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I spoke with two freelancers this past week. Freelancer #1 was swimming in work, just raised her fees, and actually complained at how busy she was. Freelancer #2 told me the economy is killing her business, she’s considering quitting writing, and might have trouble making her monthly bills.
How can two freelancers experience such different realities?
I thought a moment and pinpointed seven differences between the successful freelancer and the discouraged freelancer. As you read on, make a mental note on how many of these deadly freelancing mistakes may have affected your writing career.
Mistake #1: Not writing daily
Successful freelancers write daily. Every. Single. Day. Holidays included. They even write on their birthday. If you don’t write (at least nearly) daily, you really shouldn’t call yourself a writer.
Mistake #2: Not learning to market
Marketing is a nightmare for many freelancers. “We’re creative people! We don’t do such lowly things as market!” Yeah, right.
Gone are the days when publishers do all your marketing. It’s a reality successful freelancers embrace. Learn the secrets of effective marketing and you’ll always enjoy a fruitful freelance life.
Mistake #3: Not marketing daily
Once you start studying marketing, you’ll find it’s a fascinating topic. The danger here is that you’ll become a professional studier of marketing rather than a marketer.
To sell your writing, you have to engage in marketing. You have to jump into the big, scary pool and start swimming. Regular marketing equals regular work.
Mistake #4: Not reading
To write effectively, you must expand your knowledge. Period. You have to remain on the cutting edge of your field. You’ll only do this by reading.
By reading, you open yourself to new thought, you’ll find yourself less likely to wind up in an echo chamber, you’ll find yourself filled with new ideas. Read daily. If you don’t think you have time to read, check this out.
Mistake #5: Allowing emotion to dictate action
Freelancing can be difficult. However, if you allow emotions such as depression, fear, anxiety, etc. to dictate your actions, you’ll quickly find yourself in a slog of unproductiveness.
Freelancing isn’t fair. Freelancing often doesn’t pay well. Those are realities. If they make you feel bad and unable to write, you may want to consider another profession.
Mistake #6: Not tweaking queries
Some queries will hit paydirt fast. Some will bomb. Rewrite the bombs, tweak the successful queries and see if you can make them work better.
Never assume anything you’ve written can’t be improved. Keep writing, editing, tweak your sales pieces. But most importantly, don’t give up.
Mistake #7: Not creating a website
Sometimes it feels like we’ve got a glut of writing websites on the Internet. That’s not exactly true. While many writers may have websites, not many of them are good websites. Nor are they effective websites. If you’re not making mistake #2 and #3, you’re website will likely be a profit center instead of an expense.
So, how did you stack up? How many mistakes have you committed? If you’ve found areas you can tighten your freelance life, take action, do the leg work, and monitor your results.
Freelancing is the best game in town. Seriously, it is. Every word set to paper is worth it.
P.S. If you’re committing any of these deadly freelance mistakes, click the link below. This title will get you going fast. We’re talking three volumes of hard core freelance information in one handy download.
Writing Etc./Filbert Publishing News – April 4, 2013
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