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What You Do – & Don’t – Need To Be A Successful Freelance Writer

*Collaborative post.

To be successful as a freelance writer, you need to have a particular set of skills. It’s not all that hard to be successful as a writer: contrary to popular belief! However, you have to have the right skills, the right level of creativity – and it would help if you had a good grasp of the language in which you are hoping to write. When we use the word successful, we don’t necessarily mean in terms of cash; we mean that you can see a steady stream of work based on the fact that people are impressed with you and what you can do.

There are several skills that you need to write as a freelancer, as we mentioned, and it’s so much more than you think. So, we’re going to talk through the skills that you need, as well as the skills that you don’t need, to be a successful writer.

 

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What You Need To Be A Successful Freelance Writer
  • You Need To Be Able To Write

It’s simple, but it’s true. It would help if you had some ability to write clearly, fluently and without too much waffle. Of course, depending on the topic, a little waffle is to be expected! However, it would help if you thought of writing as a craft which you must hone. You can learn to write, but it’s a little more about having a natural talent for it than anything else. You don’t have to aim for perfection with your work; what is perfect writing, anyway?

 

  • A Passion For Writing

While some people turn to content writing as a freelancer, they don’t have much of a passion or a desire to write. Most writers cannot explain to anyone their process. How do you tell someone that you can’t articulate the words you want to write, but that your hands know what to say? It’s because those with a real passion for writing have an instinct for the words which flow through their fingertips. You need this. You don’t have to love every topic in front of you, but you do have to be able to write that topic well. 

 

  • A Space To Work

The beautiful thing about freelancing as a writer is that you can bring your writing anywhere. You can sit in the park with your laptop, lounge on the beach with a tablet and you can even just sit at the dining table at home while you can. Ideally, if you’re going to do this professionally, you’re going to need a space to work. You need to be able to have the best software for your writing, with updated computer equipment. It would help if you also had an excellent smartphone to communicate well with your clients. There are plenty of packages out there, and you can refer a friend and get one month free SMARTY when you do. So, if you know other freelancers out there looking to stay connected, get in touch with them, and you both get something for free. Equipping your space is so necessary, so make sure you have the right writing tools from the start.

 

  • A Willingness To Market Yourself

You may not have much confidence in person, but behind the written word, you’re a powerhouse, and you know what you’re doing. Your professionalism and your confidence shines through the way you wrap your words around a given topic. You are a business, and you are your own selling point. As a writer, you need to be comfortable enough to market yourself, and that takes time to learn how to do that.

 

  • The Ability To Accept A “No”

Now, rejection is supposed to be a bad thing. In the world outside of writing, rejection isn’t exactly positive. However, as a writer, you will get far more rejections than you will accept in the early days of your writing. This isn’t something that should devastate you. Instead, ask for feedback; what was it about your writing that wasn’t right for the job? Learn from the rejection and move on.

 

  • Perseverance

Oh, boy, do you need to know how to keep going! If you are fortunate enough to get a role with a company with regular work coming in, you still have to think on your feet with other positions. As a freelancer, your job is never guaranteed, and it can change day by day. Instead of sitting back and letting workflow to you, stay active and keep your name circulating so that people are aware that you are writing and ready to go!

 

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What You Do Not Need To Be A Successful Freelance Writer

Now that we have discussed all of the things that you need to be successful as a freelancer, there are some things that you don’t need to worry about. Shall we take a look? 

 

  • You Don’t Need To Know It All

So much of writing comes from just, well, writing! You don’t need to know how to build your own website, and you don’t need to know how to write about every single topic in the world. However, you do need to know how to research your work and how to put out a good query letter. You don’t need to build your site when there are so many other professionals out there who would be more than willing to help you to do it! It would help if you trusted that you know more than enough to be successful.

 

  • You Don’t Need Unlimited Support

While it’s a beautiful thing to have, you don’t actually need everyone in your life to agree with you that freelancing is the way to go. People won’t, and that’s okay; you can’t help them with their wrong opinion about how you live your life. Content writers are kings in an online world. So, go out there and prove to everyone that you have nothing to prove. It’s so satisfying!

 

  • You Don’t Need To Fear Rejection

People will tell you no, and that’s something that you have to get over really fast if you want to be a writer. Don’t fear it; let people reject and learn from it – as we mentioned earlier.

 

  • You Don’t Need Hours Of Free Time

Writing is a passion, and you don’t need to wait until the perfect moment to start writing. You don’t have to wait until the kids have grown up and moved out. You only really need time that you want to dedicate to it, and that’s it. You will always find the time to write. 

 

  • You Don’t Need To Be Perfect

Lastly, you do not need perfection. Writers are naturally critical of their work, and you should be confident that the articles that you are putting out are what your client needs. There is no such thing as perfect!

 

Now you know how, what are you going to do about it? Go and chase your freelance dreams!

 

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3 Ways to Transition to Freelance Successfully

Is leaving your job and going into freelancing full-time one of your goals for the year? As someone who transitioned from a 9-to-5 to freelancing, I know the questions you might have in mind. Questions like: “Am I making the right choice?” “Will I be able to make enough money in my first month to pay the bills and still get myself nice things?” “Will I be able to find clients or will anyone want to hire me?”

Leaving your stable job to go all in to a business where you cannot guarantee right away the level of income you’ll make is a terrifying step to take. However, with a clear plan that will help you ease into your dream life as a freelancer, you can safely transition to freelancing.

All it takes is to honestly answer these three questions. The answers you give will determine if you’re ready to jump into freelancing or if you need a bit more preparation before you dive into it full-time.

 

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Question #1: On a scale of 1 to 10 how ready are you emotionally to dive into freelancing?

I agree that wanting to make the transition to being a full-time freelancer is nerve-wracking. But if you have a conviction that you will succeed and if you trust yourself that you have what it takes to thrive in the freelance industry, then there’s no stopping you.

Most of the times, people allow the fear of the unknown to paralyze their effort to actually make something big out of themselves. This kind of negative thinking is not a healthy sign of someone who is ready to create a career in freelancing.

It’s okay to be nervous or scared but so long as you believe in yourself and are determined to do what it takes to give value and grow as a freelancer, then you’re on the right track.

 

Question #2: On a scale of 1 to 10 how ready are you professionally and personally for freelancing?

Unlike working in a 9-to-5 where you’re accountable to your employer, as a freelancer, you are your own boss. Being the boss comes with a lot of responsibilities and you need to train yourself to handle such responsibilities.

Professionally, freelancing is a huge shift from the conventional. The freelancer lifestyle is very different from what you’re used to. It involves you spending most of your time at home and alone.

You have to be sure that you’ll be able to handle the changes that come with being a freelancer. Are you really ready for these changes and do you have a plan B just in case things don’t turn out according to plan? Or do you still need more time to accept the change?

 

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Question #3: On a scale of 1 to 10 how ready are you commercially to be a freelancer?

You need to be aware of the risks involved with doing freelancing full-time. Are you financially ready to dive into the freelance career? Do you have enough money to live on pending when you are able to receive a comfortable income from freelancing? Do you already have a steady flow of client projects each month?

You can’t predict your income as a freelancer the way you could while working as an employee. Freelancing full-time has its highs and lows. And unless you’re financially ready to take the leap, then it’s best to work towards it.

 

Grade yourself

The highest score is 30. So if you got more than 15 then you’re ready to pursue your freelance career headlong. But if you got anything less than 15, then don’t worry. It’s only a sign that you have to work on yourself and make the necessary preparations to transition to freelancing.

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