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The ABC’s of Freelance Writing

Many people want to be freelance writers, but only some will succeed. What are their secrets? While luck does play a factor, there are basic steps everyone can take to make their hard work pay off. These “ABC’s” will help you become one of the success stories of the writing world.

Advertise

Utilizesocial networking to get your name out there. Make sure to join websites that cater to businesses looking to hire writers.

Blogging

In today’s world, it’s not only articles that clients need. Companies are also looking to hire bloggers. Read popular blogs and make sure you know how they work to give yourself a leg up in the business.

Consistency

Make sure your writing quality is consistent. If you slack off even one time, you’re missing a great opportunity to make money and build connections.

Dedication

It takes a lot of patience to be a freelance writer. Sometimes you won’t get the job, but stick with it. Your dedication will pay off.

Edit

Always read over your work before you send it to a client. If you have many typos and errors you will come across as unprofessional.

Feedback

Learn from feedback and be grateful when you receive it. It will make you a stronger writer. Respond to a client’s feedback and change your piece accordingly. Don’t take it personally.

Goals

Set reasonable goals for yourself about what you want to achieve as a freelance writer. Reward yourself when you achieve your goals.

Health

If you’re not getting enough sleep, eating right, and taking care of your mental health, it will show in your writing. Forget what you’ve heard about starving artists—be healthy!

Invest

Invest time and energy into searching for clients and improving your writing skills. Treat freelance writing like you would any other job.

Just do it.

Don’t procrastinate when you have an assignment. Give yourself plenty of time to get the job done.

Knowledge

Pursue topics that you are passionate about. Be a lifelong learner. The more you know, the more you will be able to write about.

Learn

Learn from your mistakes. If something you’re doing isn’t working, change it.

Manners

If you treat clients with disrespect, they are unlikely to work with you in the future, let alone recommend you to someone else. Being courteous can go a long way.

Network

Build professional relationships with other writers as well as clients. This way you can get recommendations, hear about new opportunities, and maybe even secure regular assignments with a returning client.

Organize

This goes for your workspace as well as your writing. Break articles up into paragraphs, bullets, or lists. Make it easily accessible. Keep your desk or workspace neat, and you’ll be able to focus on the job at hand.

Plan

If you just start writing without thinking first, you’re ideas will seem disconnected and rushed. Plot out what you want to say before you begin typing.

Questions

If you’re unsure about a part of the assignment, don’t be too proud to ask the client to clarify. You can also look online to see if other writers have had similar predicaments, and perhaps find the answer to your question.

Risks

Don’t be afraid to take risks. If the job seems exciting and right for you, submit a pitch! The worst that can happen is you won’t get the job. On the other hand…

Start small

Starting out, you’re more likely to get published by a local newspaper than a popular fashion magazine. Build up your resume over time, working your way up to bigger publications.

Toot your own horn

It’s okay to brag a little. Convince clients it is worth paying you to write their article. However, don’t over do it. Cockiness isn’t the same thing as confidence

Understand the assignment

Read over the client’s directions carefully. Put your ego on the back burner, and make sure you do the job the way you agreed you would.

Voice

If you develop your unique style, your writing will be memorable. Technical writing skill will only get so you so far. Adistinct voice will help readers connect to your writing.

Weekends

Give yourself weekends to relax, and maybe even write for pleasure. Everyone needs a break sometimes. You’ll be refreshed and ready to work again soon.

X-rated

Make sure you know your audience, and use appropriate language! Avoid profanity, obscure slang, and never, ever use internet language like “LOL” or “How r u?” in a professional piece of writing.

Yada yada yada

Don’t ramble on and on in your writing. Be snappy and get to the point.

Zest

Don’t churn out bland, run of the mill writing. Give your work a little something that makes it stand out and come to life. Remember, reading is meant to be a pleasurable activity. Give your audience a good time, and they will come back time and time again.

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