Growing as a Freelance Writer
You just started a freelance business, so what's next? Many people think that freelance writing is a glamorous job. While there are many perks to running your own freelance writing business, just like any job it takes work. You have to be willing to invest in yourself and in your business in order to grow. There are several ways to truly invest yourself in this chosen career path.
Freelance writing is not a career you can just pick up and never have to study or learn from. Technology and the internet are always changing and becoming more evolved. In order to keep up with the times, you must be willing to learn all that you can.
Read More: This is crucial. Read books on writing, marketing your writing, content writing, grammar, freelance writing, SEO writing and other materials that pertain to your career. You should have a must-read book list and you should be crossing off the books as you read them. Amazon Books and Kindle Books are great resources to have.
Invest In Certifications: This can be done in couple ways. Your local college may have writing certificate courses you can take. Or you can find many online certification programs. Yes, I know getting a certificate is like doing school all over again. However, it will greatly benefit your business. You can even add these certificates to your resume or LinkedIn profile. There are certifications that aid in helping established writers with degrees and even newbies. Coursera has writing certification programs that may aid you on your journey as a writer.
Learn From The Experts: An important tool you have at your fingertips is the internet. You can find many expert writers who will give you tips and knowledgeable advice on how to become a better writer or how to grow your freelance business. Many of these blogs are free to read. However, be wary of those experts who want to charge you fees to learn from them. There are many scam artists out there.
Have The Right Tools
When I started writing, I thought all I needed was a laptop and the internet to succeed. This is fine if you just want a little bit of side cash but if you really want to grow as a freelance writer you need to find the tools that will help you in this business.
Get Some Editing Tools: Most word documents have a built-in editor program. However, it is ideal to also use a secondary editing source, as well, to polish your work. This will ensure that you are sending out the best work available. A couple great resources are Grammarly or 1 Checker. Also, check out online dictionaries and other writing apps.
Take Advantage Of Free Use Picture Sources: Clients love pictures that dress up the article. However, there are so many copyright laws that pertain to how you can use pictures that are not your own. If you use pictures that are copyrighted you can be held liable in court. Don’t worry though, there are some web tools that help you find pictures that have free usage rights. I love Pixabay and use it quite frequently. There are other sites that will allow you to use their pictures, as well, however, some of these sites may charge you a fee. If you are just starting out I recommend using the sites like Pixabay that won’t charge you.
Use Financial Tools: When I started out I used Paypal religiously as the only source for my financials. However, as I grew, I have learned to be more aware of what I am making and how to pay my taxes. There are many apps that will help you with your business. A couple good tools to look into are Xpense Tracker and InvoiceASAP. I also recommend QuickBooks.
Utilize a Planner: I think for me, self-organization was the hardest. Not only was I having to keep track of my deadlines, but family activities and my daughter’s busy schedule. You should have an online planner or calendar that lets you know when things are due and gives you a daily schedule. One of the biggest mistakes you can make when trying to grow in this business is to miss deadlines. The easiest part of making a schedule is that most cell phones allow you to make a schedule in the calendar app! So be sure to use it. It will be one of the best things you did for your freelance writing business.
Find Online Storage tools: Many people like DropBox or Google Docs. I actually prefer to use Google Docs. It stores all of my work and aids in editing. You can also get add-ons that will help you write even better. I do have a DropBox, as well. However, I find it easier to share, edit and store my work in Google Docs. The choice is yours. Online storage tools are ideal because if your computer crashes you still have a backup copy of your work online.
Be A Diligent Blogger
When you have time or work is slow, you should have website or blog that you are consistently writing on. The phrase, "If you don’t use it, you lose it," rings true. You need to keep your creative juices flowing. HubPages is a great resource to use. I love it because I always get great feedback from others on my writing. The more you write, the better you get, so don't stop writing! Also, a good blog will double as an online portfolio for your clients!
Ask For Referrals And Don't Be Afraid To Network
You can ask for referrals from the clients who love your work. Sometimes the best way to get more work is from repeat clients and referrals. You can also ask them to give you positive feedback on your work on your webpage or blog. Building your network is key if you want to see your business succeed. The better you network than more writing gigs you will acquire.
While I love the freedom and the flexibility that my freelance writing business gives me, I am not naive to the amount of work, learning, and tools that I need in order to be successful. Like I said above, I once thought all I needed was a laptop and the internet. Those two things are great starting tools but in order to be successful and have your business grow into something you can be proud of you need so much more than that. Skills will only take you so far, having the right tools will take you even farther.