6/20/10

The Problem with Freelance Writing Tips

Have you ever visited a site promising freelance writing tips, only to find that the information on it really doesn't help what you're trying to achieve? There are literally millions of sites on the Internet offering freelance writing tips, but how many of them really have anything different to say than any of the others?

I've found there are a few common types of freelance writing site getting around the place. These are usually:

- great value, packed with helpful information and valid knowledge imparted by a working freelance writer
- average, containing information that could be helpful under the right circumstances
- pathetically lame, usually written by someone who really doesn't know what it means to work full time in this industry, but who is generally earning a few bucks on a revenue share site somewhere.

However, I've noticed there's one specific type of 'freelance writing tips' site missing from the general, run-of-the-mill sites:

- the site that remembers that every freelance writer is an individual and will want to set up their own freelance business in their own way according to their own unique taste, style and schedule.

Curious, isn't it?

You see, the majority of freelance writing tips available often tell you to go out and follow the precise steps listed on the site. Do it their way and they promise you'll succeed. While their intentions are good, these kinds of tips don't take into account that not every writer WANTS to write white papers or technical articles or web content or ebooks or whatever else they recommend to do next.

Let's be honest, if I said to you the only way you're going to earn money as a freelancer is to do the exact same thing I did, would you do it? Even if you knew you probably wouldn't like most of the topics I really enjoy writing about? You'd be bored out of your mind and not stick with it too long.

Then there are those freelance writing sites that offer some information designed to get you really interested in what they're saying. Just as they get to the good bits, they'll stop giving out the good information and promote a manual/course/book promising you even more good information. This is a simple affiliate marketing tactic designed to part you from your hard earned money and earn the webmaster a few quick bucks from your sale. There's absolutely nothing wrong with affiliate marketing - plenty of people make a good living this way. Just be aware of what it is when you're reading through sites.

The point I'm making is that your freelance writing business is completely 100% up to YOU. You're the boss, so you choose what you want to write. You choose which clients you want to work with. You choose whether you're going to accept work or not. You also get to choose what types of work you want to focus on to earn your money.

You get to make the decisions.

So the next time you  visit a site offering freelance writing tips, check first whether they cater to you as a writer who owns his or her own individual business, or whether you're being told how and where to jump next like an obedient sheep...
;)

4 comments:

Carson Brackney said...

Couldn't agree more.

The Isley Brothers have it right: "It's your thing / Do what you wanna do / I can't tell you / Who to sock it to..."

If someone claims to know THE way, they may or may not know A way. They probably don't know YOUR way.

All freelance writing info should be approached with that in mind.

Michael Rivers said...

Very good post. There are so many sites that give the exact some information.

Marielsol said...

Got your link in a work-at-home forum. I cicked to read the one post and ended up reading all the way through. Very well written with commendable tips on writing.

I am one of those frustrated writers who've read all those generic how-to articles on freelancing as a writer and have about given up completely trying to find writing jobs online. Your articles gave me new energy and encouragement to try again.

I've bookmarked your page for future visit to your blog for more valuable tips. Thanks

Mj Ces said...

I agree that people have their own ways on how to get about their freelance writing business. How you want to start is primarily your decision and all of those freelance writing tips are merely there to give you an idea. And yes, I also wish there would be more "uniqueness" in the way these tips are written or given.