Originally this post was to have been called “Are the Freelance Writing Blogs Telling You Stuff You Already Know?” so we could have a big discussion about how redundant and unoriginal we all are. Let’s face it, every freelance writing blogger says the same thing, we just use different words. We all want to convince you we’re the best in order to get your traffic, but most of all have the same background, got the same sort of start and now we’re each competing to give you information you already know.
None of you are dumb. You don’t need hand holding and you don’t really need wake up calls. Bloggers like to be very dramatic with our headlines to suck you in and makes you feel as if you don’t know any better…but you do know better, don’t you?
Most things discussed on this and other freelance writing blogs are common sense. Perhaps our posts serve as reminders or nags, but deep in the back of your mind, you know this stuff. Maybe you don’t want to admit some of us are right on about things like rates and clients because you don’t want to step out of your comfort zones. Or maybe you’re just happy in your situation and think to youself, “ho hum, she’s going off about raising rates again.” In any event, I’m not bringing you anything new, and really, neither is anyone else.
This is no big reveal.
Top 10 Things Freelance Writing Blogs Tell You That You Already Know
Check out this list and tell us if there’s anything here you didn’t already know.
1. Freelance Writing is a Business
Yawn. How many posts have you seen in the past year discussing how freelance writing is a business and you need to make grown up business decisions. You don’t need us to tell you to set your rates with things like taxes, overhead and medical expenses in mind, in addition to the cost of the project, because everyone knows this. Perhaps it’s not something everyone does, or even thinks about, but everyone knows to ensure the bottom line makes sense. Now, the one thing we can’t tell you is how to run your business because everyone’s situations are different. However, every decision a freelance writer makes is a business decision.
2. You Can Charge More
You don’t need freelance writing bloggers to tell you can earn more money because you already know. You see it in the job ads and you read the heated exchanges on blogs and in discussion forums. You know you can charge more than what you earn now (whatever that is ) but whether you do so or not is entirely up to you.
3. By Charging More You Get to Work Less
Work smarter, not harder…isn’t that what we tell you? The more you charge, the less you work. You can work ten hours at $15 per hour or 6 hours at $50 per hour. Charging more can mean weekends off and nights free. Whether you’re starting low to get your foot in the door, or because you simply like the work you’re doing now, you know that when you’re ready you can request a raise or find higher paying clients.
4. There Are Plenty of People Who Would Like to Take Advantage of You
Blah, blah, blah. Don’t work for free, don’t work for $1, don’t pay someone for a job. Really, is this something you need us to tell you?
5. With Flexibility Comes Responsibility
We all enjoy being able to set our own hours and make our own rules. However, our businesses won’t succeed if we spend more time enjoying the flexibility part and not enough time handling the responsibility part. Every writer knows when they flake on a client it’s irresponsible, even if they used the best excuse in the world. We all know when we blow off deadlines or what will happen if we don’t work in favor of having fun. You don’t need me to tell you to be a responsible writer, you know you’ll lose work and damage your reputation if you don’t remember, first and foremost, this is a job.
6. Use Social Media
Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, forums and other social media tools all have purposes beyond the obvious. How can you not know this? It’s written everywhere–even the news and weather channels are getting involved. Social media helps to grow a business and client base. You may be resisting it for any number of reasons, but there is no way you don’t know that so many of us find social media useful.
7. Always Make a Good First Impression
I shouldn’t even have to blurb this puppy. Who lands the gig – the slovenly fool or the person who takes the time to research the business, know the subject matter and make the best presentation? Every time I talk about proofreading I get a handful of snarky remarks from the peanut gallery from folks who find typos on my blog posts. My blog isn’t looking for a job, people, you are…and you don’t need for me to tell you that it’s the first impression that matters the most.
8. If it Looks Too Good to Be True it Probably Is
You know those ads featuring lots of exclamation points promising $25,000 per month writing for the web just aren’t true. Even the people who apply for these gigs know they’re not true. If those claims were true, don’t you think more of us were doing it?
9. You’re Going to Be Rejected
There’s no way you can’t know writers are always rejected. You probably also know most of the time rejection doesn’t have as much to do with talent as it does fit. If you’re not the right fit for a magazine or website, they won’t accept your writing. It hurts, but seasoned writers brush themselves off and move on. But you don’t need me to tell you that, because you already know, right?
10. A Successful Freelance Writing Career Doesn’t Happen Overnight
Very few freelance writers land their first gigs or even earn enough to leave their day jobs in the first few months. It takes time for a career to develop and for clients to trust you enough to give steady work and referrals. Most aspiring freelance writers know this or else they would quit their jobs first and then find work, instead of the other way around.
What are some of the things you don’t need us to tell you? What did you already know before entering into freelance writing?