It’s tempting to say that the most overrated quality when it comes to freelance blogging is your writing ability.
That may come as quite a shock, but the main reason I say it is because many (or all) of the other qualities I consider vital to freelance blogging are completely overlooked in lieu of writing ability.
In reality there is a lot more to freelance blogging than just how good you are at stringing sentences together. In fact, there are a number of factors that combine to get you to the point where someone will actually pay you handsomely for your words. Below I have reveal what I consider to be the most important ones.
Ask yourself honestly — do you believe in your writing ability? Do you believe that you have direct control over your chances of landing high-paying clients in the future? If the answer to either of those questions is no then you have an issue that needs overcoming before you go any further.
Few things are more important in life than belief — it fuels us to achieve so much more than we might otherwise be capable of. It should therefore go without saying that your chances of success as a freelance blogger are fuelled by your level of self-belief.
There is no value in doubting yourself. Instead, acknowledge the fact that self-belief will give you a far greater chance of success — even if it takes conscious effort to conjure it.
It is possible to make a very good living as a freelance blogger. You don’t need to be a great writer — the essential basics of freelance blogging are quite easily learned over a period of months and are in high demand. It is your level of application and the passing of time that dictates your success as much as your inherent ability. If you believe that, you can believe in yourself.
The more confidence you have in yourself, the more likely you are to succeed as a freelance blogger. A lot of writers have less faith in themselves than their clients do, and if you find that to be the case personally, you must ask yourself why. If someone values you enough to pay you for your time, is that not validation enough?
The issue of confidence spills into every facet of your role as a freelance blogger. It raises its head when you write pitches for job listings, when you approach businesses cold, and when you negotiate rates with existing clients. Being sure of your abilities and having the temerity to approach such situations with a confident assuredness will put you in a far better position.
Moreover, confidence will increase the perception of value experienced by clients and prospects when dealing with you. Which freelancer would you deem more competent — the shrinking violet or the outspoken go-getter?
This is perhaps the most important quality you can have — including your actual writing ability.
Here’s the reality of the situation: a poor writer who is great at marketing herself is likely to be more successful than a great writer who does not market herself. Because at the end of the day, getting freelance blogging clients is a numbers game. Almost regardless of your writing ability, if you approach enough prospects, someone will hire you.
So many freelance bloggers contact me after having submitted a few pitches via online job boards with no joy, asking me what to do next. This is a bad sign in my eyes. There are so many more things you can do in an attempt to land clients than just browse job boards — I detail them all in the main guide. The opportunities are out there — it’s just a case of chasing them up.
Put simply, the more hustle you have, the more likely you are to land clients.
4. Thick Skin
Writing is a very personal thing and it is all too easy to be disheartened by criticism. Furthermore, the fear of rejection under a number of circumstances as a freelance blogger can be absolutely crippling.
Your ability to cope with stumbling blocks along the road to success can be extremely influential. When someone criticizes your writing do you use it as an opportunity to improve or retreat into your shell? Do you hesitate asking your clients for feedback for fear of what they might say? Do you avoid emailing prospects because you worry that they might reject you?
If you can handle rejection and criticism in a constructive manner you will be extremely well placed to succeed as a freelance blogger. And the great thing is that anyone can grow thick skin — it’s just down to repetition. The more you expose yourself to circumstances that might initially seem upsetting, the more accustomed you will become to them. So start small and work your way up. Why not fire off a few emails to prospects right now?
5. A Willingness to Learn
No one is born a good writer.
When I first started blogging in June 2011 I thought that I was a decent writer. I was — I just happened to be an awful blogger. The way in which I structured and formatted my posts was terrible. I look back and cringe.
But as the months passed I improved my craft as a blogger and now consider myself to be pretty handy at the old blogging game. I honed my skills through the appreciation that I would not improve dramatically overnight, but that the consistent application of what I was learning would result in improvement over time.
I would much rather teach an average writer with a willingness to learn than a great writer with the arrogance to think that they already know how to blog. Blogging is a unique form of writing and even qualified journalists can find it difficult to transition. In fact, a journalist/blogger friend of mine revealed that they often find it more difficult than most because a specific manner of writing has been ingrained so deep within them.
That’s right — a lack of qualifications can actually be a benefit. What more encouragement do you need to make yourself a successful freelance blogger?