5 Things a freelance writer needs to know how to do

It’s kind of amazing how aspiring freelance writers get stuck on the one most obvious thing they need to know how to do. Yes, you do need to know how to write to be a freelance writer, but you don’t need to be a genius at it. In fact, many style guides will tell you to write at an 8th grade level. After that, you’re starting to sound snooty and you’ll lose most of your readers. Besides, the majority of people read at an 8th grade level.

Here are five other things you need to know how to do you may not have thought of:

  1. You need to know how to pitch yourself. By this, I don’t mean brag about what an awesome writer you are. No one cares. Pitch yourself by showing an editor you know what they want and convincing them you can deliver it.
  2. You need to know how to discipline yourself. If you need a boss to tell you to sit down and work, you won’t get far as a freelance writer. You need to be your own boss and that means bossing yourself around once in awhile.
  3. If you’re a content writer, you’re going to need to know how to work on a variety of platforms. It’s not that hard, but you don’t want to have to ask editors for instructions. Start a WP blog or something to learn your way around. Why not start with one about your writing services?
  4. You need to know how much you’re worth. If you think you’re only worth 2 cents a word, that’s what you’ll make. Shoot for 40 or 50 cents a word to start with. You may not get it at first, but eventually you will.
  5. You need to improve your writing. Even if your editors love your work, there’s always room for improvement. Striving to improve keeps it interesting. After 3000 odd articles, your topics won’t be all that exciting to you any more, but the challenge of improving on your delivery will keep you going.

¬†HINT: Try some of these editing tools. Don’t treat them as gospel, but do give them a try. They can help you uncover your bad habits: From Grammarly to WordRake: A Review of 6 Automatic Editing Tools