Freelancing is no different to any other career. In order to succeed we have to improve our skills and sometimes take part in some training. This year I am attending college and studying freelance journalism. My reason for this is to improve my skills and career prospects.
Each year I like to do an inventory of the work I have completed the year before. This can be quite a good learning exercise. I like to read back over some of the work from the start of the year to see where I have improved and where I might improve further. Grammar is not my speciality but it is an area that I have been improving. I try to read as much information as I can and then make my own notes and files. I find that this helps me to retain the information.
Improving my skills and furthering my training allows me to not only better myself, but it gives me the credentials that are often required for higher paying jobs. The freelance journalism course that I am taking looks at writing for magazines and newspapers as well as radio and television. It focuses on query letters, writers markets, taxes and more. I can also used the credits I receive to further my studies and do my masters if I choose.
As I looked back over samples it amazed me how much my writing had grown. Pieces I had written in 2004 now look dismal and I cringed on reading them. As I progressed through the years I could see a marked improvement. For the past number of years I have specialised in SEO content and this too has changed. When I look back on earlier pieces that are filled with unnecessary keywords, I can see why the internet has become overcrowded with poor and pointless content. Keywords were the thing and as a freelance writer, I had to follow the guidelines set out by my clients. If only they had of listened and put quality before the keywords. I guess many of them are paying the price now.
Every freelance writer I know is always striving to do their best and improve on their skills. These are the successful writers that earn $100 or more for a blog post or article. These are the people who see their writing as a business and a career choice. They want to get the most from it. They want to be the best that they can be. These are the people who are succeeding.
What I am trying to say to all the new freelance writers out there and to those who are just plodding along is that if you want to get the high paying jobs and you want to be a success you have to work at it. How often do you review your skills? How often do you look for ways to improve? If you are not doing this then you really are selling yourself short. People who want to be athletes, musicians, singers, dancers, etc., all have one thing in common; they train hard and they work on improving their skills. If you want to be a successful freelance writer then this is what you have to do.
Until next time,
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