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Is Freelance Writing for Everybody?

Every week I receive emails asking me for advice on becoming a freelance writer. Some people want me to tell them if they are cut-out for the freelance writing game. While I do my best in giving advice and guidance, this is something that you have to decide on for yourself. There is no way of saying if you will succeed as a freelance writer. It is up to you to review your situation, and to decide whether or not you have the skills and determination to make your mark.

In my opinion, freelance writing is not for everybody. That being said, it is a career path that a lot of people should follow. If you are looking for a new career and have always been intrigued by the freelance writing world, you should definitely consider a closer look at the pros and cons.

It takes particular skills to succeed as a freelance writer. On the surface, you would think that writing skills are enough to take you from start-up to success. And while this is true to a certain extent, it is important to note that you need more on your side than the ability to write. The most successful freelance writers are also skilled at marketing their services, organizing their career, and communicating with clients. Yes, the most important skill is the ability to write, but don’t forget about everything else that will help you along the way.

The only way to decide if a career in freelance writing is a good idea is to give it a try. I am more than happy to lend my advice when possible, but in the end it is you who has to decide if freelance writing is the best career move. This is not a career for everybody, but it could be just what you are looking for.

3 Comments »Freelance WritingMarch 31st, 2009

When a Good Client Goes Missing

Finding good clients is a goal of every freelance writer. These clients pay on time, are easy to get along with, and always have more work. But what happens when a good client goes missing? This is something that has happened to me in the past. While it was not a huge deal it still made me think about what was going on.

A good client can go missing just as easily as a bad one. In my situation, I had been working for the client for roughly one year providing blog posts. Every month, on time, they sent my money. To go along with this, we had a good working relationship and often times spoke about other topics as well. All in all, they seemed to be the perfect client even though the pay was not the highest.

But guess what? All of a sudden the client stopped answering my emails and phone calls. For many months I attempted to make contact with the people I knew within the company, but had no such luck. If they didn’t owe me money I probably would have walked away without much fuss. But with a few hundred dollars owed I felt that it was worth my time to try to collect.

Believe or not, I have yet to hear back from this client. It is amazing how somebody who was so easy to work with could disappear without paying what is owed.

Instead of letting this client sour my relationship with others I simply wrote them off as a “bad apple.” You never know when somebody is going to get what they want from you, and then decide that the relationship is over. I have no issue with a client telling me that things are not working out, paying what they owe, and parting ways. It is those that don’t communicate and don’t pay that can be frustrating to deal with.

This is not meant to scare you into thinking that all your good clients are going to take off on you. In fact, this has only happened to me a handful of times in all my years as a freelance writer. Nonetheless, you should always be careful about who you do business with.

5 Comments »Freelance WritingMarch 30th, 2009

Working from a Neutral Location

Do you ever decide to pick up your laptop and head to a “neutral” location to do your work? This is something that many freelance writers strongly believe in. Personally, I have never done this but realize that there are some benefits of doing so.

Those who I have asked about this tell me that working from a neutral location helps them to “break the boredom” of their home office. I can totally see where they are coming from because it is very easy to get bored when you work at home, day in and day out, with nobody around.

My question would be this: how hard do you find it to concentrate when working from a location other than your home base? This could be anything from a coffee shop to a local internet café. I like to have all my essentials close by. Obviously, when working from a neutral location you don’t have the ability to take your entire desk. I guess you could take everything you need, stapler and all, but this would not make much sense from a convenience point of view.

Even though I often times get the urge to try this out, it is one of those things that I never get around to. I would love to hear input on the pros and cons of doing this, as well as how you finally decided to take the leap. Feel free to leave a comment for everybody to read, or send me a quick email if you want to talk one-on-one. 

7 Comments »Freelance WritingMarch 27th, 2009

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