When I graduated from college I was convinced that having a degree in Journalism would be the one thing that would set me apart from not only my peers but also my competitors in the Public Relations field. Now that it’s been over 5 years since that beautiful day in May that I walked across the stage at North Carolina A&T State University I’ve come to realize that my degree didn’t mean quite as much as I thought it would.
Don’t get me wrong, when I found myself having to apply for full time jobs in writing and journalism I was always asked to show my degree. When I stepped into freelance writing full time; however, the only thing people wanted to see were my writing samples.
People value samples over degrees, ANY DAY. It doesn’t matter if you went to Harvard to study graphic design or Princenton for Journalism. If your writing isn’t good, nobody hire you.
So if your go to excuse has always been “I don’t have a degree” or “I didn’t get a degree in Journalism, English, Graphic Design, etc.” stop making excuses and keep reading.
Here’s how you can become a freelancer writer without a degree.
Get Your Writing Samples Together
I’ve always been a firm advocate that if you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready. If you aspire to be a freelance writer, get your writing samples together. That means blogging about topics you want to become an expert in or writing for several publications “for free” just to get in the practice of creating content on a constant basis.
Create Your Portfolio
Practically every client rather small or large is going to want to see your portfolio and because it’s 2017 no body is going to want to waste time flipping through an endless amount of paper. Create your digital portfolio and start adding your samples to it. It only takes 5 minutes to create a portfolio.
Perfect Your Craft
My degree put me into a TON of debt and while I’m thankful for it I do often wish I had worked harder to find scholarships that could’ve paid for my degree vs. taking out parent/student loans. The great news is, since you don’t have to have a degree to become a writer you can do other FREE things to perfect your craft.
There are MILLIONS(yes, millions) of online courses online that can teach y you everything you want to learn about not only freelance writing but writing in general if you know you writing could use some serious improvement.
Even as a “veteran” freelancer I still take refresher courses or read books to freshen up on my own freelance skills.
Are you a freelance writer without a degree? Share your tips below!