Last Updated on August 23, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
In the grand scheme of things, it’s not all that difficult to become a freelance writer on the Internet. Most businesses nowadays need constant blog posts, articles and news releases completed. This means there is a lot of work available. For those who don’t mind sitting and writing for someone else all day, it can be quite lucrative. However, there’s more to freelancing than just being able to work from home and having good grammar.
What You Need to Be An Online Freelance Writer
Many people are interested in what I actually do for a living. Sitting here in my little liquor store, my regular customers constantly bombard me with questions as to why I am always typing at my computer. Although it’s easy to get into freelance writing, it does take a special kind of person. Although you may think you’re a writer, that opinion may change after a couple of months.
Be Able to Deal With Monotony
When you’re a ghostwriter such as myself, there are times when the monotony of the job can easily become mundane. As a result, you may find yourself wanting to quit. Even I have days such as this. In the past 4.5 years, I’ve wanted to quit as a freelance writer at least once per year. There are days when I would just rather be a flag holder standing in the middle of some road on a construction site. However, I love to write.
I deal with this monotony by diversifying my clients. I love to learn new things, and I am not afraid to jump into a project that I know nothing about. This is how I found out that I love writing about travel. You never know what will be your proverbial cup of tea until you give it a try.
Good at Financial Planning
One of the biggest problems you may come across as a freelance writer is the lulls in workload. There are days when I don’t have a single thing to write for clients. When your income is based purely on productivity like mine, a day off can be very dramatic. As a freelancer, you’re less likely to bring in money unless you are working. I don’t get holidays, sick leave or vacation time.
This is offset through financial planning. If you budget your time and money well, a day off may not be as damaging to your income. A good practice I like to use is putting 10% of my weekly income into a separate bank account. This is kind of like a “rainy day” fund. When it starts clouding up pretty quick, having this cash cushion may mean the difference between food on the table and starving.
Be Able to Commit to Projects
The thought of working from home excites a lot of people. Who wouldn’t want to be their own boss and determine their own hours? However, this type of mindset is not entirely accurate. For instance, most of my regular clients need jobs done within regular business hours. These time frames are according to their own location. If I have a client in New York who needs a blog post done by noon, that means I have to have it in by 10:00 am my time.
For the most part, being successful at freelance writing relies on strong productivity. You need to have jobs done as quickly as possible while committing to a certain level of quality. If you’re unable to commit to customer satisfaction, you’ll find your workload dwindling quite rapidly.
A Love of Writing
Perhaps the most important aspect to being successful as a writer is having passion. In reality, loving what you do is key to performing well in any career. If you don’t love writing, it won’t take you long to either become frustrated or bored with freelancing.
During any given day, I perhaps create more than 5,000 words of content for my clients and myself. Some days, I’ll reach 10k without putting much thought into it. Now, consider that this is about the equivalent of writing a novel every month. This is what I have been doing since July of 2012. I love writing, and I love being able to share my thoughts regardless if my name is on it or not. However, I have been leaning more towards working for myself lately.
Willing to Constantly Learn
When I first started as a freelance writer, I thought I had a good grasp of grammar and spelling. The last four years have taught me that I still have much to learn. Making the switch from Oxford to AP style has been quite a pain in the ass. However, it’s what most clients want nowadays.
You can’t assume that you know everything when you’re a freelance writer. You have to be willing to accept criticism while giving the client exactly what he or she wants. Essentially, you need to become somewhat of a minor expert in the industry for which you’re writing. The more you learn, the more efficient and professional you’ll become.
Anyone Can Be An Online Freelance Writer
In reality, anyone can be a freelance writer on the Internet. Whether you’re successful for the long haul is a completely different question. Not everyone has the ability to sit for long periods of time at a computer desk while receiving revision requests that seem asinine – but it’s what the client wants. This is aside from the fact that good grammar is an absolute must.
It can be frustrating when someone degrades your work or doesn’t like what you create because it’s not quite right. But when you get those perfect clients who praise your work constantly, it makes the experience worthwhile. These are the ones who usually pay you the most money over time.
Learning any given trait will boost your success. This is true whether you’re a freelancer or a construction worker. Before you dive into the world of freelancing, make sure it is something you really want to do. You don’t want to quit your regular job to become something you wind up hating a week or two into it.
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