“Do I ever need any specific skills to become a freelance writer other than writing skills?” If you think you are a fairly prolific writer, pursuing a freelance writing career is an exciting prospect. You are your own boss and have the freedom and flexibility to choose your clients and working hours. It is an opportunity to expand your horizons yet do what you are comfortable with. You can challenge yourself and build your reputation over the years. The best part is that you need not be confined to only a few niches, which is likely to happen if you work full time with a company.
While there are so many upsides to becoming a freelance writer, you’ll be required to have the very basic technical commons sense, otherwise you may struggle at times. Since you work online, you may come across glitches while using the internet or simply face issues with your devices. There are chances of losing out on productivity due to the lack of researching skills. Cybersecurity is another one that you may need to be conscious of. Technology concerns run high because it’s not like you have an IT team to guide you and resolve issues. Here are some of the basic points that you may want to remember to become a freelance writer.
Know The Right Authority Sites
Freelance writers need to do a lot of research to gather facts, data, and information that are needed for writing an article. It is said by several sources that there are currently over 1 million freelance writers worldwide. The job has become dramatically accessible to many as almost any information can be found by Googling. The flip side of it is, you need to provide valid information, i.e. you can joke, you can say anything in any style you want, but you cannot tell users wrong information while the truth is available based on the fact elsewhere. You may have experienced where you would find two different sets of data from two different sites that contradict each other.
By using a website authority checker such as ahrefs can help you determine if the information you get is from a reliable source rather than a random site. There are quality sites in each niche that you can trust for accurate and verified information. Double-check the statistics by going through the reference sites. Quality sites are also secure, so stick to them and steer clear of lesser-known sources. Avoid clicking suspicious links and accepting cookies on such sites.
Try Several Online Word Processors
As a writer, you will need to research, take notes, write, and edit documents every day. It happens in bulk, making it hard to handle everything manually. If you’ve been using hardware-based apps such as MS Word, Mac Pages or Notes for that purpose, you may want to consider some cloud-based word processing documents that you can log on from anywhere in the world and sync the contents between devices. The popular ones include;
These apps let you organize your stuff and save them securely, allowing you to write and edit without worrying about losing your drafts or alternative versions. You can access any file easily at a later stage, all without sifting through your system. You can use just one of them or multiple apps for different purposes, for example, use Evernote for taking notes, Grammarly to check your spelling and grammar, and Google Docs to write up the final draft.
Have Your Emails In Place
Managing mails is one of the biggest challenges that most freelance writers come across. You have multiple emails from different clients to handle every day, and the mailbox starts brimming over time. As a rule of thumb, you must have a separate work mail account. It will ensure that you don’t have to struggle to segregate personal mails from work emails, making life a lot simpler.
Here are some tips to manage your daily work emails;
- Use Gmail, if you haven’t already. It’s still just a free email but Gmail seems to be generally more accepted by professionals compared to Hotmail. This article may help you understand.
- If you are a Gmail user, you know it offers a host of features like starred mails and snoozed emails. But they may not necessarily help you organize better. Turn the features off so that you can simply find the email you’re looking for by keyword search.
- If you ever want to save a mail for further reference, convert it into PDF format and you are good to go. You can check https://setapp.com/how-to/how-to-save-an-email-as-a-pdf to understand the steps.
- Decluttering your mailbox is crucial. Simply delete the unnecessary ones and clear the trash often.
Quality-Check Of Your Work
Even if you are a great writer, you know sometimes it seems like you're carrying out a complex task, especially when you're writing the topic that you're not most familiar with. So how can you to stay on top of quality for every single piece you create?
After all, people who pay for work expect only the best. You will need to ensure it by doing quality checks for your work. Relying only on your skill and experience isn’t the best thing to do because even the most seasoned professionals can make errors. The best thing to do is to use online tools for quality checks, such as
- Editing docs, mentioned earlier, that enable you to check spelling and grammar.
- Keyword density checker
- Plagiarism checker to validate the authenticity of the write-ups.
Use a Productivity App
Successful freelance professionals aspire to do more with less. It is possible only if you excel with your productivity levels. However, acing your productivity gets challenging when you have to handle multiple clients and tasks daily. Replying to emails and answering phone calls can waste your time. Not to mention, there are distractions when you work from home. Moreover, you may feel tempted to browse random sites and social media while at work.
Using a productivity app can help you stay a step ahead of all these challenges. It lets you track your tasks and time, so you can get a complete view of everything at the end of the day. You can even manage calendars and timelines to ensure that you never forget or miss a deadline.
ToDoList is a popular productivity app that automates multi-tasks such as;
- Plan and organize your writing schedules
- Accounting tasks (keeps your books, receipts, and invoices)
- Organize appointments, meetings, and travels
- Tracks marketing campaigns (useful when advertising your writing service)
Set reminders through the app for extra help. Taking regular breaks is also a good idea if you want to keep your productivity on track.