Survive Freelance Article Writing
Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Robbi, Lynn, Jonathan and 2 others
A person engaged in freelance article writing is someone who earns a living by writing on either full-time or part-time basis. A freelance writer may also be writing for fun or for the purpose of building up an impressive portfolio showcasing his writing skill. Whatever angle it is looked at, a freelancer writes without being committed to any single company or entity, but rather operates as an independent business or contractor.
Every freelance article writer has been through the bad patch when their copies are rejected, or their contracts have been cancelled. In this business, there will always be lean and rough times, at least until a more solid base of clients had been established. In the meantime, how does one survive the adversities that often accompany freelance article writing?
The Harsh Realities in Freelance Article Writing
Like any career, freelance writing is not without challenges. Whether you're just a budding writer, or have an established name, there are certain realities you have to face and overcome. You'll find that some of these, you did not even realize exist in the world of freelance writing.
- 1It takes time and effort.Advertisement
- 2You're on your own.Advertisement
- 3You don't have to be the best to survive.
- 4It takes commitment.
Basic Skills for Freelance Writing
There is so much to be learned as much as to be done in order to survive freelance article writing. Gone are the days when it was enough to create a snappy headline or develop a story with poignant twists. Whether you are writing, editing, or doing both at the same time, being a freelancer is a task that requires some skills to set you apart from other struggling freelancers and endear you to your print or online editors.
- 1Knowledge in content management system.Advertisement
- 2Perfect English.The editors who will be proofreading your work will only be expecting minimal or zero corrections for your work if they will consider keeping you as one of their resident writers. Brush up on your grammar, spelling and the technical rules of American or British English, depending on what readership you are writing for.
- 3Photo shooting and editing skill.
- 5Idea generation.
Survival Tips for Freelancer Article Writers
- 1Be Professional.Act in a business-like manner. Being your own boss is not a ticket to treat your freelance work as just one of those jobs. You create your own image and that will be your reputation in the industry. Being polite in your dealings, and meeting deadlines or commitments are common business deportment. But a single screw-up can cost you everything.Advertisement
- 2Persevere.It's easy to lose heart when things don't happen according to your expectations. But even the most successful people have suffered failure or experienced rejection. The reason they succeed is they never gave up. However, if you've been repeatedly rejected on the same grounds, you need to re-examine where the flaws lie. You have to exercise more patience in learning your craft by training, reading, and seeking consultation to get a frank assessment of your article.
- 3Zero plagiarism.If you are a writer, you are expected to be creative and original. You also have a vast vocabulary of words, thus you will not have a hard time in repeating the same words over and over again because you will have a lot of synonyms to replace them with. You are also expected to express an idea in writing with a style that is entirely your own. You can whip up an entirely new twist to an old story which still makes it an interesting read.
- 5Specialize.Pick a particular area where to concentrate your writing skills and ideas. Oftentimes, it also means being original. Even if you share similar ideas with other writers, you can provide another light to an otherwise vague subject. Avoid overcrowded niches and anything that's been done too many times. If you're tasked to write a very common topic, make sure to tackle it from another angle.
- 8Be visible online.Make it easy for your clients to find you by creating your own website. Keep your site current by posting blogs. You can also create links people may find useful. More importantly, you can increase your audience that can potentially come back with a working proposal for you. Having a website establishes your credibility as a freelance writer.
- 9Be appreciative of your writing skills.Maybe you have always wanted to learn how to play a musical instrument. Or you might have tried to join swimming lessons, but your lungs have always failed you. Or you tried your hand in painting and sculpture, but you simply do not have the ability. Appreciate your God-given ability to write. Do you know that there are people who cannot start writing even one good sentence? Writing is not an easy skill to master. It takes years and years of learning and practice, and you got it in you.
- 10Read a lot.Get out of your comfort zone of specialty topics and read about other things under the sun. Do not resent it when your editor assigns you a topic which you absolutely do not know anything about. This is your chance to widen your horizon by researching on the topic assigned to you. Who knows, this might be a turning point, and that specific topic could be a future expertise of yours in the future too.Advertisement
Tips and Tricks:
- If you don't have a portfolio, you can volunteer your writing services to your local community publications or organizations to generate clips that can fill your portfolio.
- To build a strong portfolio, write for a credible online community on a volunteer basis. Apart from gaining valuable experience, it helps you develop an impressive portfolio to show prospective editors.
- If possible, go to a place conducive for you to write your articles. Of course, this is not always the reality, because as a writer, you should be flexible and ready to write anytime and anywhere. But of course, if you have the choice, a quiet coffee shop, a breezy park, a pleasant beach front, are always nice backdrops while you are writing and brings out the best ideas from you.
- Be a habitual note taker. Great ideas occur to you at the most unexpected time and place. Do not expect all your ideas to be there when you formally sit down and write. We have a tendency to forget that great idea if you do not put it down into writing when it occurs to you. Always have a pad of paper with you wherever you are. Or simply use the gadgets of today, the Tablet or your smartphone which have notes applications inbuilt or downloadable. Do not let that great idea slip away.
- If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.
Categories : Business & Management
Recent edits by: Alma, Jonathan, Lynn