People often ask the question, “Can you reliably make a living freelance writing?”
The answer depends on many factors, and individual client needs.
First, freelance writers must educate clients what freelance writing is.
Some clients equate freelance writers with web designers wanting various languages such as Perl, Drupal, Joomla, building shopping carts, and more, this is programming, not freelance writing.
Other clients may request knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, Adobe Pro, Quark, CRM, and CMS software, to name a few.
Newcomers to freelance writing will find it hard to acquire clients if they are not up to date on the various software programs listed above, and the software clients may be using in their business.
Freelance writers must have a working knowledge of copyright infringement, plagiarism, and the latest FTC rules if they work in the United States.
The quote below posted with permission from Tim McGuinness during a discussion about the question, “Can you reliably make a living freelance writing?”
”As a business that hires writers, you all need to understand the nature of the business models that now exist. When content became universal, it also lowered its value – not to me, but to the ultimate publishers of that content. In retail for example, the norm is to scrape content from other websites – retailers who consume vast amounts of content are not willing to pay much for it. If they can get duplicated content put up for $1 they will, until they get in trouble. What you all also need to understand it that a writer is just a part of a process – content production requires coordination, production management, quality assurance, and delivery mechanisms. These are all fixed costs, thus the writer makes less. There are still boutique projects out there, but increasingly, writing is a commodity job. You make as much as you produce. Sorry for the bad news, but this is the reality of the job now.” ~ Tim McGuinness, Ph.D.
Second, some clients specify work for writers in India, Philippines, and other non-native English countries around the world if you attempt to find jobs on the various job boards, which are content mills and can hurt reputations.
Competing against non-native English countries accepting low wages for assignments, do not quit your day job until you can continue living the lifestyle you are currently living.
It could take decades for you to become an overnight success as a newcomer to freelance writing and establishing a reputation as a quality writer.
Established writers have spent years building their reputation, many while working a day job and writing part-time until their writing could pay for their lifestyle. Established writers have credentials newcomers do not have, and must build by writing.
Building a portfolio of work takes time, hard work, education, writing, and patience.
Call me harsh, pessimistic, or overly critical, I prefer realist learning daily, while working on my PhD from the University of Hard Knocks.
Freelance writers must commit themselves to writing daily, learning new software, applying the rules of perfect grammar and punctuation in their writing to establish themselves as quality writers.
Freelance writers are entrepreneurs who must embody honesty, integrity, and quality along with transparency and authenticity in all they do.
A new form of marketing is building a business platform, networking, and building a following.
Writing is a business! One must spend the time and energy required to grow it into a successful enterprise. There are no short cuts if writers desire acceptance as serious writers of quality.
If you need help making your writing better or have any writing questions, please use my contact form and we will work together making your writing the best it can be.