Whether you've been freelance writing for many years or you've just gotten started recently, there are certain qualities that every freelance writer must have in order to be successful in the long term. In fact, there are four that come to mind when I sit here contemplating the matter.
Confidence. This is the number one quality. It is also one that is very serious for me. As a writer and a person, I've had to work on my confidence. It's still a struggle for me, really. Confidence in one's self can make all the difference when you've stepped out to pursue freelance writing as a vocation. Without confidence, you probably won't take to plunge in the first place. Being confident in your ability to put words together into articles and ebooks that make sense and meet a client's needs is obviously mandatory. The bottom line is that you have to believe in what you can do. After all, freelance is now your business. It is up to you to make things happening - and keep happening month after month. Believe in yourself, believe in your abilities, and make sure that you keep moving forward.
Proven Ability. It is important to have a balanced, realistic view. Having confidence is great, even praiseworthy, but if all that you have is unconquerable enthusiasm and no substance you're in for disappointment. I like to balance confidence with proven ability. How do you acquire proven ability? Well, you start by doing the work. You train yourself in the craft. You become acquainted with what is required in the areas of style, usage, grammar, and other mechanics of writing.
Depending on your educational background, there will definitely be some differences here. Some new writers haven't considered the freelance writing profession before. Sure, they have some native ability for writing, but it hasn't been honed and shaped by the demands of online writing or other professional writing venues. This is the challenge facing new writers. You need to prove that you have the ability to be a pro. The length of this progress will vary with the individual. I know this from experience.
I've only started making my first strides to a new level of professional work. Working as a ghostwriter, I've been getting by with smaller hourly and flat fees. It's taken me three years. It may take you one or five. Remember that it is good to be confident in your abilities, but you should have something tangible to gauge this belief by. Proven ability is what separates you from any would-be writer. So, get going and get working.
Next time, I will talk about the other two qualities that any freelance writer must have to be a success in such a competitive business. See you then.