Whether you had a steady stream of writing gigs or a tiny trickle, you undoubtedly learned some lessons on what to do—and not to do—as a freelance writer in 2015. While we have yet to celebrate Christmas, it’s never too early to think about creating a better (new) year.
As you write your way into 2016, here are some New Year’s resolutions for you, the freelance writer, that will help you create a freelance writing career you’ll love.
New Year’s resolutions for freelance writers
Reach out to former clients.
You had a lot of fun writing that piece for a media outlet on what guys really think. But it doesn’t have to be a one-story deal. Reach out to your former editor to see if you can write for him again. Don’t assume that he’ll automatically assign you a story, though. Have a few pitches ready when you make contact to ensure you’ll get hired again.
Be strategic in your search.
Truth be told, your method for landing new jobs may have been a mélange of word of mouth references and a little bit of luck. For the new year, try to be more strategic in your job search by targeting media outlets you’d really like to work for—then contact them to see if they are currently hiring freelancers. You can also use job search boards, but target the ones that offer freelance writing jobs (like FlexJobs), so that you use your time wisely.
Charge the right rates.
You absolutely love researching and writing your articles. Charging clients? Maybe not so much. That might explain why you tend to undercharge your clients for the articles and content you produce. The thing is, if you don’t charge what your work is worth, then it can be harder to switch up the rates, especially if you’ve been working with a set clientele who are used to your bargain basement rates. Look online to see what other freelancer writers are making, and then make it a point to ask for an amount in the same range.
Take a class.
Even if you’ve been a magazine writer for eons, it can always help to learn something new. So consider taking an online class or one at your local community college to make sure your writing is on point and, more importantly, current with today’s style and lingo. The last thing you want is for you (and your writing) to become stagnant, which can impede your chances for landing plum writing assignments.
You know that you hit Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest when you get a little writer’s block. Now, make all your social media accounts work for you by helping you get offered writing jobs! Create professional FB, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram accounts that focus on your writing and advertise your specific specialty. Update your LinkedIn profile, too, since recruiters and hiring managers often scour the site looking for new talent.
There are many ways you can create the freelance writing career that you want. Simply decide how you’d like it to be, then write your way to success.
This post was written by Jennifer Parris, career writer at FlexJobs, the award-winning site for telecommuting and flexible job listings. FlexJobs lists thousands of pre-screened, legitimate, and professional-level work-from-home jobs and other types of flexibility like part-time positions, freelancing, and flexible schedules. Jennifer provides career and job search advice through the FlexJobs Blog and social media. Learn more at www.FlexJobs.com.