Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Biggest Mistake Among Would-Be Freelance Writers

So you want to write for a living.

You have dreams of crafting prose in a funky little coffee shop while everybody else is slaving in a sterile cubicle. The vagabond writer's lifestyle ... taking your laptop to hammocks, the beach, a lakeside cabin .... hey! That's something to which to aspire, right?

This is the biggest mistake of the mindset of would-be freelance writers.

They focus too much on what they want and completely forget about the needs of their clients.

Now don't get me wrong. Freelancing does provide a lot of freedom. Notice that "free" is in both of those words? As a single mom of a boy with Asperger's, I often need the flexibility of freelancing to meet my child's unique needs. However, if I focus solely on my needs, suddenly my business becomes single-mom-centric, and clients pick up on that vibe.

Not good.

So what can you do?

Stop thinking about your freelancing in terms of a writer and start thinking about your freelancing in terms of a business person.

Recently on Twitter, I found Richard Petrillo (, who provided great insight to this very question:

I could rehash the whole thing here, but if you're serious about getting your writing off of the ground as a business, then check out Richard's advice. Everything you need to know is right there. When he uses the word, "product," substitute it for the word, "article," or "fiction book," or "poem," whatever type of writing you're selling. And really put yourself in the shoes of your potential clients.

Because at the end of the day, you won't find yourself in that funky coffee shop unless you have people who are excited about paying for what you're generating.

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