When I started working online as a freelance writer, here is what I did after getting work from a client:
- I would do the necessary research and type the article in a Microsoft Word document.
- When I was done with formatting, editing and proofreading, I would send the work to the client as an email attachment from my Gmail account.
Later down the road I changed how I did my work, but I still relied on the email attachment feature in Gmail to send back the articles I had written.
And then I switched to something I thought was much more efficient: using Google Drive and Google Docs to give the clients who hired me access to the articles I had written for them.
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How to go from email attachments in Gmail to using Google Docs for your freelance writing work
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Here is what I did when I made the switch.
I would go online. Open my web browser. Open a tab for Wordcounter.net and type my articles using the free text editor – because switching from my web browser to MS Word to me just wasted a lot of time. And this tool has an auto save feature as well.
I would then copy and paste whatever I typed from WordCounter to MS Word.
Then I would make the necessary changes to the MS Word document.
I would then open a new tab on Google Chrome and type drive.google.com to access my Google Drive account.
I would then click the upload option and locate the document I had created.
Once it was up in the cloud, I would right click on it to edit it with Google Docs.
I would then make changes to the title and headlines, and then I would grab the URL / link to that doc.
I would log into Gmail, look for the email that client sent me and hit Reply.
Then I would just type a short email telling them I had completed the work they assigned to me. In the email I would mention the title of the article and then paste the URL / link to the finished article.
Then I would click Send, and that was it. No more attachments.
So, that is how I made the switch. And this is normally the process I follow after completing a blog post and want to send it to a client. I upload the file to Google Drive, then open it on Google Docs to make a few edits.
I then just grab the link and send that to the client via email.
The benefits to you as a freelance writer
Here are some of the benefits to making the switch from email attachments to Google Drive / Google Docs.
You can create folders for different clients within Google Drive. If you have more than one client, you can create folders for each client. And then when you are uploading various documents to the cloud, you can just use the relevant folder. This will help you organize your files / client work neatly – making it easy for you to find whatever you need within seconds later down the road.
I still, go to some posts I wrote for clients from time time to check some resources I mentioned. When you organize everything the right way, you won’t spend a lot of time locating what you need. Plus it is much easier to search for files via Google Drive than it is to do inside Gmail.
You can restrict who is able to see a piece of content you create or who is able to edit it. Once you upload an article to Google Docs, you can give different permissions to different people. For example, you can give your client the right to access and make edits to the article.
In the future, you can use that very article in your portfolio but only give those who access it the right to view it only (giving them no rights to make edits).
You can access the documents you upload from any device with an internet connection. So, once you send the link to the document and a client requests you to make some revisions but you are away from your laptop, you can make the edits on your smartphone, tablet or the desktop computers in cyber cafes in town. The changes you make will be reflected on their end almost in real-time.
The benefits for the freelance clients you work for
When you use Google Docs, as opposed to email attachments, the client may only log in once to their email to get the link to the Google Doc. Once they do so, they won’t need to log in again to open the email you sent the m in order to see the document.
They can just bookmark the link to the doc, copy & paste it or somewhere and access the doc whenever they please. This is very important to clients (saves them a lot of time) especially when they ask you to make a few revisions to an article they hire you to write.
So, any time you make changes, they can just refresh / reload a tab on their web browser to see the changes you have made. Also note that you can just grab a link to a document and send it to a client via Skype, WhatsApp, Slack, Live Chat, Facebook Messenger or Zoom. You can’t do this is you are using the email attachment option.
When you go from using email attachments to using Google Docs for your work, your client will be able to use premium services that can take the doc & automatically turn it into a post such as Wordable.io.
It saves solo bloggers, content managers and blog editors a lot of time.
Once they get work from freelance writers, they can easily export the Google Docs content into a WordPress post, make a few changes, schedule the post or hit publish immediately.
Now, every time you get work from clients, you can use some of the tips in this article to help you with your organization. Remember also to keep backups offline – especially if you are hired to write tutorial posts where you have to create lots and lots of screenshots.
If possible, have as few as three places to backup the work you create. And make sure to upload the images you use / screenshots you create on Google Drive as well – in sipped folder – or just one by one in a separate folder.
Check the listings in the Freelance Writers / Content Creators category on Niabusiness Classifieds for potential clients you can work with. And also make sure to place an ad listing with details about your content writing services. Placing an ad on the site is free.