4 Tips For New Freelance Writers To Hit the Ground Running

For a new freelance writer, it can seem like a significant risk to leave traditional structure to carve out a career on your own, and taking the first steps may seem like the most difficult.

The freelancer’s world today, however, comes with more stability than it ever has.

There are platforms for content organization that make it easy for freelancers to communicate, collaborate, share resources and find work.

Here are four keys to keep in mind as you embark on those nervous first steps as a new freelance writer.

1. Your Market Share Is at An All-Time High

Content marketing is increasing on the back of an increasing reliance on market analytics used to tell marketers what’s working and what isn’t.

The results have shown that content marketing, the consistent release of valuable content to a targeted audience, has increased significantly.

According to Curata in recent years, marketers are increasing their content budget by 76 percent, showing a firm commitment to a form of marketing that is becoming more and more useful as we learn more about our audiences.

New freelancers are not entering a risky or under-appropriated market, by any means.

freelance writing how to

2. Qualifications Don’t Matter; Expertise Does

As enters the market as a freelance writer, it’s understandable to have some anxiety about how your credentials compare to your peers.

As some experienced freelancers will tell you, however, this comparison is more a product of your perception than a real concept.

More important than where or how you learned to write is what you develop a specialization for.

If you carve out a niche in the freelance market as an authority on a specific few subjects, you have a direct path by which to grow your personal business.

3. Build Loyalty and a Personal Brand

Many people equate being a freelance writer to being willing to take whatever work comes along, and it might be like that in the beginning, but over time you’ll be able to focus your career and refine the work you accept to specific customers and sectors.

This is where building your personal brand comes into play as a major factor for developing your identity as a freelancer.

You’ll find clients with whom you can maximize your benefit and become able to help each other’s businesses move forward.

4. Embrace Your Freedom and Take the Plunge

Freelance writing isn’t easy, nor should you expect it to be, like any other job. Unlike other structured work, however, freelancing garners you a freedom and versatility to keep your identity with you throughout the process.

Your earning potential is, within reason, whatever you want it to be and offers a flexibility unmatched by work in almost any other sector.

It takes a special type of person to want to take the first steps towards a freelance career, but typically it’s the same type of person who can be a self-motivated, successful part of the freelance market.

Do you have any tips that have worked for you? Let me know in the comments section below.

Drew Berger

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Drew holds a degree in Political Science with a minor in Economics. He has experience writing in the areas of politics, economics, sports and sports business, and product descriptions. He always strives to produce unique content within a given deadline at a high level of quality.

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auntieemily
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auntieemily

This is great information for those who are just beginning to write as freelancers. It’s good to know that the time is right for such individuals to get started.

Rob Toccs
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Rob Toccs

It is encouraging to see that the industry is growing! Working in a growing industry is so much more encouraging that working in a dying one.

Drew Berger
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Drew Berger

I’d be interested to see the number of freelancers that use it as a supplemental income and those that do it as a primary career. The beauty of the industry, in my opinion, is that it can take any form a writer can imagine.

Rachel Elle
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Rachel Elle

I’m curious about that, too, Drew. I’ve been using freelancing as a supplement for years and while I love writing and it’s been an amazing form of income for me, I can’t imagine doing it full time. The pressure of seeking clients out and waiting for work is too much for me. Would rather have a day job and a salary.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

I can appreciate the desire for security that comes with a traditional job and salary, but I enjoy the freedom and opportunity that freelancing affords.

A minor correction: a successful freelancer won’t wait for work. They’ll go find it. There’s always a pitch or piece to write while a client is getting back to you.

Earl Dotson
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Earl Dotson

Good point. Who can afford to just wait for work anyway?

Rachel Elle
Guest
Rachel Elle

Rob, I think that’s my biggest frustration with freelancing: I don’t *want* to continually pound the pavement to seek out new leads. I generally do extremely well writing for Crowd Content but I don’t have the time or the want to consistently be on the hunt. The freelance world can be quite feast or famine at times, and after so many years of doing it as a main or a partially main income source, I highly value the security of a desk with my name on it, a nice salary, and benefits. The flexibility is great – writing funded my… Read more »

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

I agree with Rachel. It’s hard to be always searching for the next freelance assignment. Some of my happiest times as a freelance writer were when I had a client who wanted a steady number of blog posts, or a longterm research-and-writing gig with an educational resource website.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Steady gigs are really something to savor. There’s only so much job-hunting you can do before you exhaust yourself. Hopefully you can find a job and get a new shot of energy.

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

Yes, the nice thing about a steady writing gig is that you don’t feel the pressure to prove yourself constantly. You’re confident that the client appreciates you.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

And that confidence goes a long way towards doing your best possible work.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Do you have the “desk with my name on it, a nice salary, and benefits”? If you have that and you’re doing very well with Crowd Content, it sounds like you’ve got it made, Rachel?

