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How Low will you Go?

As a freelance writer, you must know exactly how much you charge for specific jobs. On top of this, it is every bit as important to stick to your guns. There is nothing wrong with negotiating, but “going too low” is a mistake that you will only make once.

Last week, I was knocked off my chair after reading a message from a potential “client.” Without copying the email word for word, here were some highlights:

· Articles should be at least 500 words long.

· Must write at least five articles per day.

· Payment of $1 per 500 words.

Do any of these points stick out in your mind? While the first two are reasonable enough in most cases, the third detail is a bit perplexing.

As you can imagine, I never responded to the email and simply moved on. There is nothing wrong with doing whatever you can to make money as a freelance writer, but taking on this type of project is not going to get you anywhere.

You need to know your “minimum wage” and stick to it, no matter how much it hurts at times. If you don’t, you could find yourself writing for hours on end just to earn a couple of dollars.

2 Comments »Freelance WritingJune 24th, 2011

Did you Miss your Freelance Writing Deadline?

Almost every freelance writing project comes with a deadline. No matter if you get one day to complete the job or longer than a month, you must keep your deadline in mind and do whatever it takes to submit the final piece on time.

But what if I miss my deadline? This is a common fear among freelance writers. Regardless of how organized you are, there will probably come a time when you get behind and miss a deadline. In some cases, you may not even know what happened until the deadline has come and gone.

Here is the best thing you can do: contact your client as soon as possible to apologize. Don’t make excuses. Instead, tell them that you got caught up with other work and you are going to be a bit late with delivery.

Of course, the next step is simple: finish the job as soon as possible. Yes, this means putting all other projects on the backburner for the time being.

If you play your cards right, a missed deadline may not be the end of your relationship with the client. Although I make it a point to never miss a deadline, this has happened to me a few times in the past. With each instance, I was open and honest with the client about what happened. From there, I sent the completed project as soon as possible. Fortunately, these clients were understanding and did not hold my “screw up” against me.

If you miss a freelance writing deadline it is essential that you apologize to the client and then do whatever it takes to get up to speed as soon as possible.

2 Comments »Freelance WritingJune 15th, 2011

Ask Questions First then get to Work

As a freelance writer you will quickly learn that some clients don’t do a good job of communicating their wants and needs. This is not the case with every client, but you are sure to run into your fair share.

As a general rule of thumb, I never start a project until I am 100 percent clear of what is being asked of me. In the past, I made the mistake of starting before I asked questions. As you can imagine, this often times led to a lot of mishaps due to the initial misunderstanding.

Why are so many freelance writers afraid to ask questions? Some think they will look stupid.  Others are too stubborn and want to show the client that they grasp everything the first time around.

Regardless of why you don’t ask questions you are making a big mistake. It is well worth your time. You may think that your client will look down on this, but nothing could be further from the truth. They would rather you ask good questions upfront. This way they can be confident that you are moving in the right direction from the get-go.

Sometimes I have questions about a project. Sometimes I don’t. If anything is on my mind, regardless of how big or small the detail, I always ask for clarification. This has saved me many hours over the years, and will continue to do so well into the future.

Open your mouth and ask questions. When the lines of communication are open there is a better chance that both you and your client will be happy in the end.

1 Comment »Freelance WritingJune 2nd, 2011

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