More to Freelance Writing than Just Writing

While great writing ability is certainly useful and valuable, there is a lot more to being a successful freelance writer than the ability to write interesting and coherent articles of varying lengths. The exact same thing can be said about freelance designers, artists, coders, or any other kind of self-employed professional. Yes, this even applies to accountants, lawyers, and chefs.

The fact of the matter is when you embark down the road of entrepreneurship, you must prepare yourself to address a wide range of tasks and daily requirements. Believe it or not, a freelance writer like me does not spend all day writing articles. The time must also be divided into other areas of running the business and this added time must then be integrated back into the quoted rate. This is why the hourly rate for a contractor is typically higher than a regular full-time employee. There is a definite difference between billable hours and total hours worked.

So, before you choose to try your hand at freelancing, think about some of the other kinds of work that you inevitably will need to address.

Accounting and Bookkeeping

There are many decisions that you’ll need to make along the way, including those regarding your chosen business structure in the eyes of the government. This also means that you’ll need to bear some responsibility when it comes to understanding small business income tax practices and how you can best account for money coming in and money going out.

Some freelancers choose to do all of their accounting themselves, whereas others prefer to leave that up to the professionals. Even if you opt for the latter route, you still need to invest some time in basic bookkeeping. You’ll need to keep track of payments, invoices, expenses, and all of that other good stuff before handing all of it off to your accountant.

Advertising and Client Acquisition

One of the reasons why some people choose to become freelance writers in the first place is that they enjoy writing. However, writing for yourself is probably not going to pay the bills on its own unless you manage to become an accomplished and published author in some way. That’s why you will likely need to invest some time in marketing and promotion so that you can attract new clients.

Even if you don’t have a diploma in marketing and public relations, it is important to develop the basic skills you’ll need to expand your clientele. Believe it or not, people aren’t going to line up around the block with wheelbarrows full of money. You need to convince them to do that.

Customer Service

So, after spending some time to set up your books and gain some clients, it’s time to hit the keyboard for some great article writing action, right? Well, not exactly. Whether you’re a writer, an artist, or a plumber, you are in a service-based industry and this involves a great deal of customer service. It would be great if every client knew exactly what they wanted, gave you the freedom to do it how you wanted, and never complained about anything. Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case.

At some point, you may encounter a less than desirable client and you’ll need to handle the situation accordingly. Even at the best of times, you’ll still need to “deal” with your good clients. Your customer service skills could make or break the deal.

Other Administrative Tasks and More

Working from home, you are both the employee and the employer. You are the supervisor and the supervised. You are the boss and the entry-level intern. Unless you have the resources to hire a variety of assistants, chances are that you’ll need to handle all the day-to-day administrative tasks on your own too. Some things are simple, like stocking up on stationery or mailing a package; other tasks may be much more challenging, like battling a computer virus or applying for a special license.

Whatever the case, all freelancers should learn to be prepared for anything that may come their way. It is a full-fledged business and it should be treated as such.