Georgia Potts
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Georgia Potts

Hunting is just part of the game. I used to have an hour each morning for applying to things before I got to my actual writing, but I don’t have to do that anymore. I just apply to a few things a week, and that keeps enough new work coming in.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Wow, that sounds great! How did you manage to get so much of what you apply for?

Georgia Potts
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Georgia Potts

I don’t, really. I usually get hired on with content sites that I apply to, but my rate of getting private clients is still pretty low. I rely mostly on content sites and getting a few acceptances a year keeps me able to have enough work to do each day.

Earl Dotson
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Earl Dotson

You must get accepted for big projects if a few acceptances a year is enough to keep you busy each day.

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

I have a similar mix of writing gigs to yours, Georgia. I would like to get more skillful at getting private clients. Maybe someone here has some advice on how to do that.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

I’ve had some success just networking with local businesses, creating a website, and putting ads on Craigslist.

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

I’m glad that Craigslist works well for you for getting clients to write for. Maybe I should try it. Do you have any tips on how to use Craigslist effectively?

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

The fun part of applying to several things is the pleasant surprises that come along. I have received offers from writing gigs that I forgot that I applied for, weeks or months ago! Does that ever happen to you?

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

You don’t keep track of what you applied to?

Georgia Potts
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Georgia Potts

I rarely do unless it’s something amazing that I’m waiting to hear about. When you apply regularly, you get both acceptances and rejections in your email. I don’t think it would help that much to keep up with them until you’ve heard back.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

That makes sense, but it means you don’t follow up if you don’t hear back. Is that right? Also, have you ever pitched the same place multiple times?

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

I don’t follow up anymore. The first couple of years that I freelanced I used to do that, but it really got me nowhere. Often, people are so inundated with applications and resumes that they choose pretty quickly from the first few dozen. If you’re not in the group, there’s not much reason to write them back.

I have pitched to places multiple times when I didn’t get in during a previous hiring period. That has paid off a few times.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

Rachelle – I tried to respond to you, but the system wouldn’t open a “reply” box under your post. (This has happened a few times.) It’s tough work, and I completely understand the desired for security and a more relaxed pace. Much of the drain of freelancing, however, I think not comes from the work itself. I’m sure you enjoyed the writing part (at least some of it, depending on clients). Not having boundaries, however, would quickly drain anyone. Who can stalk around the clock to get work? Freelancers need a system where they work hard so they can get… Read more »

Earl Dotson
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Earl Dotson

It’s absolutely right that freelancers need a system exactly like the one you describe. The question is how to create it.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

Each freelancer needs to create their own balance and boundaries. For everyone, though, I think it begins with financial stability so that you have the freedom to say “no” to work. Then, you need the willingness to decline work and the discipline to keep your boundaries.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

You’re absolutely right about financial stability. It’s the foundation on which everything else is built.

Rachel Elle
Guest
Rachel Elle

Very true – I love the work itself. That’s why I still do it even though I can live comfortably without it. My BA is in creative writing, so it gives me a way to do something I love outside of my day job. I completely agree with you about boundaries; my lack of them is why I have a hard time writing full time. When I see articles I want, I’ll load up on them even if I’m dead tired with a million other deadlines the next day. Some people may be able to step away from the keyboard… Read more »

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

You know love something when you want to do it even when you don’t need to. People who have found that something for themselves – whether it’s writing or something else – are fortunate. It’s true that signing up for too many articles can leave you overburdened, but the fact that you do it shows how much you love the craft. When you see a lot of assignments that look interesting to you, it’s hard to just sit back and let somebody else take them. Isn’t that better than looking at options and not being inspired to take any of… Read more »

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

It is better, but it also can lead to burnout eventually — and then not wanting to take any assignments at all. You can’t indulge in an activity all the time, no matter how much fun it is or how much it pays. There are other needs.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Good luck on the move. I just moved across the country myself, and to say the least it’s a challenge. Isn’t it great to know that in this day and age you can pick up right where you left off with your work, whether you move across the country or the world?

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

It takes time to develop that discipline. It’s great once you do, though.

Also, good luck on the move!

Brandon
Guest
Brandon

Hi Rob,
We’re working on improving things, and hopefully some of the issues you’ve been seeing should be fixed. If you do run into issues, please send an email to community@crowdcontent.com.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

Thanks for the response Brandon. It took me a while to find this comment. The technical issues have been addressed — thanks. And, thanks for giving me the proper email to send these inquiries to.

