Learning on the Job


As human beings we keep on learning new things. Whether it's in school, college or on the job. As a freelancer, we couldn't succeed if we didn't keep ourselves open to learning every day with every article or at the very least - every gig.

Learning leads to experience which leads to expertise.

That's the story of a freelancer. You don't need a Master's in English, Communication or Journalism to be successful as a writer. All you need is the love of learning. We, as freelancers start learning from the beginning. Our first article, first gig, first pay check, first returning client and let's not forget - first scam.

Learn from mistakes.

Every writer has either fallen for a scam, missed a deadline, or generally been careless with keeping in touch with a client. All of these happen at some point or other. We're humans and mistakes happen. But if we keep on repeating them we're stupid. Learn from them and we get wise. It's a simple formula really.

Be smart.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. A large part of the learning process of a freelancer is to read, read and read some more of authority blogs and books of established and successful writers. If you've fallen for a scam, read up on the kinds of scam there are, what to watch out for and how to avoid them. Missed a deadline? Find out how other writers stick to their schedules and what techniques and tools do they use. Utilize every resource available to avoid making the most common mistakes freelancers make. Sure, nothing teaches a lesson better than a mistake, but mistakes can be avoided by being prepared.

Don't be dependant on your niche.

Sticking to one genre, or one topic of writing can severely limit a writer's exposure as a freelancer. Depending on a niche to make you successful is not smart planning. Take one topic or genre at a time. Learn about them. Write about them. Keep them in your portfolio for times when you're short on jobs related to your niche. Even if you're not short of work, sometimes a writer needs a break. Writing about a different topic can be a breath of fresh air.

Have something to add to these? Share your views in the comments and add to the list of things we learn on the job. Stay tuned for the things I've learned on the job so far.

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meili_lo said...
November 11, 2008 at 6:44 AM  

hi. nice blog. it's nice to learn what you've learned as a freelancer. however, i don't know if i can call myself one...i just know i'm a blogger but don't really know if i'm a "writer" per se. =)

anyway, hope you can share your views on my survey questions in my blog. would really appreciate to see your comments.



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