Freelance writing can be a challenging game, and there are some important things to keep in mind when trying to establish yourself in this field.
Establish a Portfolio and Resume
This is your key business development tool, and the better your resume looks to prospective employers, the more work and better rates you’ll receive. It is therefore important to ensure this is presented with the quality and professionalism that you want to be associated with.
Also keep the quality of your resume in mind when pitching for and carrying out new work. Sometimes, the work you get isn’t great but it pays the bills. Try to always have some interesting projects around, things that can show off your skills and the quality of your writing. Work hard on the bids that can round out your resume. If they provide good visibility, maybe taking a loss on them will make more business sense in the long run.
Keep bidding: resilience is the key
If there is any side learning benefit to freelance writing it is resilience in the face of rejection. You may not have gotten this job, but there are others. Stay focused and positive. Don’t let the negative feeling of rejection slip into your writing, because it often never leaves.
Success! Keep bidding still
Its great that you got that job. However, that is one job and you’ll need many more to keep at this. Hopefully this work is something that you can use in your portfolio and resume and then you’ll be able to capitalize on it for more work. Keep it up!
Establish a pay rate and manage your business
When work starts coming in, be careful about what work you take on. Sometimes the work involved in completing a bid makes the project unprofitable.
You may have to take a hit on your pay rate to begin with, but as a quality writer this will be temporary. Spot jobs that have erroneous requirements that make the task unprofitable. Target work which can make your writing stand out and be promotable to gain new work.
Deadlines and quality are key to your business
Freelance writing is as much about project management as it is about getting words on a page. If your work is late or incomplete, this will impact your hire-ability and will also increase the amount of stress you take into the job. Use timers and task lists in order to ensure you are in front of your deadlines. If it turns out that deadlines are going to be a challenge, ensure that you communicate with who you are working for in order to minimize damage.
Also, encourage an efficient writing process. The more you have to go over and edit your work, the less financially effective you are going to be.
The most successful writers are not the ones who have the best command of language, they are the ones who are able to provide clear quality work, every time, on time and on budget. Any part of this slips and the person doing freelance writing is challenged to recover.