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3 Mistakes To Avoid As A Freelance Writer
3 Mistakes To Avoid As A Freelance Writer

Being self-employed as a freelance writer is the opportunity of a lifetime. It could prove to be your dream job, provided that you do it right. Unfortunately, if you make costly mistakes, your dream may not last particularly long. Instead, you may wake up to the nightmare of having to look for a traditional job in these tough economic times. If you want a stable job as a freelance writer, write an editorial and then be sure to avoid these three mistakes:

Mistake #1: Your Rates Are Too Low

Setting your rates as a freelance writer is always a delicate matter. Some people try to charge ridiculously low prices to improve their competitiveness in an increasingly cutthroat freelance marketplace. Is this the right solution? Not in the long run. First of all, your rates depend largely on where you work — specifically, the cost of living in your country or region. A freelancer living in New York City (or elsewhere in America) cannot provide the same rates as a someone living in Belize or another developing country. On the other hand, your rates also reflect your expertise. Generally speaking, the higher the rates charged, the higher the level of quality expected. Of course, your clients will try to get the best price-to-quality ratio. Why pay someone $300 for a project when another freelance writer requests only $100 for the same quality? A good rule of thumb is to establish a living wage for yourself and make sure that you’re averaging that amount with your fees. If you need only minimum wage, then set your rates accordingly. Most freelance writers are worth much more than minimum wage, however — so don’t undervalue yourself.

Mistake #2: Your Clients Take Control of Your Time

As valuable as your clients are, some of them will be overly demanding. They may ask for lengthy rewrites or give you increasingly complex assignments for the same pay. Or maybe they even want you to be at their disposal 24/7. If you end up feeling like a stressed-out employee with a difficult boss, then this should not be the case. As a freelance writer, you need to juggle clients and work on multiple projects simultaneously. If one of your clients monopolizes your time, then you risk falling behind on other work. One way to avoid falling into this trap is to re-evaluate your most demanding clients or tasks. Does it make sense to cut them loose and pursue easier projects? Could you outsource some of the demanding work? If you decide to keep them all going, estimate the time needed to complete each task and don’t constantly go over. Also, by keeping in touch with your clients, you can reassure them about the progress of their projects. This will lessen the likelihood that they will call and bother you, interrupting your work and taking up your time.

Mistake #3: You Don’t Promote Yourself

Networking, self-promotion and marketing are extremely vital to a freelancer. If you neglect these crucial aspects of freelance writing, then you’re actually making it easier for your competition to succeed. While you think you’re too busy for self-promotion, your competitors are probably aware of its importance and will surpass you in online search results. Don’t sell yourself short. Self-promotion and networking are easier than ever in our technologically advanced society. If you don’t have a website, get one — even just a free blog to start out. Post some links to your work on it and add your name or byline, city or country, email address and any social networking details. Use this website to promote yourself. If you don’t already have Twitter and Facebook accounts, sign up for those. You’ll stay connected to friends, clients, professional groups and other freelancers. A LinkedIn account is also a smart idea. Social networks like these are basic equipment for independent professionals in today’s world. Just by promoting yourself and your work online, you’ll see a difference in your business. You’ll attract new clients and find out about exciting opportunities that you never knew existed.

Being self-employed as a freelance writer is the opportunity of a lifetime. It could prove to be your dream job, provided that you do it right. Unfortunately, if you make costly mistakes, your dream may not last particularly long. Instead, you may wake up to the nightmare of having to look for a traditional job in these tough economic times. If you want a stable job as a freelance writer, then be sure to avoid these three mistakes:

Mistake #1: Your Rates Are Too Low

Setting your rates as a freelance writer is always a delicate matter. Some people try to charge ridiculously low prices to improve their competitiveness in an increasingly cutthroat freelance marketplace. Is this the right solution? Not in the long run. First of all, your rates depend largely on where you work — specifically, the cost of living in your country or region. A freelancer living in New York City (or elsewhere in America) cannot provide the same rates as a someone living in Belize or another developing country. On the other hand, your rates also reflect your expertise. Generally speaking, the higher the rates charged, the higher the level of quality expected. Of course, your clients will try to get the best price-to-quality ratio. Why pay someone $300 for a project when another freelance writer requests only $100 for the same quality? A good rule of thumb is to establish a living wage for yourself and make sure that you’re averaging that amount with your fees. If you need only minimum wage, then set your rates accordingly. Most freelance writers are worth much more than minimum wage, however — so don’t undervalue yourself.

Mistake #2: Your Clients Take Control of Your Time

As valuable as your clients are, some of them will be overly demanding. They may ask for lengthy rewrites or give you increasingly complex assignments for the same pay. Or maybe they even want you to be at their disposal 24/7. If you end up feeling like a stressed-out employee with a difficult boss, then this should not be the case. As a freelance writer, you need to juggle clients and work on multiple projects simultaneously. If one of your clients monopolizes your time, then you risk falling behind on other work. One way to avoid falling into this trap is to re-evaluate your most demanding clients or tasks. Does it make sense to cut them loose and pursue easier projects? Could you outsource some of the demanding work? If you decide to keep them all going, estimate the time needed to complete each task and don’t constantly go over. Also, by keeping in touch with your clients, you can reassure them about the progress of their projects. This will lessen the likelihood that they will call and bother you, interrupting your work and taking up your time.

Mistake #3: You Don’t Promote Yourself

Networking, self-promotion and marketing are extremely vital to a freelancer. If you neglect these crucial aspects of freelance writing, then you’re actually making it easier for your competition to succeed. While you think you’re too busy for self-promotion, your competitors are probably aware of its importance and will surpass you in online search results. Don’t sell yourself short. Self-promotion and networking are easier than ever in our technologically advanced society. If you don’t have a website, get one — even just a free blog to start out. Post some links to your work on it and add your name or byline, city or country, email address and any social networking details. Use this website to promote yourself. If you don’t already have Twitter and Facebook accounts, sign up for those. You’ll stay connected to friends, clients, professional groups and other freelancers. A LinkedIn account is also a smart idea. Social networks like these are basic equipment for independent professionals in today’s world. Just by promoting yourself and your work online, you’ll see a difference in your business. You’ll attract new clients and find out about exciting opportunities that you never knew existed.

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