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Can anybody be a Freelance Writer?

I want to revisit this topic because it has been brought up to me via email a couple times this week. The question is: can anybody be a freelance writer? Some people say yes while others say no way. In my opinion, becoming a freelance writer is way more difficult than most people believe. There are some who think that being a freelance writer is nothing more than throwing together a blog, heading to the Digital Point forums, and landing some clients. Even though you can find low paying clients this way, it is not the path you want to take if you are truly interested in becoming a professional freelance writer.

There are three reasons why I feel not everybody can achieve success as a freelance writer:

1. Writing skills. Most people either have this skill or they don’t. Sure, you can learn how to become a better writer with a lot of practice. But through the years I have found that you are either good at writing or you are not. If you do not have writing skills you cannot become a successful freelance writer. Clients pay good money for quality content. Can you offer this?

2. Marketing. If you are going to become a top notch freelance writer you have to market your services. Again, there is more to landing clients than forums and bidding sites. You have to become skilled at marketing your services in a variety of ways including cold calls, cold emails, query letters, and more. Revisit my post on freelance writing marketing for more information on this. 

3. Courage. It is not easy to jump into the freelance writing game. If you quit your 9 – 5 to become a freelance writer you are giving up the security of a regular paycheck. While you are getting a lot in return, such as the potential to earn more money, you need the courage to take the leap.

If you want to become a freelance writer I strongly encourage you to research the industry before getting started. Courageous individuals with writing and marketing skills may be perfect for a career as a freelance writer. Those who do not meet these criteria should think long and hard before getting started. Freelance writing success does not always come easy.  

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3 Comments »Freelance WritingMay 29th, 2009

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