Introduction:Freelance writing is a business, contrary to what to what your family and friends may say or think. As a freelance writer, you are a professional in a highly specialized field doing a job that few can do well. It is well past time that you started treating your freelance writing as a business.
As a freelance writer, you must always act in a professional manner. You may do your writing eating Oreo cookies in bed, but the world doesn't need to know this. This "secret fact" should not make you think that what your doing is not a business. Sometimes it helps to get dressed as if you were going to an office to work, especially if you are having doubts about your career. When you are between writing gigs, start a project to add to your portfolio so you are always working.
As a freelance writer, you need to have a writing schedule or routine - something more than "when the mood strikes." Have certain times of the day (or night) set aside to write. Of course, you don't have to keep banker's hours, but you do need to be disciplined enough to finish all your writing assignments and projects. Some writers do not write according to the numbers on the clock; if this is you, write according to the word count or assignment you have selected as your goal.
As a freelance writer, you need space where you can write. Set up a home office somewhere that is convenient for you and your family. Make sure there is enough room for all your writing supplies. Computer, pens, paper and files must have their own space. Make sure your office is comfortable to you. Have a chair that fits your body type and a desk that is big enough for everything are necessary. If your freelance writing career has really taken off, consider renting office space.
Business cards will make you look and feel as if you are truly a business owner. Chose a name for your "company" and use this on your cards. Be sure to include your name, telephone number (and fax number, if you have one), email address and a short list of the services you provide on your business cards. VistaPrint is an excellent online source for business cards; you can get business cards from them for the cost of shipping. They offer other printing services as well at competitive rates.
Treat your clients as you would expect to be treated when you walk into a business or call them. Never let them suspect you are talking to them wearing fuzzy slippers or the work they are paying you to do is done at three in the morning because the children are asleep and your home is quiet. Walk, talk, dress and act like a professional when attempting to retain new clients. Have a portfolio for them to look through, whether is is a "hard copy" or one you have put online.
Treat your freelance writing career as a business. Respect yourself and your chosen profession. When you treat freelance writing as a business, you will see that others will as well. Not only will this boost your confidence, but it will make you a more productive and profitable freelance writer.
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