Prepare To Be A Freelance Writer
Today we get into the substance of the series 3 Steps To Becoming A Freelance Writer by looking at the subject, Prepare To Become A Freelance Writer.
Before you begin to look for freelance writing jobs you should make sure that you are prepared for success. This is true both in a psychological and technical sense. Stated simply, you need to be a good writer and you need to know that you are a good writer.
Believe in Yourself
The first question you must ask yourself when preparing to become a freelance writer is simple, “Do I believe in myself?” Do you believe that you are capable of becoming a successful freelance writer?
If the answer is yes then you are ready to move on. If the answer is no then you need to consider what your lack of faith is based upon, because, without belief, you are likely to prevent yourself from succeeding.
The simple fact is this: if you want to succeed as a freelance writer then you need to help yourself rather than hinder yourself. A lack of belief in your abilities will be obvious for prospective clients to see. If on the other hand, you exude confidence, their perception of your abilities will be enhanced.
It is better to be an average writer with a solid belief in your success than a great writer consumed with self-doubt. Believe that you can succeed and you are far more likely to.
Learn to Write
If you want to be a successful freelance writer you must be a good writer. That should be obvious, but there are a lot of people who do not fully appreciate the importance of improving their writing skills.
Becoming a better writer is just as important as learning to find prospective clients or negotiate rates effectively. If you are a good writer, everything becomes simpler.
I encourage you to study and learn the principles of effective writing, and more specifically, writing for the web. The good news is that effective online writing relies upon a set of straightforward rules supported by just one principle: keep it simple. If you put no more time into learning how to become a freelance writer then remember that.
If you want to improve your writing and want to know where to start, I recommend that you start with the Yahoo! Style Guide. It is essential and taught me most of what I know about online content writing. Also, I have found books on writing by Bob Bly to be very useful.
Consider Your Expertise
One of the biggest perceived issues that face freelance writers is their area of “expertise.” I get a lot of people emailing me with this problem — they desperately want to become a freelance writer but feel that they do not know enough about a specific topic to offer value.
The first thing I would say is that everyone knows more about something than most. If I am in a room with all my friends I can point to each one and name at least one thing they know more about than me. John knows more about cars. Susan knows more about medicine. Kim knows more about teaching. Dan knows more about law. Vicky knows more a fundraising. Sarah knows more about horses. Tom knows more about marketing. I could go on but I am sure you get the message.
My point is this; you do have value to offer on an unlimited number of topics. Take a moment to consider where your expertise lies. This becomes even more obvious when you consider that the vast majority of people interested in learning more about a certain topic are complete beginners. You only need to have an intermediate understanding of a topic to be well-qualified to teach the majority of the market. I am certain that you are expert enough in plenty of fields to offer value.
Keep an Open Mind
Following from the previous point, I would advise you to be open minded concerning which topics you are able to write about, especially when you are just getting started. I would advise you to take anything you can find that pays a decent rate and offers good prospects in terms of exposure.
One thing you will quickly discover is that you learn a huge amount about something when you write about it. That should be obvious to you but many do not fully appreciate it. If you can get your foot in the door in a market and start building up a reputation, you will soon find that your value grows and you can soon on to bigger opportunities.
Be sure that you believe in your ability as a freelance writer as well as in your ability to learn and grow as a writer. Commit to developing your skills as a writer.
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