As a freelance writer who intends to make writing a full-time career, I am always interested in learning more about what I should and shouldn’t be doing in order to have success in my field. In researching the issue and reflecting upon my own experiences, I have found that the following three things can preclude you from having the success you desire:
1. You Didn’t Create A System.
Although broadly defined, a system is basically a coordinated body of methods or a scheme or plan of procedure . In the world of freelance writing, system development is very important because it helps you establish a routine through which you can determine if your efforts are yielding the results you desire. When I write for Yahoo!, my goal is to produce 95 articles a week in order to make about $2,000 per month. In addition to being advantageous because it gives you a clear understanding of what to do as well as a way to determine if what you’re doing is effective, systems are efficacious because they enable you to establish routines. This is important because humans are creatures of habit, meaning that repeatedly performing the same action generally makes it easier to perform that action. In discussing the importance of establishing a routine, J.D. Roth notes that ” By far the most important key to my success is establishing routines. Why have I managed to lose so much weight in the past year? Because I made it a habit to get up at 5:30 every morning so that I could be at the gym by 6:30.” By implementing a system-the act which aids you in developing positive habits and the ability to determine if what you’re doing is working-Roth was able to accomplish a venerable goal. The same principle can work for the world of freelance writing.
2. You’re Not Marketing Yourself Properly.
Although it’s safe to say that you can build a freelance writing career by simply producing articles and books without marketing, your potential to attain cultural and commercial success can be greatly advanced when you show off your work. There are several ways that you can do this. One is to try to avoid ghostwriting assignments. Why? Because your name will not appear on the published work and you thereby miss an attempt to demonstrate your writing ability to the public. Another strategy would be to build a blog. (I created one entitled The Political Slant several months ago.) This gives you the opportunity to write about whatever interests you, which can be a great relief if you’re not personally passionate about the writing assignments you’re receiving. Blogs are also a great way for you to earn additional revenue through ad placement. A third mechanism you can employ to advertise yourself is Twitter. When you create a blog or get one of your articles published, tweet a link to everyone in your existing network. In addition to perusing your work, they may retweet it to others and thereby expand your fanbase.
3. You’re Not Networking With Other Writers.
When I first started freelance writing, I wasn’t too keen on the concept of networking. I thought it would cut into the time I actually spent writing. And it does. Nevertheless, it is important for several reasons. One such reason is that the people you network with may retweet links of your work to others or give you some other form of free advertising simply because they like the articles you’re producing. Another reason is that other writers may be able to tell you about where they’re getting all their great assignments from, thereby increasing the amount of money you can make and building your portfolio.
Although developing a successful career as a freelance writer can take time and patience, it is more than possible. By implementing the freelance writing tips listed above, you can be on the road to the wealth and creative freedom you’re searching for. Good luck!
About The Author:
Jocelyn Crawley is a 28-year-old college student currently pursuing a Masters of Divinity degree in preparation to become a pastor. While her writing interests are diverse, topics of intrigue include politics, history, literature, and religion. She holds B.A. degrees in English and Religious Studies. Her work has appeared in Jerry Jazz Musician, Nailpolish Stories, Visceral Uterus, Dead Beats, The Idiom, Thrice Fiction, Four and Twenty, Kalyani Magazine and Haggard and Halloo. Other stories are forthcoming in Faces of Feminism and Calliope.
More Articles From Jocelyn:
Five Great Tips for Writers
Three Reasons Why I Avoid Ghostwriting