Developing a Writing Style
It doesn’t matter what kind of writing you do – your writing style is what sets you apart from the hundreds or even thousands of other writers who want your job. Without a unique writing style, you don’t have anything to bring to the table that is worth your price.
When you’re a freelance writer, there is always a target on you back. Because so many people aspire to make a living working from home or want the fame that sometimes comes with writing, there isn’t a lot of individual job security. While some clients and publishers will remain loyal, if your work isn’t as good as someone else’s work, you could lose writing jobs with your clients in the future. Clients take into consideration a number of factors, including price, communication, and reliability. However, again and again, I hear the same thing from those hiring writers: they want someone who can write articles (or books or whatever) that people actually want to read.
The sad fact is that there are a lot of writers in this industry who see writing as nothing more than throwing sentences together. In many cases (maybe even most cases), writers – especially online content writers – spend less than 15 minutes on a 500-word article. Content doesn’t matter as much as word count, and the more articles they can write in an hour, the more money they are making.
As a new freelance writer, one sure-fire way to stand out among a sea of writers is to offer a unique writing style. You don’t have to be funny or even creative; you just have to write articles that are interesting to read. After all, that’s ultimately what makes money for other people. If the content isn’t interesting, people won’t buy a magazine or keep coming back to a website. Publishers are willing to overlook some typos or other mechanical problems if you can prove that, overall, your articles keep people coming back for more.
Developing a writing style starts with instinct, but it is also about hard work. Some people have natural writing talent that allows them to quickly and effortlessly translate their voice to paper. For others, this takes time to hone the skill. Get into a routine of writing in a journal every night, reread your articles out loud to see how they sound to others, and always, always, always take into consideration the criticisms others give you. It might be a blow to the ego to hear that you aren’t perfect, but that gives you a way to improve.