If you’ve been following along for the past few weeks, you may have noticed that I’ve been listing the characteristics of a successful writer.
Why is being careful important to your freelance writing career?
The answer is simple. If you’re not being careful as a writer, you’re probably not doing your job properly. Plus, no client wants to hire a writer whose sloppy work makes the client look bad.
Here are three careless mistakes that freelance writers make:
- Not following instructions. It’s important to follow a client’s directions. If you don’t understand or if you disagree with a particular instruction, it’s time to contact your client for a clarification. However, in my experience, instructions are usually overlooked because of carelessness on the writer’s part and not because of communication difficulties.
- Not researching a topic thoroughly. One of the quickest ways to get a bad reputation as a writer is to share information that is just flat out wrong. If you’re not an expert on a particular topic, be sure to do enough homework to make your material helpful and accurate. Inaccurate material reflects badly on both you and on your client.
- Making typos and spelling errors. Typos and spelling errors make both you and your client look unprofessional. While you may not be able to afford to hire a professional proofreader, you can at least take reasonable measures to make sure that your copy is relatively free from mistakes.
The funny thing about being a careless writer is that many clients won’t tell you that this is what lost you the job. You just won’t get the job (or the repeat business) and you probably won’t even know why. But, if you recognized yourself in the list above, then it may be time to take a good hard look at your writing to determine whether you are being too careless.
What other careless mistakes do freelance writers make (and how do you keep from making them)?