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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Steps to Online Freelance Writing Success

If you have the mindset that says “I freelance as a hobby” or “I freelance to make ends meet,” you will be doing that only. If you are serious about attaining success through freelancing and really hope to quit your job one day to do full-fledged freelancing you have to start treating your freelancing efforts as a real business. 


Shift Your Focus

The very first thing you need to do if you want to be a successful freelance writer is shift your focus. Take your freelance writing seriously and give it equal importance in your schedule and your life. You will see a significant rise in terms of satisfaction and earnings when this happens.

Make Time to Write

Consistent writing schedule is necessary if you want to start on a fast track to freelance writing success. Even when you are not writing for a client, you need to keep writing to build your portfolio or to just increase your research materials. If you get stuck with a writer’s block or are feeling lazy even doodling something will help keep the momentum. If you pass the day wothout writing even one sentence you are digging the grave for your freelance writign career.

Consistent apprach is very important. If you are not writing because you do not have a job from a client, become your own client. Come with your own writing assignments and start writing.

Set up a Writing Station

Many freelancer writers work from home for very good reasons. Reasons range from kids to freedom from a regular job. And not many are able to sustain the momentum they had wen they started out as a online freelance writer! Well, if you use your kitchen space or your bedroom to write you will find that you are doing much more of other things compared to actually writing. When you set up a special corner in your home for you to work on your freelance writing, you will find that you get much more done in that short span of time.

Learn to Handle Disruptions

As I mentioned before, many freelance writers work from home and unless you are staying alone you are bound to face distractions. What makes the situation worse is that your parents, spouse, siblings, kids or friends may not even acknowledge that you are working and may feel that you are free. This is a very real issue faced by many online freelance writers. The basic reason being that people are still not able to digest the fact that you can actually be working from home on your computer in your pyjamas.

To handle this you need to keep a working space intact and be sure to let the possible disrupters that you are not free when you are at your workstation.

KISS (Keep it Short and Simple)

Nothing is more dangerous to an online freelance writer than a bored audience and an irritated client. Depending on your audience keep your articles short and simple unless otherwise required. If you are writing for a general online audience, you must ensure that you keep your article sentences and paragraphs short. You can organize your article by incorporating bullet points where appropriate for an easy read. If your articles are easy to read and understand you will gain more readers as well as clients which will accelerate your freelance writing success.

Find Avenues to Showcase Your Potential

The initial step to finding freelance work is to look for it. You should register with leading freelance portals to bid on projects and land yourself some jobs and get some reviews about your quality of work submitted. This builds credibility and increases your workload as more clients feel comfortable hiring you. Freelancer.com, oDesk, Elance are few of the best portals around.

However, you need to slowly move away from this. In order to be a successful freelance writer, you need to develop yourself into someone the clients will come looking for instead of you approaching them. This is not going to happen overnight. Lots of hard work, persistence and relationship building are required in order for your freelancing career t come to such heights. Once you manage this, there is no looking back. Do note that you still need to keep an eye open for good opportunities.

Charge What You Are Worth

Face it! You are in this business to make money and you are not going to make it unless you charge your worth.Many freelancer writers are baffled when they are asked what their per-hour rate is or how much they charge per article or word. As mentioned before, you need to treat your freelance writing career as a business. Ask yourself if you would you ever go into business without knowing how much to charge for your product or service. Why should your freelance writing charges be any different?

Do not be afraid to charge what you are worth. Negotiation is always an option. However, if you under estimate your worth you are getting exploited and I will take a lot of time before your pay gets revised. If you over estimate you will lose your assignment as well as the client.

Be a Professional

Your quality, assignment turnaround time, communication must be of top notch quality. A lack in any of those departments will delay your success. Excellent service is what sets apart a good freelance writer from a best freelance writer and only the best are really successful. The best mantra here is to under promise and over deliver.
 
I have written a slightly different version of the same article which can be found here

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