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

Every few years I’ve decided that I want a desk job instead of working seven days a week and having to work at weird hours and all of that. Just working 40 hours a week and having the weekends off sounds like a dream sometimes! Then I’ll apply to stuff and really start thinking about it. I’d have to wear clothes I don’t want to wear, fight traffic twice a day and do whatever the boss says. I’d have to be embroiled in office politics and the backstabbing that goes with it. I’d have to go to work even if… Read more »

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Of all those things you mentioned, not being able to eat when you want would be the hardest, followed closely by not being able to have the television series of your choice playing in the background. Have you decided you wanted a desk job and seriously believed that this was the time when you accept one if you were offered one?

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

There are times when I probably would have. Every couple of years I get the idea that life would be so much easier if I had a desk job, and I start combing Indeed and looking through classifieds and seeing what’s out there. By the time I apply for a few things and really get serious about it, I start to think about what it would really be like. For some people, that’s great. That’s what they want. But for me, it would be miserable.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

It’s good that you know what you want. That knowledge means you’re never going to be stuck in a work situation you don’t want to be in.

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

I’d like to add the absence of office politics to the reasons why I love working from home. I don’t miss the snarky gossip and competitive one-upmanship from my brick-and-mortar jobs at all!

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

I know, office politics are the worst. When my 9-to-5 friends talk about work, that’s all they talk about. It just confirms to me that I’m doing the right thing for me.

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

There’s just so much excessive interpersonal drama that occurs in the workplace. Sometimes I wonder, is it something about working in an office environment? Do construction workers and road maintenance crews have the same issues?

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

In my wife’s last job, everyone was isolated in their own cubicle and communication with coworkers was discouraged. Now she’s in a job where she has to hear about office politics on a daily basis, and it really makes her nostalgic for her former job.

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

That’s too bad. I hope she finds a way to deal with it. Sometimes, in the workplace, it’s good to build yourself a reputation of being a peacemaker who doesn’t like to gossip.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

You’re an “X-Files” fan? What do you think of the reboot last winter?

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

I thought it was fantastic! I was afraid that they would dilute it and make it some kind of modern thing that would be full of Kardashian clones or something. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it was. I was quite excited by it.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

That’s good. There’s always a risk when a popular show is rebooted that it will disappoint the fans who made it popular in the first place.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

It would be very interesting to find out what the statistics are. My guess would be that the number of people who do it as their primary career is still in the minority but growing. What do you think?

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

Who knows. I have a feeling those who are successful don’t spend much time on forums talking about their success. They’re likely busy with work. It’d be hard to know for sure without a survey, I think.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Maybe they talk up their success on forums during those rare times they’re not working. You’re right, a survey would probably be the best way.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

Of course, then you have to find a way to survey a broad swath of freelancers, which presents its own challenges.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

Of course, then you have to find a way to survey a broad swath of freelancers, which presents its own challenges.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

The answers could be interesting, but it’s probably not worth the effort of tackling those challenges to get them.

Roy C.
Guest
Roy C.

With the growing number of telecommute jobs, I would imagine more of them would offer a better pay. You make a decent salary if you write for a popular magazine, newspaper, etc. I guess only hermits are eligible for at-home writing jobs! Some folks aren’t able to sit behind a computer all day.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

When you’re working in a dying industry it can be hard to muster the motivation just to show up to work. Everything seems tinged with pointlessness.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

It’s a cliché, but it’s true – timing is everything. Since we’re lucky enough to be here at the right time, it’s up to all of us to take advantage of it.

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

It’s very encouraging to read that being an authority in your niche is important. Having an advanced degree in journalism or creative writing isn’t a crucial requirement for success in freelance writing.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

When I was a kid – which wasn’t that long ago – it was drilled into our heads that we needed a degree to succeed. The changes in the writing industry have made that piece of advice seem ever more irrelevant.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

Oh, if I new you could be a successful writer without a degree! The gig economy has really undermined the need for degrees I think.

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

I don’t know if I would advise a young person to get a degree today, unless he was going into a field where it was clearly necessary. It’s so expensive in the USA, and the debt can be crippling for many people.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

Many schools are expensive, but there are also affordable options, like in-state schools.

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

Yes, the in-state tuition at state schools can be reasonable, although it’s been rising because of the decline in federal funds for education. I just really admire societies like some in Europe, where any able student gets a college education. Not just those students who have family money, or who are willing to take on large debts. It seems to me that we must waste a lot of talent here in the USA by having the system we have.

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

Motivated people find a way. There are Pell grant, loans, co-oping, etc. I worked my way through, got a grant and took on a loan. It’s possible for anyone to go to a state school, it just may take a little longer when you’re working at the same time.

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

I really admire people who go to school and work at the same time. I have colleagues who worked full-time all day and then persisted to get their degree at night.

