Being a freelance writer comes with a lot of challenges, including business negotiations and management problems that you may never have considered when you set out on this endeavor. That’s why it’s sometimes wise to turn to other industries for insights on how to handle these technical issues.
Day traders, who are also in business for themselves in a particular way, have a lot to offer freelance writers when it comes to finding assignments and negotiating business. Taking their expertise into account, here are four tips from day traders that can change the way you approach freelance writing.
Business lessons for freelance writers
Think At The Penny Level
Writing rates vary widely depending on the outlet you’re writing for and your experience, but even as a beginning writer, you shouldn’t set your rates too low. Remember that this is still how you’re paying the bills and that self-employment taxes are high. At the same time, you can’t be writing low-quality work for low-tier publications and expect to get rich. You’ve got to find financial balance.
Related: 7 Ways Freelance Writing is Like Acting
This is precisely how millionaire trader Tim Sykes approaches day trading, specifically with penny stocks. Penny stocks actually trade below $5, so the name is slightly misleading, but they’re the kind of stock for which a change in penny quantities could be a big deal.
One big trade Sykes made featured a stock that began at 55 cents and was up to 80 cents the next day and $1.70 shortly thereafter. Those are pennies that matter, and so do the pennies that make up your rate per word.
Set Realistic Goals – But Dream Big
The only way you can make it as a freelance writer is by setting goals, whether that means assessing the amount of work you’re taking and trying to get more projects or just stating a general goal of making more money. The same goes for day trading. You’ll want to set trading goals, like making enough on one stock to invest in two or three new ones, extending your position. If you don’t set goals – in either industry – you’ll never make more money.
Do Your Homework
According to experienced day traders, trading should be boring – “like factory work,” as one site describes it. That’s because a lot of the process is doing your homework and learning the industry.
The same goes for a lot of freelance writing. If you can write about things that interest you, that’s great, but mostly, freelance writing could be boring and repetitive – that’s how you get the most mileage out of your industry knowledge. If you know a lot about a particular sector even if you don’t really like it, you can become an in-demand master writer on that topic, and you’ll have an easy time supplying the content.
Mind Your Emotions
Day traders always advise against getting too excited about the trading process. When your emotions get involved, you risk overinvesting yourself and potentially taking big losses.
As a freelance writer, you should similarly approach the process with your eye on your emotions. If you’re a ghostwriter, don’t expend your excitement on work that won’t appear under your name. Save the stuff you’re interested and passionate about for work where you get a byline – and probably a higher rate.
Day trading may seem very different from freelance writing, but the strategies are very similar. By investing in the value of your work in the way day traders research and invest in trading, you’ll be more successful and make more money. It’s all about control and strategy, skills that too many freelance writers don’t consider when they start out – but don’t worry because it’s never too late to change your approach.
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