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7 Insightful Ways To Become An Excellent Freelance Writer

This post was first published on LinkedIn.


If I hit you in the head with a hammer, you’ll feel pain—excruciating pain. Not only that, you could bleed to death. That’s how life feels (well, at least, sometimes) when you’re living without any guiding principles.

Principles run the world; even the freelance writing world.

Since you’re just starting and somehow need a li’l encouragement, this post will guide you on your way to becoming a topnotch freelance writer, or, at the very least, a competent one.

7 ways to become an immensely successful freelance writer.

1. Learn to manage time freedom

Freelance writers are defined by one big phrase—Time Freedom.

If you decide to leave your cubicle and finally turn freelance, you’ll start to work when you want to work. Sleep when you want to sleep. Yep, you choose your own schedules; you’re the boss.

Now, this is the fun part, if you want to spend one whole day lying down on an easy bench, drinking piña colada on the beach, you can! Just make sure you won’t miss a deadline. 🙂

You have freedom.

I know… it’s a bliss, but… at the same time—dangerous. Let me explain. You pick the number of hours you put into your writing business. (Yep, it’s a business in case you’re not aware). So you gotta run it like one! And, tell you what; this is the price of having time freedom.

Your writing business demands that you run it like what it is—a business.

Meaning, everything is all up to you.

This is crucial.

You have to manage your time, or else… it will manage you. Tweet this.

To put it another way, your time will go down the drain if you fail to hold it by its horns.

Anyway, managing time is where a lot of writers fail. Me, included. That’s why I use a time management Web service called Rescue Time  to help me manage my working time properly. I suggest writers look for services like this to get help.

As individuals who consider themselves, first and foremost, artists; they’re oblivious that what’s actually on their lap is a business. Blinded, they neglect it. Heck, they desire income, yet they won’t do the essential: the business part.

Writers today are different. It’s a given that they need to write but they need to sell their products and services as well. They have to promote and inform their target market about their services; how else would people know about those?

If they neglect to put the word out, how can they turn on the money-making-machine? All, these, constitute the business part.

Many say, they are uncomfortable marketing their services. They’re uncomfortable with networking. Selling? Ahh… they avoid it like the plague. Here are the hard facts about becoming a freelance writer:

Today, in this digital era, writers are not only artists, they are accidental entrepreneurs, too. That said, they have to be responsible to chart their own course; decide where their business go; make goals and plan to achieve those goals.

Yes, you have to learn how to manage your time effectively; it’s the price of having the gift of time freedom. When you become a freelance writer, you’ll receive this gift. But, beware: with freedom, comes responsibility (it’s a universal law). Once time lands on your lap, you’ve got make the most of it. That’s your duty! 

If you can’t learn to manage time freedom (fast enough), might as well go back to being an employee. Tough-love warning you say? Well … pardon me; you needed that. (You can thank me later!) 

2. Make writing your passion

When I started my Web writing journey, learning about passion for writing is one of the most exciting facets of the trip.

I’ll admit, when I began working as a writer, I wasn’t sure whether I’ve got what’s required to thrive. So I read about passion (obsessed about it, actually). I went about learning how to birth, ignite, cultivate, and, finally, harness passion for writing.

Do you enjoy writing? Yes? Then you can develop the kind of ardor needed to become successful.

Harnessing passion to write is the most practical thing to do for a would be freelance writer; the wisest decision you can make. Why? You’ll be spending hours, days, months, and years, alone, writing. It’s well worth the effort to nurture enthusiasm for the craft of pouring out words onto paper. You’ve got to cultivate the love to gather words, and then string them together to express clear thoughts. To communicate opinions you believe in, then share them with the rest of the world.

Anyway, if you’ve reach this part I’m sure you’re serious about turning into a freelance wordsmith. That shows you have ingrained fervor for the art. So, now, it’s just a matter of fanning that fire. Turn it into a blaze. Soon after, you’ll reap fruits that blaze will bear.

There are many materials regarding passion on the Net, but one of the best I found is Steps To Finding Your Passion.

3. Love and maximize your liberty to work anywhere.

The best part of being a freelance writer is the freedom to choose wherever you want to work. You’re not confined by the boundaries of a cubicle. Not forced to stay within the walls of a building. Not even by the reins of a corporation.

You are FREE.

