How to Earn Good Reviews as a Freelance Writer

Author Name
Answered by: Andreea-Lucia, An Expert in the Freelancing Category
There are two main things you’re pursuing with every piece, as a copywriter: a) a job well done, with quality writing and content and b) positive reviews, which are basically public pats on the back from the satisfied client. Obviously, you should always strive to earn good reviews as a freelance writer and, as much as possible, even accolades for your well-written content. I’m not saying that always happens, but I am saying that it can happen, as long as you stick to some basic rules of thumb that can save your impeccable reputation and ensure that you will continue to have many clients impressed with your work.

When dealing with clients:

• Shut up & listen

The first rule is to always listen to what your client is telling you. It’s the same as in retail: the client is always right. Make sure you respect and fulfill all of their requests for the task and listen to what they want. This is the most important step of the process, believe it or not. It doesn’t matter how good of a writer you are if you don’t know how to listen to your client’s needs. They won’t care how well you know to turn a phrase, if it wasn’t what they wanted, you will get taxed for it.

Listening doesn’t come easy to everyone, but it’s something you will have to learn how to do, and do it well because it’s what your entire livelihood will depend on. Read your task as many times as it is necessary for you to understand what your client expects from you and how the final assignment should sound. Do they want a serious piece? Do they want it to be more light-hearted? Should it be more full of valuable information, or just a general presentation? Pay attention to all of these aspects, for the best possible results.

• Ask for as many details as possible

More often than you think, you will deal with clients who don’t provide a lot of details about their expectations. And no matter what you are writing about and how self-explanatory it is, two lines are not enough to understand what they want from you. This is why you should always get back to them and ask for details; details are your life-savers. Ideally, make a list of all the things you need to know from them: tone, style, length, topic, references, headlines, key words, and anything else you can think of.

The main take-away from this should be that if your client doesn’t provide details, don’t just assume that you can write whatever you want, and they’ll be ok with it; they won’t. And then you have to do the same work all over again, usually, at a discount, and at the additional price of an annoyed client. “But they were the one who didn’t tell me what they wanted! Why are they annoyed?”, you will ask, outraged. Go back and read what I wrote earlier: the client is always right. And it was your job to ask for details.

• Ask for clarifications

You won’t always understand your client’s indications; sometimes, they will be a tad vague. One of the language’s most valuable attributes and downfalls is how open to interpretation it is. “I need a quality piece on ecological fuel” can stump anyone. What do they mean, by “quality”? What is their understanding of it? More importantly, what do they want from you? There are a lot of words that can throw you in for a loop, when used in this context – “relatable”, or “open”, for example, would all necessitate some kind of clarification regarding their meaning, simply to ensure that you are on the same page, and your plans are in line with their expectations.

There’s nothing worse than just assuming that they mean whatever you think they mean, only to discover that what you wrote is not what they wanted, at all. Some people just won't understand that it was just a matter of a misunderstanding and won't grant you the time to rewrite and give it the form they wanted.

Extra Tips: When in doubt or when the client is not sure about what they want, do not hesitate to ask for feedback. Write a sample, just to give them an idea of the tone, style, etc. and see how they like it.

• Is this what they envisioned?

• What would they change?

• Should you continue along the same lines?

These are all important questions to ask and consider, before moving forward with the rest of the assignment.

Getting good reviews as a freelance writer isn't that hard, as long as you offer quality work, follow the rules above and generally offer your customers a great experience.

Author Name Like My Writing? Hire Me to Write For You!

Related Questions