If you are considering full-time or part-time freelance writing work, do not let lack of experience discourage you, says top Freelancer Adam Greene a writer who works for Best Freelance SEO. While an education background in writing or other formal writing training can undoubtedly be assets to your career, many people become successful freelance writers without prior experience. This article is designed to do the following:
- Help you determine if this would be a good career option for you
- Provide you with the initial knowledge that you need to start freelance writing
- Give you tips for sticking with a full-time or part-time freelance writing career
Are You Cut Out For a Freelance Writing Career?
Before you seriously consider launching into freelance writing, consider the following questions.
Do you have a strong writing background? You don’t need to earn a writing degree to have a strong background in writing. I don’t have one, but my undergraduate and graduate degree programs still played a huge part in helping me develop my writing skills.
Do you have a passion for writing? Not everyone may consider this a requirement for freelance work, but I would have a tough time sitting down to work on something I didn’t enjoy for multiple hours per day. Even though I don’t love every article that I write, the thought of getting up and writing every day is still very appealing to me.
Do you have strong keyboarding skills? All of the keyboarding skills in the world cannot make up for weak writing, but they can significantly improve your overall efficiency. If you use the “hunt and peck” technique or don’t type very quickly, I’d strongly consider checking out one of a free typing programmes such as sense-lang.org or typingweb.com.
Are you self-disciplined? One of the best and worst things about freelance work is that you are your own boss. There is no one to make sure that you’re sitting at your computer, producing quality work every day. You have to be truthful with yourself about whether this structure is a good fit for you.
Tips For All Freelance Writing Articles
The following tips apply to both client jobs and long-term earning articles.
Research freelance writing websites and magazines before signing up, sending applications, or writing query letters. This is often an overwhelming task, as there are a lot of opportunities out there. However, it will save you time to skip over the sites and magazines that won’t be good leads for you.
Prepare strong writing samples. Many freelance writing sites require one or more writing samples as part of the application process. Take your time and submit quality writing.
Before accepting client jobs or starting new long-term earning articles, consider whether you have the expertise and means to research the topic at hand. Typically you can cancel client jobs and delete long-term articles, but it’s better to be prepared for the task ahead before you get started.
Always double-check spelling and grammar before submitting articles. Even if you can edit long-term articles later, it’s important to publish with the best version of the article that you can.
Long-Term Earning Article Considerations
Write articles longer than 500 words but shorter than 1,500 words. Search engines pay the most attention to articles of this length. This length requirement will allow you to provide quality content without overwhelming your readers.
Don’t be afraid to make revisions. I know very few people that have not taken the time to edit old hubs. There is nothing wrong with going back and making changes. However, it’s important to know when to leave an article alone, too. You don’t want to spend so much time revising that you aren’t creating new content.
Building backlinks is a huge component of creating traffic for your long-term articles. It can be time-consuming to learn new sites, but once you get into a routine, the promotion will only take a few minutes each day. Figure out what the best promotional sites are for your content and concentrate your efforts there.
Do your research to continue to improve your work. Take time regularly to research new techniques and article tips.
Pay attention to topics that do well and capitalize on your success. When I started writing as a freelancer, I only intended to write the occasional craft article, but my first ones did so well that I stuck with it.
Be realistic about the time it takes to start earning. I’m sure that it’s not a surprise to many of you that it takes time to build earnings with long-term articles. While these earnings can turn into a significant portion of your monthly freelance income, this takes time.
Client Job Considerations
Always double-check directions. One of the most common reasons you’ll have to revise a client article is that something about your article doesn’t fit your directions. I try to read the directions one final time before submitting an article to make sure I didn’t miss anything.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions or request clarification for directions. If you want to write an article but aren’t sure about the directions, don’t be scared to contact the client. Most sites have a relatively easy method for contacting clients, and most clients are happy to communicate with writers.
Don’t get discouraged by revisions. Editing and revising is a natural part of the writing process. Many client revision requests are minor changes that can be completed in 5 minutes or less.
Don’t get discouraged by rejections. Most clients will allow you to revise an article and will not give a flat-out rejection, but it does sometimes happen, even to the best of us. Try not to take it personally and move on to the next job.
Be realistic about your earning potential and goals. Be honest with yourself about how much time you will be spending writing every day and how much money you want to earn. There is potential to make a competitive income with freelance writing, but it takes patience, time, and effort.
How Do You Stick With It?
Now that you’re equipped with the tools that you need to start freelance writing, how are you going to stick with it on a long-term basis? Here are a few tips that will help you.
Set a schedule and stick with it. One of the best parts about freelancing is that you can set your hours. Figure out what works the best for you and your family and establish a daily routine.
Don’t be afraid to mix up your routine to keep from burning out or writer’s block.
If you are tired from your usual selection of client articles or are having trouble finding inspiration for long-term articles, take a break once in a while. Spend some time writing about new topics or researching writing opportunities (i.e., sites, magazines). Consider taking a mental health day once in a while, too. A long walk in the morning or a trip to the art museum in the afternoon can refresh and inspire you.
Don’t get discouraged by slow months. Some weeks, it is easy to find all of the client work you need and get lots of views on long-term articles without much effort. Other weeks it’s much more complicated. Having a variety of sites can help you find more work, but it still isn’t always easy. Capitalize on the busy periods, so you don’t feel the decrease in slower months as much.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
You never know when one of your most profitable sources will dry up overnight. Having a small network of strong resources will prevent this possibility from having a huge impact on your earnings.
If you write long-term earning articles, brainstorm regularly. People often ask me how I come up with my ideas for articles. This answer will vary for different people, but one of my most successful methods is brainstorming. Often I think of my best ideas away from the computer or when I’m not ready to write an article. Recording them as they come to me ensures that I have ideas ready when I sit down to write.