Top 7 Tips for Freelance writers online

by paul Wallis on October 6, 2010

Tips for Freelancers

Demand for writers has never been greater, and it’s increasing. Freelancers are exploiting this trend to the full. Whether you write a blog, web copy, ad copy, direct response, or whatever, freelancers are now an industry in their own right. It took a while, and the cut and paste epidemic of a few years back didn’t help much, but if you’re SEO friendly and a decent writer, you can start a good business.

The evolution of the freelance market arguably started when professional freelance sites like Elance started making headway. It was also no coincidence that freelancing suddenly became valuable to industries around the world. This type of outsourcing has a very strong economic basis. It wasn’t just cheaper to outsource, it was a search for quality, as well.

The “thou shalts” of freelance writing

1. Understand your client’s business needs and objectives. If necessary, ask for them in so many words. If you’re a freelance writer, you can find yourself working across multiple markets, and it’s absolutely critical to know what’s required. This is your client’s business, and you must keep that in mind at all times.

2. Be ruthless with yourself about your content quality. This is a true “portfolio profession”, and if you don’t want to use something you’ve written in your CV, it’s not good enough. Your published content is who you are, as far as a client knows. It also represents your capabilities, and dud material can keep you out of any number of contracts.

3. Establish a good writing discipline and stick to it. Stamina is important, particularly when you’re writing 4000 words of SEO copy a day. A routine can be developed where you can write effortlessly, and not even feel tired. It’s also good for maintaining focus and ensuring good work practices.

4. Quality checks must be done. You may be a great writer, but try and find a writer in history who hasn’t wound up with a mess in prose sitting in front of them at some point. Even the pen and ink writers had content issues, typos and incomprehensible sentences. Edit as you write, edit by sentence, edit by paragraph, but edit.

5. Market standard isn’t good enough. If you really, desperately, want to become anonymous as a writer, do the “market standard” type of copy. By definition, it’s hack stuff, reads like anything else, and is instantly forgettable. Nobody cares who wrote that rubbish, particularly clients. Have a look at the standard material that gets cranked out by the gigaton. Most of it is barely worth reading. Make sure your work is obviously better.

6. Don’t recycle material. The Search Engine Optimization bears and Copyscape may not get a rewrite, but your content quality is slipping, if you need to rehash your own material. You may also be getting stale with your work, if you’ve developed a default mode of repeating yourself. Get out of the rut, because you may get stuck there, and it’ll damage your writing.

7. Always be honest about your work with yourself. You’re the only person who can stop yourself submitting trash with your name on it to a client. Do that, and you’ll never be sorry.

Image Credit: Cescabum

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Article by paul Wallis

paul has written 1 awesome articles for this blog.

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{ 15 comments }

Alex Dumitru October 6, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Excellent tips, Wallis. I’ve also worked as a freelance writer for a short while those tips would have helped me back then.

Aluminum Cases October 6, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Interesting to hear some tips for freelance writers. I am usually on the other side of the fence as I often hire freelance writers. Maintaining a freelance writing career really does come down to keeping clients happy and maintaining a good reputation. It’s your customer reviews and ratings which will help you land new clients.

compliance scheme October 6, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Thanks very much for the tips, I will put them to good use

Free Voip Calls October 6, 2010 at 9:27 pm

These are some good tips, particularly emphasizing on “Don’t recycle material”. When you are writing 4000 a day, its important that you maintain quality by writing unique content and not just copy pasting.

Refinance Home Mortgage Loan October 7, 2010 at 1:06 am

hi, yes i agree.with you tips. mostly on that , we all have to be very honest with ourselves and our work.thanks for your hard work.

Property Marbella October 7, 2010 at 5:30 am

Hi Paul,
Maybe one more tips: Presentation for your clients a series of 10-15 articles who is connected with each other both in the text (referents to each other so the visitor stay longer) and SEO links between them. (Also more freelance job for you)

Car Rental October 8, 2010 at 12:14 am

You are right about these tips but It’s really hard to find a good writer these days with all these skills.

Alex@Jocuri October 8, 2010 at 1:35 am

If all freelance writers would follow this tips! Many of them just write content to be written, not to do quality work. I had some freelancers rehashing their own content which they wrote for me. I wish they could read your post and maybe rethink their strategies!

Software Development Company October 8, 2010 at 6:06 am

Great tips for freelancing writing. Nowadays many of organization required content writers. These tips are helpful for them.

Property October 18, 2010 at 6:28 am

Great tips to consider for freelancers writer.Thanks for sharing!

Jasmine October 25, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Great tips. I will share this article with a friend of mine who is a freelance writer. This should help her.

Jaydip Parikh January 6, 2011 at 6:42 am

Wow ! Great Tips. I guess Paul is sharing his real life experience with us. Few tips are hard to follow but It is really making sense for business. Thx Paul for sharing such wonderful information.

Windows 8 February 8, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Hey.. Nice written man.. Content is definitely still the king.. :)

Freelance Writers February 21, 2011 at 9:49 am

Love the tips and as a writer myself, you can never get to old to learn. few things i picked up here that opened up my mind as well.

Great post! thanks.

Seo Agency March 18, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Great tips. I think the bar has been raised even higher due to Google’s penalty on content farms and dupe content. Quality will be more important now.

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