Freelancer – The Modern Day Achilles!
Think of freedom; think of absolute flexibility and think of a 6 figure income — freelance writing is an obvious choice. All of the above mentioned thinking churns out from those entrepreneurs who don’t want to get stuck with a job or a business that entails them to settle down somewhere . This new breed of entrepreneurs are what I call – The Itinerant Entrepreneurs .
Freelancing isn’t new though. History is replete with numerous examples of people who did freelancing. There were knights, messengers and even Achilles – an apparently very powerful warrior who happened to be a freelancer. There are a very few business models that can cater to these kind of entrepreneurs and The Internet has played a vital role in making this a reality. It is a way of life for many a people all over the world, myself included.
Freelancing is now a viable career option for anyone who is willing to take the risk of letting go of that day job and doing what it takes to be successful in an arena that is fraught with intense competition ( which is a non-issue, really!). Freelancing is basically a self-employment option or a sole-proprietorship type of business wherein a technically competent person ( be it a writer, designer, programmer etc) picks up work from multiple clients and ensures delivery — simply put, instead of working for just one company and earning said amount of money at the end of every month, freelancers take it one notch up and have more than one clients under their belts so as to make more money than what is possible in a day job.
The beautiful thing about freelance writing is that it can be done from anywhere and this report sets out to show those who are just starting out ( good read for those who are already there!). This report places a major emphasis on two aspects of business and you will see this hitting you inadvertently — sales and consistently in quality.
However, this report is by no means exhaustive and will not cover areas like book-keeping, finances and discuss about any legal aspects of business.
Start-up – what would you need?
I wouldn’t say office, supplies, fax machines and the like. I am assuming you’d have it by now. Nevertheless, a laptop would be a great addition and would lead to a tremendous increase in personal productivity simply because you wouldn’t have to sit at one place and work all day — If you could afford to, you could shuffle around a bit; walk out to the balcony and write there; perhaps a coffee shop could be a great idea in the evenings. You get the point don’t you?
I can’t stress enough on the fact that you don’t need any money to get started in Freelance writing — I didn’t have any to start with. You don’t need to have a journalism degree to get started, but you do need the passion; will power; copious amounts of patience; willingness to work very hard and an open mind.
I’ll tell you why you’d need all of that — your clients come from all over the world and each one of them will have their own quirky ways of doing business — you need to be adaptable and flexible to accommodate all of them. In freelance writing, when you start off, you might not have a pre-determined area of Interest. You might want to dabble at anything and everything, which is fine. But gradually, you will have to separate the boring from the challenging; the mundane from the exciting. This will happen anyway and I don’t recommend that you sit and think about what you want to write — thankfully for you, web content is a demand driven specialty and clients know what they want you for.
You will end up writing on a bewildering range of subjects, styles and will cater to a cornucopia of requests — the fun thing here is that you wouldn’t know a damn thing about anything. Here’s where we are going to come at the next crucial thing required of a writer — an open mind and a willingness to learn; an above average level of inquisitiveness on everything under the sun; resourcefulness; and an ability to do immaculate, painstaking research.
In a nutshell then, here is what you need to become a successful freelance writer :
1. Basic Supplies for your home office — A Personal Computer ( preferably a laptop), an Internet Connection; messengers and VoIP software installed on your computer/laptop; I am assuming that you already have a word processing software.
2. You will need passion; will power; copious amounts of patience; willingness to work very hard and an open mind.
3. You need to be adaptable and flexible to accommodate all( or most) of your clients
4. You will need an open mind and a willingness to learn; an above average level of inquisitiveness on everything under the sun; resourcefulness; and an ability to do immaculate, painstaking research.
5. Network like each contact would fetch you a million dollars and dollops of happiness.
All of that and then some fire in the belly. You got to shed that laziness and get out there and put things to work. You will see your paypal accounts getting flooded very soon.