Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Business Side of Freelance Writing

Unless you work for a company that takes care of the business side of wring, you as an independent contractor will have to wear many hats besides writer. Most writers are not tax professionals, therefore, find one, and learn how to set up a file to track income and expenditures. What expenditures are deductible, what equipment and supplies, mail expenditures, and so on? This needs to be something to get straight before your first client. If you don't things may come back to haunt you with and IRS audit. Is some form of continuing education allowed? So many questions need to be asked. I can't answer them here; I'm not an accountant, or a tax professional.

You will have to create a marketing plan, possibly send out press releases and more to brand yourself of doing business as, or however you choose to set up your freelance writing business. Should you incorporate, establish a LLC, or just doing business as (DBA)? There is more than just writing that you need to take care of before you begin writing. One of the main things is; why do you want to be a freelance writer?

Anyone that things they can just sit down and write to make a lot of money is dead wrong. There are so many pitfalls for the beginning writer, someone could write a book about it. The main one is pay per article. Many job sites where you can find work, the people looking for writers what a Ray Bradbury quality but pay less than $0.01 per word, some as low as $0.006 per word. Anything less than a minimum of $0.05 per word is taking advantage of the writer, including the aspiring freelance writer, and should be bypassed. If writers work for these extremely low wages, it will lower the overall rates for writers.

If someone wants a specific type of article, say a SEO keyword article, they should be willing to pay for the expertise of the writer at a decent rate per word or article. If they want to offer low pay, then they should get what they ask for, some inexperienced writer who doesn’t know how to write that type of article.
Contrary to the belief of some, not everyone can sit down and write an article. Articles are nonfiction and take time to research and to string the words and keywords in a proper manner to make the article or web content search engine friendly. It take sitting down and writing the article in a specific manner and then having your work being overlooked by the client and most likely you will be asked for some revisions. If you have a thin skin and take things to heart, freelance writing is not for you, and you should look into something else.

As a freelance writer, you have the opportunity to learn new things and to write about them. You might have to visit the library and do online research to gain enough information to write the article your client wants. You will also have to know how long it will take you to research and to write the article. You might have a short deadline. These are the things that you will have to know, in order to calculate, and set your price on the project.

Good luck in your writing.

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