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Accepting Projects that you don’t know a lot about

As a freelance writer, you are a self-employed professional. For this reason, you have the right to accept or decline any project that comes your way. If you are like most, you are probably most comfortable writing on particular topics. Personally, I try to stay within my knowledge base because it not only makes the work easier, but it also goes a long way in ensuring that the client will enjoy the finished result. Of course, there are times when I decide to accept projects that I don’t know much about. The question is: is this a good idea for me or any other freelance writer?

I have written about everything from airplane technology to dog breeds over my years as a freelance writer. Any topic in which I lack knowledge, I spend some time familiarizing myself before accepting or declining the project. With the help of the internet, I can usually get a good idea of what obstacles I will be faced with if I decide to take on a topic that is new to me.

There is nothing wrong with accepting projects that you do not know a lot about. Even though it can take some time to learn the material and finish the job, you should keep in mind that you will be expanding your knowledge; and as a freelance writer this is always a good thing. The first time that I wrote about dog breeds I was unsure of what I was doing. But now when a client asks me to take on a project under this topic, I have much more confidence. The bottom line is that more knowledge can never hurt your freelance writing career. This is not to say that you should attempt to specialize in every topic, but there is no reason to turn down a good learning opportunity if you are confident in your skills.

I do not always accept projects that I don’t know a lot about. With that being said, it is not because I am afraid of the challenge or don’t want to learn more. I may have other things going on, or simply feel that I am not the best person for the job.

If you have the time and do not mind doing some research, you should consider taking on jobs that may not be right up your alley but ones that you are more than capable of completing. Who knows, you may find a new subject that you thoroughly enjoy! 

2 Comments »Freelance WritingMarch 31st, 2008

How many Hours do Freelance Writers Work?

Once again this week I received several email from readers asking why I work so many hours. I assume that since my freelance writing income is regularly high that some feel I work 15 hours per day. To be honest, my freelance writing work schedule fluctuates from day to day. Sure, there are some days when I work 10 hours or more, but this is not the norm. Although I do not keep track, I would venture to guess that I have been working an average of 40 hours per week thus far in 2008.

When it comes down to it, you should work as many hours as it takes to get your work done. If you do not have enough work to stay busy, spend some time marketing and searching for new clients. Remember, you can always find something to do as a freelance writer. If I wanted to work 24 hours per day I could do so; in theory at least. Even if you are only submitting articles to Associated Content, at least you are doing something to better your career. All in all, any sort of freelance writing work is better than none.

Don’t take this the wrong way. You do not want to overdo things. I have said many times that early in my freelance writing career I was working entirely too much. This led to wrist pain, no sleep, and eventual burnout among many other issues. Your goal should be to find a happy-medium sooner rather than later.

Unfortunately, there is not “set” answer on how many hours freelance writers work. Since you can set your own schedule and find your own work, your hours are up to you! 

3 Comments »Freelance WritingMarch 30th, 2008

Can Blogging help my Freelance Writing Career?

As of late I have spoke with several aspiring freelance writers who all asked the same question: can blogging help my career? In my opinion, blogging is only natural for freelance writers. After all, it is a great chance to not only write, but to hopefully make some contacts along the way.

When I first started this blog I did not have much direction. Generally speaking, my main goal was to simply help others who were interested in becoming a freelance writer. Over time the shape of the blog began to become clearer, and I think I have finally honed in on the direction that I want to take.

There are two ways that this blog has helped my freelance writing career. First off, it has brought a few clients my way; several of them pay quite nicely. This is not the main goal of the blog, but it is definitely an added bonus. While my blog doesn’t make much money through traditional advertising, I get some added income from clients who find me here.

Additionally, blogging has also afforded me the opportunity to connect with many others. For instance, Michael Kwan, who runs one of my favorite blogs, recently sent a client my way. He did not have the time to work with the client, but thought of me. Would I have received this referral if I did not run this blog? Of course not. Connecting with others as a freelance writer is so important for many reasons. Sure, it can help you to find more work, but as somebody who works at home, it is always nice to have people to correspond with via email, instant messenger, etc.

Although I update this blog at least once per day, this is not a frequency that you have to follow. Anytime that I am asked, I tell aspiring freelance writers that it is a great idea to start a blog.  

4 Comments »Blogging, Freelance WritingMarch 29th, 2008

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