No one saw this coming! Not even the brightest of the world. The COVID 19 pandemic took the world by surprise, halting businesses, axing jobs, shattering economies, upending lifestyles. Those who do not have an alternate source of revenue are hit the hardest. If you are a freelancer, things might be difficult for you too as companies tighten the leash on marketing spends. If you have unfortunately lost your job, it is even more difficult and I completely understand this. During such times, it is easy to make the wrong choices. I decided to write this post especially for creative writing freelancers who are suddenly not getting any work, neither from the clients nor on platforms like Upwork or Fiverr. If you pay attention to these ‘tips for creative writing‘ for freelancers, you can work you way up and land some projects. If you are a writer willing to make some extra money, this is also for you.
What is freelance writing?
Before we jump into the tips, let us quickly understand how the freelance market works. if you’re new to freelancing, we will soon do a post on freelancing for beginners and how to make the most out of it. Why do I qualify to write for this topic? This is because, in my 15 years of a writing career, I’ve delivered more than 50 freelance film writing projects, countless website content projects, ad copies and so much more. These creative writing tips for freelancers come directly from my own experience. Now, I do not have to look for freelance writing assignments on other platforms as I already have a stream of clients who regularly use my writing services.
Freelance writing gives you the flexibility to work, choose your own projects, command your price and more. But it is not easy. If you think that just by making an account on Upwork or Fiverr, you’ll see the orders rolling in, unfortunately, no. You have to build your credibility, showcase your potential, feature your work, deliver on time and do it consistently, over and over again. The writing tips below will help you identify the mistakes you are making on such platforms that are eventually stopping you from getting more freelance writing projects.
9 tips for creative writing: Why you are not getting freelance writing assignments?
- Lack of communication
- No creative writing experience
- No recorded writing portfolio to showcase
- Absence of genuine, high-quality online content written by you
- Prices not as per the market
- Poor research skills
- Your writing has spelling or grammatical errors
- Lack of consistent writing voice
A good writer is well-informed, well-read, well-researched.Dev
9. Lack of communication
So what if its a freelance writing assignment and you are not supposed to turn up and work with your client? In fact, freelance writing projects demand even more communication than regular day jobs. Most freelance writers make the mistake of not communicating with the clients or appear lousy when they communicate. If you are looking for a long term relationship with the client, you need to build trust and communication is the key to trust-building. Never ignore an email from your client and do not write one-word replies. It shows that you are unprofessional and lack the skills needed for long term commitments.
Clients are looking for professional writers who can not only work on their projects but also communicate with them on other aspects of their business. Who knows, you might end up landing up another project. Always stay connected to the clients, even if they are not asking for it, the least you can do is consistently send them project updates, clarify your doubts, engage to understand their objective, and make them a part of your delivery mechanism. Trust me, a well-serviced client will always give you less feedback than the one who is completely ignored. Here are more tips for creative writing.
8. No creative writing experience
This one does not need an explanation. If you are a beginner creative writer looking for freelancing assignments on online platforms, you must first gather some expertise. You will think that how will you gain writing experience if no one gives you work. Well, a billion-dollar question! All writers go through this stage. My advice would be to try and build up a writing portfolio, no matter small. Try working on small projects for your college or friends, write for the community magazine, make your own blog and showcase your writing skills online. All these steps will help you gather some creative writing experience before you start pitching for professional work. Remember, the freelance writing market is choke-full of professionals, to make your own space will require some groundwork. Get up and get writing buddy. Here are more tips for creative writing.
7. No recorded writing portfolio
One of the biggest mistakes I see writers doing is not having their own writing portfolio. No, portfolios are not just for photographers or graphic designers. As a writer, especially a freelance writer, your portfolio is your only ammunition. The more time you spend on creating a beautiful portfolio, the better your chances to land more lucrative writing jobs. When I started, I made it a point to have a collection of all online links where my work goes, even if it was a single tagline. Over the years, it helped me amass a huge portfolio that was diverse and spoke volumes of my professional expertise. I even made a beautiful presentation to put them all together. Here, see my portfolio which I have put up on my LinkedIn profile. Trust me, it helps a lot.
6. Absence of genuine, high-quality online content written by you
Amongst all the tips for creative writing, this one is a deal-breaker. Will you buy a watch from someone random on the street, even if they promise that the watch is real? No, you won’t because there is no way you can trust someone who just shows up randomly no matter how good a price he offers. Instead, you would prefer to buy from a decent store that you know deals in watches. It is the same for writing. No one will buy your creative writing services if you do not any of your work online. Clients need the satisfaction of knowing that they are working with real professionals who will deliver and not someone who has no online presence at all. Start today, try to find links to the works you have written and put them together in a portfolio.
5. Prices not as per the market
A lot of budding writers and even those who are established lack the one basic that will make you super successful – how to price your work. Although this is a topic big enough for another post, I will try to give you some overview. Online freelance platforms are highly competitive and usually, writers get deals basis per word quote. If your services are priced differently for the general market trend, you will not qualify for general projects. Try to do a study of the market, look for how much are other established writers charging for a piece of work and determine your rates. If you are newbie, start small and as you gather experience, keep raising both your prices and your bar.
4. Poor research skills
Research, research, research! No matter where I go when I am talking about writing, I lay the most emphasis on research, good quality research. Your research skills can put you in a different league than the rest. Remember, most writers deliver average work because they research poorly or not at all. A good writer is well-informed, well-read, well-researched. The research will help you add value to the creative writing projects, use relevant keywords, reflect domain sentiment and scale your writing voice. Before you start any writing project, read everything you can about the subject and you are bound to emerge victoriously. Here are more tips for creative writing prowess that will make you the superstar of online platforms.
3. Your writing has spelling or grammatical errors
I should have put this as the first point. Writers and language mistakes do not go hand in hand. There is no acceptable excuse for leaving that glaring spelling error or sending away grammatically incorrect pieces. You have to believe me, this mistake can potentially ruin your writing career. Use online tools to get a second set of eyes to check your work, especially if it is long-form content. Before you hit the send button, CHECK, RECHECK, CHECK AGAIN.
2. Plagiarism (most important tip for creative writing)
Jimi Hendrix said, “I’ve been imitated so well, I’ve heard people copy mistakes”. That’s the ill-effect of plagiarism. When you copy, you end up copying others mistakes as well. Every piece of written content has an inherent intent, if you copy someone else’s works, you copy the intent too and your work fails that very moment. Inspiration is a great thing, but plagiarism has no place in the world of writing. Moreover, original content creation will give you an edge over others, boost your confidence and leave you with a sense of satisfaction. Honesty goes a long way in making a solid writing career.
1. Lack of consistent writing voice
Check out the importance of having a writing voice here. The reason why I have kept this as the first point in tips for creative writing is that this one skill can help you, secure long-term clients. All the clients that give me regular writing work do it because they love my writing voice. It perfectly conveys their message and fits their brand. You need to consistently work on finding your writing voice and perfecting it repeatedly. Some day, people will recognize you from your writing and that is what I call SUCCESS.
That’s it, folks. These tips for creative writing will help you identify the gaps and hopefully empower you to make more meaningful connections on freelance platforms. By the way, if you are interested in writing for Mukarrar, drop us an email here.
Let us know in comments if you think these writing tips are helpful. Subscribe to Mukarrar blog for more such posts to help you become a better writer.