Your friends and family members probably think that your freelance writing business is code for being unemployed.
After all, there are a lot of self-proclaimed freelancers out there, but very few of them have been able to turn their passion for writing into a legitimate business enterprise.
The difference between a freelance writer and a working freelance writer comes down to a number of factors including skill, experience, and just plain luck. But the single most important factor in the success of a freelance writing is an intentional, systematic approach to the hard work of writing.
- Treat it like a business. Writers are initially resistant to the idea of treating their freelance writing business like a business – at least until they realize that starving for one's art isn't nearly as glamorous as it sounds. Forget about what you think you know about the writing life and wrap your head around the fact that good writers are also good business owners.
- Write. The irony is that sometimes freelance writers become so focused on the business side of writing that they neglect doing what they do best: Writing. While it's true that some writers are more gifted than others, the ability to write well is a learned skill that craves constant exercise. Try to develop a writing routine that forces you to write something everyday – even if you aren't being paid for it.
- Explore new markets. Sadly, the world isn't going to beat a path to your doorstep. If you're going to succeed, you will have to become adept at marketing yourself and finding new markets for your work. On the upside, the search for new markets is frequently an opportunity for you to expand your craft into new genres and publications.
- Be careful about time management. Most freelance writers enjoy the ability to work from a home office. But despite its advantages, working from home can be a major threat to the long-term viability of your writing business if you succumb to distractions like TV or housework.
- Get a website. Serious freelance writers need a website. An effective website serves as both a calling card and a virtual brochure. It should include a description of your background and writing services as well as a portfolio of previously published work that can be reviewed by editors and prospective clients.