When I’m not waitressing or selling kitchenware, you’ll find me freelance writing next to a cup of tea and a burning candle. Yup, it’s as brilliant as it sounds. Freelance writing is, however, a funny sphere when you’ve not navigated it before, nor been given too much advice about it. I’ve been writing for a student blog and its blog partners for just over half a year now and, after years of dreaming about it, it’s awesome to be getting paid for doing what I love. If I’ve learnt anything it’s how to write a “listicle” so here’s another listicle of advice; free of charge.
Record what you’ve written
As a freelance writer, it’s imperative to form some kind of portfolio of your work. Employers need to see proof of your writing so ensure you document every single piece of work you send off. As well as this, this will make it far easier to keep on track of everything; especially if you’re writing for multiple different companies. It’s important to distinguish what work is for which company too.
Record what’s been published
Part of recording what’s been written also means recording what’s been published. Insert links into your portfolio; chase up any pieces of work that seem not to have been published. You’ve spent time on something so you should find out where it’s gone.
If you don’t invoice properly, you may not get paid. Include:
- Your name
- Your address
- The date
- A unique invoice number
- The address of the company you’re invoicing
- The breakdown of what you’re owed
- The total you’re owed
- Your relevant bank details
- Any special requirements the company you write for states
Make sure you’re paid (and in full!)
Only you can ultimately make certain you’ve been paid… and correctly. Make a note in your diary of the date you should be paid by (whether that’s a date they select or the date you’re able to state on your invoices) and, if you haven’t been paid by this date, chase it up. Don’t be afraid to do so; you did the work so you deserve to be paid. You’re not always taken seriously as a freelance writer so, upon having trouble with a company, demand you are paid and consider not working with them again.
Write, write and write some more
Freelance writing is a wonderful thing; particularly for aspiring writers like me. I graduated over half a year ago and am grateful to be gaining some real world writing experience. I just know that nine year old me, sat at her computer, writing her debut novel, would be proud. But she should know that you don’t always have to adore what you’re writing. That doesn’t mean you should sell out your beliefs or even that you shouldn’t turn down work. Do consider, though, the more you write, the more experience you’ll get (and pocket money too!).
If you’re freelance writing you likely can write at any time of day, at any location and, well, whenever you fancy it. This is one of my favourite things about the job, but freelance writing does require some self-discipline. So:
- Have a target amount of pieces to write and finish for each day/week/month. But make sure you hold yourself accountable!
- Prioritise the work that has the nearest deadline. You want to be seen as a reliable freelance writer so don’t keep companies hanging just because you’re working from the comfort of your own home and without anyone to pull you into the office.
- To do lists should be your best friend. Record when you want to have something written, edited and sent by.
Do you freelance write? What’s your advice?