Have you recently decided to take the plunge and become a freelance writer?
Maybe you’ll do this as a side hustle or – if you’re like me – transition from stay-at-home to work-at-home mom. This is an exciting time, but do you know the road that’s ahead of you?
It’s a fact that within the first year or two most freelance writers will fail.
Hard pill to swallow, eh? But it’s true. If you don’t know what kind of freelance writer you are, you could very well set yourself up for failure.
Knowing this can mean the difference between being a successful freelance writer or one that’s struggling to break free from $10 writing gigs.
I don’t want you to fail. As a freelance writing coach, I help many new writers find their path to success and work hard to make sure they don’t make the same mistakes as I did when I first started.
So, for this post, I’ve listed freelance writer profiles you don’t want to have. Being one of these four types of freelance writers will only hurt your chances of success. But, don’t think you can’t change that.
Stay tuned till the end of the post where I show you how to kick start your biz off on the right foot.
1. You Sit On the Sidelines
One of the most common things I see new freelance writers do is…they do nothing at all! They avoid taking any action. Instead, they read every blog post, course, guide or eBook they can get their hands on, and then do absolutely nothing with that information.
I equate this to sitting on the sidelines. Maybe you think since you don’t have a perfect writer website, what’s the point of even pitching?
Or, maybe fear is consuming you and the thought of putting yourself out there and selling yourself is too much for you. So, instead, you keep bidding on Upwork and taking the $5 writing gigs.
Can I tell you something? I’m not the best writer.
I make a ton of grammar mistakes.
I know for a fact I forgot to invoice a few clients when I first started out.
I suck at math and know I’ve undervalued my services a few times.
But, you know what? I’m still successful. Just this month I landed my biggest paying writing project to date and in the last year I’ve moved from making less than $2 a post to now averaging $300 a post.
And it was all because I took action. I kept going. Kept pitching and above all, didn’t let the little things get in the way.
So what if my writer website needs updating? It’s up and that’s all that matters.
Who cares if I accidentally sent a newsletter with “Hi |FIRST NAME|” on it? Oops.
It’s time to get out there and take action. If fear is your thing, know that everyone has felt the same way you felt when they first started. I almost quit freelance writing because of that fear.
Gaining confidence is a learning process and it isn’t until you actually go out there and be a freelance writer that you become more confident.
For me, doing this online is so much easier than in person. Last year I set up appointments at my local web and printing companies in town and I sucked! I fumbled my words, blanked out a few times and couldn’t put two words together.
But, I did it. I stepped out of my comfort zone and took action.
2. You Can’t Help But Compare Yourself to Other Writers
As a new writer you may feel inferior to other freelance writers out there. Especially if you don’t have a writing background.
So, you end up critiquing your writing and sizing it against other freelance writers on the web. I did this early on in my freelance writing career.
I had just landed a client who wanted social media marketing posts and editing. I was excited as this was an inbound inquiry that ended in a paid writing gig.
I wrote my first few posts, checked them out on the blog and noticed they had another freelance writer on staff. Not just any writer, a well known freelance writer (well at least known to me!).
I was shocked. I started analyzing my writing and her writing. She was definitely a much better writer than me and I couldn’t understand why this client even hired me.
I started keeping track of how many assignments she wrote and how many were given to me (to see if she got more assignments because she was a better writer than me) and this started to affect my writing.
It was hard to shake this “impostor syndrome” feeling off, but I did and I’m glad I did.
I’ve learned that no one can write like me and that clients seek out my writing style. I have a great track record of A-list bloggers and entrepreneurs who have hired me for my writing ability. I’ve also learned you don’t need a writing degree to be a freelance writer, you just need to be a good writer.
While the act of comparing myself to other writers isn’t totally a thing of the past, it isn’t crippling my success either.
3. You Jump the Gun
For some new freelance writers, they can’t wait to get started and they go all out from the beginning. Before they know it, a prospect contacts them and wants them to write dozens of blog posts for their site.
Oh, hold up! You’re not even sure if you can really do this.
You still have a full-time job, kids’ activities to attend and dinner to prepare. Maybe freelance writing isn’t for you.
For some aspiring writers, they end up taking on more than they can handle and end up quitting or failing as a freelancer. For other writers, they envisioned being a freelance writer was totally different than what it really is – a cycle between always hustling for new writing jobs and having too much work on your plate.
4. You Latch On to Any New Thing
Heard your neighbor is a freelance writer?
Maybe you read a mommy blog and learned this blogger does paid writing gigs on the side. You think this is perfect and jump all over freelance writing.
Three weeks later a blogger friend tells you how much money they are making as a virtual assistant. You love the idea and start learning anything and everything about being a virtual assistant.
Before you know it your brain is fried because of all the info you’re learning about anything and everything. Then you sit there and do nothing because too much information paralyzes you from taking action.
When you decide to learn a new skill, the best thing you can do is create goals around it. So, if you really want to be a freelance writer, the first thing you should do is make a list of what you need to do and the steps you need to take to reach your goals.
This will at least get you focused on one avenue to pursue. For me personally, I don’t have an issue with trying new things. When I find something I stick with it. I think that’s why I have been able to build my freelance writing business to the level it is now even though I’ve been doing this part-time!
It’s Time to Be a Rockstar Freelance Writer
Do you want to be a rockstar writer? Someone who has the confidence, skills and strategy to get their business off on the right foot?
I recently launched a new free email course called Become a Rockstar Freelance Writer – A Free 5 Day Email Course to Jumpstart Your Successful Business.
If you’re not sure you’re cut out for freelance writing, take this free email course. It will help you weed through your uncertainty and give you the tools you need to succeed.
Over to you – what kind of freelance writer are you?
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