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May 262012

Have you ever sat in front of your computer banging your head against your desk as you try to decide what to write? At one time or another, every freelance writer with a deadline has encountered this white screen of death. It’s not uncommon either to type in a few feeble sentences, stare at them, and then delete them. Then, you’re back to square one. But fear not! Even veteran writers will come across this problem as inspiration takes a backseat. Fortunately, there are several ways to overcome this predicament and get your freelance writing jobs online written well within the deadline.

Know what Freelance Writing Jobs Online You Have

Preparing to type out your writing in peace isn’t the first step. When an employer sends you freelance writing jobs online they will almost always tell you to read through it carefully. That’s because a great many number of freelance writers, including experienced ones, don’t read it carefully. This is an important time to read it as soon as you get it and ask questions right away if you’re unclear on something. Also, be straightforward that you don’t understand something. What your employer fears most is that they’ll be holding a stack of your work that isn’t what they told you to write. Accept that you are human and make sure you don’t fail from the beginning.

Don’t Be Distracted

It’s easy to look at the ample hours you have left for writing a handful of articles and shrug it off, especially when there’s just a small e-mail to ignore every one of your freelance writing jobs online. There’s television to watch, good meals to eat, and people to talk to. But the truth is there’s no way you can write a good article while watching television. You need to remove all outside distractions. Writing, unfortunately, is not fun time all the time. Isolating yourself is the first step to eking out your writing. Here’s a few ways to do before you sit down to write.

Find Your Niche

Get away from company. Even if you’re not joining in a conversation, it’s still distracting. Their subjects will break into your subject. You may be one of those writers who can write through wind or rain, sun or shine, but other people can only hurt your concentration, not help.  This doesn’t mean just the person in the room with you: you have to close the chat browsers too, and log off of Facebook and Myspace. It’s one of the worst perils of freelance writing jobs online, where you have access to one of the greatest entertainments in human history.

Remove all noise. Find a quiet, private place in your house to work. Ideally it’s one where your friends or family won’t enter. If you don’t have a place like that, make one. Explain to your family the importance of your work, and prepare a place in the future to have some solitude. Turn off the music you’re listening to as well.

Sit For Success

Take a moment to decide if you’ll be able to work there. Laptops are the worst (and what I have) when I write freelance writing jobs online, because you can be in any position, anywhere. You don’t want to be lying on your bed where you’re sure to fall asleep. At the same time, you don’t have to sit on a stone bench (unless you want to!) In my experience, an office chair at an uncluttered desk is the best place to start typing away. Each person is different though, and the most important thing is to find a place where you can be alert and comfortable.

Don’t Take In-Betweens

So you’ve finally started doing your research and typing out your freelance writing job online? The vast resources of the Internet and your imagination are at your fingertips, which is the worst and best case. While researching online, other sites unrelated to your work will be trying their hardest to catch your eye and convince you to visit their site. It’s not just gaming sites. You may be tempted to read a site that, you tell yourself, will enhance your knowledge and appeal for future jobs. This is to be done on your off time if you really want to get things done. Doing things in-between is the sure way to distracted, faltering writing.

Set a Deadline

Setting a deadline before you begin writing is important. Setting it while you’re writing is a must. Time management is never too late until five minutes before your work is due. Being able to set a deadline makes you a master of your writing. If your employer sets a deadline they will be master, and you may end up fearing or even hating them. The time that the employer sets as a deadline for your freelance writing job online should not be your deadline.

Do Your Research

Freelance Writing Jobs Online A few employers may give you free liberty of what you write. If you have a prolonged contract with an employer, you may be able to pick and choose the topics of your freelance writing jobs online. Unfortunately, you may also find yourself landed with a topic you know little about. Don’t be daunted. Set a clear goal in your mind, of what you want the reader to take away from this. Think of what you can write to complete that point. And then, go out and find it.

There’s one great secret to knowing how to research online. Don’t use Wikipedia.com. There are hundreds of other encyclopedic sites with more quality. Wikipedia.com is fraught with user influenced content and selective knowledge. Find up to a dozen sites that give you a wide range of knowledge, ones that work with you. Some of the most undervalued ones are news sites. Never be fooled into thinking that any “informative” site doesn’t have its fair share of bias and motivations.

Don’t Research

You may find yourself reading the same thing in different articles. This is a warning sign that you are going in an endless loop. Research can be good, but eventually it becomes no more than an excuse for procrastination. If you see an article start with the same content as the one before, close it and move on. Multiple voices will clutter your own train of thought.

As a rule, the shorter the project is, the less I research. This is especially true if the source is the same format as mine (e.g. an article while I am in the process of writing an article.) For this piece, I read a single article and came away with a few key points. Once you buckle down and begin writing, you’ll find your own knowledge—and more importantly wording—start to emerge and form some of the best articles you’ve written.

Write It

The biggest way freelance writing style differs from your writing style is the format you have to write it in. For example, in an article your employer may ask you to use SEO, give you a list of keywords, and tell you to make sure it passes Copyscape. If you don’t know what these are, learn about them immediately. Any freelance article writer worth their salt will come across them sooner rather than later.

However, while you should write the article with those in mind and incorporate them smoothly, you can plug some in afterwards and make sure they flow in the article. Revision is an important thing to do—and have time for. Even if your article feels award winning by the time you’re done, one quick read will point out awkward wording and other fallacies that can be corrected in a few minutes.

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