5 Freelance Writing Mistakes Beginners Make

Carla Tensuan

Carla Tensuan

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Whether you’re just starting out freelancing or you’ve been at it for some time, you’re bound to make freelance writing mistakes occasionally. It’s not easy making a living from freelance writing, so it’s not surprising if you sometimes struggle to keep your standards up. But before you know it, those little slips can snowball into something much more damaging to your freelance business.

If you want to stand out (for all the right reasons), you need to be strategic with your approach. So, what are the top five freelance writing mistakes that new writers often commit? Keep reading to find out more.

Lowering your rates to win clients

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The freelance market is competitive. It’s even more cutthroat when you look at the rates different clients are willing to pay. So, it’s easy to lower your rates in a desperate bid to win new clients. This is one of the most frequent mistakes new writers make.

When you set a specific price and receive a particular volume of work, you assume you’re being charged a fair market rate. But this isn’t always the case. It also damages your reputation and puts you at a competitive disadvantage in the long run. If you lower your rates to win clients, you’ll likely receive more rejections and less desirable work.

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Waiting until inspiration strikes

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Freelancers don’t like to admit that they aren’t 100% consistent. You may be one who never seems to run out of ideas, but most freelancers will tell you they hit a creative dry spell at some point.

There’s plenty of advice to help you deal with the creative dry spell, but few people like to admit that they’re waiting until they hit that period before writing. And it’s not just freelancers who feel this way. Many people recognize that they often wait until they feel inspired to write.

It’s easy to think that freelancing is simply a case of sitting down and hammering out a few articles every day, but it’s a lot more complicated. Waiting for inspiration to strike isn’t helpful because it assumes that all your articles will be created in one go.

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Overthinking your writing

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If you want to succeed as a freelance writer, you need to accept that you’re only human and will make mistakes. No matter how much experience you’ve had writing, you’ll always make mistakes when you’re starting. Some might be minor grammar errors, while others can be costly decisions. All you can do is be deliberate about your writing and use past mistakes as stepping stones to understand your creative process better. Don’t aim for perfection—strive for excellence. Learn from your mistakes and move forward.

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Forgetting to track sales leads

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By far, the biggest mistake freelance writers make is forgetting to track their sales leads. As a small business owner, so many things can distract you from your business that it’s easy to lose track of what’s happening. As a result, most freelance writers don’t know exactly how much they’re making until they get paid at the end of the month. This can lead to serious cash flow issues if you aren’t careful.

Tracking every sale you make is critical for two reasons. First, it gives you insight into how your business is doing. You can see how many clients you’re converting into buyers and whether or not you’re getting repeat business from the same clients. Second, tracking sales leads lets you know when to step up the pace of your work. You’re on track to meet your goals if you’ve consistently closed deals. But if sales have been slow, you need to adjust your strategy to get more clients in the door.

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Not promoting yourself

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You need to promote yourself when you’ve written some articles and want to put them out there. You need to tell people about your freelance writing services and tell them you have something for them.

It may sound obvious, but the truth is that many freelancers don’t do this. They write some articles, put them online, and then hope for the best. But it’s best if you market yourself. It doesn’t matter how good your writing is (and believe me, most new writers know that it isn’t excellent). People aren’t going to hire you if you don’t promote yourself.

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Freelance writing can be a lucrative and rewarding career choice. If done correctly, there are unlimited options for where you can work as a freelancer. But freelancing can also be challenging, as many writers don’t realize that a successful freelance business depends on more than just being good at writing. It requires strategic planning, maintenance, and a solid understanding of the marketplace.

This article has listed the top five freelance writing mistakes that beginners often make. While these mistakes may seem small, they can quickly become bigger issues if left unchecked. Freelance writing is a challenging profession, and anyone who makes the mistake of committing them will find themselves feeling less than fulfilled.

About the author

Carla Tensuan is a freelance writer, editor, and communications specialist. She specializes in crafting creative copy, blog content, and press releases. She enjoys listening to podcasts, reading books, and practicing yoga in her free time. She lives with her husband in Manila, Philippines.