Freelancing is a rewarding career that gives you freedom and flexibility. You can work your own hours, wherever you like, and can even choose the clients you want to work with.
But to really get the most out of your freelancer role, you have to constantly work to improve yourself. The better you are as a writer, the more freedom and enjoyment you will get out of your work. Read on to discover five ways that you can hone your freelance writer skills today.
Take an online writing course
One of the best ways to hone your skills as a writer is taking a dedicated course. But a university course can be prohibitively expensive, and community colleges might be tricky to manage between work commitments.
However, an online writing course is a great alternative that is low-cost, flexible, and effective. There’s no shortage of affordable writing courses, and because it’s all done online, you can work at your own pace. Copy Hackers and Udemy are popular and affordable, and they offer an entry-level style of teaching that makes it easy for anyone to get started.
Hang out with other freelancers
They say misery loves company, but so too do creative and driven minds. Hanging out with other freelance writers is a great way to share your knowledge and learn from others.
Most major towns and cities offer regular meetups of like-minded writers, where they can get together and pass on tips and ideas to others in their niche. You might even be able to source new clients for freelance work too.
Meetup is the most obvious place to start — check out their local listings to find out what’s on offer. There are also plenty of online meetups too. And if you work in a co-working space, there’ll likely be other freelancers there who’d be eager to join a writer’s meetup.
Get inspired by other writers
The best writers don’t work in a bubble — they are constantly learning, consuming content from every corner in a bid to improve their own. By reading the work of others, you learn why their content is so effective, and use it to inspire your own.
Similarly, reading bad content also improves your work tenfold. You know what works and what doesn’t. Spot where other writers fall short and endeavor to get right in your writing what they get wrong.
Regularly read other people’s work. In addition to reading pieces on your usual websites, try reading content from outside your niche too. Pocket is a useful app for curating lists of articles. You can set up a list for each topic or niche you’re exploring. Reading a variety of content exposes you to new ideas and styles of writing that will inspire your own content too.
Get an expert pair of eyes
It can be easy to get stuck in a freelancer bubble. You want to improve your writing skills, but you lack the expert guidance you need to make your content the best it can be. It’s a good idea to lean on other skilled individuals to help you in your endeavors.
It’s worth considering professional services to receive expert advice that is personalized to your own writing style, helping you hone your skills through bespoke guidance.
There are many different types of editing services out there, from book manuscripts to general copy-editing (which is ideal for helping hone your grammatical skills, something we all trip over from time to time!). Some agencies specialize in one type of editing, others run the gamut, like Jericho Writers.
Either way, online editorial services are great for casting an expert pair of eyes over your work. But in this digital age, you don’t necessarily need to rely on a person to improve your writing skills. Grammarly is a great online tool that uses AI to check your grammar and spelling.
Either upload your document straight to Grammarly or install the Chrome Extension to check your writing as you go. Best of all, there’s a free version, so you don’t need to break the bank to be a better writer.
Re-write your own work
Re-reading a piece of content you wrote years ago can be a painful experience, and you might be embarrassed by how poor it was. But this is a good thing—it’s a sign that you’re getting better.
Looking through your early work gives you an opportunity to improve your skills further. Try editing it as though it wasn’t your own work. What would you change? How would you improve it? You could even try re-writing it entirely.
Once you’ve finished, you will be more cognizant of what you got wrong back then, and that will carry over into your future writing as a result.
Freelancing is a great way of working with a range of benefits, from flexible working hours to the rewards of building your own business. But a good freelancer is always improving themselves. Armed with the tips above, you can hone your writing skills and continue to delight.