What You Need to Know About Reviews as a Freelance Writer
If you’re a woman writer that wants to build a successful career writing online articles, blogs, and whitepapers, then one of the most important things you should consider are reviews. They can be positive or negative, but you need to know how both can help your writing career and how to get online writing them in the first place.
Social Media Can Be a Help
Social media is everywhere these days. From teens all the way up to the POTUS, everybody's on Facebook, Twitter, and so much more. As a freelance writer, you can get your name out there and start building your own particular writing brand by engaging all of the benefits of social media (and ending up with some great reviews).
According to Make a Living Writing, “Once you’ve gotten acquainted with some influential people, start sending them stuff and asking them to share it with their audience.” Start with one and then continue on to find your place on all of the current social media platforms for the most in positive exposure.
Here are a few basic social media pointers to get you started:
Learn all of the proper social media etiquette
Make some new friends
Be a good listener
Be helpful to others
Search for like minds on all platforms
Bring your A-game
Don’t waste a lot of time on social media (half an hour a day and no more)
I get the bulk of my reviews on social media. I always screenshot them so I can add them to testimonial pages on my site or on my product pages.
Make Sure to Ask for Positive Reviews
According to Podium, “It's a fact that 91% of people read online reviews, and 84% of people trust reviews as much as personal recommendations, so don't underestimate the impact of a few 5-star reviews.”
Here's some advice on how to gain online reviews. The first and most important piece of advice is simply "Ask for positive reviews." Don't be shy and don't think that you're bothering your oh-so-busy clients. A positive review will only take a few minutes for them and, although many clients will post a positive review without you even having to ask, some need to receive a request from you to follow through.
Following directions to the letter is the first thing to remember. When a client wants something written in a specific way, give it to them. If you don't understand those instructions perfectly, don't be afraid to ask. It's better to get the answers you need up-front than it is to have to rewrite the piece or get a bad review.
The better you understand the task at hand, the better it will turn out. Knowing how to follow a client's instructions can be improved by learning what goes into a good set of instructions for a writing job. You do your best and they will do their best to help you when you need a review. ;)
Handling Negative Reviews
You probably already know that not every review will be a positive one. According to Website Planet, “Well, one bad review doesn’t just obscure hundreds of positive reviews, but it can hinder your chances of future collaborations. Testimonials and social proof build trust in the freelance market, which is key to success as a freelancer or the hiring party.”
Sometimes you may have asked all the right questions about the instructions, done major research, and then given it your all, but still get a bad review. Sound familiar? Just like in a tennis match, when you miss the ball, forget about it and focus on the next ball.
On the other hand, if your client actually offered some useful comments, take them into consideration and save them for later. There's always bound to be a writing job in the future where you could use those comments to make your writing better. Make a file on your computer and organize those comments in it for later.
My worst reviews? “Congratulations on writing a completely useless article.” “This article could be considered criminal negligence.” Oof!
Averaging Out Reviews
Remember, although five-star reviews are the goal, others can also add to your overall writing level. Many writing sites and places like Amazon average out the number of stars to come up with your niche in their writer lineup. You can go from beginner to expert faster the more reviews you have under your belt.
Something else to remember about writing sites is that the clients often have reviews, too. A client who posts a job that looks pretty good but has a 25 percent acceptance rate is probably not a good bet.
Don't Ever Get Discouraged
Just as there's no crying in baseball, there's no getting discouraged in writing. According to Writer’s Digest, “Writing is a process and as writers we are constantly evolving. We don’t get good overnight. There are a lot of road bumps along the way and many times (perhaps even once a day?) you may want to throw the towel in.”
One week, you may encounter a bunch of clients who don't seem to be happy with anything no matter how good your writing may be. And, some weeks nobody seems to be paying much and you have to write a ton of small jobs to get paid an acceptable amount. Don't get discouraged, however, because right around the corner is a more flexible client and some that even pay a higher rate. The key is to move on and continue building up those positive reviews!
Now that you know a little something about reviews as a freelancer, you're armed with additional knowledge to help you to succeed with your writing. Remember, you're one of the lucky few who can make a living at home in your PJs. No gridlock, no horrible bosses, no catty co-workers, just an excellent way to make a living while expressing yourself. Let reviews and social media help you to climb the ladder toward higher-paying jobs as a reviewer who is in constant demand from clients.