What makes us, freelance bloggers, different from writers?
We don’t believe that same old megillah about inspiration necessary for creating lip-smacking content. (Clients would kill us twice or thrice if we sat and waited for inspiration instead of met deadlines.)
And we’ll never agree with those claiming that everyone can master a writing craft once and forever.
Because all that’s bulls**t!
To master a writing craft, freelance bloggers dive into unknown niches, research, play with words, and polish drafts statedly.
We don’t write texts.
We build them.
But, to build well, we have to overcome fears. Some prevent us from writing, some turn into loathing; but none of us denies them. BAFB readers confirm:
“They’ve already told everything. I have nothing new to write.”
“They are gurus. I can’t write better than [top bloggers’ names here].”
“So many ideas! Can I structurize them? Don’t I miss anything essential?”
“I have a blank page syndrome!”
“They will criticize me! They will blow my writings sky-high…”
It seems we all need actionable techniques to smash those fears.
Don’t panic! I am ready to share seven.
1. Retell Events of the Day
This one helps to avoid a blank page syndrome when you simply stare at the screen with no idea how to start writing. Some call it inspiration lack while others can’t think anything better than emotional burnout or workplace depression.
It’s nothing but fear of creating a crap!
To stop it, develop a habit of writing daily. Describe the world around you, retell occurrences of the day, or write posts to your social media to share thoughts on something bothering you.
“What’s in there for my freelance blogging?” you ask.
Next time, when you see that intimidating text cursor, you won’t panic about deadlines bearing down on you but start writing.
Simple as that. Writing first, editing afterward, after all.
2. Keep a “Clever Thoughts” Diary
Nope, it’s not about writing down your favorite quotes of famous people and freelancing gurus. (Though, it could be a good practice, too.)
It’s about keeping a diary of your thoughts.
Do you know that an average person has approximately 60,000 thoughts per day? We forget most of them by evenings, but wouldn’t it be awesome to save one-third at least? We could use them in freelance writing for building texts without stumbles.
So, try writing down every thought that takes shape in your mind. It can be ideas, sentences, or even paragraphs — they all will work on your writing afterward.
3. Record Your Voice
Who is the best friend of freelance bloggers?
A notebook? Maybe.
A laptop? Probably.
What if I tell you the best friend of every freelance blogger should be a dictaphone?
Let’s face it, how often did you lose brilliant ideas simply because enlightenment caught you in the dead of night or somewhere with no laptops or notebooks to write down your stroke of genius? You hope to remember it, but we all know how it works: when time comes to introduce that idea, you have… wait for it… nothing!
Get into the habit of recording your thoughts to structurize them and use in your freelance texts afterward.
4. Opine on Opinions
To smash the first two fears mentioned here, try the writing technique known as opining on opinions. It’s when you read influencers’ thoughts on the problem and comment them.
Don’t confuse it with criticism. I don’t call you to mop up the floor with professional bloggers, perking your finger in them and telling how wrong they are. Sorry but you’ll look like a pug barking at lions.
The name of the game is dialogue.
Opine on opinions, produce arguments, share your thoughts — this tactic helps to build compelling texts for your clients, as you train to structure facts and manage priorities.
5. Mirror Your Favorite Writer
It goes without saying that freelance bloggers read a lot. As my favorite writer, Stephen King, said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
My second yet no less favorite author, Ernest Hemingway, agrees:
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
Who is your favorite writer? Do you analyze their writing styles while reading? Do you notice chunks of the language they use in works? Or, do you try following famous writers’ weird habits that let them polish writing skills and become top authors we know today?
I hope your answer is yes because mirroring your fav writer is among the most efficient techniques allowing to develop your personal writing style and smash the feeling that “you are not good enough”. This tactic helps to enhance your vocabulary and conquer your fear of criticism.
In fact, it might be dangerous for some freelancers:
It can change their view of a writing craft: they will stop thinking of freelance blogging as of nothing but the easiest and fastest way to earn money by higgledy-piggledy combining words into sentences.
6. Analyze Influencers’ Writing Styles
In my article at Moz, I described how reading the news and hand-picked resources could educate and make you an author. I mentioned my favorite blogs of Neil Patel, Jon Morrow, and Brian Clark that taught me the art of writing for the web.
And what about your list of favorite blogs?
Learn from influencers in your niche: read their articles, analyze their structure and speech patterns, learn from them, and follow their methods to polish and develop your own.
This technique will work best for freelancers blogging in different niches: to learn the subject, dig deeper into it, understand all details, and speak their language, it would be a good practice to analyze what big dogs say on that.
7. Stay in Pro Space
What is most people’s knee-jerk thought about freelancers?
They believe freelancers experience a lack of social communication.
I can tell firsthand it’s heresy.
But what else I can tell firsthand is that it would be a good practice for freelance bloggers to stay in pro space by attending seminars, taking part in conferences or webinars, visiting local meetings, communicating with interesting people on social media, etc. It helps you avoid hitting a plateau and enhance your productivity.
As well as become a freelance blogger who does texts, creates them, and builds them from the ground up.
Now it’s high time for my cry from the depths:
Freelance bloggers who write with facility scare me.
Facility weakens. It turns writers into content mills and scribblers able to rough out articles quickly and, if their clients are lucky, on the topic. The problem is, such texts will crumble into dust when clients ask to revise them, tilt the balance, add facts, or change the perspective.
Because such texts don’t have a frame: like puzzles, they cease to exist once you take away a single piece, even teeny-tiny one. Such texts revision may plunge a writer into frustration. (Not to speak of what they might do to editors!)
So, don’t be afraid of hard writing. Smash all your fears with actionable techniques that will help you master the craft of texts creation.
Remember: you craft texts, you build them from the ground up.
And that’s why clients appreciate your work. Isn’t that the reason for being who we are, freelance bloggers?