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

That’s true, Georgia. There are lots of ways to make a college education more affordable. My kids had federally-funded work-study jobs all through school. They worked so hard on their work-study jobs that I sometimes wondered how they found the time to study and have a social life.

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

I would. I realize that it isn’t absolutely necessary for many careers these days, but it’s useful for a lot more than careers. I feel like my education was completed, and I draw on a lot of that knowledge for my writing. It also helped that my degree was in a type of writing. I wouldn’t have traded my education for anything, debt or no.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

Could you not have gotten an equal or better education in writing through a less conventional, less formal means?

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

I doubt it. And I wouldn’t have the well-rounded education that I have. A degree isn’t just your major- there are dozens of other classes that teach you things that are just as important. People say they teach themselves at home, but I think, really? You spend eight hours a day or so studying the subject matter? How do you know what to study? Who tells you if you’re wrong when you’re practicing?

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

Good points. I guess I learned how to learn in school, and now am comfortable learning in less formal settings.

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

At this point in my life, I often daydream about what I would major in if I could go back and get a degree. I think it might be some type of writing, maybe journalism.

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

That’s what I majored in. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

Yeah, I really hate that. As writers in journalism school we were trained in how to get the real story, how to look at different angles of it and how to write correctly. I see a lot of people writing now who know how to do none of those things, but they used to work in a certain industry, so now they get paid to write about it. It usually doesn’t turn out that well. A lot of “authorities” that you see online these days don’t even have much of a history working in the industry, or any at all.… Read more »

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Just like you used to have to do something to be a celebrity, you used to have to be well-informed about a subject to be considered an “authority” in it. You’re absolutely right that it’s sad to see this happen.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

“Freelance writing isn’t easy.” So true!

Writing isn’t easy, although everyone thinks they can do it.
Freelancing isn’t easy — there is WORK in work at home!

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Some people seem to think freelancing equals money for doing nothing. Those who have actually freelanced know better.

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

I’ve actually seen that a lot. I’ve seen people give that advice- oh, you need money but you don’t really have any skills? Why don’t you just write? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people thinking that this is how it works. It’s really unbelievable.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

It’s not only unbelievable, it’s insulting. That’s another example of what I’ve talked about before as far as the complete lack of respect we get as writers. I have a feeling people who take that advice and try to be writers without having the proper skills eventually learn through experience that it does indeed take talent to write. That’s good, but it’s not enough. I want the people who give that stupid piece of “advice” to realize how wrong they are.

Natasha E
Guest
Natasha E

Yes!! And being able to manage your time and projects well is important, too! 🙂

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

It’s also important to pick the right projects. I know this from experience. Some people probably have a natural instinct for picking the right projects, while some probably have to work a little harder to develop it.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

Getting good clients is crucial. It takes both practice and a willingness to turn down work.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Who else can identify with me when I say it was hard for me to turn down work for a long time? I think I was afraid that if I turned down what I was being offered, whether it was good or not, I wouldn’t receive other offers. The thought of never getting work was terrifying to me, so I felt I had no choice but to take whatever came my way. It took me a long time to learn to weigh whether a project was worth my time and effort before accepting it.

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

I can certainly identify with that. The first two years or so that I was freelancing, I took absolutely anything anyone offered me. I would even write for free or nearly free if I was promised “exposure” or “a piece for your portfolio.” I’ll never fall for that BS again.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

I think learning to not fall for that nonsense is one of those things that can only happen through experience. You can only rid yourself of the fear of never working again once you’ve worked for nothing (or next to nothing) enough times to realize how pointless doing so is.

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

How about the sites who encourage you to write for peanuts during an “internship” period, with the possibility of a better rate after the initial period? I did that once, and will never fall for that baloney again.

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

yeah, I have fallen for that before. Never again.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Good for you. The operators of those sites know how tempting offers like that can be, and that’s how they draw you in. As hard as it can be, you must resist.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

Ugggh. “Exposure.” If I wanted exposure, I’d pay for a billboard. It worked for Tommy Hilfiger.

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

I still do that to some extent. I look at an offer and think, “Gosh, this looks boring and hard to research. Maybe if I refuse it, nothing better will come along soon.”

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

The thought that nothing better will come your way can be a genuinely scary one. It can take time to learn to develop the confidence that something worthwhile will come.

Rachel Elle
Guest
Rachel Elle

I still have a problem turning down work… but only if it pays. I have no issue whatsoever turning away one, two, and often three star clients in favor of bigger fish. Throw big orders that pay at me all day and I’ll take them happily.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

Yea, big paying jobs are always tempting, no matter how much work is already lined up.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

It was hard for a long time — and sometimes it still is hard. I’m always turning away work that could add to my income, but there’s only so many words a writer can type.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

That’s true. We all have a limit on how much we can do, although some of us are slower to accept that fact than others.

