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Becoming A Part-Time Freelance Online Writer: 5 Common Pitfalls To Avoid

So, you are thinking about embarking up a career as a freelance writer. Doing it part-time actually makes a lot more sense initially than attempting to do it full time. However, if you are not careful, then there are several traps that you can quite easily fall into. The purpose of this article is to help you realize your dream of working for yourself without the encountering too many pitfalls along the way. I will now walk you through the 5 most common pitfalls to avoid.

Don’t presume that the work is going to fall into your lap

I don’t know why, but a lot of people seem to think that freelance work is easy to come by. It is not. Yes, we operate in a global marketplace but that also means that you will face global competition for each and every job that you bid for. The online marketplace can be brutal and you have to be savvy in order to stay one step ahead.

Don’t risk not getting paid

Yes, like with everything in life you can sometimes tell when a potential client is going to pose a risk in terms of not paying. However, that is not always the case, and you need to put in place measures to protect yourself. If you register for the big sites, then take advantage of their escrow system. Which safeguards both you and the client. In a nutshell, the client pays upfront. However, rather than the money being immediately released to you, it is held in an escrow account by the company until the client signs off on the work and says that they are satisfied. I don’t understand why a lot of freelancers are wary of escrow. It really is a win-win situation, and you are under no obligation to start work until the client funds that account.

Make sure you understand what is required of you

Sometimes you may find yourself bidding for jobs where the client has left a one sentence brief. Be very careful when doing this as you could easily find yourself bidding for something, being awarded the job and then finding that the job will take three or four times the amount of time you originally thought. You are the one that will end up out of pocket in this scenario as you will be obliged to complete the work for the agreed price.

Don’t sell yourself short

Okay, so there are times when you might agree to work for a low rate of pay. Like for example if the volume of work is there, or if it is going to be an ongoing thing. There is no point working for a couple of dollars for a one-off article. Just don’t go there!

Don’t get scammed with samples

It is hard not to get stung on this. I think it is almost like a rite of passage. There are lots of unscrupulous people out there who will ask you to send a sample, or produce a sample of your work at no charge to send to them before they will consider your application. You can sometimes feel as if you are caught between a rock and a hard place here. You are damned if you do it and damned if you don’t. You might have to do this initially in order to secure work, but watch your back and never agree to send more than a few hundred words.


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