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By William Ballard
The secret to making top dollar as a freelance writer or copywriter isn't really a secret at all. It involves a lot of self-discipline and hard work, and for this reason many people decide to take short cuts. And that's when the rate you could demand begins to drop. I hope you choose not be one of those people.
During my time as a freelance writer, I've seen examples where well-thought out, well-placed investments of time, effort and little cash have dramatically improved the asking/sale rate and decreased the time period in which an article has sold. The following tips will show you how even minor business improvements can substantially improve the worth and marketability of your writing.
In today's freelance writing market, there are no guarantees that you will recoup the time and/or money you spend to improve the value of you — and this is why it is important that you pick the right items/investments (areas of development such as skills and knowledge).
But even when you don't recoup all the money you invest to grow skillfully and competently, many improvements can give you a significant edge over your competition. And the failure to make some improvements can leave you at a tremendous disadvantage as clients compare your skills and expertise with other similar freelance writers in your niche.
Believe me, I have witnessed it time and time again.
Increase the Value of Self and in Doing So You Will Increase the Value of Your Writing Business
Unless your writing business is in excellent condition, or you're marketing it as if it is something that it is not, there's probably quite a list of improvements to consider.These can range from very simple changes, such as never compromising integrity for growth, to more complex development of certain skills and knowledge.
In considering any type of writing assignment, you need to keep in mind a couple of important questions: Why are you doing it? Is it an article that will really make a difference in the world, or is it a writing assignment that you think will give you bragging rights? Will it aid in increasing the value of your writing business (not to mention the value of you), or will it have no impact at all? Will it make your writing services something worth investing in from a client's perspective?
Some investments, like reading books or listening to audios, involve relatively little in monetary value, but come back with an even greater return. Other improvements that you think may add value have no real meaningful impact. Paying for a fancy website is a good example. Besides the hassles of maintenance, a fancy website can reduce your business's appeal among certain prestigious clients because of insecurity concerns. In other words, most people that don't think too highly of themselves like to show off in ways that show just how insecure they really are (something to think about...).
A Failure to Plan is a Plan to Fail...
If there's one piece of advice I would really like you to take to heart it's this: Always have a plan. Careful planning on your part is a necessity to undertaking any writing project, major or minor. In fact, the most rapid way a 'minor' project explodes into a major one is when you haven't thought things through in advance. I want to stop you from getting in over your head because you haven't thought things through before starting the writing assignment.
Always expect to spend more time and money than you initially anticipated. But by planning well, you can guarantee that the work you do adds the greatest value at the lowest cost. Be systematic. Try preparing yourself for every writing project by listing 'exterior' and 'interior' areas of development, then break it down further by specifics. Exterior meaning research and interviews, and interior meaning your own perspective, observations, and opinions of each subject you are writing about.
One important factor to keep in mind is that if you do the work yourself (no outsourcing), you'll probably generate more profit than what you paid out for the improvement of your business and yourself. You can probably save anywhere from 10 to 30 percent by removing hired labor from the equation. On the other hand, you may pay more for work done by professionals, but personal and business improvements can intrigue the desire in potential clients minds to do business with you.
Whether you tackle the work yourself or hire professionals depends on several things. Do you have the time? Do you have a team or partners that you can work with, or are you going to do it all yourself? How skilled are you and your colleagues in the task at hand? You may decide to divide the job—your colleague does the major work and you do the less complicated work eg. finishing (reviewing) and polishing (editing). Doing some of the work yourself can save you money. But no matter what you do, the key lies in doing it well. If that means getting someone on your team to assist you, do it.
A poorly done job can do more harm than good for your writing business.
Now Over to You...
Was this article valuable to you? If so, share your thoughts and observations in the comments below. I would really like to hear how you are not only making your writing business more valuable, but I would also like to know how you are making yourself invaluable.
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About William Ballard
Freelance Writer, Copywriter, Blogger, Inbound Marketing Specialist, and Author, William Ballard, helps small businesses and entrepreneurs, like you, broadcast their message across the Internet (and offline) and be seen as experts in their field. He has recently been dubbed the Expert Marketer of Writing.
William, a writer and content creator since 2007, enjoys sharing with others his experience on how to become a successful writer, blogger, and author. View more about William Ballard →