Doe Richard
Guest
Doe Richard

I agree. I once tried to outsource to freelancers, and honestly, I had a difficult time finding writers I could count on every time.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

I once lost a nice gig outsourcing to other writers. I’ll never do that again.

Doe Richard
Guest
Doe Richard

We both learned the hard way!

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

At least we learned!

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

That’s encouraging to hear that budgets for content marketing are going up. I’m happy that our services as providers of engaging, targeted content are in demand!

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Like people, where businesses spend their money tells you a lot about their priorities. The massive increase in content marketing budgets is a sign of good things to come.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

I’d like to add that our services should always be in demand.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

I’d like to add that our services should always be in demand.

Doe Richard
Guest
Doe Richard

So it’s never too late to enter the content writing industry as a freelancer, no matter your age.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

I think it’s a great industry for older adults who aren’t afraid of computers, are disciplined, and are having trouble finding a job.

Doe Richard
Guest
Doe Richard

I agree, older people tend to treat their clients with respect, and they won’t easily abandon them at the earliest sight of greener pastures.

tomysole
Guest
tomysole

I would say don’t even try it if you can’t meet deadlines and have trouble staying on task. You can’t make a living off freelancing unless you are willing to sit in front of your computer for 8-10 hours every single day. Making a bit of extra money is possible for most freelancers, but going full-time as a freelance writer takes loads of discipline…discipline that I certainly don’t have.

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

Yes, besides discipline, the ability to find clients and promote yourself, having a thick skin and being willing to revise what you thought were brilliant sentences to suit a client’s whims. Not easy.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

Discipline, perseverance, confidence and humility — they’re all necessary.

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

How true! A writer has to be confident enough to write about a subject that may be new or difficult, and yet humble enough to accept criticism.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Humility is something you never really hear about, but it’s as important for success in the writing game as the other traits you listed.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

My personal opinion is that humility is essential in much of life, including professional endeavors, even though it’s not often touted.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Having a thick skin is perhaps the hardest part. You have to be able to keep going past rejections, disappointments, and stress. Not something everyone is suited for.

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

Rejection hurt for probably that first year, but when you get a lot of them, mixed in with plenty of acceptances of course, they cease to mean anything. It just means you aren’t suited for that venue.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Being rejected for some jobs is easier to take if you’re also being accepted for other jobs. Those acceptances, in the words of Mary Poppins, are the “spoonful of sugar” that helps “the medicine go down in a most delightful way.”

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

It’s a lot of work. I work seven days a week, but I do like the work. It’s worth it to me to work so many hours to be able to make a living at what I love to do.

tomysole
Guest
tomysole

I enjoy writing too….but I’m not wired to sit in front of a computer all day. My ADD is tremendous!

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

It can take a while to develop the discipline needed, and sometimes I do stray and look at gossip online, lol. But when I put in a lot of hours and have a good earning day, I can go to bed knowing that I accomplished a lot that day.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Few better feelings to go to bed with that.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Few better feelings to go to bed with than that.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

We all could probably blow several days on the fun sites of our choice, whether they be about gossip, entertainment, sports, whatever. It’s so tempting sometimes.

Doe Richard
Guest
Doe Richard

I’m familiar with that feeling of satisfaction and achievement at the end of the day after I’ve spent several hours writing and earning online.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

Can you try switching topics occasionally to help manage ADD?

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

ADD is a beast. How do you cope with it?

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

It’s a good thing you like the work because otherwise you’d probably go crazy after a while doing it seven days a week. It’s true there are some things – not many, but some – more important than money. Making a living wage doing something you love is better than making a large sum doing something you don’t like.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

Of course, making a fortune doing what you love is the best of both worlds. For freelancers, the opportunity is there (although we won’t all make it). That’s what I love about the work.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

It probably doesn’t get much better than making a fortune from writing. You’re right that we won’t all make it to that level, but I think those of us who can make a good living and have financial security from our writing should be happy with that.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

Of Course, making a fortune doing what you love is the best of both worlds. For freelancers, the opportunity is there (although we won’t all make it). That’s what I love about the work.

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

I don’t know, some people say that- is money more important than taking “me” time? Is it more important than spending time having fun? Yeah, of course it is. I have a family who needs things, and we have cars that need decent tires. Expenses add up, and it’s hard to have a happy life when you don’t have what you need and you’re trying to figure out how to pay for vital things.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

It’s not just hard, it’s darn near impossible to have a happy life in that situation.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

It’s taken me years to develop that discipline.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Good for you for developing it. Some people never do.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

If a person can’t meet deadlines, they shouldn’t be a writer, period. Sitting in front of a computer 8-10 hours a day every day does sound daunting, but isn’t it better to do that in your own home rather than in an office?

