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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
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