The idea of starting an online content writing business is overwhelming and lucrative. India has grown with leaps and bounds across the last decade and the potential it carries is exponential. Why not harvest this opportunity to create your dreams into reality. The path of success may not be straight but not unachievable. With guidance and strategic endeavours mixed with the sauce of determination can create wonders. So let’s dive deep into what you can do to run a content writing business in India:
Know Your Expertise And Keep It At Front
If you are a newbie and want to explore the world of freelancing, you must understand the importance of niche specialization first. You can’t be the ‘jack of all trades and you should not be. Why? Because specialization is what people are looking for. Your noblest ideas could turn futile if not properly structured, timed and well-marketed.
The key to build your brand is to make your niche clear and say it loud, loud enough to gain you, followers. Coming to writing business, it is a matter of time and how well you can engage with your audience on social platforms. But how well you engage and with what you should engage is the big question. To answer that you should first know the various kinds of writing services that you can offer. Here are some:
- Social Media writing
- SEO articles
- Newsletter writing
- Article Writing
- Business Writing
- Technical writing
- Academic Writing
- Technical writing
- Product Description
Each writing service has its own specific requirement, expertise and tone. You should choose your field of writing or learn some of them with online content writing courses. They are available on Coursera, Udemy etc. It is not a compulsion that one person can only specialize in one or two forms of writing. It’s your choice. But it’s always effective to give to your community when you have something in abundance. Because what you write, will be heard by millions one day. So it’s more than just morality, to produce what you know best.
During your initial days of freelance writing, you might feel surrounded by water, full of sharks. Your competitor is never going to be easy on you. And you, a newbie, will probably get lost in crowds. This is the case with many freelance content writers. But every pro was a newbie like you. Isn’t?
This is where specialization helps you to break the odds. To emerge as a goldfish, you will have to show your audience that you have an in-depth knowledge of your niche. This is why we say watching 100 videos on ‘how to write a compelling copy’ would hardly work if you actually don’t write a few of them and check your engagements. Expertise and specialization doesn’t mean just watching or learning content but practising and innovating. This is how you can turn into a writing wizard. That’s how today’s pros have reached where they are- from zero to hero.
Build Your Website To Showcase Your Work
Whether you’re a newbie or an established writer, a dedicated website is a prerequisite to gain value and attention. If you’re a newbie, chances are that you don’t have published articles. But you need to show your samples to the clients. What’s the solution? Creating a website is definitely a smart solution. You can publish your write-ups on your websites. It’s easy to build a website nowadays and you don’t need an expert unless you’re an established writing agency. Create your portfolio with sections like contact, about me, categories, services. This will help clients to understand your profile better. Needless to mention, for already established content writers, a website is the most vital part of their business. It is the face of their organization.
A website is like a resume that helps your clients to analyse your work. It can become the decisive element of your pay and perks. In this internet-driven world, people won’t physically come to communicate and see your work; rather an online medium comes in handy.
Also through a website, you can reach a wide range of audience. You can simply leave your website link at various portals and in your resumes too. This makes you visible online and companies may approach you to assist in projects. But for that, you need to have a website first. So why waiting? Go to Blogger or WordPress, which already has tones of ready-to-go templates, and get your first website done.
Do the Market Research to Stay In The Game
So now let’s come to the part that bewilders every freelancer- ‘How much should I charge?’ First, you need to understand the market, i.e. your competitors. You need to follow up with the leading content writing agencies to know the-
- Charges they quote
- Company Policies
- Services they offer
- Legal Framework
- Mode of Operation
It is important to know every aspect of the content writing business before you or your company quotes any charge. For new ones, it is necessary to know what are the prevailing market condition so that they don’t charge off-market rates. You don’t have to reduce your prices, rather you can make your services better and complementary. You should be one step ahead of the market but perform in line with the market norms. This is the key to survival. More the research, more will you be viable. Another way to get market insight is to communicate with content writing agencies and get some assistance. Know their success stories, hurdles and failures. A helping hand is always better than groping in dark. Feel free to contact and connect with like-minded people. You can use Linkedin and Facebook to connect with people.
