Freelance writing is not an easy profession. While many might connect it with a laid back lifestyle, there are many challenges which writers face on a regular basis, but they are all obstacles which can be overcome.
There are thousands of freelance writers out there, and for every single job, you will have to fight off plenty of talented writers. You may have to undergo specialist training or have a wealth of experience in a particular field in order to write about specific niches. Of course, if you have this training then you will have less competition, but work in niche fields is by no means constant, so writers end up taking less skilled jobs for less money.
There are increasingly more and more writing markets that will pay nothing, or just enough to cover your costs. While this is okay if you are just starting out in the business and looking for experience, it is not enough to sustain a business. It is up to the individual writer to find the markets which pay the most and which play best to your strengths.
Because there are so many freelance writers out there, it can be incredibly hard to find long-term clients. One key is to set yourself up as a professional business, instead of just working as a small fish in a big pond. Make yourself look professional to stand out from the crowd. If you have a website, make sure you ask previous clients to post feedback and reviews to help improve your reputation online. Nothing helps you to fight off the competition quite like a page full of good references and links to previous work.
As with any creative profession, your style of writing may not be to everyone’s tastes. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to freelance writing and so it is inevitable that you will face rejection at some point in your freelance writing career. It is sometimes difficult to get back to writing after facing rejection as it can seriously knock your confidence. But just remember that even the best writers get rejected at some point or another. The important thing is to remain professional and focussed.
Some editors will completely butcher your pieces so that they no longer resemble anything that you wrote at all and this can be incredibly frustrating. But it’s important not to take things personally. As a freelance writer, you have to learn from the changes editors make, so that you know exactly what they are looking for in the future. The same goes for any negative feedback you may receive from clients. Take a step back and look at it objectively; you may learn a valuable lesson.
As time goes on, the fashionable styles of writing will inevitably change. It is important for the modern freelance writer to keep up with the times. With so much being done online, the market changes extremely quickly and writers may find themselves having to constantly learn new skills to keep up with demand. New tools and ways of writing are constantly emerging, so no matter how busy you are, it is important to spend a bit of time assessing the market to keep up with the changes as they come along. If you learn more quickly than everyone else, then you will give yourself a definite competitive advantage in the future by staying one step ahead of everyone else.
Alice Jenkins is a writer for How2become.com, a leading career and recruitment specialist. How2become currently offers over 140 different titles across a wide range of careers, providing insider information to help you prepare effectively.
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