Freelance writers are among the few who know just how amazing it can be to work while dressed in pajamas. Although pajama-clad work isn’t the norm, it is one of the perks. If you’re interested in freelance writing, check out our advice for how to make money blogging in 2016:
1. Always say something valuable.
You want to develop a reputation for writing good content that gets results. Remember, you’re most likely ghostwriting on behalf of an individual or a business, so help them say something interesting to their audience—even if you’re not a total expert. Start with a quick Google news search to see what’s up in the industry lately and develop a viewpoint. The ability to add to an ongoing industry conversation makes your writing valuable.
2. Don’t limit yourself.
Be open to diverse clientele and different subjects. If you’re passionate about a subject, that’s great! But be open to subjects that you may even find boring. Even the less-exciting industries need good content. If you can write widely, you’ll be in business more often.
3. Block out time for work.
Figure out when you are most productive and don’t do anything but write during that time. Shut the door and commit to writing for a set time. Your most productive writing time might be 3 p.m. or 3 a.m., but stick to your set time each day (or weekend). Fellow writer W.H. Auden had the right idea when he said, “Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone / Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone.”
4. Stick to the facts.
You can write about industries you’re not an expert in, but you must know how to use (and where to find) authoritative sources. You probably aren’t writing for an audience of professors with red pens, but your clients and their audiences will have critical eyes.
5. Learn to love criticism.
In freelance writing, there will always be some subjective evaluation of your work. And harsh criticism hurts sometimes—there’s no doubt about that. But if you can not take it personally (which is a hard-earned skill) and take away a useful lesson from each critical comment, you’ll become a better writer and get more clients. You’ll encounter customers who love your work and those who reject it. Don’t let either go to your head.
Freelance writing and blogging can be a rewarding career path, both intellectually and financially. As you grow your brand and your reputation, demand for your work will grow, too. Enjoy the freedom that comes with a blossoming writing career.