If you’ve just decided to hang out a shingle as a freelance writer, you might have romantic visions of tapping out the next great American novel on your computer with nothing more than your imagination, you should read this. Writing is a business, and to be successful you’ll need to have more than just a laptop and an internet connection.
There was a time when the only writing software you needed was Microsoft Word. Today, savvy writers are turning to more sophisticated programs and services such as Google Docs for their word processing needs, but Microsoft Word is a great place to start.
PDF Reading Software
You’ll also want to have a program such as Adobe Reader to allow you to look at PDF documents on your computer. Thankfully, most computers these days come with this program pre-installed, so there’s nothing further to download. However, if yours doesn’t (or if you would also like to work from your tablet, for example) you can download one of many different PDF reader apps.
If you would also like to be able to create and edit PDF documents, you’re going to need a PDF editor online tool. Using this technology, you can email your writing portfolio to prospective employers, etc. with ease. There are lots of online PDF editing tools online for downloading.
If you’re going to be interviewing people for your writing, you’re going to need to record those interviews for reference and accuracy. There are lots of apps and recording software programs out there that you can invest in. Gone are the days of the tiny tape recorders!
Photo Editing Software
Even if your speciality is words and you don’t plan to branch out into photojournalism, there’s a good chance you’ll need to be able to edit photos at some point. Using photo-editing software, you can organize, crop, edit, and add your creative flair to your photos before submitting them for assignment. There are lots of editing software options out there, from free online photo editors and subscription services to the crème de la crème of photo editing software, Adobe Photoshop.
Remember that you are running a business. As such, you’ll have to find a way to organize and keep track of your business finances and other types of numeric data. Microsoft Excel is an accessible, easy-to-learn program that usually comes included with most computers today.
A Fast Internet Connection
Finally, you’re going to need a fast internet connection. Most freelance work is done online these days, and it’s essential to have a reliable, fast internet connection, not only so you can send and receive large documents, but also so you can be reachable by Skype, video conferencing, email, or other services quickly and reliably.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that your freelance writing career is going to be a success – no one can see the future. But if you want to keep pace with the modern freelance writing industry, setting yourself up with these things is a very good place to start.