Freelance Writing Mistakes To Avoid
Freelancing is a dream for many – you get to enjoy a lot of freedom, decide how your day is spent, take a vacation whenever you feel best, and avoid the challenges of dealing with an unfriendly boss. When the writing business is added to freelancing, a bigger, yet fascinating opportunity opens up – yes, you get to write down your thoughts – for a fee. However, this dream is hardly a reality for many as avoidable mistakes may be made over time. Learning from the mistakes of others can be really helpful – whether you are a top freelance writer or a newbie. Here are a few common freelance writing mistakes we should all try to avoid.
Lack of Precision:
When a freelance writer lacks clarity it can make it difficult for a buyer to tell who you are and what services you offer. The freelance writing world is a very large one, so for you to be successful, you must set yourself apart from the rest, providing top quality services in a unique way. One way to achieve this is by maximizing the use of your selling proposition – when it is unique, you will easily be found. Another big factor you must decide upon is the type of clients you are looking out for. There are different niches in the writing field such as resume writing, short stories, articles etc. When you can do about everything, then you can hardly do anything. By being precise, you will avoid a very common freelance writing mistake which will in turn enhance your bottom line.
Lack of a Clearly Defined Pricing System:
Pricing is one of the trickier parts of the freelance business. It tends to linger throughout your freelance career as it requires constant adjustments and monitoring. Therefore, it is important to determine how much you really want to make – how much will sustain you, how much would do for extras, and how much time you have to achieve your financial goals. This will help you decide upon your rates and pricing system.
Having a specific pricing system will help you determine what is reasonable to bill a client for a specific project. You could easily lose a client to other writers if your quote is too high, and you could quickly lose patience with a project if your quote is too low. A reasonable quote will attract buyers and it will also help you to pay your bills! Failing to create a clearly defined pricing system is definitely a freelance writing mistake to avoid.
Failure to Research and Proofread:
Many newbie freelance writers feel that using their time to conduct research before they begin writing is a time wasting effort. This is certainly the wrong school of thought. Different clients have different needs. While some will need articles on very simple subjects, some others will need very technical articles. Technical subjects will demand that you spend quality time to understand the needs of the client first before you begin your work. There will also be a need to do thorough proofreading when you are done as you may have made some unknown errors along the way. Failing to do proper research and proofreading are obvious freelance writing mistakes which will end up losing you business.
Marketing Only When You Run Out of Jobs:
This is among the greatest of the freelance writing mistakes to avoid. When there is work that keeps a freelancer busy, they tend to do less marketing because of the business at hand. The major problem with this school of thought is that all projects will always come to an end. If you are not consistently marketing your services to ensure steady inflow of jobs, you will soon run out of work. Although you may need to market your services less as your reputation develops, it is still important to do it to prevent the inevitable down times in the market.
There is little doubt that building a strong online presence will help your freelance writing business a great deal. It is a great idea to market your skills through Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. However, while they all offer you a platform to connect with editors and other authors- spamming your colleagues and potential clients with different launch photos and other not-so-relevant information will actually harm your business. It is great to share, but avoid the freelance writing mistake of oversharing to the point of becoming a spam producer.
Lack of Planning:
It is really fun typing from the comfort of your home, feeling great that somehow you are getting paid to write out your thoughts. Well, as a business owner now, you must handle the logistics of your enterprise properly – tax allocations, retirement savings, funds for your health insurance, and ensuring you comply with the specific rules of your municipality in order to operate legally. It is challenging to really achieve success as a freelancer – and unfortunately very easy to fail. With a great setup and plan, you will maintain the organization, structure and discipline of a typical firm. If you find it difficult to set things up properly on your own, you can always employ someone to help you out with the initial steps. Lack of planning is certainly a common freelance writing mistake to avoid.
Giving Up When The Chips Are Down:
It is never a smooth ride when you first start out as a freelance writer. Remember that there have been established, reputable writers long before you. As you gradually grow your reputation and carve a niche for yourself, you must be persistent and patient. When you keep on doing the right things – great propositions, super marketing, and a clearly defined service, you are never far away from making your first sale. Giving up and quitting when the chips are down is a freelance writing mistake you want to avoid.
Freelancing in general is a challenging, yet rewarding career. To achieve your desired success as a freelance writer, you must always make the most of available opportunities and sell yourself to your target audience. A solid marketing plan is very important as it will help ensure you are able to reach the right clientele. By avoiding common freelance writing mistakes you can navigate obvious pitfalls and project your business to the next level!