If you have a flair for words and have always dreamed of being your own boss, there’s never been a better time to become a freelance writer. The internet is literally swarming with possibilities when it comes to landing writing gigs in this rapidly growing profession. From websites that need fresh, interesting content to share with visitors to retail e-commerce sites that need product descriptions that paint a picture of what they’re offering customers, the job of freelance writer is continually evolving. If you decide to give it a shot, the quick and dirty tips that follow will prove useful to you in a variety of ways.
Prepare for a Hazing Period
Most freelancers find out that there is a definite “hazing” period in the freelance world. In other words, expect to be paid peanuts for your first few jobs. This gives you the opportunity to build up your portfolio and track record so that you can move up to higher-paid projects. All new writers must “pay their dues” in this way, at least for the most part, so consider it an investment in your future as a freelancer.
Don’t Quit Your Day Job
While many writers are making a good living writing content online, the truth is that not everyone is cut out for a job as a paid writer, and not everyone is cut out to be their own boss. Once you land a writing gig, working independently requires self-discipline and self-direction. It is invariably a smart idea to start any freelance writing career on a part-time basis only, and slowly move to full-time over time. Keeping your day job will give you something to fall back on if it doesn’t work out for you as a writer in cyberspace.
Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
Many freelance writers fall into the rut of depending on work from one client, and then end up losing big time if that client disappears. Nothing is for certain in any industry, but when you’re dealing with people in the echelons of the internet, the old adage “here today, gone tomorrow” has a ring of truth to it. Diversify your client base as much as possible in order to avoid becoming too dependent on any one client in particular.
Value Your Reputation
Just like in real life, the reputation that you build for yourself online can be an asset – or a liability. Handle yourself professionally and strive to build a reputation that positions you as a trustworthy and honest person. If you make a commitment, honor it. If you set a deadline, make it. This is a good way to get referrals from existing clients so that you can keep your calendar full.
Don’t Take Things Personally
One thing that really frustrates many freelance writers is criticism of their work. In all honesty, no one is perfect, and editors are paid to edit. Writers are never expected to be perfect, but writers are expected to learn from their mistakes. In the freelance world, you have to have a tough outer shell that doesn’t let criticism bother you.
These tips should go a long way towards helping you to understand some of the nuances of the freelance writing world. Being a freelancer is not an easy route to take, but it can be quite rewarding for those who stay the course.