freelance writing for hard cash

It's addictive, this freelance writing thing. Perhaps you've come to it having written print articles under your own name or you might decide that since you have a flair for the written word you'll change your career direction and get out from under.

No more commuting. No more being stuck in a queue of crazed drivers or standing nose to neck in the public transport system. No more shovelling the car out of a snowdrift at 6 a.m.

Instead you can lope to your laptop, turn on the radio, and get to the end of the day NOT feeling like a bag of last week's laundry.

There's such a toe-tingling sense of freedom that comes with taking on freelance copywriter jobs. You can find assignments that have you scribbling excitedly for hours, or they lead you to learn more than you ever thought possible about spitoons, and you can write all day and every day from your kitchen table parked right next to the fridge. Hooray!

All you need now is a full fridge. So just be careful about the jobs you pick. Not everyone out there understands that writing is a craft that you hone and that it deserves as much recognition as any other job that takes skill and effort. Don't sell yourself for half a shirt button.

On bid sites you may have to lower your hourly fees in contrast to those freelance writing jobs in the real world, but don't go rock bottom just to try and win the assignment unless you really are honestly wanting entry level writing jobs to practice on.

Some buyers will offer something like $1.00 (about £0.50) for 500-700 word articles that they expect to be well researched, professionally written and 100% error free. Pardonnez-moi. Unless your personal cost of living is practically zero that's not going to keep bread on the table let alone cookie dough ice cream in the fridge. The standards they're demanding are professional standards ('cos it does say 'professionally written!) and as such the writer deserves a fair whack in the form of a decent amount of hard cash.

OK as a newbie to the game you might do one or two of those jobs to gain experience and to get some positive feedback, but once you have, move on up. Expect and ask for more. Have a bit of belief in yourself and your writing skills. Sell yourself for half a shirt button and you'll soon end up tired, disillusioned and cynical about the whole business, and you'll have lost that go-getting, ass-kicking attitude as well as having to sell your shirt to stay alive and breathing.

You're a damn fine freelance writer. Tell yourself that every day and expect more than loose change.
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