I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked about the secrets to successful freelance writing!
I wouldn’t be rich, but if I added those ebooks, gurus, webinars, books and blog posts that promised to reveal the secrets to successful freelance writing (including this one) I might be.
No secrets to successful freelance writing
You may recognize the real secret – and that’s that there are no secrets to successful freelance writing, not really. Which doesn’t mean there aren’t some concepts that new, and even seasoned freelance writers may miss along the way.
Plus it never hurts to be reminded of the basics.
The 4 secrets to successful freelance writing
What follows is my current take on the four things you need to know and act on. This list could be re-framed for more items and maybe even for less. If you search you’ll find other writers presenting different lists. It’s all good stuff.
Writing is a business
My hunch is recognizing your freelance writing is a business is overlooked more often than not. But it is. If you want to make a living with your writing you need to offer it to people who are willing to pay for it. That might be a publisher who will pay an advance on your book, or a company who needs blog posts about their stainless steel tanks. It might be essays, ghostwriting articles and/or books or even poetry,
Basically this means you need to track your money, both income and expenses, file taxes, and market. It’s all learnable. Type money into the search box on the right under the ads and find out what you can learn right here.
You must market regularly
One of the biggest secrets to successful freelance writing is finding those people who will pay you for your writing. Writers are often shy about marketing, feeling it’s rude, or beneath them, or… well, the excuses are unending. But if you don’t let the world, or at least some of it, know about your writing who will? And how will they find out?
Sure, you can buy information and even hire someone to market you – and you can learn to do it yourself. You are the one who is in the best position to do so.
Type marketing into that seach box on the right and you’ll find a wealth of information about how you can market yourself. Find one or two things you will do consistently and go from there.
Setting and getting fees
I may get more questions about fees, come to think about it. The first part is deciding what you’ll charge. What is your writing worth? There are all sorts of ways to find out. Enter fees in that magic search box and you’ll find articles like this one: 10 Steps To Setting Your Freelance Writing Fees. If you don’t like that one there are lots more you can choose from.
Collecting what you’re owed is pretty straight forward:
Get your agreement with the person who is going to pay you in writing. Email will do as long as it covers the basics. Search contracts and invoice and you’ll have more than enough information.
It’s all about service
Your attitude must be one of service. It’s not about you, it’s about service to the client and the reader. Writing is your product and it’s also a service – take that attitude and you’re well on your way. Yes, try service in that search box – I was surprised. You may be too.
There you have it, the four secrets of successful freelance writing. What do you think? What did I leave out?