Why Do Freelancers Fail – 8 Tips To Know Before You Start

Freelancing is hard—full stop, and there’s no doubt about it! More freelancers fail before they succeed, and there’s a massive pattern of red flags that lead to the failure of a freelancing business.

Freelancers fail for several reasons. These reasons include not staying consistent, lack of knowledge about the topic, poor quality writing, trouble communicating with clients, and not keeping up with the technology.

That doesn’t mean you are a bad writer or unfit to be a freelancer. It just means that you need to keep working and correct those little mistakes. Here are seven things you need to avoid as a freelancer to ensure that your business doesn’t fail.

1. Do Exactly What The Customer Wants

Do Exactly What The Customer Wants

Most freelance clients want their articles written using certain keywords, word counts, guidelines, etc.

One of the first things every client requires you to do is follow their directions to the letter.

Clients want something that conforms to their expectations, and they want their articles written a certain way. If you do not write the articles the way they need to be written, the client can have you rewrite them.

These rewrites are often done without pay; if they are unsatisfactory, the client can remove your orders altogether.

Please read the directions at the beginning of the assignment, have them with you as you work, and check your article against the directions whenever you finish it.

While small mistakes are okay, you certainly don’t wait to keep making very big mistakes repeatedly!

2. Write Fast and Deliver On Time

Write Fast and Deliver On Time

You need to be able to write fast, and the full speed you need to write depends on the assignments you are given.

If you need to write 3,000 words daily, an hourly writing speed of 1,000 or 1,500 words per hour is good. Two to three hours is enough time to complete an assignment.

However, if you need to write 6,000 words daily, that same writing speed will allow you to complete an article in 4-6 hours.

That’s not even factoring in time for editing, so if you don’t have strong words per minute (WPM), you won’t be able to make much money.

Stick to the deadline, too, because clients hate it when you go over it and are late. If you are late, it is good to say you need more time for the client.

If you know you will be late, communicate this to the client and see if they can be lenient. Most often, especially if you have a good excuse, the clients won’t care.

If you are constantly late without explanation or turn in low-quality work because you are typing too slowly, the client will likely fire you.

So make sure that you can always get the work done on time. You should know what you can type in an hour or a day, and then you can use those numbers for your word count.

While you might type more in a day or less, you should still have an average that you will go towards. That way, you can plan things out with your schedule.

3. Write What You Know

Write What You Know

Finally, consider what you know as a freelance writer. Stick to topics you know and understand, ideally related to past jobs and interests.

If you used to play golf for a living and also have a deep understanding of model cars, then you know two topics.

You can market your knowledge about those industries and try to write about them; plenty of clients in the area might be in that niche.

If you get an article assigned to you on a topic you know nothing about, don’t be afraid to do the research.

Ensure to learn some basic terminology about the topic, as ignorance will show in your work.

A five-minute Google search can often give you much information about the topic, so you don’t need to research everything.

Pick a few websites and do a cursory reading; you should have enough information to write a good article.

4. Get Some Expertise Under Your Belt

Get Some Expertise Under Your Belt

Being a Freelancer at the start means you won’t be looking for money.

Rather, it would be best to focus on developing good writing habits and writing a well-written article. Start at a lower price point, 1-3 cents per word, and then start writing away.

After you write a couple of articles and have them all approved, you can transition from beginner to expert.

Your prices and skill level will also rise, especially as you learn the ropes of freelance writing.

Make sure to take easy jobs, even if they are easy jobs that don’t pay as well.

Writing 500-word articles for $2.00 or less than one cent a word might seem demeaning, but if you can do these lower-paying jobs well, you can do ones that pay higher.

When you start as a freelancer, you must adopt the mindset that nothing is beneath you.

The faster you become willing to do anything as a writer, the faster your experience will grow.

5. Start with Content Brokers

Start with Content Brokers

One of the best things you can do as a beginner is to start with content brokers. These allow you to write small pieces (500-3000 words) and to make anywhere from 1-3 cents a word.

That can add up quickly if you write multiple pieces per day, but you can easily start quickly and learn the ropes of your specific content provider.

Websites like Textbroker and iWriter are great places to get into freelance writing. You can sign up after passing a small writing test. You can also find content writing jobs on websites like Upwork or offer your services.

Most of the content is easily put together and straightforward, with many directions and a target word count to get you started. So you won’t have to deal with any questions or confusion while you start.

6. Build A Profile

Build A Profile

After you have built a content portfolio, you will want to create a profile for yourself.

A profile will showcase your work, interests, and prices. You can set up a profile on Upwork and showcase some of your best work.

It would help to ensure that only your best work is shown on your profile page. You can also have reviews and ratings for your work.

The more people are drawn to your profile page, the more chances people have to see it, and people will hire you!

Your reviews for your profile page will greatly impact who hires you.

Do your best work, and you will get some well-done reviews! After you get some clients that love you, they will rehire you over and over.

7. Learn from Your Mistakes

Learn from Your Mistakes

Finally, it would be best if you learned from your mistakes. You will make mistakes as a writer and as an entrepreneur.

The important thing is, do you learn from them? You must learn from those mistakes and implement systems to prevent them from happening again.

If you have trouble with deadlines, you need to set up a system to notify you of approaching deadlines before they get out of control.

If grammar is your big problem, you must use other checkers and third-party apps to correct the grammar. Note what you must do, and always adapt the learner’s mindset.

I use Grammarly regularly to review articles and kick my articles into shape.

It would be best to keep learning as a freelancer writer; the minute you stop learning, you will fail.

8. AI Is Taking Over

ai writing

Since writing this article, AI has taken over online in a big way. More and more people are using these tools to write content, generate content ideas, hash out topics, and much more.

This will undoubtedly put a dent in freelancers’ pockets. However, tools like Koala AI Writing, Google Gemini , and Chat GPT are cheap and easy to access.

This doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find freelance writing gigs. It means you might need to be more creative to find new clients and use AI to your advantage.

For example, why not use these AI tools to your advantage? You could use them to help you research topic ideas, create content briefs, and even write the content.

This could help you speed up your content writing process and earn more money.

Stopping Freelancers From Failing

Why do freelancers fail? As stated before, freelancers fail because of poor planning and awareness.

You need to set up a niche and market yourself in that niche, as well as provide great work for your clients.

Always communicate with your clients and talk to them if something goes wrong.

They are typically understanding people and will work with you if you need more time or extra help.

There’s no excuse for not asking questions if you are confused about the topic or the regulations, and the client is invested in ensuring you understand the work.

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