Thursday, June 2, 2011

What It's Like Being A Freelance Article Writer

Being a freelance article writer is great fun. You are your own boss and you get to keep your own hours (provided you are able to meet your deadlines). You can choose the people you want to work with and can even choose which day you can take off from work.


I have been a freelance article writer for quite some time. Although it was tough at the beginning, I am now able to breathe a little easier. I have regular clients who give me regular work so I am able to maintain a regular source of income and pay all my bills on time. That is something that I am ever so thankful for.


There are many writers out there who are unable to find projects that will keep the money coming in. I have experienced that and I know how frustrating it can be.


Being freelance means that you have no regular employment. You are basically a businessperson selling your writing services. Finding clients who will pay for those services are very difficult. Most freelance writers find themselves members of almost every single freelance site there is online. I am.


The worst part is the bidding. Most people who post projects look for the lowest bid and there are thousands of other freelancers who are willing to bid dirt cheap. It is always good to bid low when you are still looking for that first break. And that can take a hell of a lot of time. For some, it can take many months.


There are also a lot of scammers out there. There are many people who will post a project and demand sample articles pertaining to subjects that they dictate. I have fallen for this many times and it took a while for me to learn my lesson. The trick is to avoid such people like the plague. They will simply take your samples and leave without a trace. They will not pay you for your work. And the worst of it is, they will post your work as their own. 


Once you do get a client, you need to make sure that your work is of top quality and that you meet the deadlines set for you. No excuses. You need to keep the client happy and that can take some doing. 


There are clients that will be so finicky that you will feel like hitting your head against the wall. Once I wrote an e-book on Gain Muscle Mass, all 30 pages of it, to have the client ask me to write a new one! I ended up with an e-book I had no use for. So, I decided to submit it to an e-book site and got it published. Over 200 people have downloaded it so far. Although the e-book is for free, it helps me feel good about myself (200 people downloading my e-book did wonders for my self-esteem).


There are also clients that are very easy to work with. The key is to make sure that you give the clients the output they want so that they will keep coming back to you. Repeat business is always better than always finding new ones.


Writing articles is never easy no matter how good a writer you are. Most times you are required to write 500 word articles that are about a topic that you have never heard before or have no interest in. I have written articles on topics like secure sockets layer, finding webhosts, holiday gift ideas, language classes, holiday destinations, osteoporosis, warts, skin fungus, diet tips, phone apps and so much more. Not all the topics that are give to me are topics I am knowledgeable about and, more often than not, I need to research on the internet. Some topics are easy like how to deal with cat scratching; there are hundreds of resources available and of great quality too. 


There are topics that I find more like a curse. There are times when I have spent hours on the internet looking for material that I can base my article on only to find that information is scarce. As a writer, I can't copy-paste. That would be plagiarism and that would spell the death of my business. So that means I need to find information that I can use to write original articles. There are cases when such information can be so hard to find.


I have also had experience in dealing with topics that are so technical that I am way out of my depth. But, no matter how tough things may be, I have to keep going. Thankfully, I have great clients who keep giving me repeat business. Sometimes all at the same time. That can be nerve-wracking.


Working freelance is a great thing and I love it much more than I love having to work for a company. It can be tough. Deadlines can be challenging. There are times when I need to work even though I am not feeling well. There are also times when there are family situations that need my time and attention so I end up working overtime (many nights up to 2 a.m.). But I love being the boss of me.





Posted by: Bames Pabla
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