Affiliate Disclosure: This content contains affiliate links at no extra cost to you to help meet the cost of running the website. Thanks for your support.
Seven years ago, there was some hype about making money online as a writer. I was a student in college at the time pursuing a BSc in Horticulture.
Back then, I didn’t pay much attention to freelance writing. I saw it as one of the many distractions I had been warned about when joining college. But who said you couldn’t do some meaningful activity that can make your life easy while a student?
Against that backdrop, I attempted some writing gigs on a freelancing platform – iWriter but failed miserably. I couldn’t keep up with the writing speed and the short delivery deadlines.
Well, that’s different today. Besides my formal employment, freelancing writing has become a sensation in my life. This post offers you some valuable lessons in this industry that I have learned through failed experiences. Keep reading.
1. Drop the Skewed Mentality about Freelance Writing
Freelance writing is no longer a side-hustle as many people used to believe it is. It’s the main thing. Unfortunately, the side-hustle narrative is still the mentality in this part of the world.
If you mention that you are a writer, the first thing that comes to your listener’s mind is academic writing.
Academic writing is getting paid to research and write term papers and class assignments for college students. It’s also freelancing since you work with many different clients.
I talk about academic writing because this is a sensation among my peers in my country. However, that isn’t the kind of freelance writing I’m talking about.
I’m talking about writing E-books, blog posts for blogs and websites, product reviews, articles, and white papers. If you mention this in some quarters, you will be asked to get a real job.
But as usual, people embrace change in different stages, some being the beginners and some the laggards. Check my latest engagement here.
2. Work on your Skillset
When I began freelance writing, I had fewer skills than I have today. All I knew much was writing. But even the writing itself wasn’t that polished.
Come to think of it, any technical skill requires constant practice, without which you lose. Think of a computer programmer or simply having basic knowledge of computers, a car driver, a mechanic; the longer you stay away from doing the job, the sooner you become archaic.
On the flip side, I have picked other skills along the way because of my zeal in the industry. A few to mention are
- formatting and publishing blog posts on WordPress,
- basic html,
- website page editing using Elementor and Thrive Architect themes,
- digital marketing, SEO, and
- graphic design using canvas.
These are what I would call technical chops.
They look trivial but go a long way in positioning you as a person of value in the marketplace, especially as a freelancer. Some of these skills will require some financial investment, which you should be willing to part with. You could also build a free or premium course from whatever you have learned to train other writers.
3. Embrace the ‘Yes I Can’ Mentality
The trick about freelance writing is that people think they have to be pros or experts to start. Ditch that right now because you are closing your doors to many freelancing opportunities.
I wasn’t a pro when I started, and I’m still learning on the job as I write this. Some clients will reach out to you, notice your limitations and offer to train you.
The critical thing here is your willingness to learn. You should always be open to every new opportunity that comes, whether you have industry knowledge or not.
But as you get the gist of freelance writing, start identifying topics you love and can narrow down to. Check a niche topic I write about here.
5. Don’t Be Shy to Ask for Better Compensation
As a freelance writer, you will be dealing with online clients most of the time. In most cases, if not all, you will never see their faces or even hear their voices.
The only cues to their personality are their communication via chat or email. This may make it hard for you to relate personally and even ask for what you feel you deserve.
But that shouldn’t be a concern or worry you.
The person on the other side chatting with you is basically a human being. Though you may be in different cultures and time zones and bred differently, learn to exercise emotional intelligence and attention to detail as much as possible.
Some clients will come out as rude and others as very polite. For the polite ones, there will be a lot of thank-yous and please. That being said, if you feel you are being underpaid, never shy off from asking for a raise.
As sane human beings, they will listen and respond accordingly depending on the budget at hand. I talk more about this in my affordable training.
5. Build your Writing Portfolio
As a freelance writer, you must learn to operate as an entrepreneur. Don’t only write but also market your services to win more and better-paying clients.
As you begin, you may not have much experience building your portfolio.
Your portfolio is like your resume, which showcases your previous and current writing engagements with potential clients. It highlights your skills, experience, and the kind of services you offer. I have mine here though not quite polished. Looking to build my freelance services website in the new future.
That’s it for today. I will be sharing more freelance writing tips in the coming weeks. Remember to subscribe to the blog to get the latest updates. If you believe you are a writer or can write, type in the comments section below – Yes, I can, and begin your journey in a freelance writing career.