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

Not always. Working at home can be a beast. I often leave the house to work. I’d have an office, but cups of coffee are cheaper than office rent in my area.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

It’s true that sometimes you need to get out of the house and take a breath of fresh air. I never thought of renting an office before. I always just assumed a person either worked at an office for someone else or at home for themselves. Between those two choices, I think it’s definitely better to work out of your home than an office. It’s a good thing you pay less for cups of coffee than for office rent. Any place that charges that much for coffee wouldn’t stay in business long – unless Starbucks decided to do it, of… Read more »

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

Wouldn’t that be fantastic if Starbucks had little offices in the back to rent? I would be on that so fast.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

I’ve never been a Starbucks regular, but I’d become one if they offered offices to rent.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

They do, and I rent them! It costs 1 grande iced coffee and a generous tip to ensure the baristas don’t get made at you, and then you can take the table in the back corner. Theirs is more of the open-office style.

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

Ha ha, I’ve been trying to avoid that, but it seems less and less likely every day that I will be able to. I just have to get over my fear of looking like a hipster.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

There are definitely worse things to look like, if that helps.

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

Ha ha, there definitely are.

Rachel Elle
Guest
Rachel Elle

I totally agree. I’ve freelanced full time on and off and it can be really isolating. It’s also harder to set limits when you’re working from home… When there’s more to do or more to write, it’s easy to just keep going and never stop when your workplace and living space are one and the same. At an office, you have someone who can tell you that enough is enough and it’s time to go home.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Is it always such a bad thing to not have limits? When you’re on a roll you don’t want to be told to stop, and if you’re facing a tight deadline you can’t afford to stop. Sometimes it’s good to have a laser-like focus on your work and let everything else fall to the side.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

In that example, though, you have a limit. Your deadline is a hard limit. As far as continuing when you’re on a role, I think you can write when you’re on a role and still have limits. Just don’t think of them as “I stop at 5 pm” (or 1 am in your case, if I remember correctly Earl). Your limit could be “I’ll stop when my words or income per hour drops below this rate.” At that point, you’ll no longer be on a role, and you still have a boundary to tell you when it’s time to quit.… Read more »

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

“At an office, you have someone who can tell you that enough is enough and it’s time to go home.”

That’d be so helpful to hear some days!

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

It definitely depends on the person and the home environment. I know writers who pack up their stuff every morning and head for the university library to write. For me, it’s a pleasure to work from home.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

I enjoy working from home, too, as long as that home has a computer and Internet connection (mine does now, thankfully). Every now and then it can be fun to work in a different setting – my favorite place is Barnes & Noble – but with a baby that’s no longer really an option for me.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

How do you get work done with a baby around? My wife watches ours most of the time, for which I’m grateful. The constant interruptions would decrease my productivity so much,

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Actually, I don’t get that much work done during the day. While my wife’s at work, our baby is the center of my universe. Most of what I get accomplished happens after my wife and the baby have gone to sleep for the night.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

How much sleep do you get, then? And, how much do you get to see your wife?

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

I get to see my wife every night during the work week and all day on the weekends. I don’t really work until after she goes to the baby, save for a few comments on my phone. I don’t get anywhere as much sleep as I used to, but I’m handling the lack of rest better than I ever thought possible. Of course, it’s not like I really have a choice.

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

You’ll get more sleep when the baby gets older. And once it’s preschool time, you’ll have a lot more time for work. It does get better!

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

Good to hear! (zzzzzzzz)

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

Sounds like it works for you. I hear you on that not having a choice thing.

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

When I had a baby in the house, I hired someone to help out during the day with baby care and chores so I could get more work done. By the evening, my work was done and I could just enjoy the baby. It worked out pretty well until pre-school started and I had a few hours of kid-free time during the day.

Natalya Ward
Guest
Natalya Ward

A great piece of advice. You have to treat it like a normal job. Yes, you have flexibility, but you still have to do the work and it’s not easy to be both boss and employee.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Not easy, but definitely worth it.

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

I would disagree a little with point number two. I’ve seen this trend lately, where clients don’t want a generalist with a lot of writing training, they want specialists. I think that can be a mistake in a lot of instances. Just because someone knows a lot about a subject doesn’t mean that they know a lot about writing. They may have factual, specialized information that is written quite poorly.

Drew Berger
Guest
Drew Berger

Well, sure. I supposed there was the caveat necessary that while having a specialization is important to your career, it doesn’t matter if you can’t put the basic building blocks of writing to practice.

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

You’d be surprised. A lot of clients these days don’t seem to want writers. They want someone in the industry, and they don’t care that much about the finished product as long as it comes from an “insider.”

