Successful Freelance Writers Write Well

by John Soares on March 11, 2015

If you want to be a successful freelance writer, you must write well.

on-writing-well-zinsserYou don’t have to be a perfectionist, but you do need to write clearly and with very few punctuation, grammar, and spelling errors. You can learn to do this through studying the English language and proper writing and editing techniques.

And learning to write well will increase your productivity and boost your freelance writing career. Here’s how.

1. You Will Sell More Work for More Money

The better you write, the more editors will buy what you sell, and the more they’ll pay you for it.

You will also save time by marketing less because editors who know the quality of your work will come to you with assignments; you won’t have to chase after them begging for work.

2. You Will Increase Your Writing Speed

You’ll write faster when you are comfortable with your craft. Your brain won’t bring you to a screeching halt to ask whether or not you used a comma correctly, or if a verb agrees with its subject.

3. You Will Increase Your Editing Speed

When you write well, your first draft is in much better shape than when you don’t write well, so editing of subsequent drafts goes much quicker.

4. You Will Enjoy Writing More

You’ll get greater satisfaction out of the writing process because you’ll know what you’re doing. You’ll also be more satisfied with your finished work.

Suggestions..

1. Spend at least one hour a week studying the craft of writing.

2. Join a writer’s critique group. Members read each others work and then make corrections and suggestions. There are certainly several in your area. Ask local writers and at bookstores and libraries. Also check the Internet.

Your Take?

Do you agree or disagree with what I say? Are there other benefits of writing well? Do you have other suggestions? Share below!

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anne Wayman March 11, 2015 at 10:28 AM

I’ve had good luck with critique groups… particularly the ones where we read outloud.

I’ve also had some damn fine editors who’ve taught me a ton.

Knowing I write well gives me confidence to write more.
Anne Wayman recently posted…How To Answer A Freelance Writing Wanted Ad And Get The Gig

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2 John Soares March 11, 2015 at 10:55 AM

Anne, I was in an excellent critique group early in my writing career, when I was writing hiking guidebooks.

I also had one editor in particular at a weekly magazine who helped me a lot.
John Soares recently posted…The Top 27 Ways to Boost Your Writing Willpower

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3 Marcie March 13, 2015 at 5:41 PM

John, I love that book! And I agree that writing well is essential. A fellow journalist said that everyone thinks they can write and technology has contributed to this madness.
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4 John Soares March 14, 2015 at 1:45 PM

On Writing Well was one of the very first books I ever read about the craft. It’s still one of my favorites.
John Soares recently posted…How the Internet Can Hurt Your Freelance Writing Career

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5 Manolis Athanasiadis March 15, 2015 at 4:12 AM

Great post John! Improving my writing skills and devoting time to learn more about writing is something I must definitely keep in mind. Thank you for the great advice!
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6 John Soares March 15, 2015 at 9:33 AM

Glad it helped Manolis!
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7 Ashley March 16, 2015 at 3:03 PM

Love this, John. And all your points, if done successfully, will give the writer more confidence. Which then leads to more sales, more money and more practice (improving speed and ability), which leads to more confidence… and the cycle continues. Such a wonderful way to work.

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8 John Soares March 26, 2015 at 8:24 AM

Yes, it’s definitely a positive feedback loop that leads to writing success.
John Soares recently posted…How to Take a Blogging Break and Keep Your Readers Happy

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9 Aimit March 18, 2015 at 12:20 AM

Great article! I’ve only been a freelance writer since May and I am still trying to unlearn patterns from my employee mindset. Yes, I now understand that if I am not actively writing, I don’t make any money. So it forces me to think of ways to create e-books and other projects that I can create once and continue to earn income over the long haul. Some of my friends continue to ask, “How’s the writing going???” — expecting me to say that I have quit and gone back to the so-called “safety net” of permanent employment. While I am not making the income I desire yet, I have a strong vision of what I can create with my freelance writing. It’s that vision that pushes me to get up and write even when I’d rather be at the pool.

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10 Angela Alcorn March 24, 2015 at 8:49 AM

So true. As an editor, I just want to stop working with all the awful writers. So, if you’re not an awful writer, the editors will be pleased and want to work with you further. Can’t lose.
Angela Alcorn recently posted…6 Lessons Game Of Thrones Can Teach You About Being A Freelance Blogger

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11 John Soares March 26, 2015 at 8:25 AM

The cream rises to the top!
John Soares recently posted…The Top 27 Ways to Boost Your Writing Willpower

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12 Fakharuddin April 18, 2015 at 9:16 AM

Hi Soares,
Awesome tips to increase Writing skills. As a blogger, your tips will definitely help me to improve my writing skill.
Thanks for great sharing.

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13 rahul April 21, 2015 at 11:56 AM

As you have mentioned here, i’m trying to improve my writing skills. And since i’m writing from past two years, i have increased my writing speed. But till now i din’t join a critiques group. That’s what i have to consider i feel. Thanks for this post. :)
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14 Online Translation John June 2, 2015 at 5:23 AM

critique groups is now on my to do list as I really need some techniques. I need to write but I always get lost in the research and writing a single article takes a lot of time. Thank you!

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15 Chris - USA Translate June 5, 2015 at 3:22 AM

I find it hard to concentrate when it comes to writing and although I have written quite a few articles, I seem to have a problem with writing interesting headlines. Could you recommend one of the books on your list that could help me with some tips? Thanks

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16 Avinash Patel June 22, 2015 at 9:39 AM

I agree what you say but at the same time I will say do not think too much and give it a try.. I am not an English speaker and was always afraid of creating a blog… but now i have one and that fear is gone..

Thanks – iavinash.com

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17 Timothy Gagnon July 17, 2015 at 11:14 PM

It also depends on what type of work you need to do, I like to write with a conversation two-friends-in-a-coffee-shop-chatting tone. But I do understand your point. It’s our job to improve our skills whenever possible.
Timothy Gagnon recently posted…Bamidele Onibalusi’s The Freelance Writer’s Success Starter Guide Product Review

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18 Muhammad Mairaj July 21, 2015 at 10:10 PM

Hi John,

Indeed a great post. In which you provide us the most significant information regarding writing, on the way one should approach learning these techniques.

Thanks for nice sharing.
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