7 Freelance Writing Tips Straight from the Client

Are you a new writer who is considering a freelance writing job? In this article, we will provide 7 tips that will help you create outstanding contents that most clients will love.

Many bloggers are now turning to freelance writing as the way to earn extra income or even to practice their writing skills. In our case, we work with some freelance writers and ask them to fill the gap in our contents (we have a couple of blogs and sometimes we need some fresh and unique perspective). The tips below are things from the client's perspective that will help every freelance writer (if you try to listen).

1. Ditch basic essay format
The basic essay format (like introduction, body, and conclusion) is from the Jurassic period. It's way too formal and hard to read. Many bloggers refer to a basic essay format as "the Wall of Text". Because, there is no focal point, just a paragraph and the next and the next. Even if you got a degree in English literature, your client won't appreciate this style of work at all. What is the format you should use anyway?

The new kind of format is called "Listicle". Basically, it starts with a short introduction and the list of 5 to 10 things you would like to discuss and a short conclusion.

Viral content writers use Listicle format a lot. Websites like Listverse or Buzzfeed also use Listicle format.

2. Pay attention to the article title
The article title is like the cover of a book. You may produce a well-researched and well-written article that sucks if you don't pay attention to this writing element. Suppose you are writing an article about self-editing tips, using the title like "How to write well" is considered very poor. Try something fresh and exciting like "10 ways to skyrocket your self-edit skills" or "The ultimate guide to self-editing that works".

You know, Hubspot has a guide dedicated to the article title that you can use right off the bat.

3. Don't be shy to use a grammar checker
We've seen time and time again that many native speakers of English always make grammar mistakes. It's OK to make some grammar mistakes if you are an average person or an occasional blogger but it's not OK if you are a freelance writer or you want to become a freelance writer. It looks even worse if you make a grammar mistake during the interview process.

4. Learn how to give some input
From our understanding, most clients who require the help of freelance writers will always have a list of content topics. Anyway, we always pay attention to freelancers who provide some input to a story ideas. For example, a client in the interior design space may want an article about "Color Theory" which is so boring. A good interior design writer may propose something like "Color trends of the next year" or "New Pantone color of the next season).

Even if the client doesn't use your idea, providing some input is the way to show off your creativity and that means a lot.

5. Go beyond the obvious
One thing that every freelance writer needs to keep in mind, your client wants your "knowledge" (through your writing), not the writing itself. Since English has become a universal language, many people from all corners of the world know how to write in English. You should try to avoid something very generic in your writing at all cost, for example,

- This thing takes time to do
- You should be relaxed, you need a break
- This thing is too hard to do, you should outsource
- This thing is too easy to do, you should do it by yourself
- You should manage your time
- Ask your friend and family to do things for you

Your knowledge in a particular field will make your article stands out in the crowd.

6. Don't focus too much on word count
We believe all writing jobs on every freelance writing platform comes with a specific word count. So, each freelancer can price an article on a fixed price basis. What many freelance writers do when they can't reach the agreed word count is to add fluffy content instead of adding more interesting points. Also, keep controlling word count is the way to get distraction from the overall story and quality will suffer.

Our advice as a client is to try not to stick with word count too much. Just keep focusing on the overall quality, extra 100-200 words won't really hurt your business. Remember, many clients tip their freelancers when they perform well. Yes, we do all the time.

7. Expect one minor edit
A freelance writing job usually comes with a specific deadline. However, don't behave like a student who always submits work in the last possible moment. Sometimes, you need to research more than usual in order to deliver a good article. Then, you should finish your article as soon as you can, especially for the first time client. Because, it's a good way to show that you have a good working habit and you still have time to get some valuable feedback from your client upon submission which may lead to a repeat business.

Do you agree with these tips or you have a different opinion?

- Petit, Zachary. The Essential Guide to Freelance Writing: How to Write, Work, and Thrive on Your Own Terms. Writer's Digest Books, 2015.

Books We Recommend:

7 Best Thai Cookbooks of All Time

7 Best Japanese Cookbooks Ever Written

Last review and update: August 30, 2021
About the Editor
Ben Benjabutr is the editor of BookWorm4Life. He holds a Master's Degree in business with 10+ years of work experience and 8+ years of experience in blogging and online content production. He enjoys reading books about business, lifestyle and literature and he loves to share what he learns from books. You can drop him a line via e-mail.