This post is NOT about your writing ability.
Here’s the thing… if you’re not earning the income you want from freelance writing, it’s probably not because you lack the writing skills. Very unlikely.
Chances are, it’s because you’re lacking the crucial business skills.
Based on personal experience as a writer, and after talking to other freelance writers, it’s clear that it’s often business principles (or lack of) that cap a writer’s earning potential.
With that said, this post will cover common business mistakes that limit freelance writers.
Avoid these mistakes, and you’ll stand a good chance of succeeding in the business of freelance writing.
1. Chasing Low-Fee Writing Gigs
Still bidding for jobs against hundreds of other writers (who will work for peanuts)?
Well, you’ll soon get burned out and discouraged with that approach.
As a quick side note, I think bidding sites (elance) are a good way to get started in the freelance business, but they shouldn’t be the your primary source of income.
Instead, get a few writing gigs under your belt to use as leverage when approaching potential clients from other sources (the direct approach is best).
2. Lack of Marketing
Unless you’re marketing yourself and your business, you’ll never generate the income needed to succeed.
There are dozens of ways to market your business, and it should be a daily practice. You should always be filling your pipeline with potential clients. Here are 50 ways to market your freelance writing business.
3. Failing To Follow Up
If I could give you just one tip, it would be this: follow up religiously.
Thirty minutes a day of follow-up (email, phone, social media) will have a tremendous impact on your monthly income.
No matter how long you’ve been in the business, you have clients that you could contact. These clients already know you, trust you (if you did a good job), but have probably forgotten about you.
You’re essentially invisible. But one call or email will change that and can quickly lead to more income.
4. Failing to Increase Your Writing Rates
Every business increases it’s rates over time, but many writers forget or ignore this business principle.
In fact, many writers are apprehensive about telling current clients about a rate-bump. Here’s the thing, if you don’t increase your rates, you’re taking a pay cut.
After all, you have a host of expenses which will increase each year (utilities, office supplies, hosting fees and so on). If you don’t increase your rates, you are sinking your own business.
It’s Not All About Writing Ability
The message of this blog post is clear…
As a freelance writer, I assume you already have the writing ability needed to succeed. However, that alone will not build a profitable business. You must also develop and apply the business skills.
See how you stack up against the 4 freelance writing mistakes, and take action to build your business.