The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Things To Know Before Becoming A Freelance Writer
So you heard about people making money through freelance writing and you decided you’d give this career a chance? That’s a great idea! You probably have decent writing skills and good command of your target language. If that’s the case, you might think you’re ready to hit the market and start applying for jobs. Are you?
Before you head off making a profile on a freelancing platform, there are few things to consider. Remember: preparation is the key to success. The more prepared you are when you start this journey, the greater the chances for success will be.
So what should you consider before becoming a freelance writer? We’ll list 7 main points for you!
1. You’ll Still Have a Boss
“I want to become a freelance writer because no one will be bossing me around.”
That’s one of the most common reasons why people start freelancing. It’s a good reason. You don’t want to work in an office with a boss who controls your every move? You won’t be. Still, you’ll have clients, and you’ll need to perceive them as your bosses. They will set deadlines. They will have expectations. They will give you instructions and ask you to make corrections.
Most of all, you’ll be your own boss. You’re the one who’ll impose authority on yourself. You’ll have to stay away from distractions, make plans and meet deadlines every single time.
2. You Have To Be A Master Of Communication
Miscommunication is a regular occurrence in the world of freelancing. Keep in mind that not all clients are native English speakers. Their instructions will come with some grammar issues, and that’s okay. You can still understand them. However, many clients will have trouble expressing their expectations clearly. They will give you general guidelines and leave you with too many questions.
You have to make huge efforts to get straightforward instructions from your clients. Be ready to ask questions, and then ask some more questions when you don’t get the clarification you were looking for.
3. You Must Pick Your Niche
When most newbies start freelance writing, they tend to apply to all sorts of ads.
“A sociology term paper? Sure; I can do that!”
“An article about beauty products? Why not?”
“A detailed guide on social media marketing? Sure; I’ll just find some info online and paraphrase it.”
It doesn’t work like that. In order to be successful as a freelancer, you have to stay focused. You may set few areas of interest, but you cannot write on any topic, thinking that you can just rewrite some information you find. If, for example, you’re great at academic writing, you might consider applying for a position at essay writing services. If technology is your main interest, you should focus your energy on becoming a specialized tech writer. You get the point, right? You’ll have higher chances for success if you’re focused and you develop your skills in a particular direction.
4. You’ll Still Have Taxes to Pay
Self-employment taxes are a major issue for newbie freelancers. They don’t understand the concept. Some of them even ignore it. If you’re used to having a traditional job, then you’re used to your employer taking care of the taxes. When you become a freelance writer, you’ll have to do some accounting and take care of this responsibility on your own.
5. It Won’t Be Easy to Land Your First Gig
So you create a profile on a freelancing platform like Upwork. Now what? You’ll start applying for jobs. If your profile shows lack of experience, most potential clients will ignore you. They will opt for the safer choices (the applicants with experience and good feedback).
Many beginners decide to give up after few attempts. You shouldn’t give up! Have some samples ready and start your own blog. Feature great content there! When the clients see your potential, some of them will be willing to give you a chance.
6. You Still Need An Office
Your office space is a major thing to consider. If you intend to work from home, you’ll need some privacy. You won’t be able to work with your kids running around the room or your mom inviting her friends for a coffee while you’re typing your daily dose in the living room.
You need your space, which you’ll turn into a home office. You should get a nice desk and a comfortable chair. Make it look just like an office, so you’ll take this job seriously.
7. Not Everyone Can Do It
Watching a friend making money from home makes freelancing look easy. Trying this for yourself, on the other hand, makes you realize that freelance writing is not a profession that anyone could handle. The “dream lifestyle” is a possibility, but you’ll have to invest huge amounts of time and commitment to get there.
You’ll need a schedule. You’ll deal with deadlines. You’ll have to write a lot on a daily basis. Sometimes you’ll work longer hours than you did with your office job. Are you willing to make that sacrifice?
Own Your Copy Today!
Look; freelance writing is great! However, you need to be absolutely sure you want and can do it. Consider the things we listed above, and you’ll be closer to your decision.