For many of us, being a freelancer is one of the most wonderfully awful experiences imaginable. Wonderful because of the freedom and opportunities you find when working for yourself. Awful because it can be hard to find meaningful work, especially as you are working hard to establish yourself as a reputable resource for prospective clients.
The good news is that you’re not alone in your journey. Within the ClearVoice Talent Network there are many writers who experience the same triumphs and slog through the same struggles. We know exactly what it is like. We’ve been there, too — and we’re committed to helping you succeed.
We realize you are so busy researching, writing, and searching for new work that you don’t always have time to stay up on the news and tips that will make your job as a freelancer more fulfilling and successful. That’s where we come in. In addition to articles in the ClearVoice blog, keep reading for a glance at the news and information that will take your freelancing expertise to the next level.
Recent tips and news for freelancers from across the web:
1. Writing a blog post: a step-by-step process
Nothing can be as daunting for a freelancer as a blank screen and a cursor menacingly blinking, daring you to type something — anything. Sure, writing will always be a mentally strenuous activity, but it doesn’t have to be intimidating. If you establish a process similar to what is suggested in this article by blogger Darren Rowse, writing can quickly become a more pleasant experience.
- Think of the reader. Imagine the reader’s situation. What do you want his or her experience to be while reading the blog? Having a reader persona can be helpful.
- Brainstorm and outline the post. Outlining a post can be especially helpful as it allows you to map out what you want to say and determine how much attention you want to give to different sections.
2. Tips for eyeball-worthy content
For a freelancer, there is no greater feeling than watching a piece of content you created drive engagement and fill the needs of your client. However, your content may not do this as much as you might like. A recent article published by Content Marketing Institute gives some advice on how you can meet your goals of getting eyes on your content more often.
- Give your readers something valuable. The article explains that the content readers find valuable provides a level of depth that often is found most prominently in long-form content. Content that resonates, inspires, and engages is also valuable.
- Reflect your readers. Sure, there is value in challenging ideas from time to time, but endorsing your audience’s existing opinions helps them feel validated.
- Make readers feel connected. Posing questions to your audience is an effective way to build connection with your readers. Capitalizing on trending and controversial topics also helps your readers feel a vested interest in engaging with your content.
3. Signs you’re not cut out for freelance work — and what to do about it
This Entrepreneur article title is a little misleading, since anybody with initiative can be “cut out” for freelance work. If you read on, the article is mostly focused on giving freelancers ideas about what they can do if they are struggling in their endeavors.
• What to do if you crave job security: Find an anchor client from whom you get most of your work. This allows you to have a level of security, but retain flexibility.
• What to do if you feel disorganized and unproductive: Do your best to establish a regular daily schedule.
• What to do if you feel isolated: Communicating with a client via video chat rather than by text or email could be the social interaction you need.
• What to do if you don’t feel comfortable selling your skills: Remember that you aren’t trying to sell some sort of gimmick product — you have actual skills and abilities that clients want. You provide value. If you still need some help, consider using the “Lazy User Model” for preparing to approach potential clients.
4. How to file your taxes if you’re a freelancer
Tax season seems to be especially difficult for freelancers. Not only do you pay taxes like everybody else, but you also are required to pay a self-employment tax — making tax season for a freelancer a potentially painful experience. A recent article on Bustle details a few things you need to know to make tax time a little less uncomfortable (sorry, that’s as good as it gets) so you can get back to writing.
- Make sure to take tax deductions: We know this sounds obvious, but freelancers sometimes don’t realize all of the potential deductions available. The list of potential deductions includes business expenses such as meals, travel, and home office costs.
- Decide if you should pay quarterly or annual taxes. Quarterly payments can help decrease your burden when tax season comes around.
- Talk to a tax pro. Even the best software can’t advise the same way an actual tax professional can. A brief conversation could yield significant benefits.