Freelancing is a great opportunity for writers who want to work independently. Jobs are available all over the internet, and you can choose your own schedule. But there are some mistakes that many freelancers make early on in their career that can lead to disaster down the line. Here are 10 of those mistakes, with tips on how to avoid them!
10. Not Charging Enough
One of the biggest mistakes that freelancers make is not charging enough for their services. When you’re starting out, it can be tempting to accept any job that comes your way, no matter how low the pay. But if you want to make a sustainable income as a freelance writer, you need to charge what you’re worth.
At first, you might not be able to get more than ten or twenty dollars per article. But you’ll start to build up regular clients who return again and again. As time goes on, you can continue raising your rates until they’re at the point where you feel comfortable.
Just remember that your skills are a valuable asset, and you deserve to get paid for them. So don’t be afraid of asking for more, and make sure you’re getting paid fairly!
9. Ignoring Your Health
Having a successful career as a freelance writer means not just doing the work you love, but also taking care of yourself. Making good money is definitely something to celebrate. But if you neglect your health while you’re out there chasing your dreams, it can destroy everything you’ve worked for.
You need to prioritize exercise and eating well if you want to stay in good health. It doesn’t take a lot of time or money: just go for a walk during your lunch break, pack some fruit and nuts for snacks, and cook a few healthy meals at the beginning of the week.
It’s also important to take time out of every day for yourself. Use that lunch break I mentioned earlier to meditate, take a stroll around the block, or just sit quietly and read something for a while. That way you can reduce stress and improve your creativity so you can stay on top of your work.
8. Getting Stuck in a Rut
Every writer hits creative ruts from time to time, but there are different ways to get out of them again. Some try new projects or inspiration techniques , while others just take a break . Still others write something completely outside their comfort zone to broaden their horizons.
Getting stuck in a rut is no fun, but there are plenty of ways to get yourself out again. The trick is to figure out what works for you and then make sure that you do it!
7. Getting Too Comfortable
When you’re just starting out as a freelance writer, one challenge is making clients feel confident that you’re going to do a good job. Once you’ve been in business for a while, they already know what you’re capable of and that you deliver on time .
So one mistake that new freelancers make is trying too hard to impress their clients with unnecessary extras. Don’t take the process of bidding on new jobs too seriously, don’t send too many revisions, and don’t work for free.
Remember that you’re worth your rates, and if clients can’t afford you, they’ll find someone else. Keep your standards high, and you’ll be successful in the long run.
6. Not Having a Portfolio
A lot of new freelancers make the mistake of not having a portfolio. They might think that their writing skills are enough, but potential clients want to see samples of your work before they hire you.
That’s why it’s important to start building a portfolio as soon as possible. You can do this by writing articles for free or low pay, or by guest blogging on other people’s sites. As you accumulate more and more work, you can start putting them into a portfolio format that’s easy to show to potential clients.
5. Not Being Organized
One of the keys to a successful freelance writing career is being organized. This means keeping track of your deadlines, your invoices, and your payments. It also means having a system for sorting and storing your work files.
If you’re not already organized, it’s time to start getting that way. One great way to do this is by using a project management tool like Asana or Trello. That way you can visually see what still needs to be done and when it needs to be done by.
4. Taking on Too Much Work
Freelance writing is a great way to make money, but it can also lead to burnout if you don’t manage your time properly. Everyone wants more work, especially when they’re just starting out. But eventually you’ll have too much on your plate and won’t be able to deliver the quality that clients expect from you.
So be careful about taking on too much work, and remember that saying ‘no’ is okay. That way you can get everything done without compromising the quality of your work, which will help you grow your business even more in the long run.
3. Not Managing Your Expenses
One of the biggest mistakes new freelancers make is not managing their expenses. This means not keeping track of how much money they’re making and how much money they’re spending.
It’s easy to do this when you’re just starting out, especially if you’re not used to tracking your finances. But it’s important to have a handle on your expenses so you can stay in the black. One way to do this is by using a budgeting app like Mint.com or You Need a Budget.
2. Not Asking for Payment Promptly
One of the challenges of being a freelance writer is getting paid on time. Sometimes clients take forever to pay, especially if they’re used to paying their employees on a monthly basis.
If you’re not getting paid on time, it’s important to take action. This might mean sending them a polite email reminder or even following up with a phone call if you need to.
Not only will this set your business apart from other freelancers, but it will also show clients that you’re professional and accountable. And if they never pay, then consider not working for them ever again!
1. Not Having a Contract
The biggest mistake freelance writers make is not having a contract. This means that they’re not protected if something goes wrong with the project, or if the client decides they no longer want to work with them.
A good contract should include:
- -An overview of the project
- The agreed upon rate and payment schedule
- Who owns the work
- When is it due
- Any other issues that might come up
You can find free contract templates online or you can ask your lawyer to make you one. Don’t make the mistake of not having a legally binding agreement to protect yourself and your business.
Is there a written contract when you hire an independent contractor?
Yes, most freelancers have their own legal agreements that they send to clients before work begins. That way everyone is on the same page and protected in case anything goes wrong.
What if I take on too much work and can’t get it done on time?
Don’t be afraid to say no! Just politely let the client know that you’re not able to take on their project at this time. That way they can find another freelancer who will get the job done, and you won’t have to worry about turning in a shoddy product or missing deadlines.
Can I work for clients from different countries?
Yes, you can work with clients from anywhere in the world as long as both parties are able to agree to the terms of the contract. Just be sure to factor in any time differences when it comes to setting deadlines.
Why is it so important to have a contract?
Having a contract is one of the most important things you can do as a freelancer, since it protects both you and your client. It shows that you value your business and that you’re willing to go the extra mile for your clients. That way they’ll want to come back and work with you again!
What can I do if my client doesn’t pay me?
If you haven’t received payment on time, it’s important to contact the client first. They may just be running behind and will send your check as soon as they can. If you don’t hear back after a couple of weeks, though, then consider sending them an email or even calling them if need be.
In Other Words
I hope you’ve found this roundup of freelance writing mistakes to be helpful. What are some other freelancing pitfalls that you’ve experienced? Share your thoughts in the comments below!