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7 Essential Writing Skills for Freelancers

writing skills

For those that are interested in breaking free from the 9-5 rat race, freelance writing is a fantastic career. The ability to set your own hours, determine your income, and work from wherever you want are huge bonuses that in-house careers can never match. Freelancers are happier too! So, if you want to become a writer, what do you need? You need specific writing skills if you are going to make it in freelance writing.

Yet what do these skills actually look like? In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the skills that freelancers need if they are to make it as self-employed writers. Are you ready to learn more? Then read on!

1. Writing Discipline

When you start freelance writing, you need to be able to be disciplined. There are no bosses looming over you, there is no one there to motivate you and keep you disciplined. This is what it really means to be your own boss.

Discipline in writing means setting aside the time that you need to write, as well as actually doing the writing in that time. Procrastination happens but the less time that you spend on Twitter and Facebook, the better.

Without discipline, you’ll run the risk of letting down clients and jeopardizing the chances of getting more work with them, as well as cutting into your own income. 

2. You Must Be Able to Write in Different Styles

Being able to write in different styles is a key skill for the self-employed writer. You will have to work for a variety of clients, each with its own particular voice and style. While some will provide you with a style guide that details what they’re looking for, others won’t.

In this case, you will need to go to the brand’s website and take a look at it for yourself. Are they casual or formal? Friendly or authoritative? 

If you wish to become a great writer, the ability to become a writing chameleon is very important. A consistent voice is very important for a company’s brand identity, and it’s important that you stick to that voice.

3. The Ability to Write a Variety of Content

While specialization is great, being able to write a large variety of different types of content will help you out a lot in your freelance career. There may not be a time where you’re able to write blog posts, for instance, and having other options available to you will ensure that you can keep earning.

For instance, if you’re used to writing blog posts, you can easily branch out into writing product descriptions. If you are familiar with writing product descriptions, you can work on product reviews, etc.

Becoming proficient in a range of different styles of content is a fantastic skill for freelance writing.

4. Imagination and Originality

For companies, using plagiarized content is a terrible idea. It has a very negative impact on their SEO, which can mean less business. This means that being able to be original is of massive importance for freelance writers.

While you may need to research from different sources for your content, being able to reframe what you’ve found into your own words is vital. If you copy and paste, it will reflect poorly upon you, as well as the company that ends up using your content.

5. A Keen Knowledge of Spelling and Grammar

Sending out content that is riddled with grammatical and spelling errors is not good for a freelance writer. If you wish to succeed, you need to have a very strong grasp of English grammar, as well as how words are spelled. If possible, you should also know the difference between British, American, and Canadian spelling and grammar conventions.

While everyone makes typos from time to time, repeatedly producing content that is substandard will harm your reputation. Some browser extensions like Grammarly can help a lot with this and could save your content from the occasional error.

6. The Ability to Write to Deadlines

Freelance writing is all about the deadline. You need to be able to finish your content in time and not keep your clients waiting. While not every freelance writer is a high-volume producer who can write thousands of words per day, you still need to be able to create content by a certain deadline, whether this means writing hundreds of words per day or more.

This ability comes with time but great discipline and tie management skills will help you to develop it faster.

7. The Ability to Work Well With Editors

Whether you are editing your own work or working with an editor, there will be a time that comes when your great piece of content comes back to you, with the client requesting edits. While this isn’t a nice feeling, rejection is a part of freelance writing for everyone, and you shouldn’t take it to heart.

However, those changes will need to get done. Working with editors means being able to take constructive feedback, and then use it to reshape your work. If you’re working alone, then you need to be able to look at your content with a sharp and critical eye and be willing to cut or rewrite parts of your work that you were happy with.

Being a Freelance Writer Requires Several Different Writing Skills

There’s more to writing skills than being a good writer. You need to be disciplined, able to take feedback, and happy to work in a variety of styles. While this may sound like a lot of work, freelance writing’s benefits more than outweigh any difficulties that you may have in adjusting to your new career.

Working for iWriter is a fantastic way to build up a portfolio of work and improve as a writer. Do you think you have what it takes to follow your writing dreams? If you have any questions about working with us to show off your writing skills, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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