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Common Mistakes among new Freelance Writers

Through my freelance writing course I have the joy of working with many people who are just getting involved in the industry. While every writer is unique, the same mistakes are usually made by all of them. Even though this may sound like a bad thing, making mistakes is one of the best ways to learn. That being said, you don’t want to purposely make mistakes just for the learning experience – this is never a good idea.

So, what mistakes do I find to be most common among new freelance writers?

1. Spending too much time researching and not enough time on their own business. With the internet it is easy to gather information. Unfortunately, it is also easy to get distracted. There is nothing wrong with learning about freelance writing. But at some point you need to realize that working on your own career is the best use of your time.

2. Not marketing their services. How much time are you spending marketing your services? Are you making cold calls? Sending query letters? No matter how many clients you have the marketing process never stops. This is something that you want to get familiar with early in your freelance writing career. If you want to succeed as a freelance writer you need to be willing to market, market, market.

3. The wrong fee schedule. You need to set your fees based on your experience, and of course, how much money you are interested in earning. With that in mind, you should strive to find a happy medium. Price your services too low and you will not make any money. If your pricing is too high you are going to scare away many potential clients. It takes some time to find the perfect pricing structure. Experiment with many options until you find what works.

These mistakes are common among new freelance writers, as well as those who have been around. Try to avoid them at all costs.

2 Comments »Freelance WritingJanuary 29th, 2010

Don’t Fight it, become a Freelance Writer

Are you the type of person who has been thinking about becoming a freelance writer for many months or years? This is very common – you are not alone. I remember what it felt like when trying to decide if becoming a freelance writer was a good idea. You have to think about the good and bad, as well as whether or not this is really the best decision for you and your finances. With so much to think about there is no wondering why so many aspiring freelance writers struggle with making a final decision.

Instead of beating yourself up you may want to simply decide that now is the time to become a freelance writer. Think about it this way: you have to make the decision at some point in time. You either do it now, or you continue to freak out and wonder what could be.

Of course, this is not to say that you should jump the gun and become a freelance writer before you are ready. Yes, you need to think about getting started but at the same time you do not want to make a decision until you are 100 percent sure of yourself.

I guess this leads to the question of how you will know if you should move forward. Unfortunately, I cannot help with this one. Only you know if it is time to become a freelance writer. Some people have the time and money to take the leap right now. Others have to plan out their move more carefully. Even though it may sound difficult, as you continue to think about becoming a freelance writer you will begin to ask yourself the right questions. Your answers may or may not lead you towards a career as a freelance writer.

So, what do you think? Do you want to become a freelance writer in the near future? If you have been avoiding this for one reason or the next, let down your guard and get started. You may learn that the only thing standing between you and success is you!

Comments OffFreelance WritingJanuary 28th, 2010

Are you afraid to ask Questions?

Over the past few days a couple members of my freelance writing course have expressed concern over communicating with clients. Mainly, they are having a difficult time asking questions for one reason or the next. This is something that needs addressed at once.

If you are afraid to ask questions of your clients there is something wrong. You should feel free to ask anything that is on your mind. Along with this, you should be confident that you will receive an answer sooner rather than later. Clients that do not want to answer questions are not worth your time. In fact, they are setting you up for failure. Believe it or not, I ask questions time after time. In some cases this is the only way of knowing how to proceed.

Is there something else holding you back? For example, many people do not ask questions because they are afraid of looking dumb. Along with this, they do not want to admit that they need help. You should never worry about either of these situations. Most clients would rather you ask a question than move forward and do the job wrong. Along with this, don’t worry about admitting that you are lost. Every freelance writer needs help from time to time, and you are not going to be any different. It is part of your job to ask for assistance when needed. You should never have too much “pride” to ask questions.

No matter how long you work as a freelance writer you are never going to learn everything about the industry and your clients. Things change, and when dealing with people you never know what will come up next. For this reason, you should ask questions when you have them. Being afraid to do so will hold you back from reaching your goals.

Comments OffFreelance WritingJanuary 27th, 2010

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