“This is not for you!”
You must have heard someone say this to you at any given point.
Especially if you want to become a freelance writer!
I had my own share of dejection and disbelief.
When I started my journey as a freelancer, I realized freelancing is not suitable for everyone.
When you are your own boss, many things can go wrong. And it is up to you how you handle difficult situations.
I believe every individual is different and so are their challenges. What may be a difficulty for me might not be one for you. And vice versa.
So I have condensed all the principles and ethics that you should have to be a freelance writer. Not necessarily you will find them all lacking in you but you must imbibe each and every value mentioned to become a successful freelance writer.
Ethic #1: Perseverance
Is it in you to face rejections, fall down and still get up to fight for more?
Perseverance lets the half battle won.
Every time there is an obstacle like a writer’s rut, most writers have the tendency to stop trying. They believe it is not in their capacity to write. They accept lies like “I am not born for this” or “I am not good enough”.
But the truth is far from this. The ‘keep on trying’ mentality makes the whole difference between success and failure.
If you are like 90% of people who stops dead when they see an obstacle, freelance writing is not for you, my friend.
However, you can acquire this trait with a little brainwashing.
Every morning when you wake up, just repeat these 4 words in front of a mirror happily- I am a success. Keep practicing and in a few weeks time, you will see a huge shift in your thinking process.
Remember, perseverance is not only vital for success as a freelance writer but in any career field.
Ethic #2: Faith in yourself
It is an age-old lesson that we have been taught since childhood- Having faith in yourself.
You must believe in yourself that you are capable of finishing the tasks at hand. Writers get stuck from time to time and that is absolutely normal.
Sometimes you might not be confident enough to write, but you should take the plunge anyway. Because only you can write. And very soon people will start appreciating your work.
This goes hand in hand with Perseverance. More you have faith in your abilities, more you can persevere effortlessly.
Have faith and keep doing your good work.
Ethic #3: English Knowledge
Let me be absolutely clear here.
If you wish to be an English writer, you need to have a good grasp of the English language. You cannot study English for 1 year and say that you want to be a writer. It is not possible.
You need to have a strong understanding of the English language with in-depth knowledge of grammar and basics.
That being said, you don’t have to be a native English speaker to become a successful writer. You just need good command over the language.
In my case, English has been my second language. But I have studied English since kindergarten and my medium of the study was English throughout. So learning a few tricks here and there was enough for me.
You might need to work harder than me. Or less.
Whatever your situation is, it should not let you down if your English is good enough.
Ethic #4: Improve Writing Skills
Now that you have achieved mastery in English basics, you should work hard on your writing skills. This is very important for any writer to achieve long term success.
The easiest way to improve is by writing every day.
Daily Writing Tips is a great resource for learning the basics of writing in the digital platform.
Copyblogger is another awesome site for strategies to create effective content. They focus more on advanced content marketing solutions.
Read one article every day and implement the strategies in your work. You are sure to succeed in no time.
P.S. That is how I learned as well.
Ethic #5: Hungry for Quality Work
When you are a part of the creative world, you must strive to produce quality content.
Quality content comes from the quality assignments you get from your clients.
You are only what your clients are. So never take projects that do not allow to fulfill your potential as a writer.
Whenever you see a work that does not excites you, politely say ‘No’ and ask for high standard projects.
Never take projects that do not fulfill your soul. Unless that pays your bills.
Ethic #6: Know your penny-worth
Similar to ethic #5, you must know your value.
As a writer, many have pretty low self-esteem on how much to charge per word or per article. It is easy to be delusional.
Trust me you are not alone in this. But if you keep on working with low paying clients, you will get low-quality assignments. This reduces your confidence as a writer as well.
Do proper research on what your value as a freelance writer is. Research on how much your peers are charging in your niche. Then set a rate which you can negotiate with your clients.
Do not stoop low if the client seems uninterested to pay your rate. Remember the right client will pay what you deserve to be paid.
Ethic #7: Produce Quality Content
As a writer, your biggest challenge initially would be to create a portfolio and pitch.
Do thorough research on each and every article you write. Make it engaging. Make it conversational. Understand your client’s and reader’s need from you.
And write accordingly.
In the beginning, your motto should be to create an awesome portfolio and pitch. Rinse and repeat.
The Big Question
You might wonder how to refuse a low-quality, low-paying job if it comes your way when all you have is nothing to work on? Good question!
First of all, ask these questions to yourself.
- Are you are financially broke and have to pay bills?
- Does the project excite you?
- Do you want to add experience in your portfolio?
If you answer Yes to anyone, go for the gig.
Note: If boring and low-paying gigs start appearing to you more frequently, then just stop accepting them.
Now that your 7 ethics are in place, get serious about freelancing as it is a serious business.
Do you want to know more about freelancing? Or confused about how to start? Then check out What is Freelancing and you can start earning from home.
So there you go- 7 ethics to become a successful freelance writer.
And if you are a business owner, check out why you might need a copywriter.