Every freelance writer should be a member of at least one freelance writing community. Such forums offer a great opportunity to ask questions and generally share ideas. These interactions could result in referrals as well as leads. However, freelance writing communities come in different forms. Take time to assess your needs as well the community’s policies. This will enable you to choose a freelance writing community which is a good fit for your business.
Here are some things you need to consider before signing up:
1. Membership Fee
Some freelance writing communities require people to pay before joining. In many cases, this is an attempt to keep off spammers and people who are not serious about freelance writing. Before joining such a community, you need to ask yourself several questions. How do you benefit by being a member? What is the reputation of the community? Are you aware of other legitimate freelancers who are members? Once you have done your due diligence, you can then sign up as a member. If you cannot afford to pay for membership, you could join one of the many free writing communities out there.
2. Topics Covered
A good writing community should address subjects of interest to freelance writers in different niches and with varying experience levels. Such a community exposes you to different genres and gives you the opportunity to learn from more experienced. As you become more experienced, you also get the chance of mentoring other upcoming writers. The best freelance writing forums cover topics such as writing for the web, eBook writing, copywriting, corporate writing and résumé writing.
3. Response to Comments and Questions
Before joining any community, take time to observe how the members of the community interact with each other. Do they respect each other’s opinions? Are new members treated well? Do the forums accommodate everyone or are they cliquish? Finally, check if the comments and questions are well-moderated. A good freelance writing forum does not allow its members to be rude or disrespectful towards each other. Find out if the community has a clear comment policy in place.
4. Frequency of Updates
The main aim of a freelance writing community is to provide a forum where writers can interact with each other. Therefore, you need to find vibrant forums where members post comments and questions at least several times a week. If a community has not received a comment for several weeks, then it might not be worth your time.
5. Job Leads
If you are looking for freelance writing gigs, join communities where administrators or members post job leads frequently. Examples of such communities include problogger.net and freelancewritinggigs.com.
Writing communities come in different forms. This includes forums, social networking groups and blogs. Compare the different options available and choose a community whose mission is aligned with your vision. Read what other members are posting to see if the discussions interest you. The discussions should not only be funny or entertaining but should also be helpful for the growth of your career.