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The Do’s and Don’ts of Freelance Writing

paraglider rulesBy Elizabeth Cutten

I’ve been freelancing for a few years now online.  While I’ve kind of limited my clients, I still tend to work with a lot of people that I truly enjoy working with.  Over the years, I have found that I have made a lot of mistakes, as well as great decisions.

Now, while all clients are going to be different, I wanted to give you some great lessons that I have learned, as well as what I have found to work to keep clients coming for the long term.  Trust me, when you make a client happy, the word of mouth spreads relatively fast.

The Do’s of Freelance Writing

  • Cater to their needs: There are a lot of demanding people out there and if you get frustrated, it’s going to show.  There have been countless times where I needed to re-do an assignment more than 5 times!  Yes, some clients I can never make happy, but that’s fairly rare.
  • Listen to them: Listen to what they have to say when they give you an assignment.  If they want 500 words and they want it in a specific format, then you should do it that way.  If you want to do it your way, it’s going to have to be redone.
  • Write well: I know that we all can’t be perfect with our writing, but make it a habit of checking your spelling, as well as your grammar.  It never hurts to run a check through your Microsoft Word program, or whatever word processing software you’re using.
  • Be available: Have as many communication options opened as possible.  If you can, get instant messenger accounts, a phone number (Google Voice works great), Skype, and more.  The more they are able to reach you, the more they will like it, trust me!

The Don’ts of Freelance Writing

  • Take a long time to respond: You don’t want to wait 1-2 days to respond.  Try to answer emails or phone calls within 12 hours.  You don’t want to keep people waiting.

  • Copying other work: If someone wants to have you write something on, “dogs”, don’t just go out, find an article and re-write it.  Unless they specified this, most people won’t be happy with the work.
  • Don’t be aggressive: People will contact you when they have work.  Don’t harass someone every other day to see if they have work.  It’s going to get them annoyed and more than likely, they are going to find someone else.
  • Be on time: If you’re going to tell them that you’re going to get the job done in 2 days, don’t take 5 days.  Always stick to a guideline and be true to your word.

The key here is that you want to use your head.  There are a lot of people / companies out there that want your services.  Prove to them that you can get the job done and trust me, you can make some great money if you write the right way.

Good luck!

What dos and don’ts do you have?

Elizabeth Cutten.  She works with FindBizCards,  a business credit cards / small business blog helping all business owners get tricks and tips that they need to grow their business the right way.

Two newsletters:
Abundant Freelance Writing – a resource for freelance writers including 3x a week job postings.
Writing With Vision – for those who want to get a book written.

Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Elizabeth, if it hadn’t been for the onslaught of content-mill jobs, I’d have said your second “don’t” wouldn’t even be necessary because most writers understand that. But you’re right. Because some folks are killing themselves writing quick-and-dirty articles in order to meet some self-imposed quota, we’re suffering through some pretty rampant copying and rewriting.

    I like the list of dos, as well. The catering to them is a must – they’re paying for our attention. It doesn’t guarantee that some clients won’t change their minds six times or never tell you exactly what they want, but it does help to bite your tongue and bill hourly. 🙂
    Lori recently posted..Trust in God- But Lock Your KeyboardMy Profile

  • Just got a very bad email from PayPal, making all of Indian writers down for the day… they stopped electronic withdrawals!

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