There are many ways for skilled wordsmiths to earn a living. Copywriting, editing and proofreading are just a few of the professions sought out by individuals with a passion for the written word. However, since many positions in the aforementioned fields are temporary or part-time, a fair number of writers choose to enter the world of freelancing. Once you’ve found your footing and built up a solid base of regular clients, freelance writing can be a dependable, consistently rewarding career path. Unfortunately, many writers give up before reaching this point due to the copious challenges freelancing entails. Anyone who’s serious about making a go at freelance writing can benefit from the following pointers.
Keep Your Expectations Grounded
You’d be hard-pressed to find a freelance writer who found success overnight. As is the case with freelancing of any sort, your ability to find consistent work will largely depend on how much effort you put forth. In order to turn first-time clients into regulars, you’ll need to develop a good rapport with them and produce high-quality work. Since building professional relationships takes time, it’s important that you keep your expectations grounded in reality. Expecting to have a handful of regular clients by the end of your first week is practically guaranteed to result in disappointment, so before entering the world of freelance writing, take care to temper your expectations.
Additionally, don’t expect the income generated from freelance writing to provide you with enough money to support yourself – at least not right away. Until you have enough clients to turn freelancing into a sustainable career, it’s recommended that you abstain from quitting any jobs you currently hold. It’s particularly important for writers with little to no savings to continue working full or part-time until quitting becomes financially feasible.
Keep Your Promises
Although keeping promises to clients may seem like obvious advice, a sizable number of freelance writers don’t seem particularly concerned about disappointing the people who pay them. This is particularly true when it comes to deadlines. Even if they agree to complete assignments by a certain date, some writers have no qualms about putting jobs they find cumbersome or difficult on the backburner indefinitely. What’s more, they often won’t even bother to inform clients about these delays. Needless to say, this is not an effective way to build trust or garner repeat business. If you expect clients to enlist your services on a regular basis, it’s imperative that you regard deadlines as law. If circumstances that are completely out of your control may force you to miss a deadline, make sure to provide the client with as much advance notice as possible.
Invoice Clients in a Timely Manner
In addition to turning in assignments on schedule, you’ll need to submit your invoices in a timely manner. The sooner you send them, the sooner your clients can get them processed. You may feel as if you’re being courteous by waiting, but a client who receives an invoice long after a job has been completed is likely to express more frustration than admiration. Freelancers who are new to writing up invoices should take advantage of the Aynax.com free online estimate template.
Don’t Take on More Work Than You Can Handle
Since freelancers can’t rely on regular salaries, many of them adopt a “feast or famine” mentality. This generally entails accepting every available assignment from every possible client. After all, you never know when work is going to dry up, so you may as well earn money whenever you have the chance. While this mindset is perfectly understandable, it’s hardly conducive to a healthy work/life balance. So if you feel that you’re taking on more work than you can reasonably handle, don’t be afraid to say no to a client. If they’re happy with your work, they’re sure to enlist your services again – provided, of course, you turn down the work respectfully.
While freelance writing can be a viable career path for certain wordsmiths, it’s not a good fit for everyone. As is often the case when working in any sort of freelance capacity, you’ll succeed or fail based on a number of factors – some of which you’ll have no control over. Of course, this isn’t to say that fledgling writers should simply leave everything to fate. Sure, luck is often a factor in how much success freelance writers enjoy, but there are many steps you can take to turn the tide in your favor.