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

How can any client not care about the finished product? Isn’t it obvious that a poor product reflects badly on them? Simply being an “insider” shouldn’t give someone that much clout.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

To earn a decent income writing, I think you have to have a specialization — especially if you’re a content writer.

There’s a ceiling on what clients will pay for a piece, and thus a maximum on how much you can make per post/article. By writing faster, though, you can increase your hourly rate. One of the best ways to increase your speed is to decrease your research time by specializing in a particular area.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

How nice it would be not have to spend a good chunk of time doing research – especially for people like me, who tend to get carried away with it.

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

Sometimes I enjoy the research too much! I spend too much time reading source material if it’s an interesting topic.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

I have that problem, too. Sometimes the research is more fun than the writing. Another I problem I have is not being able to let go. It can be hard to convince myself I’ve done enough research even when I have a pile of it.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

There always comes a time when you need to stop reading and start writing. Sometimes it helps to have someone else tell you when that time is — like an editor with an imposing deadline.

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

Ha ha, I do that all the time. It can send you down a rabbit hole of reading interesting things until you suddenly remember what you’re supposed to be doing.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

And when you remember what you were originally supposed to be doing, you might have a disappointed feeling.

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

Always! I’ve tried a couple of different methods, like using a timer and not letting myself do anything but work until the timer goes off. But then, that seems to add stress to the day. If I get off task sometimes, that’s just part of working from home, I think.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

I think going off task occasionally can actually help keep your mind fresh and your enthusiasm up. As long as you get your work done on time, what’s the problem?

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

It just depends what else you would’ve done with that time. If you’re searching the internet for a half hour instead of watching Lost for the 10th time, who cares? If you’re piddling around and then don’t have time to take your family out when you said you would, though — now there’s a struggle.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

How does a writer decide what to specialize in? Should they choose a topic they’re personally interested in or choose one that’s in demand?

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

I’ve taken on about five areas that I focus on, 2-3 that are my own interests and 2-3 that pay well. It helps in my case that I like dry material. When I was four years old, I listened to financial talk shows instead of music when falling asleep.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

It sounds like you have it perfectly balanced between personal interests and business. How did you decide what areas to focus on?

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

On the personal interest side, I identified 2 to 3 passions that I spend a lot of time doing.

On the professional side, I looked at CPC for ad in Google Adwords and identified ones with extremely high (above $50 and sometimes above $150) payments. I then looked at which of these categories were often ordered, and then chose 2-3 that I could at least tolerate writing about for a long time.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Sounds like you did your due diligence.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

It’s not just clients that need research — writers should research their own industry, too!

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

This may be one of the few times it helps to like dry material. A 4-year-old only listens to financial talk shows if the interest is inborn.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

From as young as I can remember, I found finances, insurance, legal things interesting. I don’t know why.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

It doesn’t matter why, as long as it interests you.

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

That sounds like a good way to keep your writing life interesting. Do you write on the more lucrative topics first on a given day, and then reward yourself by writing about something you’re passionate about?

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

No, I don’t use the passionate topics as a reward. I have enough work in both lucrative and passionate areas to keep my workflow varied enough that I don’t get burnt out. Often, It’ll work out so I’m spending a day or two writing for clients in passionate topics. The work’s for orders, though, so I can’t use it as a reward because there are deadlines.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

It sounds like you don’t need to use the passionate topics as a reward. You seem to have the perfect balance.

Rachel Elle
Guest
Rachel Elle

I think it’s a little bit of everything, as well as academic strengths. My master’s degree is in accounting and I work in corporate finance with personal finance and tax experience earlier in my career, so it’s very easy for me to leverage that.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

With a background in mathematics, how did you become interested in writing? It’s my understanding that most people are on one end of the spectrum (math,science) or the other (writing, the arts).

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

I know you didn’t ask this to me, but I made the switch from Chemistry to writing for a variety of reasons and through a circuitous route. For me, one of the attractions of writing is the challenge of being creative.

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

Interesting point. I don’t think it’s a matter of a simple spectrum. I love both mathematics and writing. However, I have no spatial abilities whatever, so cold never do lab science, visual art, or three-dimensional math. My first career was in computer programming, and now I’m a writer.

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

That’s a good strategy to maximum your income from writing. If you can specialize, you don’t need to do as much research, and it definitely comes across to the reader in your tone that you know what you’re talking about.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

When you know what you’re talking about, you establish yourself as an authority. When you’re established as an authority, you build trust with the reader, and there’s no substitute for trust.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

It’s really helped me. I took maybe a year to be able to focus on a few areas, but I’m glad I did.

Doe Richard
Guest
Doe Richard

What if your client is not focused on a specific area/niche, or you’re writing for various clients in a wide spectrum of niches?

