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9 Tips On How To Become A Successful Freelance Writer

Updated on November 16, 2011
Follow these steps to be a successful freelance writer
Follow these steps to be a successful freelance writer

Many people have asked me why I choose to be a freelance writer and take it so seriously. In fact, many people do not understand why I got jobs so easy on freelance sites. I even got my first job 48 hours after I joined a freelance site and even more lining up for me now as we speak. Imagine that I started with just a profile page and zero review. Yet, I am making the cut compared to others.

There are of course a few useful freelancing guides that you should know before becoming a freelance writer. I know there are many of them but you would definitely need these to make sure you make it not only to the first half but to the top of the application lists.

Never put an expectation on a project

Starting as a new freelance writer is always tough. It is even tougher when you put an expectation on yourself for a start. Whenever you bid on a project, never ever place high hopes on it. Let me clear this part for you. Having hopes is good but do not place too much hope on it. There are many freelance jobs you can find anywhere and same goes with the saying ‘many fish in the sea’. Know what to expect from it and start from there. Putting too much hope on something is not advisable as you might fail to win the bid and you might just disappoint yourself.

Update your profile as if you are updating your social networking status

Yes, you hear me right. Always keep them updated. The last thing an employer would want to see if an empty or not updated profile of yours. You need to have a good track record of your profile as this will increase your chance of getting a freelance job not only one time but multiple times higher. There is a trick here where you update all the relevant information of yourself and nothing else. Put in your job experience and ensure you use the right words to generate an impact to all who read. Also, upload a photo of yourself (strictly only you) and try to be as formal as possible. I do not mean that you have to be wearing a suit but make sure that the photo is taken when you are wearing something decent at the moment.

Read, understand and bid the right project

Always read the descriptions of what the employer need from a freelancer and what the requirements of that project are. Do not bid for a project you have no idea on. Always read first and understand it. From there, decide if you have the relevant experience or requirement needed to secure the job. Finally, once you are ready, place a bid.

Freelance Tips
Freelance Tips

Think before bidding

Before you place a bid, remember to think and ask yourself if that bid is worthwhile. Start bidding at the right amount only. Do not over bid or under bid yourself. If you are a newbie in the industry, bid a lower price. You could always bid at the minimum value for a start. Do not ever bid as if you are an expert if you are not.

Phrase to say when bidding

Stating why you bid on the comment column is vital. I came across many times where people says something like “I have place a bid. Check my profile to see my reviews”, “Check your PM (private message)”, “I am an experience writer. Very well known. Hope you accept my bid” and etc. Avoid all these sentences at all cost! Keep your arrogant and cocky attitude in the bag. These won’t bring you anywhere. Also, never ever ask the employer to ‘check your profile’ as you are supposed to do a small summary for them and not the opposite way.

You can simply say “(Greetings), I am interested with your project and I have placed a bid. I have also sent you a short private message on my experience and supporting documents for your perusal”. Do it in a nice way and you will definitely get at least a ‘thank you’ mail in your inbox within 48 hours. Tested and worked every single time for me.

Sending a private message after bidding

Oh yes, this is vital. In the private message, explain yourself, experience, expectations and even sample of your work in about 100 words or less. The tip here is do it short and simple. Do not write an essay as the employer could just read it half way and close it without finishing it. I normally explain a little about myself such as native English speaker, my experience in writing online, my expectation is to work not only a short term but long term one with him and providing the employer a sample of my previous job.

Freelance is the new and upcoming job industry
Freelance is the new and upcoming job industry

Freelance tip 101:

Freelance is a tough and challenging job but it is definitely rewarding.

Been there, done that!

Follow up on the status of the freelance job

Within two days of bidding, send a short follow up message to the employer and ask on the status of the application. Be polite and show your willingness to secure the job. A follow up means a thousand words as it shows that you are looking forward for the project and even better, serious on that.

Datelines is one of the golden rules

Always keep yourself to the datelines provided. By having datelines, you will be able to maintain a good reputation and even better, trust from the employers. If you are not able to complete the project on the given dateline, always inform the employer in advance and he might just give you an extension.

Ask, ask and ask anything

Always be ready to have an open conversation with the employer. This is a business relationship and communication is the most vital. Make sure you ask anything you need and he or she would definitely be more than happy to answer your questions.


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