Free to choose where you can do your stuff. Tell you what–the most exciting part of my week is when I go to my fave Cafe–right now it’s Citycup Cafe. There, I dine. Sip brew. Write.

Many times when I go there and play with words, I produce great stuff. One time when I included the name of the cafe into my article; the manager was thrilled to the brim.

And the part she likes best?—I did not charge her anything. I was just so happy I was working in her cafe and that I’m producing articles after articles and earning from my words.

I still remember that day. Most of all I remember the feeling that I had—I felt like floating; I’m earning while doing what I immensely enjoy. So… when you finally decide to be a freelance writer, be aware of the spectacular fact—you’re gifted with the prerogative to work anywhere you want.

4. Master the art of earning while doing your craft

Writers are artists. Artists work in the realm of the heart. They don’t labor for the money, they strive for the love of their craft

I feel so blessed just thinking I can do what I love and earn a living in the process. Confucius’ quote doesn’t lie, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

I know you’ll not believe me right away when I say I work more than 12 hours each day. I do this because when I write I become oblivious to the passage of time. To me, it’s a real treat. Sometimes I just stop writing because I want my eyes to rest, and to let my body move.

It’s a real blessing doing what you love. You come out with a superb job every day.

There’s no problem at all about whether or not you are clocking in productive hours. With writing (because you love it), you clock in productive hours every time you sit. Each minute is spent on valuable contributions to your business and the community you serve.

Even while resting and reading a book, I make it a point to learn from the material. Well, anyway, every book or magazine I read is always a joy; an opportune time to learn more about the art of writing. The info shared, how the sentences are structured, how each point is delivered, all contribute to my development as a writer.

Even if the article or book or a report you read is no good, there are always lessons to learn. Why is the book not good? Why did the article not work? The report is boring. Why? Right there — you can find writing lessons.

And when the article is good, discover how the writer wrote the lines. How did he construct his sentences? Why did you enjoy reading it or why is one paragraph stunning? You know what I mean … every time you read, you enhance your craft.

5. Help others succeed

As a freelance writer you know how hard it is to start. Naturally you would be happy to help others who are dreaming to become like you–a successful freelance writer.

Let’s look at freelance writers who are helping other writers become successful and in the process turning into mega success writers. There’s Jeff Goins, Carol Tice, Linda Formichelli, Jon Morrow, Stef Gonzaga of Freelance Pinoy, Joe Bunting, and others. The list actually is very long.

As you continue to produce content for your blog and for other sites, you increase your credibility as a writer, and word will be out.

You are a helpful, value oriented, and full of wisdom freelance writer. Someone whom novice bloggers would die to learn from. Out of this scenario, a genuine desire to mentor newbie writers would emanate from you: a freelance writer who cares and who matters.

6. Learn to Sell your products and services effectively

Writing is one skill, selling is another. These two should combine to make a successful writer. In the new digital arena, the ability to sell is a premium skill. It is a skill you can’t do without to thrive. You should cultivate the ability to sell or you’ll not be able to acquire clients. You’ll miserably fail to persuade your readers to buy your book, or any other product if you can’t sell.

It’s not enough that you publish your work. You have to market it like crazy!

When I say market, I mean promote, advertise, persuade. Convince people to buy your stuff. And what do I mean by selling? I mean, the ability to persuade others to buy the idea: hiring you makes them successful.

In this world where Internet is the name of the game, writers are indispensable. The blogosphere can’t run without scribes. Websites have to produce content including articles, videos, ebooks, reports, white papers, social media posts, and other forms of content. All of these need writers to be created. Mind you, in this generation, wordsmiths are literary gods. They are the rockstars of content creation. The world needs us to light up the world of business.

7. Contribute to the world

A writer lives to share knowledge. It is his ultimate goal to contribute value to the world. If you persevere, you’ll know ultimately, your main reason for being is not to earn money.

As a writer your ultimate goal is to contribute to the world.

I knew way back when I was just starting, money is nice to earn while creating. In fact, sometimes it’s exhilarating to be producing income from your craft. Although, after sometime, cash as a reward will lack luster. You’ll get used to this routine and you’ll get numbed. The rush of getting income through your art will fade. You will realize, the best part of being a writer is–you can contribute to your community, share knowledge to the world at large. How so? By giving away your ideas that can help, not only your fellow artists, but, also, the global community.

About Anthony Dejolde