5 Must-have Skills for Freelance Writers

Freelance writing can be as rewarding as it is stressful. So if you’re thinking about being a freelance writer and wishing to lean more towards the rewarding instead of the stressful part, you need to acquire some skills.

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There are 5  skills that all freelance writer must have. What are they? Read on to find out.

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Time Management

Being self-employed  gives you a great amount of freedom. You can choose when you want to sit down and write. However, on the other side of the coin, such freedom can backstab you when you can’t manage your time.

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Spending an hour or two a day to play your favorite video game or watch your favorite TV series is alright. But when you start to forget that you have a deadline to meet, you’ll be rushing things to get stuff done. Do your best to have a schedule and stick to it for real.

Editing and Proofreading

Writing, editing, and proofreading go hand in hand. Everything you’ve written must pass the editing phase before you submit it to the client. Check each sentence and see if it fulfills a purpose. Then check for spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes. Remember that every time you add something new to your work, you need to do both the editing and proofreading too.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

With millions of websites out there, you need to stand out in the eyes of search engines. One way to improve the visibility of your content is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The basic is to incorporate search terms or keywords into your content so search engine.

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SEO doesn’t mean that you should stuff keywords into your content at the cost of readability. The days when you can list hundreds of words in a page and rank well for each and every one of them had long past.

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Always pay attention to keyword density – the number of times a keyword is written divided by the total number of words in the article. Different industries may have different acceptable ranges of keyword density so you should research it for before writing the content.

Content Management System (CMS)

Making a website from scratch costs a lot of time and money. Many people choose the easier way to build their website using Content Management System (CMS). CMS makes it simple to set up and customize a small to medium website. Knowing how to use a CMS is essential as you may be asked to manage the website content too instead of just writing them.

Adaptability

As a writer, you must be able to adapt to various content types as well as different platforms to publish them.

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Often times your clients will ask you to produce a variety of writing for different purposes. Some examples are:

  • promotional piece such as a landing page for their new products and services
  • blog posts to attract traffic
  • proposals and various business documents,
  • social media posts to improve their social media recognition.

Be flexible and embrace change. That’s what great freelancers do to stay in the game.

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OK, did the list above seem overwhelming? No worries. Take your time to polish one skill at a time and you’ll soon be a successful freelance writer.

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