Building an enjoyable career as a freelance writer or editor requires good time management and hard work. But it’s also fun!
If you are looking to continue growing as a freelancer, take some time to embrace the tips laid out below.
Embrace them, and you’ll see that freelancing can be much more exciting and lucrative than you thought.
8 Useful Tips For Freelance Writers and Editors
1. Get the Right Training and Boost Your Skills
While you don’t need any degree or special training to be a freelance writer, developing yourself professionally can be helpful. The freelance world has become more competitive as more remote workers are looking for side hustles. Having something that sets you apart can make you more appealing to potential clients.
Common degrees for writers include journalism, English, or creative writing. If you take classes online, you can work them into your writing schedule, so you’re working and upskilling at the same time. While it’s not always cheap to get a degree, you can make it more affordable by finding scholarships to cover the cost. That way you can focus on your studies without worrying about the pressures of tuition costs.
2. Spend Time Networking (Especially Online)
You might view other writers and freelancers as competition, but networking with them will actually help you become more successful. Networking with other writers and editors is good for both personal and professional development because it can teach you much about the current rates, best tools of the trade, and trends worth paying attention to.
When you have good relationships with other freelancers, you might get sent projects they do not have the time or desire to complete. Freelancing differs from working in an office, and it can feel isolating. Knowing other people in the industry can give you a feeling of belonging, which makes the freelancing game so much more exiting.
3. Be Active in Your Industry
It’s important to be active online, as this helps you build your personal brand. Being known as a writer and editor can help you find even more jobs. Create a website with examples of your work and reviews from clients and keep a personal blog.
It’s also a good idea to write guest posts on other websites and have them link back to your site. These help you build name recognition, and you will get more clients when you are recognized as an expert in the industry.
You don’t have to overdo it, as your most important job is to complete your projects and get paid. But staying active on social media and maintaining a professionally looking website is something that will help you stand out.
4. Always Be Open to New Opportunities
Even if you feel you have taken all the projects you can, always be hunting for new opportunities. Being a freelancer means you are the one responsible for finding work, unlike in an office job. That’s why it’s common to have extra time between projects where you aren’t earning anything.
Being open to new opportunities means you are less likely to go through these dry stretches with no work. Seek new opportunities by looking on job boards, connecting with other writers, and contacting possible clients yourself.
As you build up your portfolio, be open to different opportunities and take on as many kinds of clients as you can. You might write about topics you have never explored before, which is an excellent way to broaden your horizons.
You might write in-depth research papers for one client and light social media posts for another. While these can differ in scope and pay, both offer valuable experience.
5. Understand How to Edit Your Work
Usually, you will not have an editor for your projects, so you need to edit your own work. You start by writing freely, making no edits. The first draft allows you to get all your ideas down. After that, you can edit for sentence structure to make sure everything flows correctly.
Make sure your writing fits any style guide given by your client. You can then correct the grammar and spelling, and finally, check the formatting. This includes making sure the font, spacing, and margins all fit what the client is looking for. If you have time, give it a few hours or a couple of days in between so you can look at it with fresh eyes.
And remember to use tools like the Hemingway App, ProWritingAid or Grammarly to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
6. Get Good at Time Management
A full-time employee needs to manage their time, but they get to extend deadlines and receive guidance from a manager or boss. But as a freelancer, everything rests on you. Having good organization and time management skills allows you to give yourself deadlines for when drafts and revisions are due. Being a freelancer comes with more independence, but it also means your time management skills need to be excellent.
Start by writing the deadline for each project. Then break each project up into smaller chunks and give each chunk a deadline. If you have a 1,000-word blog post due by the end of the week, you might have the first draft by Wednesday and the editing finished on Thursday to give yourself a little breathing room. Working ahead of time gives you time to either take on your next project or enjoy some downtime.
7. Increase Your Freelance Rates
It’s entirely possible that you are not charging enough for your services. Perhaps you have signed a contract a couple of years ago and haven’t updated your rates for the fear of losing your client and messing with the status quo.
But just like you wouldn’t want to work with an annoying client, you also wouldn’t want to work for a sub-par rate. Check what other freelancers with a similar level of experience charge in your industry and adjust your rates accordingly.
8. Work From Various Places (Enjoy Your Freedom)
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, and always work from your home office desk or sofa, forgetting that there’s a whole world out there. As a freelancer, you have a prerogative to work from anywhere you please. So use it!
Get a device that you don’t need to plug in for a couple of hours (MacBooks are great in this department), and venture into new cafes, museums and even natural spots where you can work among others.
I hope now you appreciate the infinite possibilities associated with freelance writing and editing. Take just one tip from this article and resolve to implement it today.
Realize that working as a freelancer is far from boring, and it can actually be a tremendous source of excitement that allows you to earn significantly more than you would have had while holding a position at a regular company. Cheers!