Know Where You’re At: Writing At Your Level
If you are looking to start your freelance writing career, it is vital to know where you are at when it comes to your writing level. Most sites have a rating system of sorts, and you may find yourself ranked lower than you expect. This is a cause of frustration for many people, and a place where some writers give up. You can’t expect to be a “level five or six” writer right away. Even if you have been writing for years, a platform such as WriterAccess is going to test your abilities and put you at a level that matches your current skills.
Here are some great tips to put your best writing forward:
Do Your Best on Writing Samples and Testing
When you create an application to a site such as WriterAccess, do your best when it comes to the initial testing. This means that the kids should be in bed and sleeping before you start, the pets fed and the spouse occupied. Take your time on your testing and try to avoid unnecessary distractions. If you try to take the test while you are also feeding your children breakfast, letting the dog out and saying good-bye to your spouse, chances are high that you are not going to do your best. Your level indicates how you did on your initial testing, and it will change based on the quality of the work you turn in.
Look at Feedback as an Opportunity to Learn
Few writers like to hear (negative) feedback on their writing, but that doesn’t mean constructive feedback is not valuable. If a client tells you that you are off the mark, try not to take it personally. With so many clients to work with, it is impossible to get everything right the first time. To be a successful writer you have to develop a thick skin and understand that each time a client complains about your work is an opportunity to learn something. Maybe you didn’t pay attention to the guidelines set by the buyer, or maybe the client wasn’t clear in their instructions. Either way you can grow as a writer when you learn to accept and move on from feedback that you receive.
Pace of Writing Matters
How fast you write and the level you are writing at is going to determine your hourly rate. If you can accept and write level three content much faster than level five content, you may be surprised to see that level three content pays you more per hour. Look at what you are writing and try to assess how much you make per hour depending on the level of content. Whether you prefer fast and easy, or more complicated and slow content, your hourly rate should matter to you the most when you are a freelance writer. There may be days you write great content easily at level 5, while other days level 2 work is challenging. Know where you are at and don’t be afraid to take easier work once in awhile.
When you are rated a level on WriterAccess, this level changes. If you consistently turn in high quality work, you will be rewarded with a level increase. If buyers complain about your work consistently, you can be dropped a level. The goal is to match writers with the best opportunities, no matter what level you are writing at. To improve your level, know your grammar. Check for spelling mistakes and listen to customer feedback. If you aren’t sure about an order, ask questions for further clarification. As you gain skills as a writer, you will start to see your opportunities increase.
Melissa N has been working as a freelance writer since graduating from college with a BA in English in 1994. She has written many investigations for the juvenile court system, taking complex information and breaking it down into comprehensive reports. Further, Melissa has written on topics such as real estate, gardening, parenting, divorce, personal injury law and fundraising. She has written for Garden Guides, Ehow, Reuters, Find Law and Livestrong. She has written a number of published articles that are now used on legal research sites for attorneys and paralegals.