Freelancing while studying

While you’re studying, a part-time job might seem like just a way to make the ends meet before you graduate – this is also how I thought about it back at the time, but now I understand the skills I learned would soon carry me much further than I could realize…

In the modern world aiming for a corporate career pretty much requires you to have some relevant work experience on your belt, before you apply for your first full-time position with a degree. I always thought sales skills could be needed further down the line and I worked for a couple of companies in sales. But, I had no idea that taking on gigs in copywriting as a freelancer would be one of the most valuable things I could do besides studying for my MSc in Industrial Engineering. I became part of a company called RankedByVotes that aims to produce informative and entertaining content for people who like anime, different games, movies etc. Let’s jump a few years back to see how I found great gigs as a freelancer…

It was the early 2010s. While I had worked in telesales during my first semester, I wanted to do something a bit more flexible that would better suit my interests and study schedule. Back then, platforms such as WorkFromHomeJobs were not that common – actually, companies were not so closely connected to the workforce, as LinkedIn and other professional platforms were just slowly rising in popularity. Nevertheless, companies were eager to pay people who can write ads and sales letters for them. So, I started to search on Google how to start as a paid writer with no previous experience. 

I found out that there were companies that would hire copywriters to do short sales reviews & infomercials for their clients. I bumped into a company operating this way and sent them an example of my writing. I’ve always liked writing but just never put in a lot of effort to work on my writing skills – I was much more into sports and games at that time. That was about to change though!

The company got back to me with a short email stating: ‘You’re hired – when would you be able to start?’. That was obviously great news for me, and I started to write posts between 300-500 words pretty much on a daily basis. I also searched through the Internet whether there were like-minded people who wanted to learn how to Copywrite but didn’t have a mentor or a coach to teach them. I found The Fastlane Entrepreneur Forum and read through long threads of successful copywriters, who basically shared their best writing techniques and secrets free of charge. 

My writing skills improved a lot. Fast forward to today, I’m regularly writing long-format posts up to 3000 words for websites of our company, with the aim to rank in the top 10 in Google for specific keywords. Digital marketing is still an area where many companies need help, and I’m very confident that the demand for copywriting and digital marketing skills isn’t going away anytime soon.

My advice to students who are looking looking for a part-time job is simple: If you can’t find one, try out participating in the gig economy as a freelancer. We all have valuable life experiences that we can utilize in helping others, and every skill can be learned with free information available on the Internet – you’re just a few clicks away from getting started!

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