Skills You Need to Become a Freelance Writer in Demand

Опубликовано - Последнее изменение:

Introduction

Perhaps you are considering leaving your job to become a freelance writer. Maybe you have only thought about becoming a freelance writer. If so, read on, as what you are about to read is important. Think carefully about this move. 

 

Freelancing

A freelancer is someone, who is self-employed and offers services, usually to more than a single client, at any time. There are some 55 million Americans, or around one-third of US workers, who are freelancers.

Freelancers are not just found in the USA; they are found in all countries. The Internet has created a situation where citizens of any country can work over the Net for people in other countries. 

Freelance Writing

There are a variety of jobs that freelance writers do: advertising, social media work, authoring, publicity, and ghostwriting [writing under contract for someone else] such things as e-books, articles, and blog posts. If you are able to provide a good writing service, you will probably succeed as a freelancer.

Another couple is article reviews and book summaries. If you want to see the type of article this entails then have a look at this summary of a book by the marketing expert Seth Godin.

Advantages of Freelance Writing

We have considered some of the jobs that online writers can do. What are some advantages?

  • It is easy to freelance write. All you need is a computer, an Internet connection, and some writing ability. There are a number of tools for writers, such as Copyscape and Grammarly, which are not expensive and almost essential.

  • Good writers are much in demand. Although freelancing is very competitive, good freelancers get plenty of work. There are some businesses that will only employ freelancers as their writers.

  • You can work from home and you can set your own work schedule.

  • Most clients are pleasant people and if you do good work for them they will be repeat customers.

Some Advice

The famous American Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin, said, "If you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail." Before you venture into the freelancing writing world, take an inventory of what you can offer and get paid for. There are many references for planning, with many being dry and academic.

As an important part of your planning, consider your writing and take an honest inventory of it:

  • Are you experienced?

  • Are you good at summarizing ideas?

  • What are your IT skills?

  • Do you have a hobby that you can write about?

  • Are you considered a good writer?

  • Anything else?

Skills Needed for Freelance Writing

All right, you have taken an inventory and you still want to be a freelance writer. Here are some essential skills.

  • Good language skills like spelling, grammar, and word power [good vocabulary]. You're not going to get very far without them.

  • Using citations; this does not take long to learn but is very important.

  • Good research skills, particularly knowing how to use search engines and libraries. There is a lot of rubbish on the Internet. You must be able to sift through it and find the wheat among the chaff.

  • New idea generating skills are essential.

  • Coupled with the previous quality is imagination. This is particularly necessary if you are working in marketing: writing advertisements, planning marketing frameworks and campaigns, using social media etc.

  • Thorough proofreading is essential. Sharpen your skills and learn to use Grammarly.

  • Learn how to avoid plagiarism [copying], which a client can easily spot with Copyscape.

In addition to these obvious skills related to writing, there are some other skills and practices you should work on.

  • Networking skills are very important. Keep a record of your clients. If you do good work for clients they will want to keep using you.

  • Communication with clients is vital. Learn as much as you can about this.

  • Learn to practice due diligence: Have you carried out the assigned task, as asked?

  • Learn sensible estimating techniques of how long a task will take and how much it will cost you before you put your hand up.

  • Learn to use writers groups.

  • Enroll in writing courses if you need to

  • Developing time management skills

  • Finally, develop a thick skin. While most clients are great, some are not. Don't be put off by one or two bad clients.

Other Essential Steps in Planning for Your Freelancing Career

Planning for your freelance writing career is very important. Here are some other essential steps you should take.

  • Prepare a portfolio of your work.

  • Assemble references.

  • Consider how you are going to deal with money. You are still going to have your old bills but you have to think of things like insurance and retirement.

  • Find out how you are going to get clients.

  • Consider online freelancing sites.

Conclusion

Freelance writing offers many opportunities and those who have tried the life of a “free artist” rarely return to the office. There are certain skills you must have and most can be developed. So what's stopping you?

You can probably think of a thousand reasons, why you should not be a freelance writer, however, if you've done your homework and the signs are good then go on. If you fail to believe in yourself, then no one else can and you will never be successful.

Следующая статья

Top 10 Tips for Freelance Writers