Freelance writing has seen a huge uptick in popularity over the last few years. In 2017, there were over 57 million freelance writers in the U.S., and that number has grown thanks to advancements in technology and the rise of the gig economy. A large part of being a successful freelancer is honing your craft. That requires constant work and skill development if you want to stay relevant and competitive. Writing is only one part of perfecting your craft. You also need to be well-versed in research, self-discipline, marketing, and even cybersecurity to protect yourself and your clients. Whether you’ve been making a living as a freelance writer for years or just dipping your toe into the gig economy, it’s crucial to label yourself as a lifelong learner to keep sharpening your skills and perfecting your craft.
Not sure how to do that? We’ve got a few tips that will help you along the way.
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Become a Better Writer
This might seem a little obvious, but the number one thing you can do to perfect your craft as a freelancer is to keep getting better. If you’ve been writing for years, you should be on a completely different level today than when you started. Your work will become stagnant and irrelevant if you’re not consistently improving.
Don’t just go through your daily assignments and deadlines and write the bare minimum. Instead, choose to write “outside” of the scope of your assignments. Write on specific niches or genres you enjoy, and you’ll develop a broader use of language while sparking your creativity. You can also become a better writer by
- Reading and editing other people’s work
- Focusing on using powerful imagery in your work
- Varying sentence length
- Learning new techniques
Remember why you started writing in the first place. You might be naturally skilled, but chances are you had an underlying passion for it, and that’s what caused your first clients to trust you. It’s crucial to maintain that passion, and working to constantly become a better writer will make it possible.
Focus On Cybersecurity
When you’re a freelancer, you’re essentially working as your own brand and business. So, you’re automatically responsible for things like,
- Customer service
You’re also in charge of things that you probably never expected you’d have to worry about, like cybersecurity. The great thing about freelancing is it can be done from anywhere. You can work out of your home, the local park, or your favorite coffee shop. Anywhere with a strong Wi-Fi connection can make for an effective office. If you do most of your work on your laptop, you need it for everything from writing to interacting with your clients. However, keeping yourself and your clients safe from cyber threats should be a top priority, or it could end your career immediately.
Unfortunately, no one is safe from cyber threats. Even major corporations have fallen victim to professional hackers over the years. However, you can do things to protect yourself from common threats, including
- Password attacks
It requires a little time, energy, and investing in the right tools to protect yourself and your clients. However, when your career depends on security, it’s well worth it. Make sure you’re utilizing some (or all) of the following tools to protect your information and your client’s data:
- A password manager
- A multi-factor authentication tool to log into your device
- VPNs (especially if you’re working away from home)
- Encrypted storage
- Anti-theft protection
- Backup storage
By taking cyber threats seriously and putting preventative measures in place, you’ll have peace of mind about your work and your future, and you can even use it as a marketing approach to make your clients feel safe while working with you.
Be Open to Feedback
While it’s important to keep writing so you can grow and improve, you won’t know which areas to focus on without listening to feedback from your existing clients. Feedback isn’t always easy to hear, but it’s important to understand that it doesn’t mean a client isn’t happy with your work.
In fact, being open to feedback and fine-tuning your writing is a great way to avoid rejection in the future.
Consider asking for customer reviews from some of your most trusted clients. Follow up with an email once you’ve completed the work. Have a review system in place. Post positive remarks on your website and social media. Most importantly, pay attention to the consistent feedback you’re getting. You’ll quickly be able to notice any patterns (positive or negative) and can adjust your process as needed.
Because the freelance writing field is becoming so saturated, it’s more important than ever to stand out by perfecting your craft. Keep these ideas in mind as you continue to grow and move forward in your career, and you can enjoy more longevity and success for years to come.