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Tips to Become a More Versatile Freelance Writer

November 10, 2011

in Freelancing

Flexible freelance writer

One of the greatest aspects of freelance writing is the flexibility it offers. Whether you are a full-time or part-time freelance writer, you probably have a large say in what types of jobs or projects you agree to take. There are many different styles of writing and subjects available for you to write about, but do you ever find yourself overlooking potentially lucrative projects because you weren’t comfortable with the style or content that was required? If so, you don’t have to anymore. Following a few tips for personal growth can help develop writing skills that will turn you into a more versatile and marketable freelance writer.

1. Get Inspired

Maybe you are great at writing blog articles, but aren’t as comfortable with your technical writing skills. Or maybe you are a great technical writer but struggle with creativity. Every writer has their strongpoints, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t develop others. One of the best ways to start developing your other writing styles is to get inspired by other talented readers. Whether you’re hoping to get better at news writing, creative writing, technical writing, or any other style, you can read others’ work in these styles to get inspiration. Pay attention to the voice they use, the vocabulary that is selected, and how they structure their work. Of course, you eventually want to create your own unique style, but learning from how others write is a great starting point.

2. Don’t Stop Learning

To become a really versatile freelance writer, it’s important to never stop learning how to be better. Don’t think that just because you are getting paid for your work, that it is as good as it possibly could be. Learn about different writing styles that you may not be as familiar with. Becoming skilled with formats like APA Style, MLA Style, AP Style (news writing), ad copy writing, SEO-friendly writing, and more, will open up many more possibilities for your freelance career. Purchase style guides or find free style tips online to improve your work.

3. Perfect Your Grammar

Excellent grammar is a diminishing skill these days. Putting a little extra time into making sure your work has no grammatical errors is vital in becoming known as a reputable freelance writer. Freelancers who deliver work that isn’t polished and contains grammatical errors probably won’t be hired again by that same company or organization. In the world of freelancing, connections can be your key to success, so don’t lose them by providing less-than-perfect work. If you haven’t quite perfected your proofreading skills yet, the internet is one of the best resources to find free, helpful information about correct grammar. If you have any friends in the freelance industry, consider setting up a partnership where you can proofread each other’s work until you are confident enough to do a flawless job with your own pieces.

4. Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Sometimes the best way to learn about writing in new styles is to actually do it. The next time you catch yourself passing by a freelance writing project because the style or subject matter doesn’t interest you, think again. Accepting a job that you normally wouldn’t have, will force you to push your writing limits outside of your comfort zone. Sure, it may take more time and a lot more brain power to complete, but in the end you will have learned a lot more about developing your writing skills. Start small by picking up a few unusual projects here and there at first. After you become comfortable with that style, it will become easier and more enjoyable for you to write in a style you never thought you could. Soon enough, you’ll find that you won’t be turning away opportunities just because you don’t think you have the ability to write them.

Written by Erika Potter
Erika Potter is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about blogging, SEO, and public relations. She currently works as an Internet marketing specialist at a Utah advertising agency.

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