I had no one leading me along, showing me the ropes. It was trial and error all the way.
I made it (obviously), but I cringe sometimes thinking about just how little I knew about writing in general, much less writing online.
So, if you’re considering beginning a freelance writing career, or you’re a newbie freelance writer, here are five mistakes I made in the beginning. Perhaps you can take note and avoid them.
- Sloppy writing samples. I’m still terrible at proofreading my own writing, but in the beginning it was really more laziness than anything else. I didn’t want to take the time to read slowly and carefully. Who wants to hire a writer who submits writing samples full of errors?
- Sloppy proposals. Yep. It wasn’t just my writing samples that I didn’t bother to proofread. I was in a hurry to get each proposal written and posted so that I could go on to another one. As a result, there were typo’s and sentences that didn’t make sense.
- Sloppy writing assignments. In spite of my sloppy proposals and samples, I did manage to win some projects. I am SO thankful for the gracious clients who put up with me and just kept encouraging me to be more thorough in my editing before I submitted my articles to them.
- Sloppy bookkeeping. In my previous life, I was a bookkeeper for over 25 years. You’d think I would carefully track my income and expenses. I do now, but I didn’t then. It was a pain trying to figure it all out at the end of the year.
- Sloppy blogging. I did have a blog in process already. That’s a positive thing. But I wasn’t consistent. I was as sloppy at my blog writing as I was at some of my other writing. Your blog is your online portfolio, open to the public. (I’m still working at getting this one right.)
Those are the five “sloppy” mistakes I made as I was first beginning a freelance writing career.
I made plenty of other mistakes too. I ‘ll save them for another post.
Is sloppiness the worst mistake you can make as a newbie freelance writer?
What do you think?
(And, uh, did I miss anything as I was proofreading this? Let me know if I did, please.)