How to Succeed as an Online Freelance Writer

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Being an online freelance writer has great potential as a lucrative career. However, it’s not without its pitfalls. A lot is riding on how you approach clients, content and your own sense of professionalism.

But once you get into the swing of things, it’s not overly difficult to succeed in freelance writing. For the most part, it depends on your own mentality of working from home.

So, what can you do to improve your chances of making a living from freelance writing?




10 Steps for an Online Freelance Writer to Succeed

Before we get started, these are the steps I take every day to make sure I can support myself. These are the methods I use to ensure I am always up to my neck in work.

These are perhaps the most important tips I can provide for any beginning or experienced online freelance writer.

1. Decide Your Level of Effort

The amount of effort you put into any task will determine your success. You need to ask yourself, are you fine with only making a bit of extra money per week, or do you want to replace a full-time income?

Most freelance writing jobs center around productivity. This means there is no hourly rate. It’s all based on finishing a job for a set amount of money. So if you want to bring in a specific amount, you need to put in the effort to complete client orders.

2. Keep a Professional Mindset

Having a professional mindset is paramount to succeeding as a freelancer. This means everything from your mood and mentality to what you wear.

Don’t assume you can work comfortably at home in your pajamas. While some writers have no problem with this, it’s not a very professional way to go about working.

Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to dress up in a suit or dress. But you’d be amazed by how your clothes can affect a certain mindset. And being professional is how you land high-paying clients.

3. Keep Yourself Motivated

Keeping motivated is one of the most difficult parts of being an online freelance writer. When working for yourself, you’re not accountable to anyone. Which means it’s super easy to get sucked into wasting time.

You need to find something that keeps you motivated to work.

For me, it’s all about keeping track of the words I write in a day and trying to break those records. I like to find ways to gamify the workload, and striving to be better than I am keeps me engaged.

4. Find the Best Venues for Your Needs

Not everyone will have the same experience with certain venues. You need to find those which work perfect for your needs and abilities.

For example, I started writing for content mills as a new writer. It helped me get experience in both writing and dealing with all kinds of clients.

However, you might have better luck at applying for freelance jobs with companies like 24SevenTalent.com or maybe even Indeed.

Explore what the Internet has to offer for an online freelance writer and make the most of it.

5. Set Your Goals

Setting goals is a great way to help keep one motivated to work and succeed. Some of the most successful freelance writers will have daily objectives they want to meet.

Some examples of goals could include:

  • Typing a certain number of words everyday, which is my favorite.
  • Writing until a certain dollar amount is achieved.
  • Spending a specific amount of time actually writing content for clients.

Set daily goals that you can achieve. You don’t want to reach too high for the stars as you might lose your footing and fall.

Be realistic.




6. Plan a Realistic Schedule

Speaking of being realistic, one of the pitfalls of working from home is life in general. It’s easy to get sidetracked with house chores, running errands for family members or hanging out with friends.

Create a schedule which centers around your lifestyle and stick to it. But let everyone know these set hours.

Every moment you’re not working as an online freelance writer is one you’re not getting paid.

7. Optimize Your Workspace

Keep a well-organized and professional workspace. It’ll keep you in the right head space and you’ll find a higher level of productivity.

This includes your chair. Sitting in something that is not comfortable will undoubtedly affect how well you create content for clients. This is because the physical stress you feel will influence how the brain processes information.

And don’t underestimate the value of dual monitors on a computer. I have my research on one screen while I write for clients on the other. It makes creating content so much easier, especially since it limits how often I change browser tabs.

8. Diversify Yourself

Don’t merely stick to just one method of being an online freelance writer. If you like content mills, sign up with more than one. If you prefer direct private clients, get as many as you can handle.

Being able to offer more than just text is also a boon to success. For example, offer screen shots and images if you’re able to add in a bit of graphic design work.

I save one of my clients a lot of money because I am proficient with Photoshop and take my own screenshots. This means they don’t have to pay a third-party for images to match my content.

As a result, I am able to increase my rate slightly to make more money while still saving the client from image expenses.

9. Learn to Handle Criticism

As an online freelance writer, you’ll eventually come across disgruntled clients. You need to be able to handle criticism correctly. And although you might have a client who seems more like a troll, you need to remain professional.

And remember than not all criticism is trolling. Learn to recognize creative criticism from others. It can vastly improve your writing skills.

10. Always Continue to Evolve

Continue to improve your skills as an online freelance writer. This includes things like grammar, best practices and even the industry of which you write.

Clients don’t want content that is obsolete or based on information that is no longer relevant. Spend time researching and expanding what you know.

Strive to improve yourself every day.

Being a Successful Online Freelance Writer Starts with You!

How you interact with clients and approach jobs will affect how successful you are as an online freelance writer. If you’re professional, it’s easy to find work and keep clients coming back for more.

Get the most out of the experience and realize your own potential for being great.

What kind of goals are you setting to be successful as an online freelance writer? What are some things that keep you focused when writing every day? Leave a comment down below…I read them all.




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Michael Brockbank

Michael has been a freelance writer since January of 2012. He has completed more than 6,000 jobs for a variety of clients ranging from animals to travel.

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