Business idea for students – The effect of the on-going lockdown around the world arguably comes with untold hardship, hunger, financial stress, emotional and psychological trauma to say the least.
This to a great extent brought so many businesses to their knees, the need to maintain social distancing makes it even impossible for most businesses to have smooth operations, majority now work virtually from home which you will agree is not operational process in this part of the world.
That being said, the process has created more idle hands than necessary, thus the need to get maximally productive by learning a business I sure have no doubt will put food on your table during and after the COVID-19 lockdown.
The good news is that this pandemic shall come to pass, we’re much closer to the finish line than we are few days back, however, you ought to do something to keep shape while the wait continues.
I’m introducing a business that is not so strange with you, you might have had an opportunity to key into it but for some reasons had let the opportunity and the fortunes that abound in it passed you repeatedly ignorantly. By the end of this piece, you’d sure dust your ass and brace up to reality, it’s a viable business idea for students.
It’s no other than “Freelance writing business,” a business idea for students that had save lives, turn lack to abundance, turn impossibility into possibilities and opportunities.
Who is a freelance writer?
A freelance writer is someone who works/writes for a living, while being self-employed, living on his own terms. This can also be someone who typically writes for more than one client and is paid per writing assignment. You can refer to yourself in any of the below ways depending on what you do;
- Freelance blogger- focus on blog writing
- Content writer- focus on different types of content (white paper, blog posts, Ebooks…etc)
- SEO writer- focus on providing highly optimized content for search engines as a way to rank in Google
- Content strategist focus more on creative and managing content
- Ghost writer- providing ghost writing not in your name, for ebooks, blog posts, email, white papers etc.
You can position yourself as any of the above service provider and make money out of it during and after the novel COVID-19 pandemic.
How to become a freelance writer
If you have a knack for storytelling, can combine research and writing skills to compel people to pay attention to you with good mastery of English language, then you’ve got the pass code already. If by any means you do not fall in the category mentioned and will like to venture into providing freelance writing services, you equally have an opportunity.
All you’d ever need is the propelling force, motivation and willingness to learn how the trade is plied, while you up your act in the right direction to survive.
Assuming you are afraid of making mistakes in your choice of words while writing or not so fluent in English/writing skills, come over it, you can become whoever you want to be by following the steps that apply religiously.
For the record, start by writing and writing, then keep writing, I said continue writing, get people to edit and help with corrections where necessary, learn to do it over and over, rinse and repeat the process, before long you’ll be hitting the ground like a classic “Nobel Laureate,” sure you heard me say that.
Also be mindful of the fact that good readers make good writers, so read journals likewise from writers you admire their work a lot, following these steps will hone your skills to that perfect writer you’d ever wanted to be.
The truth is, no writer was born great, they were made, it’s a function of dutiful hours embedded into interest, motivation and willingness to succeed, so learn from this and hone your way up.
Having said that, let’s get down to the real deal. A good number of steps will ensure your success in this trade, do not take any point in here lightly as all measures apply as well your recipe for success.
Build a compelling writing portfolio
Building a writing portfolio is tantamount to creating a social relevance, as you are aware, older businesses gain goodwill for patronage as a result of existing customer experience over the years, this is not to say it will take you ages to build a writing portfolio rather citing the benefit you stand to gain by following this step.
By building a writing portfolio I mean creating an archive of online relevance that speaks for your credibility. If you happen to be on a look out for a freelance writer, you sure wouldn’t employ the service of an amateur, you will go for an expert who will produce a top notch content well thought out and researched without grammatical errors or any need to proof read thereafter.
That being said, your portfolio gives an insight to whoever wants to hier your service to ascertain if you’ll make a good fit for the job.
How then do you create/build a writing portfolio that compels
Building a portfolio that lands writing gigs repeatedly does not come with a herculean task, all there’s to it is to maintain a positive guest contribution on authority websites.
Guest contribution explained
Guest contribution involves writing educative, interesting and highly purposeful content, then get them published on websites similar to your writing expertise, once your content is accepted and published, there lies the recipe for success.
However, your guest contribution may not always be accepted by these websites, considering they write and publish for a vast audience, they are far detailed and meticulous about whatever they’ll let go live on their website.
This is why you must get it right the first time in a number ways;
- Write a well detailed but brief pitch
- Write a content that’s educative/seductive and useful to the audience
- You must not copy a content elsewhere, it’s a serious offense that must be discouraged, if you do, forget about getting a chance. Cite owners when you need to use part of their work.
- Follow up to get response, once you have the green light, send in your best content which will most likely get approval. Once done, rinse and repeat the process with at least 4 or 5 websites.
Let me leave you with a template that’ll aid your success
Writing a pitch is the first step that ensures you pull through, once you fail your ancestors in this area, forget it, you’re not getting any response to your cold pitch. Follow the below template to get it right.
