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5 Common Mistakes you should Avoid as a Freelance Writer

Posted on November 28th, 2016
Common Mistakes Made by Freelancers

You’ll agree with me – freelancing is exciting because of the freedom that comes with it. You get to not hate Mondays; to decide how to spend your day; spend quality time with friends and family; take a vacation whenever you think fit; and even more relieving, kick away thoughts of keeping a lackluster, low-paying desk job.

Many people dream of this kind of a life, but it surely isn’t everyone’s reality.  To avoid losing out as a freelance writer, here are some common mistakes you should avoid.

Not guest blogging

The value of guest blogging is intangible. Guest blogging has got what I like to call an “hegemonic capacity” – it lets you break away from your comfort zone and fight for a large audience base in unexplored areas.

By guest blogging, you keep pace with the demands of freelance writing by getting your work in front of more people, building gainful relationships, and driving potential clients along your path.

However, not so many freelance writers appreciate the obvious importance of contributing to other blogs besides theirs. It is in fact very normal for tons to believe they are made for life by publishing on their blogs alone.

Avoid this. Have an eye for popular blogs within your niche in which you should contribute top-notch content, because only then will you see some magic.

Not owning a blog

Having a website with just a fancy homepage to showcase your services is never enough. A blog is indispensable.

Your blog helps to further exhibit samples of your work regardless of where you’ve landed your guest posts.

I mean, after reading a brilliant guest post of yours, many readers (including potential clients) will troop to your website, anticipating to read more from you. You’d however disappoint by repaying their interest with only advertisements of yourself and your work.

Aim at being a better freelance writer by starting a blog and publishing content. Asides earning you clients, you’ll also grow your audience. 

Not cold pitching

I get it – you’ve always thought of freelancing as a merry ride. Well, believe me, it is – but only if a merry ride means doing what you enjoy, not endure, and getting paid handsomely for it.

If your definition poses a different meaning, such as having everything all nice and easy, then I’m sorry, you’ve boarded your intentions on a falling ride.

Tons of freelancers lack the will to fight for themselves. Majority are contented with ‘ransacking’ freelance job sites while seeking clients. This, however, isn’t sufficient. For many reasons…

First off, most freelance job sites aren’t picky with the sort of gigs they accept for display. Thus, you’d find tons of gigs with low pay, which makes it imperative for you to work for some nasty price.

Second, there is a usual scrambling for few jobs by hundreds of people, narrowing down one’s opportunities of getting consistent pay.

More so, a couple these sites serve as an intermediary between clients and freelancers; thereby, cutting a specified amount of money from the meager payments meant for the latter.

These are appalling, to say the least.

To step out of this uncomfortable zone, try cold pitching – shooting emails to businesses and private persons who you believe are in need of your expertise. By doing this, you’d be presenting yourself to people who may be in need of what you’ve got in store.

Not divulging information about your services

Some freelancers fail to explicitly state in their website the services they render. And some even shield their status as a freelancer (for reasons unknown).

Please, resist the urge. You can’t go around seeking clients without making known the services you render. That’s more like feigning to be single while you’ve got a wedding ring on.

Divulge your services concisely. Write about why an average businessperson needs what you offer. I mean, don’t focus on only features, but also benefits.

Not having a niche

Before starting out your freelance career, ask yourself these questions: Who are you? What do you want to be known for? What kind of clients do you wish to attract?

Answering these questions will most likely position you on a good path. Although it’s quite easy, not all freelance writers task themselves in that regard, which is evident from the way many consider freelancing a deep but safe ocean unto which they can plunge head long, all for the sake of being a ‘Jack of all trades’.

Well, just so you know, being Jack doesn’t make the cut in the freelance world. Besides portraying you as a master of no trade, it also shows how confused a writer you are.

To come off as a professional, pick a niche which you are really passionate about – one which you can keep writing on even if you aren’t going to earn a nickel by doing so. If you’re passionate about more than a niche or two, you can as well broaden your base, but not unnecessarily. It all boils down to prioritizing your expertise.


Freelancing has its ups and down but it behooves freelancers to make the most of it. This article has listed 5 common mistakes freelance writers make and explained how to avoid them. Beware of falling into the same abyss. Start taking the right steps, today!

Deji Atoyebi

Deji Atoyebi

Deji Atoyebi is a freelance content writer and digital marketing consultant who specializes in growing businesses using content, copy and Google AdWords. He writes for The Huffingtonpost, Engadget and TweakYourBiz. When he isn't working, he's either reading or hacking stuff with codes.

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