist thousands of freelance writing job openings daily- sites like Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr, etc., Are great places to start with. 

All you need to do is create a freelancer account, customize your profile and start sending proposals to listed jobs that meet your qualifications.

8. The perfect proposal
A proposal is a write-up that identifies challenges in a job description and specifies skills that the job seeker (freelance writer) possesses which the employer requires, most times detailing how you intend to tackle the challenges.

Most upcoming Nigerian freelance writers make the mistake of spelling out every detail when crafting a proposal for a potential client.

 Understanding the science behind writing the perfect proposal is key to winning several clients. Most times you don’t need to fill all the spaces trying to explain why they should hire you and all the skills you possess; most clients will easily slide down to the following proposal once they see a bunch of closely packed words.

To further add, always try to be specific when sending out proposals. If possible, integrate the particular requirements included in the job description to increase your chances of getting the gig. 

Furthermore, try to be concise and straightforward in your proposal; hit the nail on its head!

9. Writing samples
A freelance writing proposal is never complete without a writing sample(s). A client will require a sample or two to be convinced that you’re indeed a perfect match for the job. 

You can gather samples from your previous jobs in Doc files or links to your work which should be attached to your proposal when sending in your proposals.

Note, if you didn’t attach a sample of your work in your sample, a client may, in most cases, request a previously written sample(s) to weigh the quality of your work.

10. References, case studies, and testimonials
In addition, your proposal and written sample, including references (links to your work), case studies, and testimonials of previous satisfied clients will further boost your chances of getting hired by a considerable margin.

There you have it, ten things you need to have as a freelance writer in Nigeria. If you want a tutor train you on becoming a freelance writer, do send a message. I'm a commission away.

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