Read Lovely Books

3 Dead-End Strategies for New Writers | by Steven Toews

My Top-3 candidates for the biggest wastes of time for new writers

Unfortunately for us, there are more than a few of these dead ends, almost all of which

In this article, I’ll outline three strategies that will knee-cap you on your way to financial

Early on in your freelance writing career, you may encounter “clients” who propose to let you write

But, the way they sell the idea, you’ll gain valuable “real world” freelance experience by working

“Experience” isn’t an easily sold commodity in the freelance world the way it is in the

In the latter, your next employer will likely be willing to reward years of faithful service to

In the world of freelance writing, however, your next client will almost surely come by way of

What they care about is whether you can reliably deliver quality product

“I need to take on a few clients for the experience so I can build my portfolio

Anyone who tries to get you to work “for the experience” will have you writing re-hashed drivel

In short, the work you’ll be doing is not likely to land you more (or better)

If you’ve got chops, the work you create for yourself will be 100x better than anything

That’s because it’s frustrating when it doesn’t work and absolutely soul-crushing when it does

You think to yourself, “Hey, I’ve got no experience or portfolio

But I can compensate for that by offering my services much more cheaply than my more experienced

No longer do you stand a chance of finding quality-oriented clients with sizeable budgets

If you’re lucky, this strategy will fizzle out early and fail to attract many clients

And because you’re providing such large amounts of product for every dollar you earn, you’ll

There’s a lot more to be said about the kinds of clients who are attracted to

They’ll drop you at a moment’s notice when someone cheaper comes along

There are too many competitors, the expected volume is too high, and the clients are often unreliable,

Do yourself a favor and find another differentiator on which to compete

If you feel like it, check out my article on differentiating your freelance writing service here:

Some freelance platforms (cough…Upwork…cough) do indeed contain legitimate writing opportunities for a certain subset of

The difficulties you’ll encounter with these platforms are multi-faceted, however

First, when you work on-platform with clients, you’re at the mercy of the platform’s dispute

Anyone who’s ever been the victim of a fraudulent credit card chargeback on Upwork knows how

And you don’t control what the platform does with that basket

They could change their algorithms and banish you to page 9 of their search results in your category

All of these things could have a catastrophic impact on your earnings

Don’t tie the health of your entire service to a single, or even multiple, freelance platforms

There’s no set path to follow for freelance writing success

But that doesn’t mean that every fork in the road offers equally lucrative choices

Save yourself some time, money, and heartache by avoiding the ones discussed above