A career in freelance writing can indeed be tempting – not only do you get a lot of space for exploring your creative potential, but you also get the luxury of working from home! Finding employment opportunities is not terribly difficult either. However, whether you want to write for a living or are considering freelancing to substitute a regular income, there are a few things every freelance writer should pay attention to. Listed below are five such mantras.
• Practice makes Perfect
If you are bad, you need to get better. If you are good, you need to be great. If you are great, you need to keep it up. Practice will see you there. If you want to succeed as a freelance writer, you need to be able to write useful, well articulated articles. Effective promotion may bring you your first client, but if your service quality is poor, they won’t keep coming back. As a freelance writer you have a responsibility towards your client and your readership to deliver the very best you can write. Practice is what will better your best.
• Marketing Matters
You could be producing the very best content anyone has ever read, but you are not marketing your services, you will not find your clients. But doesn’t marketing cost a bomb? That’s the misconception of the century. Today, there are tools for cost effective or even free online marketing. While target advertisements on popular sites will cost you a little bit, personal blogs, social media platforms (like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), and various online interaction forums (like Yahoo Answers and Quora) allow you to effectively build a brand and market your skills and services free of cost. Remember: your success as a freelance writer depends as much on how effectively you market yourself as how well you write.
• Don’t Work for Peanuts
As a freelance writer, you may be tempted to bid for assignments on content aggregator sites. However, make an informed decision. Research your markets before agreeing to any terms. Choose waiting for a high-paying assignment over snatching up any low-paying job that comes your way. Also remember that most high-paying employers are looking for specialized copywriters, technical writers, or content marketers rather than ‘freelance writers’. As such, identifying your area of expertise and advertizing in those particular areas may increase your chances of landing high-paying opportunities.
• Deal with Writer’s Block
If you are a writer, you will at some point or another deal experience a writer’s block. But as a freelancer, you often have deadlines to meet such that you cannot wait for the block to pass on its own. As such, you need an actionable strategy to overcome a writer’s block. There are many ways of dealing with a writer’s block – you could practice free writing without care for perfect prose or punctuation until you are warmed up enough to begin actually writing, you could simply take time off and engage in other activities for a while before getting back to writing with a clearer mind, or you could simply try disengaging from all distractions to concentrate fully on your writing project alone. Sometimes, you may also need to revise your draft for any ill-fitting element in the text that may be blocking the logical flow of thoughts. Whatever works for you goes. The idea is to cope with it and not give up.
• Know Your Fallback topics
No matter how good you are at brainstorming article ideas, there are bound to be those times when you are absolutely at a loss for new ideas. For times like these, it is always good to have a few fallback topics up your sleeves. Do It Yourself (DIY) pieces, food, travel, home remedies, and marketing are a few such old reliables that never go out of trend and will always have a solid audience. Besides, you can always find a fresh way of looking at them – which makes for an interesting writing experience for you.
Above all, be patient. It may take months before you land an assignment that you think is worthwhile, but if you keep at it with the right attitude, you will find that freelance writing is a field where success is not really that evasive.