People think that freelance writing is 'easy money' but little do they know about the effort that goes behind curating every article. Are you a student, an aspirant to start your career as a freelance writer?
Don't make the mistake of thinking that it is an easy field and that anyone who has a grip on grammar can do it. A lot of skills are required for being a good freelance writer. Before entering the field, you have to decide on which type of writing interests you for example – copywriting, content writing, academic writing, thesis writing, technical writing, legal writing, and so on.
Decide on the areas that you are passionate about writing. If you write just for the monetary benefit and not because you like the topic then your work will be bland and you will lose your clients.
What are the basics of an excellent written piece?
As a freelance writer, you are expected to write articles, blogs, research papers, and pieces of varying lengths, topics, and styles. The basics of a good article are that it should be
- Plagiarism free
- Free from grammatical errors
- No repetitive points
- Well framed
- Structured work- the ideas in the article should flow systematically so that the reader can grasp them.
- The language of it should be according to the target audience – this means that if your target audience is teenagers then the language should be simple and easy to understand. If it is for professionals then the language should be crisp and of a higher level.
- Articles should be to the point so that the readers do not lose interest.
How does one inculcate these skills?
Reading, writing, and practicing is the only way you will improve as a writer. The more you work, research and practice the better your work will become.
Before starting any article write a draft or a summary of what you want to write about. Note down points that you want to talk about. This will help you while writing the actual blog. It will give you a structure to follow.
To create unique and plagiarism-free articles you need to research the available articles on that given topic. For example, you are writing on "How to become a Social Media Influencer", search on google for the available information and points of view available. Try to avoid similar points and write fresh information.
If you are taking points or factual information from other articles, do not forget to hyperlink it or mention it in the bibliography at the end.
Do not blindly copy points from the web. Your clients might run your work through a plagiarism check and will find out about it. This will create a bad impression on you.
To ensure that your work is plagiarism-free run it through a plagiarism check that is easily available on the internet for free.
To ensure that you avoid silly grammatical errors run your work through websites like Grammarly.com. This website checks your articles and points out all the errors. It has a free version that checks basic grammar and tone. You can use the free version as it is quite effective. But if you are fully invested in freelance writing and want a more detailed check of your work you can buy the paid version of Grammarly.
Proofreading your work before submitting it or uploading it on a website is crucial. Nowadays people are so sharp that they can identify mistakes with a simple glance. Mistakes in articles make it look unprofessional and readers think that the writer is amateur.
Do not blindly trust websites to correct your errors. Always proofread 2 – 3 times before giving your pieces.
How to make sure that your blogs stay relevant?
Every day thousands of blogs and articles are published. There is a huge tank of content on the internet. So how does one ensure that their work stays relevant?
Choose topics that are trending. You can search your browser from trending search topics and write about them.
Use keywords specific to the topic you are writing about. Repeat the keywords as much as possible in your work so that it appears in the top search results.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization is the key to making your articles appear in the top results of a web search. Try to learn SEO through online videos, courses, self-learning through practice.
Write universal blogs which are relatable and informative to a large audience.
Apart from these skills, tips, and tricks you need to be punctual with your submissions, meet deadlines, and communicate with your clients. Communicate what they expect from you, the stipend, and any other questions you have. Avoid misunderstandings and be open to positive criticism.
These are some of the basic skills you need to have to be a freelance writer. If you are passionate about it and want industry exposure then start your freelance journey today.
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