Want to freelance on HummingBird? Want to write articles and blogs as part of your freelancing career? Whether you want to do this on the side, or you want to start blogging full-time, writing articles and blogs can be a great way to make money and further your career. This six-part series on how to write articles and blogs as a freelancer will give you all the tips, tricks, and tools you need to get started!

1) Know your market

Whether you’re pitching an existing publication or creating your own, know your audience. It doesn’t matter how insightful you are if no one is reading your articles. To get started, study content similar to what you’d like to write, then do some additional research on target publications that focus on topics related to yours.

2) Take good notes

You never know what can help out with your next writing assignment. It could be something you read online, or from an offline resource. Even things that don’t pertain directly to your topic could spark your creativity—and that’s priceless when it comes time to write! So grab a pen (or take notes on your computer) whenever you hear or read something useful. It doesn’t even have to be about writing! If you notice someone doing something clever at work, write it down.

3) Don’t be afraid to break rules

When writing, you might be tempted to follow all of those rules you learned in school. But many of these are there for a reason: they’re meant to help you sound professional. However, when you’re writing articles as a freelancer, you may have more leeway with your voice and style. Sure, it’s still important to write about topics that are relevant—but don’t be afraid of breaking some rules in order to do so!

4) Write from experience

There are two main reasons to write from experience. First, as we’ve already talked about, writing about your personal experiences helps you make stronger connections with your audience. But more importantly, writing from experience ensures that your advice is truly relevant; it gives people value by making them think, Wow—this really works! In fact, when other freelancers see their own tips written by someone else, they feel cheated.

5) Know your article length

This seems like an obvious one, but it’s important that you know how long your articles need to be before you begin writing. Your editor will determine what your word count needs to be based on their publication, industry standards and your past work. It’s always good to ask if there are any additional details they want included in each post (e.g., number of images), just so you know ahead of time what you’re dealing with for each assignment.

6) Check out the competition

Whether you’re writing for your own website or another platform, it’s important to find out who else is writing about your topic. Use Google, social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn, blogs, forums, etc. If there are other writers in your niche getting lots of attention (good or bad), they might be able to offer insight into what readers want. And if you find someone doing a good job—pay attention: Is he/she using colorful language? Brevity?