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How not to become a freelance writer

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You’ve decided you want to become a freelance writer. While there are some things you should do, there are also things you shouldn’t do. We’re going to focus on the things you shouldn’t do to become a writer.

You know that writing is something you want to do. Maybe you’ve quit your job or just lost it and decided now is a good time to throw yourself into a writing career. Even if you don’t quit your job, you can still start your freelance writing career. But now you’ve stalled. You just don’t know where to start.

While there is a lot of advice out there how to get started, we’re going to take some time on what not to do. You want to learn from other people’s mistakes rather than making them yourself, right?

Just keep reading on how to become a freelance writer

Fear is possibly holding you back. What if you’re not good enough? What if you’re rejected? What if someone wants you to handle all the coding and uploading?

To stop you from facing the reality of rejection and problems, you keep reading. You hope that you’ll find the secret formula that will make you become an excellent writer.

You need to stop this right now!

Constantly reading and not acting is stopping you from becoming a freelance writer. You’re holding yourself back.

Yes, there are times you won’t be good enough for a client. Your work will be rejected now and then. People will want more than you offer. But there are also people who just want your basic skills and will be more than happy with your work.

It’s all about finding the perfect clients for you. And the only way you’ll do that is by getting yourself out there.

You’ve not found your niche

It can take a while to find the perfect niche for you. It took me a good year before I finally found a couple that I was really happy writing in. Since then, I’ve developed blogs, gained clients, and become a freelance writer.

You may hear now and then that focusing on one niche isn’t that important. After all, don’t you have more of a pick when you expand? The problem is you become a general writer, and people want to hire someone with experience, knowledge, and skill. When you focus on one niche, you develop all of that and more.

It’s also better for people visiting your blog. When it’s focused on one niche, people know what to expect when reading your samples. They’re not going to read about weddings one day and then receive an update about gardening the next. A niche keeps them entertained and interested, and you prove you can come up with a variety of ideas on the same topic.

You don’t have to pick just one single niche, though. I recommend having three or so. They could all be linked together. For example, I’ve always liked writing about lifestyle topics, which can cover the likes of wedding, parenting, and health and fitness.

You’re focusing too much on that authoritative voice

You know you need to be an authority on your niche. That’s great, apart from you’re new to all this. Who could possibly listen to you?

This fear is holding you back from those steps needed to become a freelance writer. You’re stopping yourself before you’ve even gotten going.

There will be one or two subjects that you know lots about. Do a Google search for the type of content in your niche, and just see the number of questions people ask. Chances are you have the knowledge and experience to answer those questions.

You’re an authority without even trying to be!

Yes, there will be others offering their voice. You just need to find your gap in the market. Many experts talk in jargon and end up confusing the layperson. They forget what it’s like to not understand anything.

You’ve not got an online presence

You’ve got your laptop and you’re all ready for your first client.

*tumbleweed blows past*

What are you doing wrong?

It’s the lack of online presence. You can’t just set up shop and wait for them to come to you. You need an online calling card: your website!

Setting up a writer’s site is a must. But you can’t just stop there. You need to have a positive, authoritative presence on social media and show up in all the search engine results. This still doesn’t help you make it overnight, but you can now market and show off your skills.

Clients have more chance of finding you, and you have something to show them when you contact them.

Are you ready to become a freelance writer? It’s time to stop the fear and start taking the steps you need to survive.

MORE: How to find private clients for your writing business?

What are you struggling with when it comes to writing? What would you like help with on you journey? Share your needs in the comments below.