News & Stories

8 Challenges that you face as a Freelance Writer and their Solutions

freelancer india

I’m a freelance writer. I have been at it for quite some time now and enjoy it very much. That being said, it doesn’t come without its challenges. If I had a dime for every time someone said it’s such an easy job, I’d have a bag full of change to bump them on the head with.

This article intends to enumerate the obstacles that one might find on the way to ‘writersville’. It will also endeavor to provide workable solutions to these hurdles.

Below mentioned are certain problems I’m sure a lot of writers face and they would relate to this. And if this could be of any help to my peers, especially the ones who are starting out to make a career in writing, extra brownie points for me.


1. Finding freelance work regularly
freelancer-regular-projects

I am sure most writers go crazy scratching their heads at the beginning, with only question in mind, “Where do we find work and reliable clients?” And by clients, I mean the ones who offer quality work and on a regular basis.

Most people have no clue where to start off from. I know I didn’t. So I did what all aspiring freelancers do; I promoted my profile on social media and went around looking for freelance jobs among my friends and associates. I took the search to google and landed on sites like Freelancer and Upwork.

The Challenge: Fierce competition

There are thousands of freelancers from India, USA and Pakistan competing against you to get the same project.

Not only are the numbers against you, they are also doing it for a cheaper rate. You’ll have to short sell yourself.

The Solution: Visibility

Use competition as an opportunity. Offer unique services with more value.

Look for niches. Look for people/ organizations that need the service you are providing. Offer tailor made solutions to them. Let the results show you’re worth the extra dollar.

Start a blog. Write consistently. Aim for independence and increased visibility.

Put up a website with your services on it. Market the hell out of it.

Work on websites like Croogster that are less crowded. Crooging gives you a continuous flow of projects, so that you don’t have to go hunting every time.

Increase your offline visibility. Get a flyer designer pro to design a one pager or a creative banner for you and distribute it among friends to pin it up in their offices and colleges. You will be surprised with the response you get.


2. Stay away from Distractions
freelancer-distraction

‘With freedom comes great responsibility.’

– Eleanor Roosevelt

A big part of being a freelancer is being driven and exercising self-restraint. It is easy to lose sight of ones objectives.

The Challenge: Maintaining Professionalism

As freelancers usually work remotely and without any supervision, it easy to get distracted.

‘Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.’ It is the difference between what you SHOULD be doing and what you ARE doing.

The Solution: Strong Work Ethics

Have a dedicated work zone, an office within your home or a workstation. Keep it free of distractions. A place where you can zone into work mode.

Use tools like headphones to channel oneself.

Avoid constantly peaking at social media or lusting through your Netflix playlist.


3. Managing your Time wisely
freelancer-time-management

Time is money, especially so for freelancers. I cannot stress how important it is to be accountable with your time and using it judiciously.

The Challenge: Time Management and Deadlines

Most clients will expect you to complete said project within a stipulated time frame.

Having multiple projects means deadlines could coincide.

The Solution: Prioritization

You must set your priorities Think before you commit. Maintain timelines.

Rather than taking up a lot of small projects, it is advisable to take up one big project and dedicate your time and energy to it.


4. Keep your Productivity strictly high
freelancer-productivity

It does not serve your purpose, if you spent the whole night working but all you really did was browse through 9GAG and put in 250 words.

The Challenge: Optimal Use of Time

Results are awarded and not efforts.

The number of hours put in must reflect on the output of work.

The Solution: Result Oriented Approach

Set achievable targets. Accomplish them without fail.

Monitor the time it takes for you to write. Try to beat the time next time around

Here’s a list of some really important productivity tools for freelancers


5. Writers go Blank sometimes

freelance writer

This is every writer’s worst nightmare. There are times when all you want to do is pig out on junk food and laze around.

The Challenge: A Creative Chokehold

No matter how hard you push yourself, you stare at a blank Microsoft Word document for hours.

You can’t decide upon topics, subject matter, tone of writing, etc.

The Solution:

Take a walk. Play some video games. Distract yourself.

READ. It’ll get those creative juices flowing. Reading will provide fuel to the fire. You must consume if you must produce.

Maintain a ritual like actors or athletes do. It could be anything; like reading a blog you follow or tuning into your favorite music.

Invest the non-creative time into creating a Video to stand out on freelance websites. You can hire a freelance videomaker to get it done in a jiffy or you can do it yourself, it hardly takes much skills.


6. Don’t let your Lifestyle take a toll on your Health
freelancer-india

Writing means leading a sedentary lifestyle. Sitting in one place for extended periods of time has its pitfalls. It takes a toll on the physical well-being.

The Challenge: Not becoming a Couch Potato

The Solution:

Maintain a healthy diet. Easier said than done, eh?

