Are you experiencing sleepless nights cracking your head on how you will land clients? Do you feel like writing was not meant for you? Do you have thoughts of giving up on freelance writing? You’ve tried all the magic at your disposal, but still, nothing is changing?
I was once in the same situation, not long, but recently, just a few months ago. I can remember it like my password combination. It was not that easy to land, even a client that could pay me $20 for 1000 words. Every effort I put in to send pitches and proposals bared no fruits.
As days passed by, I found myself broke than ever before. I was so broken, I gave up not once but several times. I went ahead to launch a website freelance254. It is on the first page, the second and third links when you search for the term freelance254 on google. Yes, you heard it right, the second in rank when you google the term freelance254. I couldn’t afford to renew my subscriptions for the site; that’s why you will get the error message Hmm. We’re having trouble finding that site when you click on the links.
See how much I was broken? It was a total nightmare.
I gave up on it but still had the momentum to kickstart my writing career, and here I am, Affordany.com making a living from freelance writing. You want to know how? Stay with me because, in a few, I will be sharing the tips that I used to kickstart my freelance writing journey.
How to Restore Lost Hope in Freelance Writing
How did I capitalize on my mistakes? The very question you’ve been asking since the beginning of this post.
Everyone has a turning point in life. Most of the time, it’s just that you can’t see it until it is your rear-view mirror.
I have written this blog to restore your hope and tell you that this is one of those moments.
You might have read many articles out there, now this, and you are still at crossroads. You even don’t know which way to go.
Don’t overthink it because it won’t solve your problems. Just keep in mind that every intersection offers several possibilities. All you need to do is pick the right road.
Thre is no need to rush, but sometimes, choices have to be made quickly for us to beat the stiff competition in freelance wring.
Below are the reasons why I failed in freelance writing and how I capitalized on them to get back on my feet.
I. Sending Bad Bills/Rates
I agree we are all different, from how we think to how we see thigs.
There will always be everybody’s version of how they make conclusions and judgments.
Earlier in the days, I did not know what to charge clients, and if I do send a particular quotation, I did not know why and how it evaluates to what I was asking for.
That was a big problem considering that if I charge high and send samples that don’t meet the client’s expectations would mean I am charging high for shoddy quality work. On the other hand, charging low and sending quality samples will make the client doubt if you are the one who came up with such a sample. The problem was, knowing the quality of my samples, what and when to charge a certain amount.
The turning point here is to craft as many quality samples as you can. Having a variety of those will prove to the client that you are the writer.
II. No Networks In Freelance Writing
This was the worst of all mistakes.
I was living a solo life like someone who had been blindfolded and dumped in the middle of a desert. Extreme temperatures during the day and freezing during the nights. No one to talk to no water to quench my thirst. That is the situation most of us are in right now.
Maybe you haven’t yet got the point. What I mean is that I used to talk to nobody about my writing career, and therefore I wasn’t exposed enough.
If you are not exposed, it means that you will receive zero advice and zero corrections on the mistakes you are making. Furthermore, you won’t realize if you are making any mistakes.
Without networking with people, you will assume every mistake, and it will cost you just like it hit me.
Your circle will give you feedback about your articles. They will correct you and guide your way when you mess up. Here is why you should network with fellow freelancers.
III. No Visible Samples
What are visible samples?
Visible samples are published or live samples. Samples that someone can browse through the search engines and land to them. Samples that one can read either on your blog or someone’s blog.
This is something I talked about in our previous post on why you have zero financial progress as a freelance writer.
Even though samples in google docs can help, somehow, they won’t clearly show the client that writing is your passion.
But you are better of; I had samples in MS Word. So unprofessional.
IV. Write for the Love of Freelance Writing
There is nothing more rewarding than doing things best because you want to do them.
Show the world that you love doing what you do -writing. Don’t just write for the sake of filling the word count; write it well.
People and clients will reach out to you because of what you have out there and not what is on your desktop or google docs.
V. Write Competitive Winning Samples
What do business people do when the competition is high? They go to the market and find quality products at an excellent price, then come and put competitive prices that other competitors can’t beat. This is the same way you will emerge out of the crowd. Use the same strategy in writing.
I am not taking sides or making any critics here, but see what Chines products have done in Kenya. There is no cheaper item in the market than the Chinese products. The come up with excellent products at an affordable price.
High paying clients are always keen when it comes to the selection of their candidates.
Not many writers apply for their jobs, but the few who do are usually competent writers with a legacy and who provide outstanding samples to the client. Therefore for you to beat the odds, you have to come up with ideas and articles that will make you worth the rates.
The quality of your articles needs to compete with the quality that they already have.
Many high paying clients care about the end results, how you did it they don’t care. Therefore, use all the tools at your disposal to come up with something extraordinary.
If bakers didn’t mix different ingredients and flavors, then today, we wouldn’t be taking of black forest during birthday parties.
VI. Be Accessible
Most freelance writers lose clients due to poor response time.
Response time is typically the time you take to reply to the client’s message. A client might send you a message inquiring more about your services on an interview, but just because you took more time to respond, he or she will start an interview with another applicant, and in most cases, the one who is available gets the job.
This is not for messages only but also for job posts. Don’t take ages to apply for jobs.
Here is a situation that cost me a $350 job when I was 3 months old in freelance writing.
A client wanted 7 articles each 3600 words, $50 per article, and there were bonuses after the job was done. It was to take two weeks. So I saved it so that I can continue browsing for more jobs than I was to apply on that day. Usually, I send four proposals a day.
At the time I was saving it, the job had one applicant. I could see how many freelance writers had applied to the job because I upgraded my membership plan. After 17 minutes of browsing the jobs, I went to write the proposal for that particular job, and now the client was interviewing one freelancer. When I finished the proposal, it failed to submit, why? The job was already closed, and the client had hired.
That is how I missed that job.
Freelancers must be accessible all the time. Communicate in advance, and never keep clients waiting.
You might be failing because of major or minor mistakes. But no matter how small or big a mistake is, never underestimate it. All errors, big or small, have consequences. You will always get to a point where you’ll have to account for each mistake you committed.
Also, make it easy for clients to find you. Come up with a writer’s website. Your presence is significant, whether online or offline, just make yourself known. Publish your articles here, which will act as your samples.
Contact me by filling the form below if you have a problem building your writer’s website.
Don’t push yourself so hard to know everything because it will simply fry your brain. Stick to the ideal things that a freelance writer should know.
Success is not going to come overnight. You have to keep doing what creates value. There are fewer opportunities and stiff competition economically. To see the fruits of your freelance writing income, you need to understand how you will manage your earnings.
How you bill will entirely depend on your speed, the work process, and the current market value in your niche. These are things you must be aware of before you bill yourself at $50 per hour.