You need to avoid some things when working as a freelance writer. Ideally, freelance writers have a lot of things to do, which often deviate their thoughts from looking at some of the things that ought to be avoided.
Worthy of mention is that freelance writers get to make these mistakes that will be outlined because they are either not aware of them or because they do not how to avoid those mistakes.
That said, it is important that you avoid making those mistakes. If you have made them in the past, now is the best time to take the appropriate steps to reduce the chances of repeating the mistakes.
Mistake #1: Plagiarizing Other’s Work
It is disturbing that in this age and time that content ideas are everywhere, some supposed writers will rather steal or pass off other’s people’s work as theirs. The trend has been on the increase and it doesn’t look like it will soon.
There is nothing as disheartening as stealing someone’s work and going the extra mile to keep using the same as if it were yours.
In case you don’t know, the consequences of plagiarism are many. Among many other things:
- You will start finding it challenging to come up with your own content, and that is because you have been stealing other people’s ideas
- You risk being called out by the owner of the content you plagiarized. That will, in turn, dent your reputation
- If you are a blogger, plagiarism can greatly reduce your blog’s ranking
In all, it is advised that you try as much as you can to come up with content ideas instead of stealing from others. That way, you will escape from the scandals that come with being a plagiarist.
Mistake #2: Overbooking Yourself
There is no denying that freelance writers are in the business to make money. Hence, you may be tempted to overbook yourself because you erroneously believe that more clients equal more money.
In as much as you are trying to make money from your writing skills, it is also important that you be careful about how you go about it.
It is better to work within your limits instead of gathering more projects than necessary, which can cause you to be confused on how to handle them without missing the deadlines.
By reducing the volume of projects you accept, it will be easier for you to have more time to handle the projects effectively. In extension, the projects won’t become a nightmare anymore, just as you will get to complete them in good time to the satisfaction of your clients.
Mistake #3: Working for Friends and Family
So, you have started a new freelancing business, and you are looking for your first clients. It occurred to you that your friends and family will be happy about your new job and will be willing to patronize you.
In as much as that is true, you must understand that you might just be signing up for a “free job” if you decide to concentrate on working for your friends and family.
That is because you may not get the remunerations that come with such tasks. Second, you may end up having them as sworn-enemies when everything doesn’t go as planned.
Many people in your circle will be excited to help you grow your new business but that may take more time than you imagined. At the onset, you may be working for them without pay and at other times, you may be paid below the value you gave.
On your part, you will only be too excited to help them out with their projects without much consideration about the things you ought to benefit too. Likewise, your friends and family may not be in tune with the latest trends and rates in the freelancing industry. Hence, they may underpay you, and you wouldn’t want that to happen, or would you?
Another possible downside that comes with someone you know is that it can be hard to separate your personal life from your business life.
You also need to consider a situation where tension and bad blood is created when you are working for a friend whom you are connected to on Social Media. When you are late in delivering a project, such a friend may see your recent status updates and start enquiring why you are not working to deliver the project before it gets overdue instead of spending all day on Social Media.
To prevent this from happening, it is important that you explain the way you work at the onset. So, if the friend or family that ought to patronize you doesn’t find it favourable, such a person can stop at that moment instead of putting you under pressure.
Mistake #4: Taking On Low-Pay, High-Stress Clients
In as much as you want to get clients to send you writing jobs in exchange for pay, there are some categories of clients that must be avoided.
The first are those clients that have the potential of underpaying you. In the case of such clients, you will be saddled with many projects but the pay is not something you can be proud of.
The second category of clients is the ones that mount pressure on you. Writing is something you can achieve by working at your pace. You also get to prosper as a writer when you are not trying so hard to meet clients’ needs, especially by working under pressure.
Therefore, when you figure that your clients are the types that pay below the base rates and they also tend to pressurize you, the options before you are to:
- Ask for a higher pay
- Ask that you be allowed at your pace or you will have no other option than to discontinue the project
- Stop working for such clients if their conditions of service are not beneficial to you
Don’t Make Mistakes As A Freelance Writer
Freelancing writing can turn out to be the best job for you only if you avoid some of the mistakes made by freelance writers at one point or another.
What are some of the mistakes you have made as a freelance writer? Let me know via the comment section so I can help you overcome them.