There are many myths being circulated about freelance writing. Unless you’re extremely familiar with what a freelance writer actually does, you could easily get sucked into believing one of these myths.
What are some of the most common myths about freelance writing?
Here are six common freelance writing myths:
- Writing is easy. According to this myth, freelance writing is so easy that virtually anyone can do it. This myth is often used by unscrupulous companies to try to get freelance writers to lower their rates. The truth is that freelance writing is a lot of work. Writing professionally is a lot different that writing a letter to your Aunt Mabel or keeping a personal diary. Professional writing must be accurate and effectively reach a target audience.
- Write it and they will come. A surprising number of people believe that simply adding content to a website is enough to generate a huge increase in traffic. The fact is, while good content is extremely important, even the best content almost always needs to promoted to its potential audience so that they can find and enjoy it. Popular sites usually promote their content through social media.
- It’s easier to fix bad copy than create new text. It’s common to see freelance “rewrite jobs” advertised for a very low rate. It’s nearly always a bad idea for a freelance writer to take one of these jobs. Editing is hard work. Rewriting badly written copy can be difficult. Fixing something that is poorly written often requires more effort than creating a well-written piece from scratch.
- Content is unimportant. Another myth regarding copy is that it is the least important element of a website. According to this myth, flashy graphics and good web design are more important. However, it’s best to think of these elements as complementary. An eye-catching site may draw a reader in, but he or she won’t return if there’s nothing of substance to read on the site.
- Freelance writers aren’t reliable. Sadly, some clients have had a bad experience with a freelance writer. That’s because there are a few unreliable writers out there. However, I’m convinced that these bad writers are in the minority. I make reliability one of my own hallmarks, and I know that other writers make a similar effort.
- I can write my own materials. Because writing seems so easy (see myth #1), some companies believe that it is cost-effective to write their own website copy and marketing materials. However, writing your own materials is usually a bad move for a number of reasons.
These are just a few of the freelance writing myths that I’ve encountered. What myths about freelance writing have you encountered?