10 Key Points Freelance Content Writers Must Embrace Now to Compete in the Future

freelance-writerIf you’re a freelance content writer who is used to taking shortcuts, your future writing career may be in jeopardy.

Here’s why–freelance writing is undergoing a dramatic change. The changes are partly due to the more sophisticated search engine algorithms, which are increasingly able to identify poor quality content and spam.

The changes are also due to the growing respect for and recognition of quality writing from reputable online publications and webmasters. Online publishers are finally starting realize that quality really does count and many are finally willing to pay for it.

These trends are going to continue.

In this post, I’ll share some of the mindset changes some freelance writers may need to make in order to stay in the business. If you liked this post, you may also enjoy 7 Pricing Resources to Help You Set Your Freelancing Rate.

10 Points About Web Content You Must Understand

Not everyone who has been published online will have a successful career as a web content writer.

If you’ve been focused on creating high quality content, you probably have nothing to worry about. However, if you became a freelance writer because you were looking for a fast, easy way to make a buck, you may need to rethink what you’re doing.

In the past, a few freelance writers took shortcuts with their writing and got away with it. That’s becoming a thing of the past. Serious website owners and publications are no longer satisfied with cheap. They are looking for the best writers. If you want to succeed, you need to become the best.

So if you write for pay, make sure that:

  1. Your writing has real value. When web content was relatively new, many website owners were happy just to publish articles or posts as often as possible. Many of those pieces had little real value for anyone. Today’s web publisher is looking for something more.
  2. What you write is original. Scraping content and spinning content has never been a good idea. Most reputable online publications check submissions for originality, so don’t even think about submitting someone else’s work as your own.
  3. You do your research. Research is one area where poor freelance writers often try to cut corners. However, today’s reputable publications are looking for well-thought out, well-researched pieces. Writers are going to have to take the time to check and double-check their information for accuracy.
  4. You have claimed authorship. Google Authorship links your content with your Google+ profile. Authorship is going to become even more important in the future. Be sure that yours is set up properly. Other networks may develop their own ranking systems for authors–watch for it.
  5. Social sharing is part of your routine. Have you been ignoring social media? If you’re not on social media and you’re a freelance writer, you’re already at a competitive disadvantage. Social media is how most new content is discovered.
  6. Proofreading is a part of every project. This has always been true, of course, but it’s an area where writers sometimes try to take a shortcut. Many writing tools have a spell checker, but go beyond that and look at each sentence. Tools like Grammarly can help.
  7. You spend some real time writing. A good writer doesn’t usually create good content ready to be published in fifteen minutes, or less. (Yes, I’ve actually seen writers who claim to be able to write quality articles in that amount of time.) If you rush your writing, usually the reader can tell.
  8. Your prices reflect your status as a professional. One reason writers rush through their writing is because they seriously undercharge for their work. If you undercharge for your work, it puts you in the position of having to write very quickly if you are to have even a slim hope of earning a living.
  9. You say goodbye to your comfort zone. Are you too shy to talk on the phone? Maybe you’re afraid to approach editors or afraid of rejection. While those are valid fears, if you can’t get over those fears, maybe freelance writing isn’t the right choice for you.
  10. Yes, the competition will be stiff. Many people want to become freelance writers. But if you’re following the advice in this post, you’re ready for the competition. Best wishes to you.

Your Turn

Freelance writing is coming of age. Publishers are starting to realize the very real value of good content and are seeking it out.

Are you ready for the change?

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