Freelancing is trendy these days and everyone seems to be jumping into it.
In as much as freelancing gives a “work-from-home” freedom and serves as a decent income source, venturing into it, or better still, making a decent living off of it, can be quite difficult.
After strictly abiding by the tips from top platforms with solid advice for freelancers, platforms like Writers In Charge, Make A Living Writing, etc, I was able to gain rapid knowledge and experience on the field.
Hence, as a newbie freelancer, or as a freelancer striving to escape low rates, below are 3 important tips you should implement.
I learned the below tips from landing my first freelancing gigs, that’s to say, I know exactly how it feels to be a newbie in the field.
1. Quality is everything
When I was still a newbie, I always thought writing longer posts is what’s important.
Many platforms also supported my thoughts as they often emphasized that longer posts attract more social shares and conversions.
As a result of this mindset, I always spend long hours writing, editing and proofreading long articles with thousands of words (my ideal article back then was 1200-1500 words).
I always viewed articles in the range of 800-1000 words as “unresourceful.”
Well, all that changed after I landed a freelance gig.
The article was given to me in this order “Here’s the article topic, write something good about it.” No links. No word count. No super-long instructions.
I was quite excited, though, as it was one of my first hits as a freelancer.
So, of course, I was determined to give it my best shot. I ended the article with 1209 words after spending closely 3-5 hours in researching and crafting the piece.
The article was quite impressive and the client was thrilled. But then, this was the client’s response:
“This is a really nice piece but I will need you to reduce the count to 1000 words from 1200 words.”
Ouch.. that hurt my feelings — 200 words worth of my time and effort had to be trashed.
This helped me uncover the fact that quality is all that matters. Writing needless words and repeating sentences just to make your article longer will only weaken it eventually.
Also, most big publications these days don’t accept articles that exceed 1000 words.
On the other end, however, longer, detailed articles are good too, they do better on search engines. But, never fill your article with fluffs just to boost your SEO.
“Write for the readers, not for the search engines,” as learned from the successful entrepreneur, Neil Patel.
#Key takeaway: Focus on quality and always find ways to present your points in a short, precise and coherent manner. Word count is not necessarily what’s important, article quality is all that matters.
2. Low bid is a sign of low-quality
This is one hurdle every newbie freelancer finds difficult to cross.
Landing your first freelance gig often comes with this overwhelming feeling of excitement. As a result, when it comes to bidding, you always want to stick with the low rate in order to avoid a scenario where a client will lay you off after hearing your rates.
Well, the sad truth is, the more low gigs you settle for as a newbie, the more low gigs you’ll continue to settle for.
This is simply because you’ll find it difficult to summon the courage to request for a higher pay rate.
I remember vividly, my first freelance deal, I was a bit worried to charge high. After deliberating for a while, however, I decided the heck and gave my rates as $50 per article.
To my surprise, the client obliged and we closed the deal right away.
Now, $50 dollars may be pretty small. But then, most newbies charge as low as $10 just to close a deal.
If I had charged $10, I would’ve been short of $40 simply because I lacked confidence.
That was a really good experience, and my rates have shot up afterward.
Am I still closing deals after I decided to stick with the high rates? Sure do. Clients always regard high rates as a sign of good quality services.
#Key takeaway: Steadily improve your writing in order to make it worthwhile. When clients seek for your services, stick with your premium price. Also, build solid social proofs as that’ll rank you higher and also help you to win clients over with less bargaining.
3. Solid writing style is key
As writers, we often seek for ways to captivate readers’ attention with our work; we dig up power words and explore ways to take readers in a rollercoaster kind of emotional ride.
To achieve this aim, most writers, including myself, append some sort of humor to posts in order to enchant the reader.
Well, after working with a client, I realized adding humor to posts isn’t totally what’s important too.
I did a client work and included some humor in it and this was the reply:
“Regarding this article, it’s an excellent write-up… but there are too many exclamation marks and an “I’m excited” kind of feel in it. It makes an article weak by distracting from its main message”
I really thought a little bit of humor within the article will keep the readers glued because the article wasn’t actually the fun type.
Well, now I know better.
With the way almost every individual is struggling with time management, most readers have quite a limited time and if they fail to derive usefulness in your post, regardless of how amusing the post maybe, your post tab can and will be closed.
Start every article bearing in mind the main message you wish to pass across and, never let anything distract readers from that message.
#Key takeaway: Feel free to include humor to your posts, it does help. However, always minimize everything else and prioritize the main message to save your article from being considered “weak.”
Experience surely is the best teacher, and I seemed to have learned the above tips the hard way despite the number of times I’ve read posts addressing similar issues on Writers In Charge.
However, if you take note of and utilize the above tips in your freelance journey, you’ll be more opportune to rock productivity and also stand better chances of closing better freelance deals with your high rates and nothing less.
Have you ever learned any freelance lesson the hard way, that is, from personal experience? Please do share your experience in the comments section below.
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