You can make your company stand out by offering similar services at competitive rates. You can increase your charges gradually as you grow. But in the initial stages, you need to give quality work at competitive rates. That may affect your pockets but don’t worry, you will recover it in due time. Just stay consistent.
Apart from that, if you are an independent freelancer, the charges offered to you may differ from a content writing agency. So be careful while quoting your charges. Don’t quote off-market rates. However if you could establish yourself as a brand, then sky is the limit.
Craft a feasible Business Plan
Before you make that face, hear it first- a business plan is just chalking out your yearly and monthly goals. Yes, it’s that simple. A business plan gives you direction and keeps your business on track. A successful business plan considers the following in their plan:
- Goals for the first few months
- Financial Targets
- Whom to connect with and how
- Revenue Generation Strategy
- Deciding short term and long term goals.
Your business plan should be actionable and feasible and you should work hard to achieve your goals. A fancy-looking plan is not what is required rather a simple but effective one. Let’s face it, you can’t hit millions in a few months but definitely, if you work hard you can reach that magical number within a few years. You can break it down into monthly targets accordingly. This is what makes your business plan effective. Don’t make your business plan a new year resolution, which hardly sustains. Rather make a business plan only after doing market research. Once you made it, stay firm and confident on it. You might face difficulties, rejections and turn-backs but remember, it’s a part of growth.
A business plan should contain financial goals clearly. If you have a team of writers, your expenses would be more. In that case, take this as a thumb rule; your expenses should not cross your income. This is what you should target in the beginning or you will go nuts in a few months. Believe it or not, it is a game of survival. If you can withstand it for a few months, you will start getting clients and adequate revenue to run your business.
Tap the Social Button
Simply put, it means, Go Social! Social Media is a goldmine for Content writing agencies. The equation is simple, the more the number of followers, the more business opportunities. Make a page for your company or create your profile and invest in brand building. Nothing is more important than this step.
Building a brand is the single most important thing that you can do. Brand building doesn’t mean getting a profile picture, of course with a blue ring, and posting content. It’s much more. The world is moving on social media and so should you and your business. Rapid engagement, heartfelt conversation, engaging posts and connection building are significant aspects of brand building.
Say it loud on social media. Let the people know what you offer and what makes you unique. Explore the world of social platforms to find potential customers. Not only with customers but engaging in niche-targeted groups also makes your company visible.
It’s important to look important and premium. So stay professional but don’t forget to add the touch of humanism. After all, you’re here to connect with people, not robots. Post regularly on Social Media to gain followers and attract potential clients.
There are various spaces for freelancers like Upwork, Freelancer, Truelancer, etc. that can help you to get projects and regular work. You can work for low prices in the beginning but once you start getting clients, you don’t have to look back.
Build Connections and Spread Awareness
Last but not the least, every successful business has one thing in common- the value they spread. To move up the ladder one need not be just diligent with his/her work but should also be community-sensitive. It means to care for your tribe, which includes your employees, clients, business partners, associates and colleagues. This is the backbone of a consistent business policy. If your surrounding is itchy, how could you find solace? So it is the duty of every freelancer or a company to keep things around him/her smooth. It can be their family, their personal life etc.
Remember, in any online business, your connections are your assets. They are the core about which your business revolves. Just like lubricating the machines helps in better efficiency, a bit of care and extra efforts to build and sustain relationships keeps your business on track. Social media and other freelancing platforms are the seats of opportunity. Connect with like-minded people. Make them feel important. There would always be flaws somewhere in the organization but don’t get bothered by it. Focus on your business plan and keep executing.
Another important aspect of the business is spreading awareness. You don’t have to campaign for a social cause. Just make sure your services are always helpful for people and once you become a big name, this responsibility increases many folds. Have you noticed how brands associate their business with a social cause? You can try that. This won’t affect your revenue rather it will bring more value to your organisation.
Keep your passion for writing on road, meet deadlines on time and don’t let the burden of profit bother you much in the beginning. Creating value and spreading it is not easy since you run out of ideas someday. In such cases, research helps. When you start working and building connections, you will gain the trust of people. This will cook the base of your business. Once it’s baked, you can spin and roll your dice, just the way you want it.