Freelance Chronicles – Mad Freelancing Skills | Our Write Side

Beginning a career as a freelance writer is something truly anyone can do. A great opportunity for those who want more personal freedom, all you need is Internet access and a little know-how to get started. Of course, if you want to have a successful career, there are a few skills you must be prepared to exercise.

Passion for Writing

First and foremost, you must love what you do. This is an invaluable skill to have in freelancing, so much so that it may sound absurd to have to mention it. The thing is: You may think you really enjoy writing, but writing for someone else is a different animal all together. The more you truly appreciate the craft, the more versatile you’ll be when it comes to landing gigs and the more resilient you’ll be when it comes to repeating the process.

Passion for Reading

We all know reading and writing go hand-in-hand, but readers with voracious appetites tend to be the very best writers. Your comprehension skills will become one of your greatest assets in freelance writing, allowing you to become a flash expert on any given subject.

Research Capabilities

Wikipedia still isn’t the greatest source of information. However, it is a fantastic starting point. No matter what you’re writing on, even if it’s something you’re well-acquainted with, you must be able to research and properly support the points you make. You’ll find that many clients looking for content (web content, specifically) are looking for it to be SEO– That is: Search Engine Optimized. Usually that means including certain keywords, but it may also require adding pertinent statistics, links, quotes, and more. The more thoroughly you research something, the more trustworthy you look!

Basic Editing

I know many writers get intimidated about editing on their own, but especially when you start out as a private contractor, you’re going to need to be able to do it. Oftentimes, simply reading your work out loud will help you catch the biggest errors. When in doubt, run your piece through a spelling and grammar checker. There are dozens of them available online for free; simply choose the one that works best for you.

Graceful Failure

Unfortunately, everything you write is not guaranteed to be a hit with your clients, so it’s important to remember to not let it get to you. Every failure is an opportunity to learn and grow, and every piece not purchased is one that can be added to your personal portfolio.

Hopefully you’ve noticed how minimal the requirements are to begin as a freelance writer. There is no degree required, no special training: Just writing. So if you think it’s something you’d like to pursue, stay tuned to this weekly article segment for more tips and tricks on getting started and moving forward.

If you’ve developed some handy skills, or can think of other great tips for beginning freelancers, please feel free to share them in the comments below.

Until then, write hard!