Many people desire to become a freelance writer. It is a position that they believe can utilize their creativity as well as provide them a lucrative income. Many people desire to be at home because a new baby has been born, a family member needs care, or because the office life is no longer desirable.
However, contrary to popular belief, becoming, and remaining, a freelance writer can be quite difficult. You must be willing to continually expand your writing skills and mastery of the written word. You must deal with clients that can be unforgiving. You must meet deadlines that sometimes keep you up for days.
While most people look at these requirements and shrug it off as part of the business, which is actually good, there are 3 main tips you should follow if you wish to become a successful freelance writer.
- Keep business hours. Many freelance writers enter this position because they want the freedom to work when they desire. They believe that they have left the routine of the office and they are no longer obligated to keep specific hours. While this works for many writers, it is not the best way to be successful. If you want to put yourself in the top 5% of the freelancers in the market, keep regular business hours. You really should be available during the same time periods that your clients are working.
Of course, there are assignments that are available that will allow you to take days off in the middle of the week, or work only in the evening hours. However, there are more positions, and better paying positions, that can be found during normal work hours.
- Network with the right people. You must continually network in this line of business. It is necessary both online and offline. It is also very necessary to remind past clients of your services and any new services you may provide. While many people talk about freelance forums as a good place to start, there are also some drawbacks to this type of networking. Yes, you can learn many interesting things in these forums that will advance your career, but in actuality, all of these people are your competitors. There will always be a sense of rivalry on these sites and many times information that is posted is done so to send you off on a wild chase instead of finding opportunities. Take the time to network with real people offline. There is a very good chance that people you meet at B2B meetings in your area may become a better client than one located far away that you only talk to via the Internet.
- Always build a portfolio for yourself. Your writing samples will sell your work more than any salesmanship on your part. The more items that you can directly connect to your business and your writing style, the better. Send in small articles to local papers, newsletters and church bulletins. If it is published, put it in your portfolio. If you are ghost writing, keep samples of your work, along with any contract that you had with the author that is taking claim for your work.