Top Qualities and Characteristics of Successful Freelance Writers
Before you pursue a freelance career, it is important to consider whether it will be a good fit for you. From writing to illustrating to teaching music lessons, there are a number of qualities and characteristics that are key for freelancing. In order to be successful, you must be honest with yourself about the following elements of it.
Do you have what it takes to be a successful freelance writer?
Strong communication skills
No one holds your hand in the world of freelance. If you are lucky, you'll have a mentor and/or you'll make some connections early in your career that will bring about immediate leads. Most people build their entire freelance careers from scratch. Writing is no exception. It up to you to decide what type of writing you would like to pursue and then figure out how to break into it. Once you do have a steady career going, you must continue to take initiative to find more work as needed.
One of the best and worst aspects of a freelance career is being your own boss. For some people, this prospect is a nightmare. For other people, it is a freedom that allows them to be more productive than they were able to be in previous job positions. However, freelancing takes a lot of discipline. With no one overseeing your day to day schedule, it is up to you to create a routine that works for you and stick with it.
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Self-confidence may not seem like the most obvious quality of freelance work. However, it requires constantly defending what you do. Many people do not understand why anyone would choose to build a career from scratch and set a personal schedule in lieu of getting an office job. Some people falsely believe that it primarily involves sitting around at home watching TV while in reality it often involves putting in more hours than a typical 9-5 job requires. If you are not confident about your decision and your potential to succeed, it will not take long for you to doubt the road that you have chosen.
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When you accept any type of freelance writing job for a client, you must be prepared to do everything that it takes to meet their needs and preferences. If they have specific requests of any kind (i.e. article formatting, resources to use for research), it is best practice to stick with them. You must also be prepared to make revisions as needed. Revisions are inevitable in the world of freelance writing, even for the best writers. Do not take them as a bad thing. Simple make the changes that are needed and move onto the next job.
3 Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills
Strong communication skills
As a freelancer, you are your own boss. You must be able to communicate effectively with clients in order to keep them around. Whether this involves phone or email conversations, you must be able to express yourself accurately and appropriately. Be aware of the tone and style that you use and cater it to specific clients accordingly. For example, some clients may take a more formal approach with their writers while others have a casual approach.
Similar to the discipline aspect of freelancing, one of the best and worst aspects of many types of freelance work, including writing, is largely working by yourself. While it can be wonderful to enjoy a hot meal for lunch in the comfort of your own kitchen and choose the music that you listen to all day, it can also get lonely being on your own for hours during the day. You must be realistic about whether or not this is a lifestyle that works for you. Even if you do prefer to work alone, it is important to seek out opportunities to get out and interact with others during the week, such as a book club or volleyball league.
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“You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need.” ―Mick Jagger
It can take months and even years to build a lucrative full-time freelance career. This process requires a high level of persistence and dedication. Even when you do have full-time work, you never know when a project will end. You can be back to square one in a startlingly short amount of time through no fault of you own because this is simply the nature of freelance work. You have to be able to pick up the pieces and keep going, trusting that there are more great jobs out there for you.
I also wrote an article about how to become a freelance writer without experience. If you're still interested in a freelance career, check it out!
- How to Become a Freelance Writer Without Experience: Tips, Jobs, and Opportunities
This article is about how to become a freelance writer without experience. It includes questions to consider before launching into writing, general writing tips, specifics for client jobs and long-term earning articles, and more.
© 2013 Rose Clearfield
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