Last Updated on May 12, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
Success as a freelance writer is measured by the amount of effort you put into it. In reality, this is true for just about anything in life. If you put in a half-assed attempt at any given task, that is often related to the end result. If you truly want to excel as a freelance writer, you need to go beyond your current abilities. If you just do enough work to survive, it can be difficult to get ahead in the world.
Ways to Excel as a Freelance Writer
Even though you love to write, it takes more than passion for the written word to get anywhere professionally. For the most part, it takes dedication and motivation to continue. This is especially true if you work from home. It can be quite difficult some days to “feel” like writing. And a lot of people will do only enough to simply get by. If you want to excel, you need to break from that cycle.
Don’t Take Criticism the Wrong Way
I’ve seen a lot of writers who had potential give up rather quickly. Because the client didn’t like a particular piece or editors rate the work at a lower level than expected, these individuals threw in the towel and moved on. Every one of them are now working jobs they hate and haven’t created a single piece since. It’s almost impossible to please 100% of the people 100% of the time. Take critiques as a method to improve yourself as a writer. Don’t let them be the instrument for giving up. Even the trolls, who will hate everything for the sheer enjoyment of hating, can be useful when gauging your abilities.
Set Daily Goals
You shouldn’t be content with just doing enough to survive. There is great potential online for freelance writers, especially since so many businesses realize the importance of blogs and articles. Set goals that are realistic for yourself and continue to improve. Some of the examples I use include:
- Setting word goals: I try to accomplish at least 3000 words per day for various clients. If the work slows down, then I make sure my blogs get sufficient attention.
- Setting time goals: I often strive to meet 190 minutes per day of actual typing. This doesn’t really sound like a lot until you take into consideration all of the things that can distract you. This is just over three hours of my fingers moving across the keyboard.
- Setting income goals: I have a breakdown of how much I need to make per day in order to break even when paying bills. Surpassing this number guarantees I’ll have a bit of cash in my pocket at the end of the week.
Sometimes, I’ll set a goal for myself to accomplish about 6000 words per day between freelance work and my own creations. This helps me make enough money to survive while enhancing my position as an independent author. And yes, my wife thinks I am quite the geek because I have spreadsheets that break all of this information down for me.
Keep Yourself Busy
Don’t let a lax in workflow slow you down. Blogging, guest blogging, diversify by signing up for other writing services and more can all be done while waiting for a client to contact you. As a freelance writer, you need to dedicated a certain amount of time in the day to be professional. This helps keep you in the right state of mind. Otherwsie, it can be easy to say, “to hell with it” for the day and stream some videos on Netflix.
Constantly Educate Yourself
I’ve been a ghostwriter for over four years now, and I still don’t know everything about writing in AP style. Take the time you have available and learn all you can about improving your abilities as a writer. It may also be greatly beneficial if you keep an eye on trends in your preferred niche. The more you know about what you love to write, the better the quality may be for your clients. It also doesn’t hurt to do this for your personal writing.
You should never simply settle on enough work for mere survival. If you want to be successful, you need to continue to advance yourself as a professional. The competition on the Internet is great when it comes to freelance writing. Give yourself an edge by taking measures to improve your abilities. It could lead to a much easier financial future.
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