Infographic: How Do You Become a Successful Freelance Writer?

By Nicole Dieker March 6th, 2015

Did you know that 31 percent of people say not getting paid on time holds them back from freelancing?

Turning freelancing into a full-time career is about much more than just being a good writer, photographer, or designer, which is a drum we consistently hit on this site. We all want to know how we can work more efficiently, make more money, and avoid some of the common headaches most freelancers face on a daily basis.

A recent EssayTigers infographic titled How to Become a Successful Freelance Writer attempts to address some of those topics with a mixture of analysis and statistical reporting. We asked the person who created the infographic for, data journalist Jen Ho, a few questions about what she learned about the current state of freelancing during the design process. And below her answers, don’t forget to check out the infographic in its entirety.

Why do you think so many millennials are interested in freelancing?

A job for life and a gold watch retirement isn’t a huge selling point for most millennials these days. It’s a bit of a cliché, but it’s true: millennials are the “me” generation, and with the freedom to explore interests, balance work/life commitments and get a feel for a sector or industry before committing themselves in it—freelancing perfectly caters for them.

Of course the trade off in all this is economic uncertainty. But when you consider that many young adults are now happily content (or otherwise) living with their parents for a few years after university, freelancing is a smart way to earn income in a tough graduate market.

What advice would you have for a freelancer wanting to find good clients?

Be proactive: it’s not a case of creating a website and waiting around for the clients to come. The good clients—the ones you want to work with—will be posting jobs on their social media and online job bulletins.

Look at the detail and quality of the job posting—it should indicate how important the role is to them. In many cases, the more the client knows of what they’re after, the better their expectations of you as a freelancer will be—and this will ultimately make the working relationship better for both parties.

Look at the companies fellow successful freelancers in your industry work for. Stalk the companies you want to freelance for. Good clients are the ones that will better your portfolio and better your bank account, so look at your peers for direction.

What surprised you as you were collecting this data?

That a good amount of people are hesitant about freelancing due to not getting paid on time. This can be easily addressed by freelancers educating themselves on how to set up prices, terms and conditions of payment, and knowing how to talk about money to clients in a direct and clear way.

Where do you see the future of freelancing headed?

It’ll continue to be a way of life, and not just a “thing” for people between jobs. More companies will take up freelancers with less hesitation of not meeting face-to-face, and more skilled workers will be freelancing for life.

Image by Ronstik
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