If you're thinking about making the transition to a new career as a professional writer, you may find yourself in search of tips to succeed at freelancing.
Essential Tips to Succeed at Freelancing
Having the freedom to earn money by working at home in your pajamas may sound ideal, but freelancing isn't as easy as it first appears. Aside from having strong writing skills, you need to be patient, persistent, and extremely motivated in order to be successful in this field.
As a freelancer working from a home office, the lines between work and personal time are going to get a bit blurry. When there are only a few feet keeping you separate from your work and the piles of dirty laundry that need to be washed, it's easy to get distracted. If you're not careful, you can end up spending your whole day on housework and miscellaneous errands. To further compound the problem, your friends and family may wrongly assume that you're able to do extra chores because you don't have to physically commute to your office.
One of the most important tips to succeed at freelancing is to educate your friends and family about what you do for a living. Tell your spouse you expect help with the household chores. Tell your children they can't bother you during your assigned work hours unless it's truly an emergency. Tell your friend that you can't drop everything to go to coffee at 11:00 a.m. on a Tuesday morning when you have a Wednesday deadline to meet. Be firm about your expectations from the beginning and you'll find it much easier to build a successful career.
Make a Schedule for Yourself
When you don't have a boss constantly looking over your shoulder, it's easy to get a bit lazy. Before you know it, you've spend the entire day watching soaps or surfing the Web and only managed to write 200 words of a 1,000 word article that is due in two hours.To keep yourself on task, you need to come up with some sort of work schedule. It doesn't have to be a minute-by-minute account of how you'll spend your day, but it should provide enough of an outline that you'll be able to get all your work done. Make a copy of your schedule and post it by your computer so you can see what needs to be done in a particular day.
Don't Take Rejection Personally
In many ways, freelance writing is a lot like dating. You're opening yourself up to a lot of rejection, but you have to be persistent if you want to eventually find the opportunity that's right for you. Keep in mind that what constitutes "good writing" is subjective. If an article of yours is rejected or you're passed over for a freelance copywriting gig you really wanted, it doesn't necessarily mean you're doomed to a life of flipping burgers. It simply means the opportunity wasn't a good fit with your style.
Be Open to Criticism
Just because you think an article you wrote is perfect doesn't mean your client is going to agree. All freelance writers, regardless of their level of skill or how long they've been in business, occasionally get asked to revise their work. Revision requests are like rejection letters; they're just a fact of life when you're a professional writer.In many cases, your client's suggestions may actually end up making your work even better. Sometimes, the changes are ones you don't personally agree with. However, writers who are interested in tips to succeed at freelancing know that keeping the client happy is the best way to ensure that their bills will be paid. Unless the changes result in your work advocating things that are illegal or unethical, it's best to do what it takes to keep your client pleased and simply move on to the next project.
To learn more about what it's like to be a freelance writer, check out the following helpful articles from LoveToKnow Freelance Writing:
- How Do I Become a Professional Writer?
- How to Make Money from Writing
- What Is it Like to be a Professional Writer?