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How To Improve My Writing Skills: Tutorial For Freelancers
As a freelancer, you should always be striving to improve your writing skills. Better writers get better clients and make more money! Doing good work for one client can lead them to tell their friends about you, and you’ll be swimming in great jobs and big payouts. So how can you improve your writing skills and become that freelancer that everyone wants to hire? Here are some tips to help you examine your writing critically, and produce great work that will have clients knocking on your door all day trying to hire you.
- Read, read, read.
- Ask for samples.
- Constantly test yourself. Find grammar, spelling, and other English-style tests online and take them regularly. This helps you consistently brush up on your skills so that you don’t get lazy ad start making mistakes. Even if you’re a great writer, little things can slip through the cracks; and something that’s little to you might be a big deal to a client!
- Always re-read everything, twice!
The best writers are also the best readers. When you’re not writing, you should be reading! Whether you exclusively work in a very niche area or you do a little bit of everything, reading any sort of material will help you write better. Reading expands your vocabulary, helps you understand sentence structure, and gives you new ideas on how to express yourself. You don’t want to keep producing the same, stagnated writing style time after time; reading will expand your mind and open you up to new styles. Reading also makes you more creative, so you can think your way out of problems as you write and make stronger arguments. If you specifically write about business, subscribe to the Wall Street Journal or The Economist or another business journal to keep you up-to-date on trends and buzz words of the moment. If you write fiction, read (or re-read) the classics, as well as emerging writers and recent best-sellers.
When you get hired on to a new job, ask your client if they have any samples of previous work they have commissioned to get an idea of what they are looking for. Everyone needs something unique, so having a sample of the type of article a client likes to use will help you tailor your writing to their specific needs, which is always a big plus.
Never send anything in that you haven’t proofread thoroughly, at least twice. Even if it’s a tiny project, or one that doesn’t pay much, or one you just don’t care about, you’re still providing a service and should strive to deliver the best. That little project might lead to bigger projects if the client can tell you were dedicated to it! Laziness is never a path to success, so throw yourself into everything you write, and don’t send it in until you’re proud of it.