How Freelance Writers Can Stay on Top of Deadlines


If you have a genuine passion for the written word and a strong grasp of language, freelance writing can be a fun and rewarding way to earn your livelihood. Being your own boss and making money doing what you love is a dream come true for many talented scribes. However, while there are a lot of advantages to seeking out a career in freelance writing, there’s quite a bit of trial-and-error involved as well. This is particularly true when it comes to deadlines. As any seasoned freelancer can attest, your ability to meet deadlines will largely determine how well you do in this business. That being the case, fledgling freelancers looking to set the stage for success should consider the following tips.

Avoid Taking on Too Much Work at Once

When getting your start as a freelance writer, the temptation to accept every available job can be overwhelming. After all, in order to establish yourself, you’ll need to prove your skills to a wide assortment of clients. While there’s nothing wrong with hunkering down and working hard, taking on too many assignments at once can severely impact your ability to meet deadlines and compromise the overall quality of your work. Although walking away from money can be difficult, knowing when to politely turn down jobs is an important part of being a freelancer.

Make a Deadline Calendar

If you’re always working against multiple deadlines, it’s in your best interest to create a deadline calendar. This will ensure that you’re able to keep track of when various assignments are due and set your priorities accordingly. In the absence of a deadline calendar, it’s easy to lose track of looming due dates, particularly for writers who consistently juggle a lot of projects. Additionally, a deadline calendar can help you stay on top of which invoices and estimates need to be submitted. Before submitting your next estimate, take care to check out the free online estimate template. This will imbue your estimates with an air of professionalism and display your business savvy to both current and prospective clients.

Express Concerns about Tight Deadlines

If you have any questions or concerns about a deadline, it behooves you to let your client know before accepting the job. For example, if a certain deadline seems unrealistic or unmanageable, bring this to the attention of the client posthaste. More often than not, this will prompt them to extend the deadline, thereby saving you a tremendous amount of hassle in the long run. On the flipside, expressing concerns about a deadline right before the date arrives will make you appear irresponsible and is liable to prompt clients into thinking twice before enlisting your services in the future.

Provided you’re able to attract a steady stream of clients, freelance writing can be a rewarding and creatively fulfilling career path. However, when getting your start, it’s important to understand that repeat business is crucial to staying afloat. When it comes to turning first-time customers into repeat clients, an ability to stay on top of deadlines is sure to serve you well.