Stepping into the Shoes of a Freelancer Writer

Posted on 13. Jul, 2011 by in Interviews

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Stepping into the Shoes of a Freelancer Writer

Freelancer opportunities provide people from all over the world the chance to earn income for the skills they provide to independent or company employers. Freelancing really has become the next big thing. There are a wide variety of freelance skills that are in high demand. Be it search engine optimization, copywriting, creative article writing, website design and press release writing. A great Freelancer can offer services that not everyone can do, and from my personal experience, I believe that freelancers are a pretty bright bunch of people especially given that many freelancer jobs take specialized skills that aren’t usually taught in schools.

Marius has been a freelance writer based in the Philippines since 2009.

So what is a day in the life of a freelancer actually like?

I know quite a few freelancers and I also know about their different work ethics and their approach when they are working a job. For freelance writers like me, a usual routine includes daily submissions looking for article writing jobs. My employers will typically send me a series of topics or reference links for the articles they would like to have prepared for the day. Some employers may be looking for five, some 10 and some even more. My personal preference, is to choose smaller article numbers so I can ensure the quality of my work is compensated rather than quantity.

Is writing freelance hard work?

Writing articles isn’t rocket science, but sometimes it isn’t as easy as it may seem. You are often provided with keywords or topics to write about but the truth is that sometimes it can be really draining trying to squeeze another article out your brain that is filled with emphatic phrases and meaningful sentences. That said, at the end of the day, it is usually very satisfying, not just because of the pay, but because of the praise and the appreciation of your employer.

Being a Freelancer can offer you some very interesting work. An acquaintance of mine who is freelancing and is a graphic designer is making a living being a ‘doodle artist.’ His approach is quite different from article writing. When he finds inspiration, he draws or “doodles” it. After he finishes a design, he puts it up on his social network account, or on his online portfolio and puts them up for sale. His usual clients are bands from all around the world that need designs for their fan merchandise. It must be awesome for him to see his designs being used by some pretty sick bands. I’m sure that feels really good for him, hell it even feels good for me just writing about it.

What are some of the pitfalls of being a Freelancer, and what can you do about it?

Of course like other regular workers, freelancers also have challenging issues to deal with. Every freelancer has off days, sometimes you get periods where the work is not coming, or you find yourself in a slump, and you can’t generate great products, whether it is articles, web site designs and graphic designs or whatever. Disturbances in your internet connection can be a major pain that we sometimes have to endure.

Then, there’s the biggest fear of all freelancers. The risk working and sharing your skills via freelancing and not getting paid. Most freelancers only ever have internet or skype communication with their employers and the payment is never 100% sure. There was one time that I wrote for a certain employer who paid me every two weeks. The first three months were pretty good, but after that, he ran away without sending the next one and a half month payment, not a word, he just straight out bailed. It was a truly sad and bitter experience for me, and I am sure a lot of freelancers also experienced something like that.

This sort of thing usually happens in the first few weeks or months of starting with a new employer. Some of the things you can to avoid this happening to you are: 1) Making sure you check out the feedback on the employers profile 2) Check the business credentials of the person posting the job against the information on their web site 3) Don’t be frightened to ask for partial up-front payment and milestone payments particularly for larger jobs, and 4) and most importantly maintain communication with your employer and your own personal integrity.

In summary, being a freelancer for me has been a very positive thing. As long as you develop good working relationships with your employers and you work professionally, you won’t have many problems.

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