Becoming a successful freelance writer isn't easy. A lot of people hope they can make a career out of doing it on a full-time basis, but a lot of people end up going back to the daily grind after a few months. This doesn’t have to happen to you. Here are some improvements you should make for your freelance writing career to get it off to a great start.
Work at Making Your Proposal Perfect
Proposals are just part of the biz, so you need to learn how to make glittering beacons that potential clients will respond to. A good proposal explains exactly what you can offer a client and details the experience you have, usually in the form of an email. It can be difficult to make yours stand out from the crowd when the client will be getting proposals from tons of people, though.
Here are some tips:
- Make sure your email subject line is on point. Make it something eye catching without being too mysterious.
- Double and triple-check the spelling and grammar in your proposal. Clients don't want writers that can't even send them an error-free email.
- Talk about the experience you have which relates to the job at hand. Leave out any unnecessary tidbits about your life.
- Link to at least three previous freelance jobs you have completed. That way, they get a good look at what you have done before.
- If you can, break up information with bullet points.
- Keep it short. Three short paragraphs is plenty.
Improve Your Writing Skills
If you are struggling to gain freelancing writing jobs, you need to take a good look at your writing. After all, if it’s not up to a high standard, you are going to struggle to win jobs and you might not get repeat work if you are doing a poor job. Here are a few ways to get up to snuff:
- This online learning tool for studying grammar rules can help you out quite a bit.
- Keep a current copy of AP Style near your computer and check it when you have a question.
- Blog, blog, blog. Writing your own blog gives you the practice you need to hone your writing skills.
Work on Your Timekeeping Skills
When you're freelance writing, you'll often have deadlines. You need to ensure you stick to these deadlines or your career as a writer won't go far. After all, being reliable can help you win over clients to gain some more freelancing work. Here are some tips for getting your work delivered on time, every time:
- Set up a Google Calendar (which is free!) or keep a desk calendar specifically for scheduling client work.
- Cut big projects into smaller parts and spread it through your time allotted.
- Time yourself when doing projects so you know exactly how much time to block out in your schedule for each client and each task.
- Give yourself an extra day. Always plan to finish a project a day early. If something comes up, you always have that extra day of cushion.
For step-by-step instructions on how to go from a newbie to a successful freelance writer, check out my book:
The Fluff-Free Freelance Writing Master Course: The only course that gives you concrete, actionable information to building a successful freelance business without any fluff.