Follow a schedule. Stick to timings. Get plentiful sleep.

Include at least an hour of physical activity/ sports in your routine.


7. Plan your Personal Finances
freelancer-finance-management

There are times when there’s too much month left at the end of your money. One can only eat Instant noodles for so long.

The Challenge: Uncertainty 

You may or may not have adequate projects at hand to cover all costs.

The Solution: Start Digging

Plan your finances. Find work accordingly.

Spread out projects over a couple of months to guarantee a continual source of income.

Have at least a few permanent clients. Repeat business is always good.


8. Don’t stick to your Comfort Zone
freelancer-risk

It is easy to find a sweet spot and get cozy whilst writing. It is a common condition amongst writers to get stuck in a rut, like a hamster on a treadmill.

The Challenge: Repetitive Writing

You have a good knowledge in a certain segment that you have been writing on, so you stick to it.

Sometimes researching on new subjects is a pain, so you stick to traditional knowledge.

The Solution: Explore new forms

Avoid repetitive writing. Don’t just stick to a certain area of blogging or reviewing.

Keep trying varied forms of writing. Explore your options.

Maintain versatility in your portfolio. It will help in having a bigger presence.

 
That sums up most of my experiences as a writer. Hope the information above turns out to be useful to you in some way. If you think I may have skipped over any points, please feel welcome to drop any opinions and suggestions/ feedback you might have.

5 November, 2016

16 Proven Advantages & Benefits of Freelancing (Grand List)

freelancer-india

Freelancing a simple concept of working for someone with no strings attached. This one isn’t only for the millennials, it goes out to all of those who are willing to take calculated leaps and break free from deep rooted notions of conventional and orthodox ways of working.

As the title provocatively suggests, that 9-5 isn’t the only way anymore. In fact, as more and more people turn towards ‘radical’ approaches in regards to one’s career, for want of a better work life, it only goes on to prove how unsatisfied we are with the way of things.

This blog is an effort to delve deeper into reasons as to why the 9-5 is falling out of flavor and why freelancing is gaining a remarkable momentum in recent times. Freelance work has gained a reputation of a greener pasture that is more rewarding and highly satisfying. So here are all the mouth-watering benefits of a freelance career you should know about:

 

1. Working for yourself provides the ultimate Motivation
Let’s face it, nobody likes being bossed around and be answerable to someone all the time just because they are buying your time with their money.

When you’re a freelancer, you’ve got no boss to answer to, but yourself. You start working for yourself and at the end of the day you feel good about it. The motivation that you derive from working for yourself is incomparable to any other and you start seeing yourself excel, all you have to do is be open to work and be disciplined & honest when you do it. Just simply deliver good quality at the right time, that’s the simple trick.

 

2. Constant Learning
Employees today, give a remarkable amount of importance to learning. A full time job tends to lock an individual into a specific profile that usually restricts the variety in their learning. For example – A social media marketer spends years doing the same work without being much exposed to content Marketing.

A freelancing career forces an individual to be on their own, this keeps them on their toes. To divert risk and to be able to find more Clients frequently, freelancers start learning a lot of skills that keep them up to date with the emerging market trends. Learning and executing new skills become a lifestyle and this beautifies the culture.

 

3. Holidays and Vacations whenever you Need
freelance-work
Isn’t this the absolute favorite? Freelancing is liberating. It allows you to embark on spontaneous vacations.

No need to over plan your leaves with compensatory offs, no need to desperately wait for weekends, no hurried holidays. Just plan your work and manage deadlines well. Just when you feel like taking a break, stop taking projects. It’s that simple.

 

4. Developing Valuable Connections
Sustaining a living depending on consistent flow of freelance jobs is only possible when you take efforts for doing ground work. Doing ground work requires freelancers to reach potential Clients through multiple channels, leading to a continuous process of creating and maintaining corporate relations with important people that have the capacity to provide career shooting opportunities. Such connections prove to be fruitful for freelancers in the long run.

 

5. Freedom to work from Anywhere
Not only can you head for unplanned vacations, you can take your work along with you. It doesn’t matter where you are, Himalayas or Hawaii, all you need is a good internet coverage.

An emerging kind of freelancers known as Digital Nomads, have started funding their travels from freelance projects. They like to travel around the world and work at the same time so they opt for remote jobs that can be done efficiently.

 

6. Not Influence but Merit based promotion
It is worth considering as to why people give their entire lives to an organization and never even reach close to the top levels. People dedicate their aspirations to their careers spanning over 3 decades and yet they fall short of making heads of their respective departments. It isn’t for lack of effort or smart work, let’s make that clear.

