Tag Archives: Freelance Writing

How Blogging Enhances Your Writing Skills

BloggingBlogging is one of the best ways of improving one’s writing skills. It is therefore advisable for every freelance writer to have their own personal blog. The following are some of the ways blogging can enhance your writing skills.

1. You will start writing more often

If you have your own blog, you are likely to develop the habit writing frequently. The great thing about blog posts is that they are usually short and can get published immediately they’ve been written. It is therefore easier to write regularly on your own blog than submitting your posts to other blogs which might not even bother publishing them.

2. Readers will motivate you

Every writer experiences days when they are just not in the mood to write. This is very normal. However, you can derive motivation from the fact that there are some people out there who are actually reading and appreciating your posts. So on those days when you don’t feel very inspired, remember that there is an audience which is waiting to read what you have written.

3. You can gauge your progress through the feedback received

Feedback is not necessary when you are writing for yourself. Since blogging is about writing for others, you benefit by receiving instant feedback from your readers. Once people read your post, they are likely to begin adding their comments, linking to the post from their own blogs or sending you emails. If you get positive responses, you will know that the post was well-written and interesting. However, if you don’t get any feedback at all, your post was probably boring or poorly written.

4. You can try out new writing styles

Once in a while, you may want to experiment with new forms of writing e.g. bullet point lists, short sentences or rhymes. Writing a whole book, article or story in an unfamiliar style would be taking a big risk. There are chances that it might not work. It is easier to experiment using a blog post which will be published at no cost. If you don’t succeed, not much will have been lost. Blogging therefore makes it easier for you to try out new things.

5. Your writing skills will improve

Consistent practice is the best way of improving your skills in anything. As you write regularly for your own blog, your writing skills will definitely improve. Through the feedback you receive, you will learn how to select the most appropriate words and effectively craft sentences.

Online Freelance Writing – The Advantages and Disadvantages

Freelance WritingMany people aspire to work as online freelance writers. It is true that the business offers many advantages. However, it also has a downside. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of online freelance writing.

The Advantages

  • Flexible schedule

Since you are basically self-employed, you can work from virtually anywhere; the beach, a café or a home office. In addition, you can take a day off whenever you like. As long as you meet your deadlines, your schedule is all up to you.

  • Freedom to choose who to work with

Most people in formal employment have, at one time or another, worked with a boss who was difficult to deal with. When it comes to online writing, you have the opportunity of working with a wide range of clients. If one of your clients starts making your life miserable, you always have the choice of walking away.

  • Unlimited earning potential

There are many freelance writers who make a good income from the business. Beside writing articles for the web, freelancers can also make money from publishing books, speaking at live events, teaching workshops (online or in person) or creating a product. This means that at any one time, a freelance writer can be reaping from one or more of these streams of income.

  • Your success is your responsibility

In the long run, this can be very satisfying and empowering. There is no feeling like that of seeing a small idea grow from humble beginnings to a full-fledged lucrative business.

The Disadvantages

  • The business can dominate your life          

If you are not careful, you will find life being taken over by freelance writing. In an attempt to make as much money as possible, many writers spend hours online at the expense of their health and their families. Some writers accept more work than they can handle and end up being burnt out. At times, distractions such as social media or the telephone interfere with work, and thus result in long unproductive hours online.

  • Problems with editors and clients   

At times, it is just a communication problem. For instance, you might find yourself rewriting an article because of insufficient instructions at the onset. It is therefore important to clarify everything before getting started on any task. Other clients are just plain difficult to work with. Some take your sample articles and publish them without your permission, while others keep losing your submissions and asking you to resend them.

  • Finding well-paying jobs is not easy           

The truth is that most clients out there expect you to work for very low rates, or even for fee. The situation is made worse by writers who are willing to accept meager pay for their services. This means that it might take some time to find clients who offer reasonable rates.

  • Your failure is your responsibility

Since you are working for yourself, you cannot blame anyone for your failure. If you decide to sleep all day or spend all your time chatting on Facebook at the expense of your work, you will be solely responsible for the failure of your venture.

Freelance Writing – Guidelines for Setting Your Rates

freelance writing ratesMost freelance writers have a difficult time deciding how much to charge for jobs. When it comes to freelance work, one cannot just set a fee and apply it to every client. The following are some of the factors that need to be considered deciding on your rates.

What does the work involve?

To give a proper quote for a project, you need to have full understanding what it involves. Ask yourself the following questions.

  • Type of job – Is it a press release, product review, sales letter or an article? The kind of job it is will have a major influence on the fee charged. For instance, a 500-word sales letter for a major firm would pay more than a 500-word post for a home improvement site.
  • Page/word requirement – How much are you expected to write? The more pages or words, the higher the rate
  • Deadline – Find out when the work is due. If you feel the time is too limited, inform the client. Avoid work which will put you under pressure, and probably compromise your standards. However, if the short deadline cannot be changed, make sure it is factored in your rate.

What is your level of experience/knowledge?

Specialist writers usually charge higher fees compared to those who are starting out in freelance writing. You should therefore work towards being an expert in your subject of interest. When applying for work, inform your client about your area of specialization. Set your rate based on your level of experience.

Who owns the rights?

Rates can vary significantly depending on who owns the rights to a piece of work. Usually, writers surrender full rights for their work. However, due to the writers’ ignorance, most clients get away without paying for full rights. This is why you need to insist on a contract before undertaking any work.

How much research is needed?

When setting your rate, don’t forget to factor in research, especially if it is a job which will require you to spend many hours in travel, reading or material preparation. For such projects, calculate your fee by the hour rather than on the basis of output.

Are there extra expenses?

Extra costs could include anything from courier costs, traveling costs and postage costs, to making phone calls. Never underestimate the importance of such expenses. Always make sure they are factored in to the contract.

What is the going rate?

To get an idea of the goings on in your industry, you need to find out what others are charging. You could visit a few writer forums to ask for advice. In addition, there are numerous freelance writing sites which can give you an idea of the going rates for similar projects. Don’t forget to check online job boards as well.

If a potential client is offering a fee which is too low, you could negotiate for better terms. In case they are not willing to budge, walk away. On the contrary, if the payment being offered is very high, take the job right away!