Dear [mention the name of the publication]
Trust my mail meets you well?
My name is [put your complete name], I’ve been a regular on this website, thank you for the great job you’ve been doing here.
I’m writing to enquire if I can contribute an article I just completed titled “Write your article title here.” I’m sure it will make a good read for your audience.
Let me know what you think about this, so I can send in the article at once.
In my pitch above you’ll notice a good number things if you observe closely;
- I teased and complement the editor a little bit, it’s a way of knocking before you get into someone’s house, but be real and brief about this. Do not tell lies if you’re not a regular reader, they’ll still find out.
- I was brief and straight to the point with my mail, editors are busy people, they do not have all the time in the world to read news, if you do not want your mail to end up in the thrash, then you must master the art of time management in your mail, it’s very key.
- I included my article title, this will give the editor an insight into what your content is all about, it aids timely decision. A number of people who had their pitches rejected never did this, and please do not ask the editor to suggest you a topic to write about, they don’t know you from Adam, so how will they know your area of strength. Asking such question simply portrays you as amateur. Telling them you have just finished writing your content means you’re ready for business, they hate giving you time to revert, so shoot your best shots.
- Emphasize how you think your article will help their audience, this is why they’re in business after all.
- I included a call to action (CTO) at the tail end, this now puts the ball at their cut, they have the responsibility to either accept or decline my request, whichever way it goes, I’m getting a reply.
Once you get published, congratulations on your journey to success. But again, I must emphasize on another determinant factor you must adhere strictly to while sending out your pitch, you must use a captivating headline. It says a lot, it must interest and impress the editor. Something like “A contributor looking to add value.” Etc..
Once you succeed in getting your first article on air, it paves way for subsequent ones.
In your subsequent pitch to other sites, include a link to your previous article published already in authority website, this fast tracks a yes response you’ll get, continue doing this till you have your name represented in about 5 authority websites.
The good thing about guest contribution is that you will be given a credit at the author bio section by the end of the article, this bio tells about you, what you do. You may include your social media links and contact for now.
It is assumed that you’re done with guest contributions, now you have your articles and name published in authority blogs.
It’s time to aggregate them into a portfolio that wins.
Make a collection of these links into a single portfolio, by doing this you’re set to hit the ground.
It’s time to locate websites/blogs and businesses that need your services, you’d sure need to get your money from them.
You will reach out to them by equally sending out pitches that compel, I usually advise and prefer sending at least 8 to 10 outreach mails daily.
By increasing the number of mails sent out, you’re likewise increasing your chances of landing a freelance writing job/gig. Do not forget to cite your portfolio in the outreach mail, that’s the silver lining itself.
Who would most likely need your service? These are businesses in your niche who from your judgment aren’t producing enough content to keep their audience engaged. Worst case, shoot your shots wide to target bloggers and business owners.
Pull out these websites and go through them, identify who the editors are, or persons you think are capable of influencing decision.
Tell them why they should employ your service, spell out the problems you will solve and how that will provoke more leads and sales in most realistic fashion, it’s fact and evidence based.
Possibly arrange a session with them, if your persuasion is compelling and convincing enough, I don’t see why you’re not closing the deal.
Rinse and repeat the process daily, you’d sure be on your way to struggling on meeting deadlines to delivering clients jobs, which means more money.
You may fault why I haven’t mentioned joining the likes of Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer and their likes, well, I’m not a fan of content mills, I prefer working on my own terms. Freelance writers aren’t beggars thus should not be treated as one.
At content mill platforms, you get to meet brokers and not the real owners, this affects how much you stand to make per writing gig. Why not go for the real deal itself, sourcing a direct service pays higher rates, that’s why you’re out for business, not making $5 per 1k words article, never.
Again, you’ll hardly get a gig as a beginner on these platforms, so they might not make a good fit for your time.
That being said, I will suggest you create your own writing website having made few box, it’ll take you a long way. You will command higher rates once clients come looking for your service directly on your website, that’s the real pie. I did that with https://www.yourbizwriter.com and it’s working like magic.
How will they get to locate you then, you’ve got to write SEO content and publish on your blog, once it starts ranking on search engine, you’ll start getting enquiries about your service, that does it.
As you can see, I’m teaching a business secret I personally know details about, which should be classified.
This is one business idea for students that’s very viable, all you require to grow is discipline, commitment and resilient.
Freelance writing service is a good business idea for students that kept me going while I was in school, I was making enough to take care of myself and provide for others alike. I don’t see why it’s not going to work for you even as a graduate who has been roaming the streets of Nigeria in search of jobs.
Need more assistance on this, are there areas you’re struggling with, have contributions, do level with me at the comment section below, I will address them as time permits. Still wishing you a happy and successful kick off.
Raphael Orji is a freelance writer, professional blogger and a content marketing consultant. I work with small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs in building their brand image with high quality blogging and content marketing strategy.
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