There are many benefits associated with being a freelancer. From the escape from a 9–5 job to the excuse to work in your pajamas, freelancing has some serious pros. As a freelancer, you get to control nearly every aspect of your professional life. You can work from anywhere. You can work the hours that suit you best. Best of all, you are your own boss and there is nobody to answer to.
As many benefits as there are to running your own freelancing business, there are also some pretty serious drawbacks- if you aren’t careful. For example, there is a certain degree of job instability when it comes to freelancing. If you aren’t willing to get out there and do the necessary legwork to bring in clients, you might be out of work at the worst possible times. Even then, unreliable clients that don’t respond to emails or take forever to confirm an order can spell disaster for your income.
The biggest drawback to freelancing, for me personally, is the way that my work day and free time can tend to blur together if I’m not careful. I have spent many days crouched in front of my computer working only to look outside and see that it’s dark out and I have worked well beyond my pre-established “clock out time”.
It’s true, freelancing is anything but easy. This is especially true in the beginning as you work to build a freelancing career. Fortunately, there are a number of tools out there that you can use to make your efforts to start, run, and grow your freelancing business a bit easier. Today, I’ll be sharing with you my top tools that every freelancer needs to succeed. Let’s get started!
A Great Freelance Writer Website
A great freelance writer website is, by far, my most highly recommended tool for a freelance writer. Why? Your website is your greatest and most valuable tool to succeeding as a freelance writer. A freelancing website goes a long way in not only introducing yourself and advertising your services but also in attracting those big jobs and landing them with ease.
If I could go back and begin my freelance writing career again from day one, my freelancing website would definitely be my first investment into my business. By creating a freelancing website on day one, you can get a head-start on building your reputation as a serious writer and start getting yourself before the eyes of potential clients.
Need help creating a freelance writing website of your own? Check out my recent Medium post on How to Build a Freelance Writing Website That Attracts Jobs. This article is filled with useful information you can use to build your own freelance writing website including choosing a domain name, creating a professional web design, and more!
As a freelance writer, you need to have the absolute best editing software on your side. Your clients expect you to be professional and consistent and there are few things worse than delivering an article only for a client to be dissatisfied with grammatical errors found in your work. That’s where Grammarly comes in.
Editing is one of the most important parts of my overall writing process aside from topic research and I don’t always trust myself to be mistake-free. If you want to be successful as a freelance writer, you need to be willing to admit that we all make mistakes. Grammarly helps in finding and correcting those mistakes.
I use the desktop version of Grammarly to edit the work I do for all of my clients. Not only does Grammarly find every little mistake in your work, (believe me, it’ll find it) it also tells you why it is a mistake and gives you a number of suggestions to go about making corrections. If you are a freelance writer who isn’t checking your work, it’s only a matter of time before you come across an angry client who is less than pleased with your quality of work. Save yourself the trouble and use an online editing tool to check your mistakes before you make an order delivery!
I use Google Drive in the process of creating each and every blog and article that I’m tasked with working on. There are a number of reasons that I love Google Drive but by far one of the biggest is the amount of storage. I have been freelance writing seriously for about ten months now and I have written hundreds upon hundreds of different articles for my clients. Still, I haven’t even made a dent in the amount of free storage space that Google Drive gives you to store your documents.
Another thing I love about Google Drive is the fact that I can share documents with clients and immediately receive their feedback in the form of nicely organized comments right within the document itself. While some of my clients have a preference about the format that I use to deliver their work, most don’t. When there isn’t a preference for some other format, I use Google Docs. It’s handy, simple to use, and has everything I need to complete my work.
While Google Drive offers a large amount of storage space for your documents, there is still the matter of downloading those documents onto your computer in order to deliver them in a file format to clients. Over time, this can take a serious hit on the amount of space available on your computer’s hard drive. Once your freelance writing career really starts to take off, you’ll be in need of a little extra storage space, trust me. That’s where Dropbox comes in.
When you finally run out of room on your computer’s hard drive, Dropbox is there to offer the solution. Get Dropbox for yourself, create a folder called “Client Work” or something similar, and store your writing projects to your heart’s content! This goes a long way in not only freeing up space on your computer’s hard drive but also in keeping all of your past work nicely organized where you can easily access it later. Best of all, with Dropbox being a cloud-based storage platform, something could happen to your computer (knock on wood) and all of your past work wouldn’t be lost! That’s what I call smart writing portfolio storage.
With all of the digital tools out there, it can be easy to forget how helpful some paper and a pen can be. A planner will pay off in droves as your freelancing writing career grows, believe me. Success as a freelance writer is all about self-discipline and there will be nobody there to hold your hand and remind you of upcoming deadlines. That’s on you.
Make the job of organizing, planning for, and remembering deadlines that much easier by using a planner. I like to sit down at the start of every work week and input all of the upcoming projects I have to work on by writing them under their due date. If I have a particular project that will be completed in a series of milestones, I make sure to include the deadline for each phase of the project. As a freelance writer with ADHD, this makes it much easier for me to stay current on deadlines. After all, one of the worst possible things you can do for your freelancing career is miss a deadline. A planner is the key to staying on top of your work!
Sometimes being a freelance writer calls for a masquerade as a graphic designer from time to time. Although you may feel as though your words are enough to entice your audience and pictures shouldn’t be necessary, they are. When crafting an article or blog post, images are essential. In an age of instant gratification, your audience expects to gain the information your writing contains as quickly as possible.
Yes, your words are important. I’m not saying that they aren’t. That being said, the best blog posts and articles have an equal balance of quality writing and eye-catching imagery. View images as a supporting tool that you can use to draw in the attention of your audience before catching them with your words. For this, you need a online photo editing and design platform like Picmonkey.
Picmonkey has been a lifesaver for me as my time as a freelance writer. There have been countless times where clients have asked that I include a feature graphic. That’s because they understand the power of combining words and pictures. While some are content with a intelligently selected stock photo, other clients ask that I get a bit more creative.
With Picmonkey, I am able to use a combination of attractive stock photos and image editing tools to create professional looking graphics that go a long way in spicing up my writing. If you haven’t been using an online image editing program like Picmonkey, you’re missing out on a valuable chance to beautify your articles and blog posts.
A Desire to Succeed
Time to get a little cheesy. As a freelance writer, there is no tool more powerful in helping you to succeed than a desire to succeed. Yes, again, cheesy. Still, that doesn’t make this fact any less true. In order to succeed in starting, running, and growing your freelancing business, you need to make a commitment to yourself that you’ll do whatever it takes to make it.
The only way to really get started as a freelance writer is to, well, write. Sit down at your desk, put your fingers to the keyboard, and get started. There’s no more time for excuses! If you can take this first step, the hardest part is already over. You have succeeded in doing what so many never do. Harness the power of your desire to succeed and get going.
Need awesome content that attracts an audience, establishes your brand, and increases traffic to your website?
Check out my website at reneerosewriting.com
Contact me at : firstname.lastname@example.org