When you first start freelance writing, you likely have some preconceptions and have heard lots of stories from others in the space. Unfortunately, there are a lot of freelance writing myths out there that you should be aware of before you get started.
6 freelance writing myths to be aware of are:
- It’s an easy way to make money
- Freelance writers can work when they want
- You will make more money than a normal job
- You can just reword other people’s content and succeed
- Freelance writing is a lonely profession
- It’s a dying industry
Below, I’ll go through each of these myths in more detail, explaining why they’re just not fully true. I’ll then give you a few more tips for getting your freelance writing career off the ground.
6 Freelance Writing Myths
1. It’s An Easy Way To Make Money
This myth arises from the misconception that freelance writing requires minimal effort and can provide instant financial rewards. However, freelance writing, like any profession, demands hard work, dedication, and consistent effort if you want to be successful.
It takes time to build a client base, develop your skills, and establish a reputation that leads to higher-paying opportunities. Freelancers (of all kinds, not just writers) need to consistently market themselves, refine their craft, and navigate the competitive landscape to achieve financial success.
Falling into the trap of expecting quick and easy money can lead to disappointment and frustration. Recognize that freelance writing requires persistence, resilience, and a long-term approach to building a sustainable income early on and you’ll be more likely to succeed in the industry.
2. Freelance Writers Can Work When They Want
While freelance writing does offer more flexibility compared to traditional employment, it’s important to recognize that freelancers still need to meet deadlines and fulfil client expectations.
Freelancers often juggle multiple projects, handle administrative tasks, and manage their own business affairs. Effective time management and organizational skills are essential to maintain a healthy work-life balance and meet client obligations.
Falling into the trap of thinking you can work whenever you want without discipline and structure can lead to missed deadlines, dissatisfied clients, and a negative impact on your reputation. Establish a routine, set boundaries, and prioritize your tasks to ensure you can effectively manage your workload and maintain a high quality of work for your clients.
3. You Will Make More Money Than A Normal Job
While freelance writers can find high-paying clients, it’s unrealistic to expect a constant flow of such clients, especially in the beginning. Building a client base and securing lucrative projects takes time and effort. Freelancers need to consistently market their services, build relationships, and prove their value to clients.
It’s crucial to diversify your income streams, set realistic expectations, and adapt to fluctuations in demand and market conditions. Falling into the trap of assuming high-paying clients will always be readily available can lead to complacency and financial instability (I’ve fallen for this myself in the past, and it can be a rude awakening!).
Instead, focus on delivering quality work, expanding your network, and continually seeking new opportunities to grow your client base and increase your earning potential.
4. You Can Just Reword Other People’s Content And Succeed
Plagiarism is never acceptable in freelance writing or any other form of professional writing. Clients expect original content that adds value to their brand or objectives. Plagiarism can damage your reputation, lead to legal issues, and harm the client’s brand.
Falling into the trap of thinking you can plagiarize or spin other people’s content without consequences is not just unethical but also detrimental to your long-term success as a freelance writer. Invest time and effort in creating unique and valuable content that showcases your skills and professionalism.
Your clients won’t want someone else’s content with your own spin on it, especially in an age where AI can do that for free in a lot of cases. You need to be able to provide additional value or clients will simply look elsewhere.
5. Freelance Writing Is A Lonely Profession
While freelance writers often work independently, they still have ample opportunities for collaboration and networking. Joining professional writing organizations, participating in writing communities, attending conferences and going to networking events can help freelancers connect with peers, gain new insights, and find collaborative opportunities.
Collaboration and networking can broaden your professional horizons, open doors to joint projects, and enhance your reputation. Isolating yourself and neglecting networking opportunities can limit your growth and exposure to new clients and possibilities as a freelance writer.
Embrace collaboration, seek mentorship, and engage with the writing community to foster professional relationships and expand your freelance writing career.
6. It’s A Dying Industry
Contrary to this myth, freelance writing is a thriving industry with immense potential. The demand for content continues to grow across various platforms, including websites, blogs, social media, and digital marketing.
As long as businesses and individuals require engaging and persuasive content, freelance writers will remain in demand. Adapting to technological advancements, staying versatile, and continuously improving your skills can ensure you have a bright future in freelance writing.
Believing the industry is dying can lead to missed opportunities and a negative mindset. Embrace the evolving landscape, stay updated with industry trends, and position yourself to meet the changing needs of clients in the digital age. While artificial intelligence tools may be making it easier for people to create content, there is still a big need for the value that only humans can provide.
You can read more about what I think about this in my article on the future of freelancing.
Other Things To Be Aware Of As A Beginner Freelance Writer
Setting Realistic Expectations
As a beginner freelance writer, it’s essential to set realistic expectations for your career. Understand that success doesn’t come overnight, and that building a thriving freelance writing business takes time and effort. Be prepared to start with lower-paying gigs to gain experience and build your portfolio.
Gradually, as you gain expertise and a solid reputation, you can command higher rates and attract better clients. Patience and perseverance are key qualities for navigating the initial stages of freelance writing.
Developing Effective Communication Skills
Communication plays a vital role in freelance writing. It’s important to establish clear and open lines of communication with clients to understand their requirements, address any concerns, and maintain professionalism throughout your working relationship.
Timely responses, listening to what the client says, and clarity in your written and verbal communication are crucial if you want to keep your clients happy and coming back for more. Developing effective communication skills will help you establish strong relationships with clients, hopefully leading to repeat business and positive referrals.
Managing Your Finances & Contracts
Freelance writing involves managing your finances and handling contracts effectively, typically all on your own. Keep track of your income and expenses and set aside funds for taxes and business-related expenses.
It’s also important to have a clear contract or agreement in place with each client, outlining the scope of work, payment terms, deadlines, and any other relevant details. Familiarize yourself with the basics of freelance writing contracts, and if necessary, seek legal advice to ensure you’re protected and fairly compensated for your work.
Continuous Learning & Professional Development
Freelance writing is an ever-evolving field, so it’s crucial to embrace continuous learning and professional development. Stay updated with industry trends, writing techniques, and new tools or technologies that can enhance your work. Invest in resources like books, online courses, and writing workshops to expand your knowledge and skill set.
Engage in self-reflection and seek constructive feedback from clients to identify areas for improvement. By continuously learning and evolving as a writer, you’ll position yourself as a valuable asset to clients and stay competitive in the freelance writing market!
Don’t Fall For These Freelance Writing Myths!
There’s no doubt that being a beginner freelance writer can be challenging, but with dedication, perseverance, and a commitment to professional growth, you can lay a strong foundation for a successful freelance writing career. Just be wary of the freelance writing myths I’ve discussed above! I’ve also already discussed other more general freelancing myths.