6 Common Mistakes Freelance Newbies Make

frustrated woman at laptop

Freelancing is risky business and newbies who venture into its unknown territories are courageous and enterprising. As a freelancer,  there are many unknowns. Freelancers constantly find themselves in new situations and not all of them are going to be easy. Luckily, many people have been successful at it before. Learn from their mistakes, so you don't have to experience them firsthand.

Here are six of the most common pitfalls of freelance newbies.

Knowing that most of us have at some point made these same mistakes may make them more palpable, but if you can effectively avoid them, you might as well.

Underestimating the Length of Time a Project Will Take

One of the perks of freelancing is that you can work in your own time and according to your own schedule. Let that be your strength instead of your downfall as a freelancer. The most common and often fatal mistake that a freelancer can make is to underestimate the length of time it would take him to complete a project.

Know your abilities enough to allow yourself to estimate the time accurately. Track your time and harvest all you can get from it to the fullest. You can always take help of apps like Toggl, Harvest, RescueTime to monitor how and where you are spending your time to minimize the loss of time.

Taking Low-Paying Work 

Doesn't it feel good to do work according to your own schedule and time?

Who doesn't like being their own boss without having to answer to anyone? However, another mistake we can end up making is taking on projects and jobs that are not worthy of our time and effort. You end up giving it your all and, in return, you are left feeling drained of life.

Make it your rule to never work for less than your time and effort is worth.

When you know you are getting what you deserve for your best work, both the parties go home satisfied. Know the basic rates of freelance writing, and don't undercharge. 

Keeping the Kids at Home

Freelance writing is that field that is usually pursued by individuals who like to work while staying at home. Many stay-at-home parents are drawn towards this field due to its easy manageability.  However, if you are a single parent with a small child or toddler, you must not neglect their needs.

Good writing requires long swaths of uninterrupted time and focus. If that requirement is taken lightly, you will end up dissatisfied in your personal life and professional life.

No Dedicated Writing Time or Space

Being a writer, you need to have the ability to research and read and take in new information. Unlike other kinds of work, a writer has to constantly think in an uninterrupted manner. Freelance writers need to have a dedicated writing space and time to work. It is not the kind of work that can be done with breaks and interruptions.

Putting "All Your Eggs in One Basket"

As your career as a freelancer progresses and you build good working relationships with your clients, they are will contact you as their needs arise.

This is good for business, but you must not rely on them alone.

Over time, I have noticed many freelancers who stopped looking for new clients once they had few regular clients. When these clients had no work for them, they had to look for work again. Always have few clients in your pocket rather than depending on work from a single client.

Missing Deadlines

One of the worst ​mistakes you can't afford to make is missing deadlines.  When you're unreliable, you disappoint the client and yourself. Always meeting your deadlines demonstrates that you have good work ethic, which means your client is more likely to hire you again when they need a hand.

Learning from the mistakes of other people is not only wise, it’s a necessity. In order to climb steps, you have to learn about and dodge the booby traps of business… Good luck and tread carefully!

business… Good luck and tread carefully!