Starting any sort of new occupation can be both stressful and uncertain, let alone a freelance one. You’ve heard good things about it, but you’re not sure that you have what it takes to fight your way through the more experienced competition. Believe it or not, nothing can compare to the exhilarating and rewarding experience that is freelance writing.
There’s nothing better than working in your spare time and earning a little extra on the side or even making freelance writing your full-time job down the road. We’re here today to help you achieve exactly that, with some rock-solid tips that any freelance writer should be aware of.
The most important skill that you can develop as a freelancer is self-motivation. Like we’ve mentioned before, starting out will be not only difficult but stressful as well. You will meet clients you obviously can’t work with and they will ask for ludicrous work for a small fee, but this is all a part of the process.
Like any new freelance writer, you will have to motivate yourself and stay positive, because good times are coming. Not every client will be perfect, but those who are will make it all worthwhile.
2) Build a reputation
Being professional from the get-go can go a long way. You don’t want clients to look at you and see a cheap workforce that doesn’t care enough. Make sure that you set up your profile at one of the many freelance websites out there in a detailed and orderly fashion. Use a proper profile picture, use full sentences in your bio and make sure that you keep that profile updated.
Anyone who sees your profile will instantly see a person who respects themselves and you will attract potential clients that much easier. Just take a look at some of the profiles that professional freelance writers set up for themselves and you’ll get the idea.
3) Explore the platform
Whichever platform you choose for your freelance career, make sure to take it one step at a time. Take some time to explore different contests, writers, and clients. Be a spectator for a little while, because this is the best way to learn what skills are in demand and which ones are in surplus.
As a freelancer, you will have to learn to live a life of learning. As crazy as it seems, your clients will ask for more challenging and rewarding work as the time goes by, and you will need to accommodate those needs. Use your colleagues to learn as much as possible about writing on that particular platform before venturing too far into it yourself.
4) Learn to learn
Like we’ve mentioned before, a freelancer is a constant learner. This means that you will need sources that will help you learn as much as possible about different topics and styles. There will often be very little time for learning new things because the turnaround time for writers is often very short.
The name of the game will always be “learn by doing”. Checking out websites such as MasterGrades will give you a good idea about what’s in store for you as a freelance writer. Make sure that you pay attention to every detail and piece of knowledge because you will soon learn how to turn that knowledge into income.
5) Build a network
There’s no better way to acquire new clients and contracts than by building a network. You will meet a lot of clients and colleagues by spending time online. Make sure that you build relationships with them and connect on a professional level. This will not only put you on their radar but help you figure out what the market is looking for right now.
You can even share or forward work between each other if one of you can’t manage a specific task. These are only a few reasons why networking should be a big priority for you – make sure that you make friends.
6) Listen to the client
Pay attention to what the client is looking for. This can often be a deciding factor in landing a contract. People usually don’t pay much attention to client briefs and this leads to contract terminations and bad reputation.
Alternatively, it can also create misunderstanding between the writer and their client because the brief was too vague or the writer understood something in a wrong way. Take a look at some of the examples to get a better idea of what’s waiting for you.
To avoid any such nuisance, read every brief and message twice if not more before answering or accepting a job. There’s no point in landing a job if it’s impossible or too difficult to wrap up.
7) Organize your work
Believe it or not, it will not be long until you land your first contract. That being said, it’s important to develop an organizational mindset for your files and clients. It’s far too easy to lose sight of important documents and have to explain yourself to the client. It makes you look bad and it creates additional problems.
Find a system that works for you personally and make sure that you stick to it whatever project you’re working on.
8) Time management
As a freelance writer, you will face different and unfamiliar obstacles. Like many writers, you will start writing in your spare time and make freelance work a bigger part of your life with each passing day. It’s important not to lose sight of your real-life obligations such as your college or day-job, family, and friends, etc.
Organizing your personal time is just as important as organizing your work files, so don’t be afraid to tell your client that you are a person as well. You will not only develop time management skills this way but also appreciate your free time much more.
And while freelance writing is wonderful to many people, you can see that it’s not as simple as it sounds. There are numerous skills and obstacles to overcome in order to build up as a successful freelancer. There really isn’t a wrong way to go about it.
All you have to do is create an account on your favorite freelance platform and give it a shot. Eventually, you’ll realize that you are up to the task, and these rock-solid tips will only help you go up.