If you love to write, freelance writing is a dream job. Your words can make a difference in the lives of others, you get to set your own schedule, and you have the freedom of working as your own boss. You will find, however, that this profession involves sacrifice, a good work ethic, and effort. These freelance writing tips will help beginners and experienced writers alike.
Regardless of how skilled you are at putting words together in cohesive ways, if you lack organizational skills, you are unlikely to find success as a freelancer. The more confused your schedule and efforts become, the more likely it is that you will miss deadlines. This can result in you appearing unprofessional and even losing clients. Lack of organization can also lead to anxiety and stress, leaving you feeling overwhelmed rather than fulfilled as a writer.
Hunt for Work Daily
Here is where some of that extra organizational effort comes in, and you will find that it pays off. Look for work every day. Do not take on more assignments than you can manage, but constantly seek opportunities. Jobs can be fickle in the freelance world. You do not want to find yourself suddenly with a dearth of projects because you grew complacent. Look for niches you have not yet considered. You might even discover gigs that pay better. Keep that effort going.
Find a Niche
When you first get started in freelance writing, you will probably find yourself writing about anything and everything. From septic systems to psychology, from travel destinations to dog training, you will come across topics that span a wide range of possibilities. This is a poor way to build a career, however. Specialize in something if you would like to have a career writing about topics for which you have a passion. This will benefit your financial as well as emotional health. Words flow more easily when you write about topics you know and understand. Your clients will be better pleased with the results.
Remember It’s Science, Not Art
Freelance writing is a science, not an art. You receive your assignment, and, much like finding the solution to an equation, you take steps to fulfill it. Clients seldom care about extensive vocabulary or elaborate analogies. They are concerned with the content you produce for them. If the work does not meet the client’s expectations, do not grow overprotective of your efforts. Fix the perceived problems and learn from the feedback. Your artistic license does not get you paid; satisfying the client does. Freelance writing centers on delivering a product. Consider writing novels or poetry if you want to produce art.
You have probably felt the rush when a deadline is looming, and you are worried that you will not finish an assignment in the necessary time frame. Try to create that feeling without relying on the threat of the actual deadline. Make up your own time limit, at least 24 hours prior to the true deadline, and feel the rush while finishing assignments early. This rush is pressure and anticipation combined into an intense emotion. It helps propel you forward into reaching deadlines with ease and freeing up your calendar for other projects.
Do Not Procrastinate
Do not indulge in procrastination. In fact, begin with the projects that you most dread. Get the painful assignments out of the way. It runs counter to the grain of a procrastinator’s habits, but you can develop a new, better habit and find that it is less painful over time. This can work for all tasks, not simply freelance writing deadlines. Accomplish the dreaded things first, getting them over with, so you have time for more enjoyable means of passing the time.
Avoid Taking Things Personally
Not all freelance writers and clients get along. You may think an article was smooth sailing and that you ticked all the necessary boxes, producing the perfect article, only to find that the client disagrees. Critical feedback can hurt, even if it is not insulting or condescending. Learn to consider such feedback with care, take a deep breath, and apply the criticism as needed. This is true even if you disagree with the critique. In the end, you write for the client. Therefore, it is the client’s feedback and opinion that matter.
Try Leaving Your Home
For introverts, freelance writing can be a dream job. If you never experience cabin fever while indulging in time spent in your own home, this tip does not apply to you. But many individuals need to see or interact with other people to stay on an even keel. You do not need to rent an office space for this. Take your laptop on the go, to a coffee shop, to a library, or a friend’s house. Leave the familiar surroundings to avoid going stir crazy.
Ask Plenty of Questions
If you want to please your clients, you must ask questions. Questions are key to understanding a client’s desires and fully fulfilling their brief. Clients generally will not consider you foolish for needing to ask; they often prefer to see your eagerness to properly craft their assignments.
Fight Imposter Syndrome
A frequent problem with both new and experienced freelance writers is imposter syndrome. You may feel as though you are not qualified to be a professional writer. This feeling can strike at any time, even with a topic you feel passionate and confident about. Combat this negative self-talk. Do not consider reasons that will lead to your failure, but consider your talent and experience instead. If you can assure yourself you have these qualities, you can strike down these feelings.
Freelance writing is an amazing career choice if you love to write and can stay organized. Keep these tips in mind as you start along your new career path. Learn more about writer Michele Campanelli here.