Freelance writing pitfalls – three things a new freelancer shouldn’t do

Starting any new job can be a worrying time. Switching from a salary to freelancing is exciting and it means you can work from home, but it is inevitably scary and brings with it its own set of risks. To help you as you start out as a freelance writer, we have three initial pitfalls for you to avoid:

Don’t trust anyone (initially)

This sounds a bit harsh but unfortunately the truth is that, particularly on the online job boards, there are scammers out there waiting to take advantage of inexperienced freelancers. The good news is that there a lots of great clients too and once you find these you will develop some strong working relationships. You can avoid being taken for a ride by con artists by:

  • Checking out their online credentials (we recommend Facebook, LinkedIn and company websites)
  • Only submitting one or two short writing pieces before you insist on payment
  • Being aware that anyone offering you lots more money than usual may not be planning to pay it
  • Being tempted away from the security of the online job board systems (more about that in a later post).

Don’t overprice your work (initially)

You may be disappointed by the low levels of pay that some freelance jobs offer. Don’t be too disheartened, there are clients out there who will recognise your skill and pay you a great rate, but you will need to build up a portfolio first. The great thing about initially taking on lower paid jobs is that you will learn to write more quickly to get the money flowing in.

Don’t be fussy about topics (initially)

We all want to write on our favourite subject. For us at Fi Darby Freelance, this is the outdoors. Unfortunately, unless you have skills in a popular niche like marketing or technology, your first freelance writing jobs could well be on a topic that you hadn’t even previously considered.

Don’t turn down a job just because you don’t think you have enough expertise on a subject. There is plenty of online information already out there and often all good research involves is sifting through this. Don’t make the newbies’ mistake of trusting one website, well-rounded and reliable writing comes from freelance writers who have read around and even made contact with experts.

And finally…

Nothing makes you focus as well as a direct relationship between your work levels and your income. Being a freelance writer is great, you can work when you want, where you want and wearing what you want. Be reassured that the style and level of work you are hoping for will eventually be yours. We hope that you will now be equipped to look out for these initial freelance writing pitfalls.

Fi Darby Freelance offer a wide range of blogging, copywriting and editing services. For a friendly chat about your needs, feel free to contact us.

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