We are all human and sometimes humans make mistakes, regardless of how long you have been writing on a freelance basis. Here are some of the most common mistakes an experienced freelance academic writer may make and how to combat them.
1. Not reading the task properly
This is easily one of the most common mistakes that experienced writers make, usually in an effort to rush through as many tasks as possible. If your customer has sent you instructions then it is imperative that you read through it properly. Make a note of the writing style needed, the word count and if there are any special requests. This will ensure you get it right first time.
2. Forgetting to communicate
Customers need you to have great communication skills, so that they’re aware of how their text is coming along and if they need to provide any more information. Once you have accepted a project, make sure to inform the customer of how long it will take and if you need anything else from them. If it’s a long project (a thesis, for example) then keep them in the loop with how you’re getting on, every now and then.
3. Skipping the proofreading part
When you’ve been writing for some time it may seem like a waste of energy to proofread texts; you know you haven’t made any mistakes! However, as already mentioned, all humans make mistakes. Allocate enough time at the end of each project to thoroughly read through the text, to make sure it is perfect. If you’ve spent all day writing something, then go back to it the next day, to proofread.
4. Using the different writing styles
If you have written the last 30 essays in an MLA format then you may be on autopilot when you write the next one; not noticing it requires a different type of style completely. Keep a document with a list of the different writing styles and key points to remember, for reference purposes. This will help you complete each project in the correct format.
5. Not being open to revisions
The customer is always right and if they want you to revise a piece then you should do so! It’s okay to charge for revisions, as long as it has been discussed previously and the changes needed aren’t your fault. If you’ve written a piece with poor spelling and grammar then it is your responsibility to make the changes anyway. Be open, honest and polite with customers who want revisions.
6. Being uncompetitive in pricing
If you have been freelance writing for a while then you may have set higher prices than most other writers, which is fine. Just remember that in order to win the work, you must be competitive in both skill and pricing. Look at the rates of other writers on your skill level and try to work out the average or best price that you’re willing to work for.
7. Rushing the work
So, you can write at 100 words per minute and get each piece done in less than half an hour if you really want to, but should you? Rushed work tends to lead to mistakes and can mean you spend even more time proofreading and revising the errors you’ve made. Make sure you set duration for each project, which gives you enough time to produce a really high quality piece of work.
8. Not staying organized
When you work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, staying organized can seem at the bottom of the priority list. However, when you realize you’ve missed two deadlines and there’s a ton of paperwork to sort through, you’ll soon regret not being organized sooner! Keep on top of your projects and paperwork using spreadsheets, schedules and filing systems.
9. Taking on too much work
This is one of the most common, and stressful, mistakes an experienced freelance academic writer can make. You applied for all the work going and now have far too much to complete in a week. Sometimes this is completely unavoidable but it’s worth being aware of a limit and how many words or projects you can finish, so as not to cause worry over missed deadlines.
10. Not enjoying the work!
Finally, there is a reason you started freelance writing; mostly because you enjoy it and you love the freedom it brings. Make sure you take some time out to step back and appreciate the things you do if you really want to succeed.
By being open about new approaches at work, you can easily combat these common mistakes and increase your productivity (and profits). Which of these 10 mistakes do you make and how are you going to overcome them?
About the Author:
Larry Milbourne is a senior freelance academic writing supervisor at EssayLancers.com – the online community of freelance academic writers from all over the world. Larry has in-depthknowledge and experience in the academic writing industry.