It is simply so, because, there is so much work politics involved. There’s a fight to climb the ladder and people don’t shy away from stepping on you to get where they want to be.  The questions is do you want to be a stepping stone? A rung in an endless ladder?

For freelancers, sky is the limit. So if you’re a designer designing a cartoon online for your Clients, you get paid for the kind of work that you do.  That is the beauty of meritocracy. You get what you deserve and what you work for and the better you work, more you’re promoted.

 

7. Work Life Balance and Social Life
Full time employees often complain of not being able to give enough time to their friends to maintain the social circle. It’s obviously difficult to pay attention to your family and enjoy a healthy work life balance, when your 9 to 5 actually turns into 9 to 8 and you travel home only to realize the day is over. It is important to not take your time for granted because you have limited amount of it.

Freelancers have this amazing advantage over full time employees, that they do not have scheduled daily restrictions. The flexibility gives them space to give equal importance to work and their social life.

 

8. Space to Materialize your Creativity
freelance-designerAn undeniable fact remains that you lose your creativity doing a monotonous full time work that revolves around a job description that requires 1-2 specific sets of skills. You get a thin margin to showcase your creativity as you’re stuck in repetitive work that moves ahead in the same pattern.

In a freelance career, a variety of Clients seek multiple services to accomplish a variety of projects. Such opportunities demand and harness creativity from freelancers, thus satisfying the purpose of their skills and learning.

 

9. Work whenever you want
A compulsion to travel your way to the office and complete the pre-defined hours, does not necessarily decide the productivity of an employee and freelance culture has proved this successfully. If your hobby and profession coincide, the 9-5 becomes irrelevant. You sit on the couch at your home and earn a fortune out of the available opportunities.

Most successful freelancers admit that they work on all days throughout the week and yet maintain a healthy balance between professional and personal lives.

And most work from home. Get into the zone when you’re working and create a dedicated space for yourself that is free if distractions. That’s the trick.

 

10. Branding Yourself
Creating your own identity is crucially important for a freelancer to be known as one. Unlike a full time job where employees spend their whole life behind a desk and the only way to gain some visibility is to impress the immediate heads, a freelance career is based on the ME brand.

Personal Branding becomes a necessity to keep the flow of projects smooth but in the long run its value sky rockets like a rich old bottle of wine. Investing in self-promotion leads to gaining visibility on search engines & social media making your work reachable to a huge number of audience.

 

11. No Monthly Wait to get Payments
We’ve all been through the dreaded month-end crisis, when there’s too much month left at the end of your money. Well no more.

Freelancers usually function on a project and deliverables basis. This ensures that you get paid as soon as your work is done. It provides a continuous cash flow, enabling you to manage your expenses better and lead a stress free life.

 

12. Learning Time Management
freelancingA full time employee generally manages their time and schedule just to avoid frowned eyebrows from their bosses, but when you are working on a freelance project, time is money quite literally. Maintaining happy Clients requires involved parties to respect each other’s time, so that deadlines are met swiftly. It is an important learning and a serious responsibility that inculcates discipline towards work.

 

13. Job Security lies in your Hands
On one hand where regular employees are constantly on their toes stressing about job security, so that they can continue receiving the monthly fixed payments in their bank accounts, a freelancer dictates the terms on the other hand.

A freelancer has the liberty to choose if they want to work on a particular project or not, sure it does require a lot of financial planning but it certainly pays off in terms of satisfaction.

 

14. Escape from Corporate Distractions
Honestly we are all tired of corporate gossip about bosses and colleagues and on some level you know it totally brings your productivity down. During your desk job, the time that you spend in flattering your boss, corporate meetings or e-mail communications, is a thick bunch of wasted time.

A freelancing career is straight forward, it’s not the easiest one but be assured that it will elevate your skills much faster than a corporate job will.

 

15. No Monotonous Work
A typical scenario at a workplace would look like an employee is designated to perform a certain role in a company and is expected to earn, learn and grow at that singular position which not only limits one’s learning but also confines the exposure to the available possibilities.

But a freelancer may opt for web programming, freelance writing, graphic design services and many other areas depending entirely on their skills and passion.

 

16. Earning some serious money by doing what you Love
Must we choose between our passion and profession? Is compromise the way?

There is a typical way of life that makes work sound as a struggle and eventually we blame it on adulthood. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

There is a middle ground though. A freelancer enjoys the liberty of following their heart and simultaneously fill their pockets by putting in dedicated efforts and sincere desire for what they like, that’s the exact marriage of one’s passions and profession.

Ever heard of writers enjoying their dream with creative writing? They get paid to do what they love. That’s pursuing your passions and putting bread, butter and some wine on the table (okay, lots of wine).

 

What would be your reason to become a freelance expert instead of going to a daily 9-5

30 September, 2016
91714043