Published on 29th Aug., 2017

Silly Mistakes to Avoid in Your Freelance Writing Career

When you’re on the road to building a successful freelance writing career, there are many challenges to navigate like choosing a niche to start with, finding good clients, and raising your rates over time.

But even with those challenges, sometimes the biggest obstacle you have to overcome is yourself. Speaking from my own freelance writing experience, I know how easy it is to get in your own way without even realizing it. If you want to build a thriving career as a freelance writer, be sure to avoid these silly mistakes.

Hoping for a Perfect First Draft

Thinking that you’ll write a perfect first draft is a sure-fire way to set yourself up for disappointment. Don’t make the mistake of expecting an incredible article on your first go because revisions will always be necessary. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer - you’re just human like the rest of us. As author John Dufresne puts it, “The purpose of the first draft is not to get it right, but to get it written.”

Forgetting to Improve Your Writing Skills

Whether you’ve been writing for six months or 16 years, there’s always room to grow as a writer! Don’t forget to improve your writing skills by taking a new course, reading a book on writing, or doing critiques with other writers. When you feel like you’ve mastered your niche, then it might be time to branch out into new topics or formats.

Doubting Yourself

“I’m not a good enough writer.” “No one will ever pay me good rates.” “I’ll never land another writing assignment.”

While it’s easy to let these kinds of doubts take over, a lack of confidence is only going to hold you back. Kick your negative voices to the curb and spend some time building yourself up with positive thoughts instead. You are a good writer, you will get paid well, and you will find plenty of writing assignments you enjoy.

Not Treating Freelancing Like a Business

Even if you don’t consider yourself an entrepreneur, your freelance writing career is a business. Along with the writing you do, you’ve got to spend time on tasks like marketing your services, invoicing clients, and scheduling your time. You also need to manage your finances, save for retirement, and set aside money for yearly taxes. Treat freelancing like a business and your business will start to grow much faster.

Forgetting to Show Off You Work

If you aren’t consistently showcasing your work, it’s hard to attract more clients and writing assignments. Every time you have a new article published, be sure to add it to your writing portfolio. Update your Journo Portfolio on a regular basis so everyone viewing your portfolio will see your best writing on display.

We’re always juggling a lot as freelance writers, so it’s easy to accidentally get sidetracked into making some of these mistakes. By staying aware of what you’re doing, you can avoid these silly mistakes and build a successful career as a freelance writer.

Robyn Petrik is a freelance writer from Vancouver, Canada, and specializes in writing blog posts and social media content for creative small businesses. Along with writing, she also spends time painting on her iPad, reading, hiking, and eating too much peanut butter. You can learn more about Robyn at and connect with her on Twitter.

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