I came across a blog post called “10 things every creative person (that’s you) must learn” by Chase Jarvis. It contains some great information for creative people. While it’s geared toward photographers, the tips can apply for writers and editors of all experience levels.
Check out the links above to read the original blog post. I’ve rewritten and adapted the advice for freelance writers (it can also apply to editors).
- There are many experts and people with advice on writing and editing (including me). Read what they have to say – but you don’t have to follow their advice to a tee. Experts CANNOT solve your problems – only you can find the solution to your particular situation.
- Your clients have needs, but they can’t always tell you EXACTLY what they need. “I don’t know what I want, but I’ll know it when I see it.” Find the best way you know how to provide the best article, blog post, case study, etc.
- Don’t try to be BETTER than other writers – aim for DIFFERENT. Be your true self. Make your personality and style part of your service.
- Don’t stick to easy and safe. Take on CHALLENGES to create your best work. Take on writing projects outside your usual market or niche. We get better when we try to exceed our abilities and knowledge.
- Looks matter. That is, GOOD DESIGN matters. You can write the best words, but if the layout is sloppy or unappealing, your audience won’t want to read it. Acquire knowledge on good design principles, and work with great designers. Make your copy look good.
- Keep it SIMPLE. Don’t put too many ideas into your copy, especially within one paragraph or sentence. Tell one story well. Focus on one key feature or benefit.
- Don’t try to be perfect. We all make MISTAKES, which is how we learn. Make mistakes, but learn from them quickly. Don’t repeat the same mistakes. Make big mistakes if you must, but learn and move forward.
- Don’t compete on PRICE. There will always be someone cheaper than you – ALWAYS. Focus on the VALUE you provide to clients. Value and price are not the same. Value is the benefit the client will get from your service.
- Work with the BEST people to reflect your skill, and to become better. You rise to the level of those around you. Work with great designers, writers, editors, marketers, clients, etc. They will elevate you and hold you to a higher standard.
- If you are a writer, then write. You must CREATE content, for yourself and for others, for fun and for profit, to be a true creative. Don’t say you’re a writer – WRITE.
Do you need help with being a better freelance writer or editor? Let me know – email@example.com.