Best Practices for Freelance Writers in 2020

Best Practices for Freelance Writers in 2020

Why is it that when you run a search about online jobs, you find yourself in a pool of freelancing results? The results are not because of your location or country. It is because freelancing is the easiest way to make quick, easy cash when you put in that substantial effort and positive zeal. The question is, what are the best practices for freelance writers?

Just like a toddler, you don’t wake up and start walking. There are stages you must go through for you to win people’s trust in the freelancing industry.

Sometimes you bump into a success story in a Facebook group and get shocked.

You start cracking your head and ask yourself how on earth is someone making $500 or even $1000 in a month through freelance writing.

This is almost half the salary of a Kenyan Member of County Assembly (MCA).

It’s shocking, right?

Well, don’t be shocked by that because some freelancers make more than that. Something close to what the MP in Kenya receives.

Freelance success is a gradual thing. What matters is the first move you take.

You will fail several, but don’t stop!

See, in 2016, I started my freelance writing career. I was almost done with college.

I signed up for Upwork, landed a client who was paying me $50 for ten articles. Dog-related product reviews. I did not know how to write reviews, but God is good. The client sent me some materials – article writing templates that his writers use. I followed it, wrote the first article, submitted it, and started working on the next topic.

After two hours, I got an email notification from Upwork that my contract was ended.

Well, the client did not send any messages explaining why he ended the contract. He just left a 1-star review, which I saw after I gave him 5-star feedback.

My Worst Career-Ending Client Feedback

best practices for freelancers - worst feedback

Anyway, here is what it said:

I am totally unhappy working with James. I decided to pay him on a pro-rata basis, not for the work he did, but for the time he spent researching the topic.

I did not give up, so I applied for several jobs that day. The Upwork connects were free back in the days so, in a week’s time, I was to get 60 more connects.

I waited for an interview, which I never got.

I exhausted my connects, so I had to wait for the following week.

After a week I woke up at 3 am found 60 connects in my Upwork account, and went on hunting as usual.

Luckily I got an interview, but the client’s message was so devastating.

My Heartbreaking Upwork Interview

Hi James, Thank you for sending your proposal, but I am afraid I won’t be hiring you this time because your job history is wanting. But I wish you all the best.

I asked myself one question, why then did he start an interview with me when he knew that he was not going to hire me?

The power of positivity turned things around; I replied to his message.

In my message, I said, 

Hello, Thank you for reaching out to me even though you are not hiring me. I wish your candidate best of luck, and I appreciate your best wishes.

What did I do?

Let me know what you would have done if it was you.

Personally, I felt so broken.

I went ahead and closed my account.

What did that mean? That I was a failure.

A year later, after college, I signed up in three freelancing websites, Freelancer, Upwork, and Fiverr. I sent bids to jobs in Freelancer, sent proposals in Upwork, created gigs in Fiverr, but landed no client.

Three months later, an Upwork email.

What it contained was just another heartbreak. My account had been suspended due to sending many proposals without landing any client.


That is when I realized that something was seriously wrong. I did not have some of the best practices that were ideal for a freelance writer.

Best Practices for Freelance Writers

Despite everything that happened, I am here as the founder of Affordany, believing that everyone can afford anything through freelance writing.

best practices for freelancers - stronger

You can also have that dream lifestyle you are yarning for.

I did not know how I could have made it. I even had no hopes that someone will ever trust me as their writer.

Its not like I am bragging, but I am a finance writer of a certain lending farm in Australia, yet I never learned anything about finance.

But I have read quite some articles on the same.

I hit that jackpot after I was taught the best practices that guide freelance writers.

1. Identify your productive time and manage your time

Time is very important in freelance writing.

Of course, no boss will be monitoring every move you make, but when is the best time for you to work? You are the time clock.

The demand for writers is high, and at the same time, the number of individuals flocking into the industry is exploding.

Everyone wants to have a share of the same bread.

Sometimes you’ll have to leave your bed early and sleep late to find your way to the bread.

best practices for freelancers- time

To manage your time well, you need to figure the best time or hour you can write -in the morning, afternoon, or evening.

This will help you to work at your optimum best. Don’t just leave things to chance.

You have to focus your time on the highest manner of productivity. 

Kevin Daum 

After identifying your productive time, you need to adopt some of the best time management strategies for you to be more productive.

2. Never stop learning

If someone welcomed you in freelance writing by telling you that there is no experience or knowledge required, then he lied to you.

Forget that they said it.

Learning is one thing that I will always remind you to consider because. This is the best practice a freelance writer must adopt.

I managed to become the current me by connecting with writing groups and attending writing conventions. Sometimes webinars.

I took several courses and talked to experienced freelance writers and some content creatives.

I found out that exposing myself to clients, not necessarily their offices, but the writing industry is worth sending proposals on bidding sites.

A free mini-course can do the trick, but investing in a full course is an investment you will never regret.

3. Familiarize with technology

Ok, this is for beginners, but the logic is the same for experienced freelancers.

Embrace technology, and you will find yourself surrounded by opportunities. This is according to Freelance Union. Technology influences the efficiency of working remotely, and that is precisely what you will be doing. You will rarely meet physically with most clients.

best practices for freelancers - Technology

You will be managing emails and uploading files online. Therefore if you are not familiar with how this works, then you will find it hard to submit your work for payment.

Freelance writers who struggle with technology are at risk of being left behind.

If you are working with a team of other writers and you are not conversant with tech and its changes, they will be forced to stop working to address your queries.

What does that mean?

It means that you reduce productivity among your workforce for the time they spent to troubleshoot your queries.

4. Set up a workspace and create a focused environment

Saying this does not mean that you must have a private office.

Strive to create a dedicated workspace with all the materials and necessary resources you will be using.

While there might not be coworkers stopping your workplace or any sort of supervision, trust me, you’ll face a lot of distractions.

Work on minimizing distractions like notifications from emails and social media at scheduled working hours.

Politely respond, I can’t answer I am working.

I suggest using apps like Freedom to block notifications from social media temporarily.

5. Target the right clients

Successful writers only focus on landing clients who fit in the services they offer.

Applying to jobs in your niche can be a tremendous productivity booster.

best practices for freelancers - right clients

Apply to jobs from clients who need what you offer to cut down on time required to market your services and endless revisions.

Targetting the right clients and those who pay well will help you meet your revenue needs. If you are finding it hard to land clients, check out this guide.

6. Be an offensive freelance writer

You will quickly realize that jobs don’t come to you when you become a freelance writer. It will take time before you start getting invites to jobs from clients – you’ll have to hunt them down.

The habit of promoting your services continuously is one of the best practices freelance writers must adapt.

Remember, you are a brand of your own; therefore, maintain your brand, and develop a marketing strategy by taking advantage of social media.

Social media is a fantastic way of letting people know you do. Start posting testimonials. They could lead to a job.

Final Thoughts

Overworking will cost you fatigue that might ruin your productivity; therefore, getting some rest is vital.

Balance rest and work.

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5 thoughts on “Best Practices for Freelance Writers in 2020”

  1. Hi Kelvin,
    I am glad that you are following. We need to get it right that we can achieve our goals through freelancing
    This can only happen if we get to adapt some of the best habits or else we will be wasting our time and resources.
    You can share this article with your circle.

  2. Hi, I was wondering if I could do sone writing for this website. I do not have any work experience other than tutoring and have a high school degree only.

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