Freelance Writing – 5 Mistakes To Avoid

by Amanda J Evans on April 22, 2013

When we begin our freelance writing career there is always an air of excitement and optimism. We are full of the joys having discovered that we can actually get paid for doing what we love. Yes, this is the way we all start and the key to success if keeping it this way. In this article I want to look at seven mistakes that all new freelance writers should do their best to avoid.




Mistake #1: No Marketing Knowledge:

When you decide to become a freelance writer, your goal is to get and keep clients. If you know how to successfully market your services this is something that will happen. Many freelancers find themselves giving up too easily because they can’t find clients. Knowing how to market yourself will bring clients to you. You won’t have to go looking. The key here is to brush up on your marketing skills and spend some time every day promoting your freelance writing work.

Mistake #2: Taking On Too Much:

I know, I know, you want the work, but taking on too much work can lead to disaster. You end up working constantly and you can’t give each client your best. You need to take some time to build up your client list and understand how much time each individual project is going to take. This all comes with time and taking on too much at the start can lead to burn out. You want to keep that excited and optimistic feeling you started with don’t you? Too much work will leave you working day and night and struggling to keep up. Pace yourself and learn to balance your work and personal life. Otherwise you might find yourself dreading having to ever write another article again.

Mistake #3: Not Taking Deadlines Seriously

In freelance writing, your credibility is everything. If you miss deadlines you can severely damage your reputation. The internet really does make this a very small world and just one bad comment from someone about you can lead to your demise. You need to take your deadlines very seriously. Don’t be late. Your clients have deadlines too and if they can’t trust you to deliver, they will find someone else.

Mistake #4: Not Getting Rid of Bad Clients

We’ve all had them, clients who don’t pay on time, who change project direction half way through and those who demand constant revisions. If this happens no matter how tempting it is to hold onto, you need to break free. These clients will drain you and before you know it, you will begin to dread writing. For your own sanity and to keep the excitement of writing alive, you need to get rid of bad clients. Remember you are offering a service and if your service is not being respected, you have the right to withdraw it.

Mistake #5: Getting Caught Up In Negativity

When you first start freelancing it is normal to read everything you can, join forums and communicate with other writers. It’s an exciting time and you want to share in your new found joy. Whilst writing groups, etc., is good for you and helps you to build your knowledge base, it can also be your downfall. Writing groups and jobs board forums can be filled with negativity. You will come across people constantly complaining about low rates, poor job prospectives and more. Reading too much into all of this can cause you to start doubting your own work. If you are happy with what you are doing and how much you are being paid for it, don’t let anyone take that away from you. There will always be negativity surrounding rates and freelance writing and it is up to you to stop this impacting on your career. The bottom line is, don’t listen to negativity. You have your goals and you can achieve them.


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Amanda J Evans

Freelance Writer/Ghostwriter/Author
I am a writer and author living in Ireland with my husband and two wonderful children. I have been writing for as long as I can remember and love working in the self help and spiritual genres. My other specialist area is online gambling and I have been writing for this genre since 2007. I am always available to discuss project ideas and collaborations as well as book writing.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Diana Schneidman 04.25.13 at 2:21 am


That’s a very helpful list of freelancing mistakes.

I’ve got another to add to the list: Not doing your best work. It goes right along with taking on too much work.

Lots of experts warn against perfectionism. While it’s possible to drive yourself crazy with perfectionism, I believe it’s much more common to lower our standards, especially if we realize we are undercharging for the job.

Never take an assignment unless you are committed to doing your best for the agreed upon fee.


2 Amanda J Evans 04.25.13 at 8:45 am

Thanks Diana, This is definitely worth mentioning. If you are going to accept a freelance writing job, you need to give it your all no matter what you are charging for it.

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