Whether writing is your only source of income or just a way of making an extra income, you need to handle it with the seriousness it deserves. The following are some tips that will help you succeed as a freelance writer.
1. Create a professional working environment
Establish a workspace which will maximize your productivity and comfort. If you, like many freelance writers, work from a home office, make sure your friends and family understand that they should respect your time and space.
2. Deliver quality work
You should always make sure your work is of the highest quality possible. Write flawlessly, with no factual or grammatical errors. Double check your work before submitting it. If you establish yourself as an expert in your field, your clients will always think of you when they have new projects.
3. Ask for reasonable compensation
Find out what is reasonable payment in your specific market niche and ask for it. However, when starting out as a freelance writer, it is advisable to begin at the low end of the spectrum. As you build a name for yourself, you can start asking for higher compensation. Don’t bother with projects that pay nothing, unless the client or topic has some significance for you. In the highly competitive business of freelance writing, it is very important to establish your monetary worth. Educate yourself regarding negotiation and marketing skills so as to enhance your chances of getting favorable compensation.
4. Be disciplined
When it comes to freelance writing, discipline is very important. It is generally advisable to handle the least pleasant or most difficult tasks first, and then tackle the easier tasks last.
5. Build relationships with other writers
You could come up with client-exchange agreements with other freelance writers. If you are offered a project but you are too busy to take it up, you could recommend someone else for the job. Other writers are then likely to return the favor. Don’t see your fellow writers as enemies from whom you have to hide client contacts.
6. Never miss deadlines
Never, ever miss deadlines. If, for some reason, you can’t meet a deadline, make sure your client is informed as soon as possible. Ask for a brief extension and assure the client that they will have the work delivered to them within the specified period. Whatever you do, be sure to keep your promise.
7. Be firm regarding timely payment
Some clients assume that freelance writing is a casual activity for you, and might not see why they should pay you on time. This assumption needs to be dealt with firmly. At the beginning of every project, agree with the client on when payment is due and insist that they keep their end of the deal. A client who does not care about when they pay you is not worth your investment of energy and time.
8. Ask for references
Request some of your satisfied clients to write brief testimonials for you, which can then be used to create an online portfolio. When you apply for new writing jobs, remember to include a link to your online portfolio.