Landing your first gig freelance writing gig is a significant milestone. But there are many more steps to take to become a successful freelancer. Freelancing is a long-term commitment. It requires time, patience, and a willingness to learn. One of the best ways to improve your success as a freelance writer is by making simple upgrades that will help you continue growing.
Here are four upgrades that are well worth the investment. You don’t need to spend that much to see results.
Invest in a good laptop
Many freelance writers work from home, which means they have to stay in front of their computers for most of the day. You can’t be an effective freelancer if you don’t have a reliable laptop. It may sound like a costly expense, but it’s a piece of equipment that will help you write more efficiently. If you buy an entry-level laptop, the specifications will be much lower than if you invest in a mid-range or premium one. Your computer might not be powerful enough to process multiple tasks.
Get a website
One of the most important investments you can make is to have a professional website. A website will act as the hub for your entire business. More than just an online portfolio, your site is a place to showcase your work and display information about you. It’s your resume, portfolio, and business card all in one. It’s your online home where you can be found by prospective clients searching for freelancers like you. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a website. Platforms such as WordPress and JournoPortfolio offer templates, and you can even purchase your preferred domain at an affordable price.
Upgrade your skills
Freelancing is about providing high-quality work to your clients and establishing yourself as an expert and valuable resource in your industry. To take your freelancing career to the next level, you need to improve the skills that make you stand out.
Invest in training and professional development. If you see areas where you lack knowledge, such as search engine optimization, then take the time to learn more about them. Write every day. Take massive open online courses and attend workshops. Read books and listen to podcasts from established writers to hone your writing and business skills.
Consider writing tools and apps
An easy way to upgrade is to use online writing tools and apps. You might not spend much time thinking about what tools and apps you use because they’ve always been there. But if you want to improve your writing process, it’s worth experimenting with tools that can help. For example, CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer rates your blog headlines and suggests how to improve them. Evernote can organize your meeting notes, to-do lists, and blog topics and titles in one place. Writesonic can quickly generate all kinds of copy, including landing pages, meta tags and descriptions, and social media captions.
Use accounting and tax filing software
When you’re freelancing, you’ll need to do your taxes. But let’s be honest. Preparing and filing your taxes can be painful. It can be time-consuming and complicated for people unfamiliar with bookkeeping, accounting, and the tax system. One way to simplify your bookkeeping and tax filing is by subscribing to software such as QuickBooks and Taxumo. These will help you stay on top of what you’ve earned, what you’ve spent, and the tax returns you need to file and settle as a self-employed professional. You won’t need to worry about falling behind or getting behind in managing your finances while ensuring everything is filed correctly.
If you haven’t made some investments in your freelancing business, now is the time to start. While these may seem insignificant initially, they will make a big difference in your work.