How to Become a Great Freelance Technical Writer
Here are 10 helpful and essential things you need to remember about succeeding as a professional freelance writer:
- Set up and maintain a professional work environment. If you are writing for extra side income then you could probably get away with writing at the dining room table. But if you want to succeed as a professional freelance writer, you will need to set up a full office area where you can have peace and quiet and have access to everything you need.
- Research the going pay rates for your particular market niche. It is so easy for freelancers top under value their worth. Make sure you know what the rates are for the work you do and ask to be paid as close to those rates as you can get.
- Educate yourself and learn the skills you need to help get notices by customers. Study the important things you need to know like marketing, negotiation, and communication skills.
- Develop the discipline to focus on tasks and work until things are done. Just because you are working from home does not mean you do not need a schedule. Discipline yourself and set up a schedule to work on, just as if you were at an office desk job somewhere.
- Spend the down time between your jobs in an effective way by researching your next clients, looking at training material, improving your skills, and writing and submitting new proposals for work.
- Treat all your communications like an assignment and use proper grammar, spelling, punctuation and above all be professional at all times when you are dealing with clients or potential customers.
- Build strong helpful and professional relationships with other freelance writers. Share ideas, brainstorm together, get advice and help, and in some cases you could even share customers and work together. Join professional organizations, attend meetings, get further training, and go to workshops and seminars whenever you get time.
- Don’t miss deadlines. You should always deliver on time! Make sure you plan a day or two extra to deal with edits, formatting, and any changes or adjustments the client needs you to make.
- Be firm about being paid on time. Now and then you will get a client who wants to try and get free work or who tries to delay payments. Remember you have the right to protect yourself and get paid for the work you do.
- Ask satisfied clients if they can write reviews, letters of recommendation, or note of endorsement. Communicate with your clients often and be sure to follow up with them after the jobs are done to see if they have other work that they need you to do!