The Essential Freelance Writer’s Toolkit

Summary: This article is targetted at new freelance writers. lt covers the four basic tools they need to get started. This is evergreen content.

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Writers new to the freelancing world often wonder what tools and utilities they require to support their business. The good news is that there are very few essentials: freelance writing is a career that needs a surprisingly small amount of software.

Before looking at the various tools that should be in your freelance writing toolkit, a few words are needed on the subject of grammar, spelling and punctuation. It’s tempting to think that perfect language skills are critical to the freelance writer but this is not the case. Generally speaking, a good control of language is indispensable but syntactic perfection is far less important than the ability to produce content that conveys an idea clearly and is easily understood by the average reader.

When it comes to your writing toolkit, there are four essential items. For starters, you’ll need an Internet connection and an email address. Even offline freelancers who are used to working purely with local businesses should get connected because of the huge number of opportunities they’re missing if they don’t trawl the web on occasion.

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An email address for easy contact is equally important and can be obtained for free from many providers such as Google and Yahoo. It’s worth choosing a name that stands out, describes what you do or contains your company name – generic names like “sarah4372” don’t look very professional. If you already have an email account, consider opening another purely for business purposes: separating your personal identity from work is usually a good idea.

Image representing Microsoft as depicted in Cr...

The third essential tool is a word processor. It’s best to stick with one that produces the most commonly-accepted file type: Microsoft’s Word document format. If you find the price of Microsoft’s software somewhat restrictive, a free alternative which produces compatible output is the Open Office suite. Almost every client and site accepts Word files and, even if they don’t, the software can produce output in pure text, rich text and a variety of other easily-readable formats.

Finally, you’ll need a way to get paid. Although many clients and sites offer traditional payment methods such as cheques or direct bank transfers, opening an account with an online payment provider such as Paypal is highly recommended. It simplifies matters because these systems allow clients to pay with an existing balance, money from their bank account or even credit and debit cards; many also provides facilities such as payment protection and invoicing.

With these four tools at your disposal, you have everything you need to start your freelance writing career.

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Wikipedia: freelancer definition: freelance.


One thought on “The Essential Freelance Writer’s Toolkit

  1. Pingback: Creative & Self-Employed? 10 Essential Business Tips | Dawn-Renée Rice

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