Working as a freelance writer is a rewarding profession. You are given the freedom to select writing assignments that you enjoy, you can work from home, and you can work without compromising time for things that you love. The Internet has opened up many opportunities for freelance writers, and the industry continues to grow and thrive.
When you are a freelance writer, however, there are three mistakes that are very common in the profession that can make or break your business. These mistakes, while seemingly simple, can cause you to abandon your dreams of being a freelance writer and force you to return to the office scene. Reviewing these common mistakes will allow you to avoid them.
- Underpricing Your Services.
When you first begin as a freelance writer it is expected and understood that you will bid on jobs that are severely underpriced so that you can gain experience in the field. Every freelance writer does this, and it is actually part of the learning experience. However, as you become more familiar with freelance writing and begin to bid on larger jobs, you need to price your work accordingly.
If you continue to underprice your work, or only accept these low priced jobs, you will find that you quickly become burnt out on your work. You will need to produce more and more work to meet your financial obligations, and the quality of your work will decline.
Another drawback of continually accepting underpriced positions is the referral factor. Low priced clients will refer you to other low-paying clients, and you will have created a cycle of working for less than you are worth. Again, it is important to except some of these positions, especially in the beginning, but you must be willing to break that cycle so you can be prosperous.
You should take the time to research what the going rates for professional writing services are, and price your work accordingly. Yes, you became a freelance writer so you can work from home, but you did not become a writer so that you could have financial problems.
- Understanding Your Competition.
Freelance writing is a competitive profession, but not in the way that you may think. The largest competition that you will have will come from third-world countries. These writers can actively under-bid writing projects because the cost of living is so low in their country. As an example, 5 American dollars will convert into approximately 250 Rupees. Earning 250 Rupees for one writing assignment is more than what many of these people make for a solid week of work.
These writers, however, do not possess the same mastery of the English language that a native speaker does, and it affects the quality of their writing. Many clients that accept these low bids find that their projects are not up to their expectations, and the jobs will go up for bid again.
Do not undercut your price to compete with this type of work. Clients are willing to pay for professionalism. If you make sure that your work is everything that they desire, what you charge will be irrelevant.
- Believing That Freelance Writing Is Simple
When you enter into a freelance writing career, you should do so with the knowledge that it is a business, just like any other. To be successful you must work hard and you must be diligent about your success.
Freelance writing will require you to use your creativity to meet the expectations of the client, not your own. It will require you to research subjects that you may find boring or distasteful. It may require you to complete several revisions and change your writing style. It may occasionally require you to work late into the night to meet a deadline, and it may require you to lose some sleep.
Freelance writers spend a great deal of time preparing quotes, billing customers, and following up on leads for work. They must actively promote their website online and their services offline. A day does not pass where you do not have to take some time to look over the latest writing trends so that you can stay at the top of your market.
Freelance writing is more than letting your creativity flow from your fingertips as you sip a cup of coffee in your pajamas, though that is an advantage. It is about creating a successful business and maintaining its success. It is about doing what you love, while acting like a CEO. Writers, who believe that freelancing for a living is easy, will not make it long in the business.