Specialist Accountants for Writer
It seems that more and more people want to be writers these days, which means there is a lot of competition.
But it’s still possible to make a career as a freelance writer.
This guide will show you how to be a success.
What type of writer are you?
There are a few types of writing that you can make a career from, the most viable being copywriting and journalism:
- Copywriting: Being a freelance copywriter means writing for businesses. You’ll be contributing to their marketing efforts by writing the words for things such as web pages, leaflets, brochures, adverts, direct response letters, emails, press releases, etc. You’ll have to write persuasively to sell to customers and other businesses.
- Journalism: As a freelance journalist, you’ll be writing news articles and opinion pieces for news publications, either online or in print. You’ll need to have your finger on the pulse with what’s happening in the world, so you can write about what’s relevant and current.
There are, of course, other types of writing, such as song writing, story/novel writing, or poetry writing.
However, journalism and copywriting are the most likely to provide a full-time career.
Learning to be a great writer
Most people aren’t very good at writing.
If you were the sort of child who stayed at home reading books instead of going out to play football, you might just be capable of being good at writing.
Though you can become better at writing through practice, you still need to have an innate talent to build upon.
Training and qualifications
If you’re thinking of freelancing, qualifications aren’t essential. You just need to show that you can write to find work.
But it’s always beneficial to gain as much knowledge as possible. Studying at university gives you a chance to practise the art of writing without the distraction of a job, and you’ll get to make friends with people with similar interests.
You’ll also have a decent writing portfolio by the end of the course, which is essential to finding freelance writing work.
Here are a few relevant subjects you could study:
- English Literature
- English Language
- Creative Writing
How to find work as a freelance writer
In the early days of your freelance career in writing, you’ll be spending much of your time marketing yourself to find new clients.
Here are a few ways to do it:
- Portfolio: A strong writing portfolio is essential to finding writing work. People will only hire you if you can prove you’re a good writer. Studying a writing-related course at university will provide you with writing to put in your portfolio, which you can add to as you find paid work.
- Set up a website: Having a professional website advertising your services will make you look more legitimate and credible. It’s also a place to display your portfolio – unless you want to carry a hard copy of your portfolio with you all the time, pointing out your website to people you meet is the best chance you’ll have of them seeing your work. You should also think about writing a blog, which will show your writing skills, and contribute to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) so you’ll be more likely to be found on Google.
- Business cards: Give business cards to friends, family, and anybody you think might need the services of a freelance writer.
- Networking events: If you want to be a copywriter, meeting other business owners in person is the best way to promote yourself. Your words will be representing their businesses, so they’ll be more likely to trust you if they can see that you’re a real person. Give your business card to anybody you have a conversation with.
- Social networking: Social networking websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are great places to make new contacts, talk about writing, and show your creativity.
Accounting as a freelance writer
There are various benefits to freelancing as a writer, from the freedom and flexibility to work with a variety of businesses and individuals to more take-home pay.
But there is one downside – accounting.
As a full-time employee, your tax is usually taken care of on your behalf in the form of PAYE.
As a freelancer you’ll have to keep a range of financial records and then prepare and pay a Self-Assessment tax return at the end of each business year.
Accountancy can be very confusing and can distract you from practising your craft.
Getting tax and accountancy advice
With most accountants, you’ll pay them to do your year-end accounts, and then they’ll forget about you until the next year.
But for your business to be run smoothly and successfully, you’ll need advice on tax and accountancy throughout the year, especially in the early days.
Pearl Accountants is different
Pearl Accountants provides an affordable and specialist accountancy service designed just for freelancers.
Throughout the year we’ll be on hand to give you any tax and accountancy advice you might need, including things like:
- Take-home pay
- Which VAT scheme to register for
- Tax allowances
- Choosing between sole trader and limited company
- Running your business in a tax-efficient way
We charge for our accountancy services in a clear and simple way, which means you’ll never receive an unexpected bill, and you can get in touch for advice whenever you want without the worry of being charged a fortune like you would with many other accountants.