When you decide to throw your hat into the ring of self employed freelance writing, it might be because you’ve heard that some writers charge up to $200 per hour for their services. Whilst some high-profile, well-regarded copywriters might indeed have a solid enough reputation to be able to charge these kind of amounts for their time, the reality is that most freelance writers across the world are very far from even the average of $60 per hour that is generally quoted from various sources online.
Though freelance writing is a fantastic opportunity for you to determine your own workload and set your own wages, if entered into halfheartedly and without industry knowledge, it can be a huge struggle to make ends meet. With this in mind, here are our five tips for how to develop your freelance writing career into something that can provide you with both personal and professional sustenance.
1. Avoid Distraction
When you are working from home with all of your personal comforts around you, it can be incredibly easy to become distracted. To put it simply, when you work for yourself, time is money, and you need to be really strict with yourself about how you spend that time. Spending much of the day behind a computer screen brings a myriad of different procrastination temptations. A few handy programs are available online like StayFocusd and Leechblock that will block certain functions on your computer and allow you to concentrate on your productivity.
2. Get Organized
Working from your home environment requires a strict amount of organization for your business to flourish, as you are not governed by traditional office hours, etc. You could work all day or you could work all night if you prefer, but what is crucial is that you get into an organized routine that your mind and body can become accustomed to. Find out when you are at your most productive and arrange your schedule accordingly.
3. Find Your Niche
With so many freelance writers out there competing for work, it can really pay off for you to find and develop a niche subject that you become the go-to writer for. Some writers like to focus on business, others like to focus on education; whatever it is that you feel you are best at, make it known to prospective clients and work to have your name be positively linked with whatever you choose.
4. Consider Outsourcing
It can sometimes be the case that you have no work one week and too much the next, so to make sure you always meet your deadlines and satisfy clients. You could consider outsourcing some of your projects in order to complete your workload. There are plenty of great outsourcing networks set up online for freelancers to share their load and sacrifice certain assignments for the greater good. Don’t get bogged down; outsource and lighten your stress levels.
5. Utilize Online Tools
You don’t have to just sit there in front of a blank word document and try to create your own help or inspiration. There are plenty of online tools that can be incredibly helpful for a freelance writer. Here are a few of our favorites:
- ZenWriter – this is a full-screen, distraction free working environment that allows you to write and stay completely focused on your projects. It is a simple interface that eliminates any potential distractions.
- Google Calendar – Google Calendar is the perfect personal assistant when it comes to remembering and meeting deadlines. Get into the habit of inputting every new assignment you receive into the program and you can set handy reminders and progress checkers for individual projects.
- HelpScout – HelpScout is a service that you can use to separate your work emails from your personal emails in order for your inbox to become much more stress-free and easy to handle. The last thing you want to do is miss an important work message, and with HelpScout that problem is easily solved.
This article was contributed by guest author Linda Craig.