With the fast pace of modern life and generations like Millennials and “Gen-Z” coming to dominate the job market, major changes in the way we perceive typical workspaces and schedules are inevitable. New forms of employment emerge every year, and freelancing is a big one of them. While it certainly has its fair share of drawbacks, freelance jobs have some definitive perks and specific features to them.
In order to become a successful freelance journalist, you have to fight your way through the tough competition, find your own style, expand your client network and of course gain some stable income. This scheme might seem a bit overwhelming, but fear not: we will break down for you to seven tips on how to achieve an outstanding career in online writing.
Protect your money operations
There is no secret that freelance activity comes at the risk of not getting paid, especially if you work outside of regular freelancing platforms or services. We’re not saying that everyone out there is going to try to scam you, but it’s always a good idea to play it safe and make sure that you don’t waste your time on shady clients.
In order to do so, always ask for a 50% upfront payment. If the client is unwilling to do this, it should be a red flag for you. Create some milestones to display your progress and ask for the final 50% before sending the complete assignment.
Estimate the value of your time
Sometimes it is hard to decide whether a particular job is worth giving a chance, especially if we are talking about freelance writing. One of the main objectives is to learn how to estimate whether the price of the project matches the time you expect to spend on it.
When contemplating this, try to take into account the complexity of the topic at hand, as well as the general volume of written work. For instance, if you need to write an article on the topic of “Homework help online in Australia”, it is doubtlessly much less time-consuming than “The specific features of the US Space Program’s development”.
Learn to turn down some offers
This tip is particularly relevant for beginners who have just started in the field of freelance writing work. At first, everyone is struggling to land these precious first projects. But there is no need to jump on those which are especially exhausting, not well-paid, or even not paid at all. Similar advice goes for more experienced freelancers.
Managing your schedule can be tough, so sometimes you just have to refuse an additional offer or an advanced deadline, as well as some unreasonable changes to an already fixed agreement with a client. Do not be afraid to say no; it will help you avoid rushed deadlines and a lot of anxiety.
Improve your craft
One of the challenges of remote copywriter jobs is that most of the time, you do not actually have an editor or any kind of mentor on hand to give you advice on how to improve your writing and identify your weak spots and strong points. Such a lack of feedback makes it extremely hard to grow professionally, so it comes down to your willingness and drives for perfection. Take courses, read articles on writing, and most important – practice a lot!
Get a writing plan
In order to do everything in time, don’t just rely on your memory. Create a written plan that contains all the necessary details like deadlines and the specific amount of time you will need for each assignment. In this way, you will not have to worry about your tasks overlapping, and can easily navigate between your work and leisure activities.
Rest management is a must
It is hugely important to take breaks while writing. A lot of struggles of freelancers come from not managing their rest schedule properly. It can cause numerous health problem, a lack of focus and burning out–you certainly do not want that! All successful writers must find their own unique most productive time to work and to take breaks. Try being physically active during these pauses–go for a walk and change your surroundings. It will clear your mind and allow for a fresh start.
Be patient and trust your gut
This is an important one. Do not be upset if everything goes wrong at first. It is always like that in any field. You really need to listen to yourself and figure out what type of texts, jobs, timetables suit you best. Freelancing is based on making the most of your individual qualities and approaches, which is why it is important to find your own way of working.
About the author
Jeff Blaylock is a freelance writer and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He has 10 years of experience and has collaborated with many major news companies and big labels. Blaylock has dedicated some of his time to managing other freelancers and creating materials in order to help new writers grow and thrive.