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Freelance Frustration

I know what you're thinking...oh great, another whine about deadlines and clients and irritating keywords. While I can't say I've completely finished beating that horse in my career, today's frustration is a little bit different.

Will someone please explain to me why people are under the impression that freelance writing is easy? If I have one more person say to me how easy my job must be or see one more error-laden post on a message board about "Oh, I passed middle school English, I bet I can make a fortune writing online!" I am going to blow my top!

OK, so the message board posts are a bit exaggerated, but I just can't understand why people think that writing is so easy. I had the opportunity to do some editing for a friend who has a content writing company and was astounded at the things that I read. Half of the articles had to be scrapped due to plagiarism and a large part of the rest could have been written better by my 13 year old. It was just unbelievable! I know I make occasional spelling and grammar errors, everyone does, but when you have to read a sentence 10 times to even come close to figuring out what someone has to say, they might want to consider the idea that writing is not for them.

I am certainly not trying to deter people from attempting a career in freelancing, but please do not jump into it thinking you can throw some words on a page and get paid. Writing takes time and effort, and developing a freelance career takes hard work and perseverance. You might get a luck break from time to time, but in the beginning it can be a tremendous struggle.

If you are considering a career in freelancing, educate yourself on the rules of writing and grammar, then learn how to research properly. While you may be able to throw a few random sentences on a page and get paid from certain sites or clients, the only real way to make money in this business is to take the time to learn. Talk to some people who have had success in the business and learn from their achievements and mistakes. Understanding how much work it takes to build a client base and a reputation is very important to your future as a freelancer.

I hope that my little mini-rant made some sense and my advice helps someone who is thinking about giving freelancing a shot.

3 comments:

Couldn't agree with you more. Stumbled. Let's get the word out.

April 13, 2008 at 4:46 PM  

Thanks for the stumble and the comment.

For some reason, this is just getting to me today, both online and off!

April 13, 2008 at 5:47 PM  

I haven't had too much trouble with people saying that they think what I do is easy...but I have come across those awful articles that need endless editing.

April 13, 2008 at 6:29 PM  

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