Freelance writing is among the most rewarding job paths you can embark upon at the moment. Not to mention that in a digital landscape where content is increasingly important, there is significant demand for those who can consistently produce creative, accurate, and informative copy. The opportunities are diverse, too. Video scripting, blog posts, public relations (PR) releases, and technical documents are among the key job roles of the current freelance writing marketplace. However, to make the most of these opportunities, you need to be a productive contributor. One of the most effective ways to do this is through consistent commitment to improving your skillset. Focusing on some key areas of development can ensure your clients consider you as an essential component for their ongoing success. So, let’s take a look at some of the skills you should brush up on as a freelancer in 2022.
Remote working is fast becoming part of the mainstream. While remote working and freelance writing go hand-in-hand, the expectations of clients are changing. In many cases, you will be expected to work to some extent within the company’s remote practices. This is important to understand, as it ties in with how your work fits into the structure of your clients’ wider projects. As such, you need to brush up on your remote working skills.
To start with, using communications software like Zoom and Skype are just the absolute basics of remote working tools you should be proficient in. You need to explore the technology that makes collaborations between you and other members of your clients’ teams more effective.
Get to grips with the various project management software like Asana or Microsoft Teams. Particularly how producing, sharing, and editing documents are integrated into these platforms. Gaining some training on virtual whiteboard software can also be helpful if you are part of the group ideation process.
Alongside functionally using remote software, you also need to learn about what aspects can highlight you as a professional contributor. You may have created a productive writing environment at home, but you also need to explore what environments are suitable for your video calls and meetings. Review your background. A neutral background can limit distractions. As well as this, adjust your lighting so clients can see you more clearly.
Many of the key methods to help organizations get heard over the noise of a bustling marketplace. Or raise their rankings in search engines are dependent upon content creation. This is a massive opportunity for skilled freelance writers.
However, this also means it is in your best interest to gain a more thorough and holistic understanding of the methods involved. Learn about the components that make a digital marketing strategy successful. Not just the content you’re writing. But also how this can be made more suitable for the platform it’s being hosted on or support other forms of marketing media. When you develop knowledge of where your contributions fit into the bigger picture, you can apply this to make your work more relevant, functional, and valuable.
Your marketing understanding shouldn’t just be directed toward your clients’ interests, though. Freelance writers are in demand, but there’s a lot of competition out there. You need to brush up on your marketing skills to make sure you’re able to gain the attention of clients. This includes developing an effective social media strategy, creating relevant and agile portfolios, and knowing how to identify new potential clients.
As a freelance writer, you will likely be working with a variety of stakeholders that have different needs and challenges. This isn’t just about the clients you work with, but also the audiences who consume your content. As such, one of the areas you should upskill in is your approach to making your work accessible to everybody.
Online accessibility is a popular topic for discussion at the moment. After all, the internet is a key form of communication, commerce, and education; everyone must have equal access to it. The result being there is now a wide range of tools and information related to making digital content inclusive.
Take the time to learn about website and content design choices to ensure those living with visual impairments and other reading challenges can engage with your materials. Even simple contrast adjustments can make a difference. If you’re inputting content directly into a content management system (CMS), educate yourself on using the plug-ins to scan for web accessibility.
However, accessibility in content also means utilizing inclusive language. You should focus part of your upskilling process on improving the readability of your content for all audiences. Simplifying your writing style doesn’t just result in accessibility for those of various reading comprehension levels. It also means those using language translation tools can also get a more accurate interpretation of your copy.
We live in an increasingly digitally reliant world. As such, many of the technical and soft skills in demand across all industries revolve around these aspects. Basic digital literacy surrounding the use of multiple types of devices and browsers is among the minimum expectations of clients for their freelancers. While a core understanding of communication platforms and common software applications is essential to even function as a writer in digital spaces. But you can be a more valuable prospect if you take these skills further.
It may not be your first consideration, but coding and front-end web design can be valuable skills for contemporary freelance writers. This skill gives you more freedom to engage with a wider range of projects and clients. Especially when businesses want to involve you to position content directly onto their website.
From a practical perspective, learning to code means you can easily adjust your content to suit online branding. But it also empowers you to be more creative. You can plan your content — text, images, and layout among others — from the outset for a more holistically effective flow. It also means you can stay ahead of the curve as technical skills become a more important part of the freelancing landscape.
As well as this, work on brushing up on troubleshooting the tools you use in your day-to-day work. Few things are more frustrating than a live pitch being derailed by glitchy visuals or being unable to file your copy on time due to connectivity issues. Technology isn’t something you should passively engage with. If you commit to learning about how these tools work, you can better understand the potential problems and how to mitigate them.
Continue Reading: How to Find New Copywriting Leads in 2022
Are you a freelancer in 2022?
Your freelance writing skills are in demand at the moment. However, just because you’re a great writer, this doesn’t mean you should stop learning. Educating yourself on better remote working practices and marketing methods can help make you a more relevant contributor in 2022. While learning about online accessibility and technical literacy is key to serving a wider range of needs. Aside from making you more attractive to clients, gaining these skills can make your freelance career more interesting and personally fulfilling.