“Failure is instructive. The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his success” – John Dewey
From vintage typewriter to mechanical keyboards, writing has remained a reliable source of income for wordsmiths worldwide. Freelance writing has become a premier home-based business and today, anyone can be a writer, anywhere!
But freelancing requires a good grasp of language skills, being organized and a determination to succeed. When you start out freelancing, you most certainly look for work on outsourcing sites. There is no issue with getting jobs from these sites but the issue arises when you are a newbie freelancer. This is the time when you are just starting out and do not know the layout of this field.
To help you out, here are the things you should consider when starting out as a freelancer writer. Here are some mistakes that are made by the freelancers commonly. These mistakes end up with you getting ripped off by an unscrupulous client if you don’t pay attention.
Make sure you aren’t making these mistakes whether you are just starting out as a freelance writer or are experienced .
1. Poor Time Management
As a starter, it becomes very difficult to manage time for writing articles. You should be realistic about your own free time and how long a job will take. As a general example, for writing an article you know nothing about, it should take almost 50 minutes for 500 words including research.
You need to make better use of your calendar to schedule time in for your freelance work.
2. Not Knowing What to Charge
This is the most common mistake that freelancers usually make: they are never sure what to charge. Initially when breaking into the freelancing world, it’s a good strategy to start with low rates. But this should go on just for a short time. Sooner or later a writer must know their true worth.
If you stick yourself at a low rate for a long period then you will find yourself stuck with clients who will pay you too little for what you provide them, so the best way is to price yourself according to your skill and work with only those clients who value your creativity.
3. Ineffective Communication
In online businesses, communication is the key where you may never meet your clients. This is very common and even many seasonal freelancers make this mistake. Before commencing or taking on a project, it is very important to ensure that you understand the job completely.
It is much better to ask questions before starting work instead of delivering something that completely misses the mark and isn’t what the client is looking for.
4. Dealing with Angry Clients
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned freelancer, there will be times when you will have to deal with an irate and angry client. Receiving a tongue lashing from a client is never easy. Your instincts may force you to hide under your desk but eventually you will have to confront things. You cannot hide but it will require some finesse to deal with such angry clients.
Try to be positive with your clients and never vent your frustrations on them directly. Always read your e-mails twice before sending them to make sure nothing can be misconstrued in what you have written. Escaping angry clients will not win you any favors but you will more likely lose your clients which will get you negative ratings on your outsourcing portfolio.
5. All Eggs in One Basket
Do not rely on a few clients for all your income. As a freelancer, you need to broaden your horizons. You must look into diversifying your skill base so that you can have multiple income streams with the passage of time. Don’t let yourself fall into any false sense of security with only one client. Whether it’s a jump from creative fiction to business writing or analysis, always be ready to challenge yourself.
6. Doing Work You Don’t Like
It’s a danger for all newbie freelancers to say “Yes” to everything, even to the work that they don’t like. But you need to stop doing this immediately because it will quickly make you lose all your motivation.
No matter how much you are being paid, you will procrastinate and run the risk of damaging your ratings and client’s feedback. Only work on the projects that make sense to your business and creative instincts.
7. Slacking Off
Discipline is very important in freelancing; working from home does not mean you are not responsible. You need to set working hours to get client work done.
Therefore you must schedule your day so you know what you should be doing or what needs doing.
8. Work/Life Balance
The pitfall of freelancing is that you forget that you have an individual life outside of work. You get caught up in a tough working routine.
Therefore set yourself some working hours and stick to them. Make sure that you schedule in some down time every single day and spend time with your family. It’s important for your overall well-being to schedule your everyday routine.
The smartest way of avoiding mistakes is to be aware of them. You cannot run a freelancing business without making mistakes. That’s how you learn and how you succeed as a freelance writer!