Confidence is an important trait that every successful freelance writer shares. If you are not confident in your own abilities, why would you think that others would be? When it comes down to it, there are three major issues that can and will occur if you are not confident in your freelance writing skills:
1. If you are not confident, it will show through when communicating with clients. You may not want to believe it, but this can put doubt in the mind of those you work with. On the other side of things, if you are confident in what you are doing your clients and prospects will always feel as if you are in control and ready to help them at every turn of the road.
2. If you are not confident, you will lower your prices when asked and sometimes without any prompt at all. Over the years I have found that writers who are not confident in their work feel that they are not worth a lot of money. In the end, this results in smaller earnings and often times a shorter career. Be confident enough to set reasonable prices, and then stick with them when negotiating with clients.Â
3. If you are not confident, some clients will walk all over you. While this is unfortunate, it is the absolute truth. Many people in this industry look for those who they can push around, and then do so as often as possible. When you get pushed around you will lower prices, and attempt to live up to unreasonable demands. Freelance writers who exude confidence do not get singled out in this capacity nearly as much.
As you can see, it is very important to be confident if you are hoping to achieve freelance writing success. And remember, you do not need years of experience to be confident in your skills. This is a mindset that anybody can take advantage of!Â
There is nothing wrong with trying to expand as a freelance writer. After all, this is one of the best ways to make more money, and hopefully break into new markets. But with that being said, you should do what you are good at a lot of the time. This is not a new concept, or one that you should have a difficult time coming to grips with. When you work with subjects and projects in which you excel, you will find that success comes much easier.
For me, this means sticking to certain topics as well as certain types of projects. Although I am open to learning new material and taking on unique jobs, I try to stick with those with which I am most comfortable. As far as project types are concerned, I like to work on sales letters, keyword and feature articles, and marketing material. Does this mean that I turn down other work? Of course not. In fact, I am ghostwriting a book at this time and am working on a long research project of my own. But for the most part, I like to spend the majority of my day on projects that I know I can handle in an enjoyable way.
But how do I decide what I am good at? This is a question that is asked of me time after time. The only way to answer this question is to take on a wide variety of projects, and then reflect back on them when complete. When I first started working as a freelance writer, I though that I would only want to write feature articles and books. Of course, this changed a couple of months into my career and is still morphing as each day goes by. As you complete more projects you will get a better feel for what you like, and what you would rather avoid.
When you do what you are good at, you will find that you are having a lot of success and that you are happy with your progress as a freelance writer. Just remember: this does not mean that you should be afraid to think outside the box and take on new projects.
As a freelance writer, one of your main responsibilities will be to research the topics that you are writing about. In most cases, a client will expect you do to a bit of research on your own in order to get a better feel for the subject matter. Of course, if you only work within niches that you know a lot about, your research time will be kept to a minimum. But even then, you will have to collect some information from time to time.
When researching information for any freelance writing project, you need to keep one very important detail in mind: accuracy is important! Remember, the information that you find will be used when you begin to write. If you are relying on inaccurate information, it is safe to say that your client is not going to be satisfied with the end result. For this reason, you should only compile your research from areas that are offering accurate information.
The internet is a great place to research any freelance writing topic. In fact, this is by far the best way to find information on any topic; no matter if you are a freelance writer or not. With that being said, there is a lot of inaccurate information online. After all, anybody can start their own website and fill it with their opinions. You need to make sure that the information you are gathering comes from sources that you trust. If you have any doubt as to the accuracy of a specific source, it is time to move onto another.
Another great way to research is to conduct interviews. For instance, I am currently working on a high school sports feature article. Although there is a lot of information online, and I know quite a bit from past experience, I am still going to call a few local coaches. This will not only give me a fresh perspective, but it will also give me a few quotes to use in the piece as well.
If you are unsure of how to research a particular project or topic, there is nothing wrong with asking the client for help. You may be surprised at all of the information they can send you on the industry; this is especially true if you are working with a company. By asking for help, it is more than possible to receive all of the information that you will need without having to search far and wide.
The ability to research with success is an important trait of a successful freelance writer. With the help of the internet, as well as the ability to conduct interviews with industry personnel, you should always be able to locate plenty of reference material.Â