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When I stumbled out of university, naive and eager to conquer the world of journalism, I had a surprise waiting for me: My shiny new Bachelor meant bugger all if I couldn’t prove my flair for writing & talent for hunting down the big headlines. The solution is to get writing experience: write, write, and yet again, write.

The Good News For You

If you want to write for a living, I firmly believe you can do it without burying yourself in student loans. However, it won’t harm you to get a few courses on your CV. The most important thing you can do is to build a strong and impressive portfolio. Not only do you increase your chances of getting work, but know and showing your worth is an essential step to grow your earnings.

There are several things you can do to grow your portfolio and get writing experience. First, I have a piece of advice for new and aspiring writers: Please enroll in a decent writers course that matches your ambitions, be it copywriting, blogging or both. There are several options for you out there, and my best advice is to look around and compare.

Use courses to get writing experience

Grab All The Knowledge You Can Get

I want to recommend the courses at the Writer´s Den, my go-to site for freelance writing. I am personally a member there, and with over 300 hours of training, there is always something new to learn no matter how long you’ve been in the business.

You´ll learn everything from learning to write for newbies, growing your income as a freelance writer, job posts for copywriters, and much more. Now heres the important part:

The texts you write for training purposes at the Den can be used as writing experience, so make sure to do your best, and add them in your portfolio!

The Den is currently closed for new members, but please make sure to register so you´ll be next in line when it opens up again. Sometimes lucky writers gets to slip in the door with full access to all resources. Meanwhile, there are a few e-books you can enjoy:

In addition, you´ll get support for the community, which is always valuable – for me, at least. I love chatting to my cat while working, but it’s nice to have someone who answers and doesn’t roll around on my keyboard (Psssst! Stay tuned for resources over here!)

Solid Writing Experience Will Increase Your Earnings

As I have already mentioned, a good portfolio will help you negotiate decent rates. By showcasing your previous work, you can prove that you are worth the pay. If you are new with little experience, I strongly advice you to do your very best, even if the pay is low.

That way, you develop a good work ethic, and you might get some valuable recommendations. In time, when you have an awesome portfolio, you can refer to your previous work and argue your worth. If you continue to set your rates too low after being in the biz for a few years, potential clients might start to get suspicious and choose someone else.

Start Writing A Blog

I would recommend starting a blog for several reasons. You get valuable writing experience. When you are applying for a project, you can link to your blog or specific blog posts that make you extra proud. A blog is also a great idea you want to get into a specific niche, but you’ve got no previous experience within that field of writing.

A blog is also a great way of branding yourself, establishing trust, building a community, attract new clients, and you can even get an extra income stream. I use my blog for all of these purposes, and I might also earn a little by recommending the tools & sites that I love and use.

For example, I am an affiliate for Ivory Mix as I use her stunning images nearly on a daily basis for my blog & social media. I get access to new niche-specific stock images every month to an excellent price.

Writers Groups & Comments

I have focused mainly on writers who want to non-fiction writing and copywriting in this article, but what if you are a creative writer? Are you primarily going to write fiction? If so, you might want to consider joining a writers group:

  • Connect with fellow writers
  • Participate in challenges
  • Get valuable feedback on your work

There are plenty of writers groups around, both in “real life” and on the web. Search around and see what you can find. Meeting up with likeminded people in a cafe can be a gratifying and inspiring experience. Online writers group on the other hand, might be more accessible.

A Short Summary

So, how can you get more writing experience & why should you? Let’s summarize shortly:

  • Do a writers course
  • Write just for the sake of writing
  • Join a writers group
  • Use low-paid jobs to show your talent for future projects
  • Gradually increase your rates along with your portfoli

Best of luck, everyone! If you found this useful, I would be thrilled if you tagged me in your writing projects on social media, blogs, or even just let me know how it goes in the comments.