5 Tips For A Successful Freelance Writing Career

by WorkFromHome on October 4, 2011

Working as a freelance writer can be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling home based jobs today. The ability to work from home using your talents as a writer is a dream position for many. However, it is also very important that you understand these 5 basic rules about freelance writing if you wish to make it a success.

  1. Language Skills: When you are working as a writer, regardless of the type of writing assignment, you must always use proper English. This includes proper use of punctuation, word meaning, and spelling. You should always avoid using slang or Internet shorthand in your writing unless a client specifically requests this type of language in their assignment. Writers must always:
    1. Know their grammar rules
    2. Use words that they are familiar with and understand. While larger words may look impressive in the assignment, it is useless to use these words if you do not fully understand their meanings. Rule: If you do not understand their meaning, neither will the readers.
    3. Always use the correct punctuation
    4. Avoid using exclamation points unless it is necessary. Over-use of exclamation points makes your work look unprofessional.
    5. Use a dictionary and thesaurus to increase your word power
    6. If you are translating something from another language, or into another language, verify your context.
    7. Keep your readers attention by staying on subject.
    8. Be the authority of the subject you are writing about. Your writing should lead someone to believe you are in complete control of the subject.
    9. Always make sure your spelling has been corrected.

    It is very important to keep all communication between you and your client professional. Potential clients will not use a writer that responds to their inquiry for service with poorly worded responses that contain misspellings.

  2. Clients: The Internet offers many ways for freelance writers to find employment. A little marketing, and joining the right networks, will keep any freelance writer busy for as long as they desire. Once you have established a personal website and list of services, you should do the following to find work:
    1. Advertise your website through article marketing and pay-per-click
    2. Join social networking groups that are centered on freelance writers. Knowing people in the industry will help you find work.
    3. Join several freelance job boards. These sites post writing assignments from around the world for people actively looking for freelance work.
  3. Be Flexible: When you work as a freelance writer, you must be willing to be flexible with the assignments that you accept. While writing about a specific topic, or in a specific manner may be your desire, it does not always pay the bills.

    You must be willing to write in different styles, at different paces, and about different subject matters to be successful. While you should actively seek the type of writing assignments you enjoy the most, do not avoid other assignments. Taking on these additional assignments will give you experience, knowledge, and may lead to high paying assignments.

  4. Solitude does not mean closed-minded : you are a freelance writer you will spend a considerable amount of time alone or in the quiet. It is just easier to let the words flow when you are not disturbed. However, for many writers this can become a problem. Freelance writers become very conscious of the quiet after a while, and for some, it is too much to handle.
    As a writer you must make the time to spend with family and friends. You must take time to have outside experiences. You must socially interact and participate in life. A good writer knows when it is time to leave the quiet and go and enjoy life, even if it is only for an hour.
  5. Understanding others opinions of your job: There are two distinct reactions you will receive when you tell someone that you are a freelance writer that works from home. The first reaction will be the sarcastic smile and the condescending “that’s nice” comment. These people are the ones who will make sly comments about getting a “real” job, or offer to help you find work.

    The second reaction you will receive is from people who are so impressed with what you do they will not stop asking questions. They want to know everything about you, your work, and how you had the courage to follow your dreams.

    Of course, the second encounter is always the more pleasant, but both will happen. You must always remain calm with type one and enjoy the attention from type two. Remember, you are following your dreams, and no one should take that away.

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