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I started freelance writing in Nepal in February 2021. I had only written a few blog posts on my website before that. So, I did not know how to write for clients.
My first client approached me on LinkedIn, where I used to share my work consistently. Because of that, I did not have to look for clients. Instead, they found me.
Since then, I have been freelance writing for several national and international companies.
Throughout my journey, I have learned so many things about freelance writing. In this post, I will be sharing some of the essential lessons I learned.
If you are an aspiring freelance writer in Nepal, this article will be helpful to you.
What is Freelance Writing?
Freelance writing is a content writing job that does not require you to work as a full-time employee at an office. Instead, you work as a contractor from anywhere across the world for clients.
Freelance writing includes various writing services like article/blog writing, copywriting, social media writing, ghostwriting, web content writing, etc. The most common form of freelance writing is article writing and copywriting.
Once a project is complete, clients pay writers for their services, and they go their separate ways unless they have agreed to work on several projects.
Freelance Writing in Nepal
Many writers in Nepal work as freelancers for companies operating inside and outside the country. However, I have seen that the freelancing culture is not yet popular among the companies in Nepal. Most Nepali companies and agencies hire full-time writers instead of freelancers.
Because of this, writers seek freelancing gigs outside of Nepal. They use platforms like Upwork and Fiverr to work for international clients. Although the competition is fierce on such platforms, some writers get great freelancing jobs and make good money.
How I Got Into Freelance Writing
I had never planned on writing for clients and working as a freelance writer. I used to write on my blog and share it on social platforms. But I wasn’t making any money from my writing.
Because I shared my articles on LinkedIn, my connections were growing. Then, one day, one of my connections asked me if I would write for his company’s website. He was situated outside the country, so we scheduled a brief virtual meeting. He said that he came to know about my work from LinkedIn.
Although I never planned for it, I was happy to receive my first freelancing gig. Since then, I have worked for several clients. I have written articles, blog posts, website content, and case studies for them.
At first, freelance writing was different for me. I had to research and study topics I didn’t know before. But the process was fun, and I started enjoying it.
Lessons I Learned Freelance Writing in Nepal
Below are five essential lessons I learned working as a freelance writer in Nepal.
1. Your writing portfolio is your CV.
Before getting into freelancing, you must have a portfolio of your writing work. Clients hire you based on your work and skills. But how do you show your work?
By writing online consistently (for free).
Yes. That is how you build a writing portfolio. It is better if you have a blog or platform where you can showcase your work.
In freelance writing, you don’t need a CV or resume. Your writing portfolio is your CV. You don’t need high academic education or work experience. Instead, you need credibility.
I started writing online in March 2020, during the Covid lockdown. I used to write primarily on my blog. Later, I wrote on other platforms like Medium, LinkedIn, and Twitter to showcase my work.
2. You must have an online presence.
People should know that you exist. You must show your work consistently. You can’t just share one article in a month and disappear on other days.
Show up every day.
How can you build an online presence?
Write on your blog or other platform and share your work on social media, especially on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Don’t just share the link to your article. Instead, write something on these social platforms too. For example, write posts and articles on LinkedIn. Share pictures related to your work. Don’t share a selfie of you at the dentist’s (unless you write about dental hygiene).
As I said previously, people should constantly see your work and know that you exist. That’s how clients find you.
I never approached anyone for freelance writing. Instead, my clients came to me because of my work and because I was posting consistently on LinkedIn.
Don’t feel shy. Share your work.
3. Pricing and negotiation skills are key.
In freelancing, clients usually ask for your price. So, you must be ready to quote the number before you consider working with them.
Freelance writers get paid in several ways: monthly basis (like salary), per-word basis, per-project basis, per-article basis, etc.
How do you know your price? I struggled a lot with it initially. I was afraid that I would give a large number and lose an incredible opportunity. On the other hand, if I said a smaller number, I would suffer because I know I am worth more.
I usually ask for a higher price, which I know they will negotiate. So, I’ll be ready if they drop to a lesser amount.
How should I ask to be paid? I worked on a per-word basis. But recently, I have suffered from it. So, I prefer to be paid on a per-project basis.
Don’t be afraid to quote a higher price for freelancing. But at the same time, you must also have the necessary skills and work credibility.
4. Contract and advance payments
One time, a client in Nepal hired me as a content writer for his travel blog. We agreed on a price. But I asked him to give me a written agreement (or contract) to ensure that I would be paid.
He agreed. However, he asked me to write a few articles first while he (and his team) prepared the contract papers.
He seemed genuine, so I believed him. I had written more than 5 articles for him, yet he did not prepare the contract. He gave me so many excuses every time I asked for it. I even visited his office, but he was never there. He also didn’t reply to my messages.
After writing seven articles, I was done with him. He never gave me a contract or paid me for my work. So, I only sent him 3 out of the 7 articles.
That incident taught me that you should always ask for a contract or a written agreement before working as a freelancer.
Whenever I have doubts, I also ask for advance payments. Most clients agree and pay a certain percentage of the total pay beforehand.
5. Ditch clients who don’t pay you.
Never stick with clients who don’t pay. Dump them. Don’t get overly attached to a single client, like your girlfriend/boyfriend. If they are toxic, you should get rid of them.
If you have the skills, you will surely get other clients. So, don’t waste time on toxic clients.
Get rid of clients who ask you to do too much. Some of them ask for multiple revisions of your work. But they pay less later. Some even cancel your payment and say that they were not happy with your work after you have already corrected it multiple times.
If you find such clients, say goodbye and leave.
If you are an aspiring freelance writer in Nepal, you must know how to find, approach, communicate, and negotiate with clients. Freelance writing is not only about writing. Instead, it is also about marketing and managing your finances.
Freelance writing in Nepal (along with other freelancing work) is growing because you can do it from anywhere. You don’t have to sit at an office desk to write a blog post.
However, as I said previously, many companies in Nepal are yet to accept this culture. They want full-time employees instead of freelancers. Most companies started the remote working culture during the pandemic. But that has slowly faded now.
Let’s hope that the freelancing culture grows in Nepal sooner.
Thanks for reading!
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