In order to be successful in anything, you’ll need the right tools to perform at a high level. We’ve all gotten to the point in anything we’ve done and thought “this is what I’d tell a newcomer….”
Below are a couple resources and tips that will be of help to anyone looking into freelancing.
If your mind isn’t right, you are doomed to failure. It’s important to see yourself as the freelancing salesman or saleswoman that you are. No matter how good of a writer you may be, you won’t get hired if people don’t know you’re doing it. It seems like obvious advice but it must be said. In my humble opinion, the mindset of success looks like this:
- Commitment to persistence. The successful don’t quit, they adjust. It’s okay to stop doing something if it’s not for you. That being said, it’s not okay to quit if you don’t believe you can achieve. Dream big.
- In the words of the great Tony Robbins, “Massive Action” is imperative. Complete immersion is the best way to get good at anything.
The first time I learned this lesson of immersion was through my journey as a bilingual speaker. I grew up in a Cuban family where Spanish was the norm yet my skills in the language were subpar, no matter how many family dinners I went to.
It all started to change when I decided to study abroad in Spain. Upon my return, I took a job in a Mexican restaurant. Talk about immersion! Needless to say, my Spanish skills greatly improved because of these choices.
Google Docs could be a useful resource because your writing work will be saved on a web based portal, which could be accessed from anywhere. I’ll stress that its important to take a backup on your computer, as it’s not a good idea to depend on someone else’s network.
One useful feature is it’s autosave feature. You’ll never have to worry about the lights going out or your battery dying at an inopportune moment.
Your blog may just be the single greatest resource for your freelancing career. First, it’s a place you can point your prospective clients for writing samples. Second, a descent design with formidable content adds credibility.
Any type of social media following will also add to your chances of landing a gig, as they may see value in them. The value being that you’ll share your content from their site on your social media, thereby bringing traffic to their site.
Speaking of social media, it can be a real distraction leading to less productivity in your time spent writing. All of those notifications, mixed with some text messages can lead to longer time spent doing your work, as well as subpar content.
Fortunately, there are certain apps that will block access to your social media accounts for a specified amount of time. Two options that are available for both iOS and Android are Offtime and Breakfree.
Lastly, Google’s Keyword research tool will come in handy. It helps you find topics that are actually being searched for. After all, what good is it to write about something no one ever sees? Your content may be great but it’s important to get some eye balls on them.
Before you even think about writing for a living or even a side hustle, make sure you know the difference between “your” and “you’re.” For good measure, let’s add in the difference between “than” and “then.” Though you are not writing an essay for your high school english teacher, it’s important to know the basics.
Relevance.com put out a nice infographic laying out 10 common blog writing mistakes.
Personal finance skills will also make a difference in your success. By pursuing freelancing, you’re effectively starting your own business. Solutions for some backend tasks (payments, invoicing, etc) will be essential if you grow to a certain point.
Donna Freedman offers her coaching services, as her years as a financial journalist come in handy for this purpose. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her in person and witnessing her true passion for her craft.
Holly Johnson from Earnmorewriting.com offers a course for those interested in a freelancing writing career. As a member myself, I can tell you first hand that you’ll be getting market-tested advice from someone who’s traveled the path herself. Her course is highly recommended.
A Willing Friend
At the beginning of your journey, you may not have the funds to pay an editor. That’s where a willing friend may be of help to you. Their honest feedback and second set of eyes will go a long way. After an hour or two of looking at your own words, it can get a little blinding.
It becomes more challenging to go through your words with a fine tooth comb. No matter how passionate you are about your topic, focus will always be a factor.
Hopefully, you are fortunate to find someone to fill this early need.
Whatever aspect of freelancing you choose, the resources above are sure to take you to where you want to go. Good luck on your journey!