7 Things You Wish You’d Known About Freelance Writing Before You Started

By Monday, June 15, 2015 0 No tags Permalink

Are you new to the freelance writing sphere? It takes a lot of courage to take the plunge; especially if you don’t still live with your parents. Some of the following may sound familiar – take it from one freelancer to another.

Emails Take Up 40% Of Your Time

The more stable your business becomes, the more time you realise you’re spending on replying to emails. Managed to get yourself out of bed incredibly early? Most of your time will go on talking to your clients about work, and there is always that one person who will trample all over your schedule, with their incessant emails. Yes, you still have to answer them!

Risk Management

Yes, it is a risky business, working as a freelance writer. There are no guarantees in place that you will get paid, and building up a client base that you can trust is key. You will likely experience a few cases of people walking off with your money. Learn from these encounters as to who you know NOT to work with and use your internet street smarts. Often, if it feels dodgy, it is dodgy. Of course, for broader business risks, you can talk to a professional about risk management, but otherwise, experience and common sense will serve you well.

People Will Try To Undercut You

In some respects, you can understand why. You’re often dealing with freelancers like you, but as the primary resource provider, you somehow come at the bottom of the chain (quite like farmers, in that respect). You do an incredible amount of work, and those higher up in the chain will always try to get you to work for lower rates. Stand your ground. Hold on to a reasonable wage (you probably can’t even afford time off at the moment, let alone less pay).

Your Friends And Family Are Your Worst Enemies

Because you work from home, everyone suddenly thinks your schedule is open. They often won’t think twice about disrupting your morning, to make you run errands, when this is the most crucial part of the day for productivity. Try to be clear that you are unavailable, in the same way that you would be if you were working for a company, and in an office environment.

But Then Again So Are You

However, you are also an enemy to yourself. Discipline is hard to hone, but you need to be non-negotiable with yourself. It’s tempting to go and watch your favourite TV series, but you seriously have a stack of work to get through, so you better focus up!

No, You Don’t Have To Change Out Of Your PJs

Of course, this is entirely personal choice. Many people find that wearing “normal” clothes gets them in to a working mind-set. Just be sure to wear something comfortable. PJ Workers, represent!

Work Won’t Just Fall Into Your Lap

At least until you’ve developed a reliable client base, work isn’t just going to fall from the sky. You really have to sniff it out, through freelance sites – such as PPH and Elance – and asking your client to pass your name on. Work can be scarce in the early days, but just persevere!

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