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

For me, I hit a ceiling that I couldn’t break without specializing. Clients who paid more wanted someone who was experienced in their field, and I needed to reduce my writing time by reducing the amount of research. Not specializing was fine up to a point, but it was impossible for me to go beyond that without slowly narrowing my focus.

Doe Richard
Guest
Doe Richard

I guess it’s difficult to not see the point in specializing if it brings about reduced research time, allowing one to write more based on their experience in a specific field.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Writers, on the other hand, can craft a well-written piece on a subject they know nothing about. As long as it sounds like they do and they don’t get their facts wrong, they’re all right.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Thanks so much for these tips, Drew. Freelance writing is a dream for a lot of people, and advice like this plays a big role in helping achieve that dream.

mpaige
Guest
mpaige

This is much-needed encouragement for many new writers. I would have loved to hear such a positive outlook when I first began my freelance writing career.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Glad you began it anyway. Drew is right – eventually you just have to take the plunge.

Natasha E
Guest
Natasha E

Great tips. With hard work and dedication — it’s possible to succeed as a freelance writer. Don’t let your fears stop you!

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Like the saying goes, “The only one who can stop you is you.” There will be challenges and disappointments, there will be times where it seems like all your efforts are for naught, but if you have the right attitude and keep pushing forward you can rise above all that.

Natasha E
Guest
Natasha E

So very true!

Christine Birch
Guest
Christine Birch

So encouraging – especially the fact that you don’t need to be a professional writer, but only have a specialized niche to succeed.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

If you’re paid, you’re a professional. Perhaps not full-time, but professional.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Better to be a part-time professional than a full-time amateur.

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

Ha ha, I love that!

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Thank you! I believe it’s absolutely true!

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

Well said!

Rebecca A.
Guest
Rebecca A.

“Embrace Your Freedom and Take the Plunge” I love that you added this point. For many years, I was afraid to “take the plunge”. But now, I cannot imagine my life without being a freelance writer. I went from taking one or two jobs a month to full-time freelancer. I also do photo work, but working for myself has been the best investment.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Congratulations! Sounds like you’re living the dream! What made you decide to “take the plunge”?

Rebecca A.
Guest
Rebecca A.

I was actually forced into making the plunge. When I finished my MBA, the company I worked for closed. With all the extra time, I just started writing more and more. Finally, I started getting a regular stream of clients. Everything worked out well….so far.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Good for you for turning a negative situation into a positive. It’s not easy coping with a job loss, and you should be proud for finding your way to a new path. Maybe, MBA notwithstanding, writing is your destiny. Hope everything keeps working well for you.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

Are you able to use your MBA in your writing in any way?

Rebecca A.
Guest
Rebecca A.

Yes, I do use MBA. My degree is in business administration with a concentration in business law and human resources. I use the combination of the two often in my writing. I also own my own photo studio now. So, my degree has not totally gone to waste.

Toni Hoy
Guest
Toni Hoy

I was also afraid to leave the comfort of a secure paycheck in favor of doing what I love. One of the best pieces of advice that I ever received was reiterated on this blog post. Experience and education doesn’t matter, what does matter is whether you can write and meet a deadline. I have found that to be true. I have also learned that my online portfolio has grown quickly as I complete each job successfully. My portfolio gains the attention of potential clients, the larger that it gets.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Congratulations on your success. Keep moving up the ladder.

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

Do you have a certain site where you showcase your portfolio? I know some writers use these sites, and others create their own website. Does anyone else have a favorite portfolio site?

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

I’m wearing of using a service, because online companies come and go. If there were a standard one that everyone used, that’d be ideal. Maybe Google should develop something.

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

That would be perfect. It would be great for clients too, knowing that they could find out about most content writers in one central place.

melissann
Guest
melissann

I took the plunge about six years ago, and my family thought I was nuts. They assumed 9-5 is the ONLY way to work, and a freelance career was setting myself up for failure. Sitting on my back porch right now, working in utter beauty, the sounds of nature everywhere…..plenty of money to pay my bills and take care of myself…doesn’t feel like failure to me.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Sounds like a smashing success to me. Have you ever been tempted to rub your doubting family’s noses in your success?

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

That’s wonderful, congratulations! Your decision to be a freelance content writer was the right one. I’m so happy for you, and glad you didn’t listen to the naysayers!

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

There are few feelings in life sweeter than proving naysayers wrong. A classic example: According to a Jerry Seinfeld biography, a customer in his father’s sign shop told the teenage Seinfeld, “You better learn to pick up a brush because you’ll never make a living in comedy.”

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

I was told many times that it’s impossible to make a living writing. I still hear people say that at conferences I go to. Well, I’ve done it for nine years. Anything is possible.

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

Good for you, Georgia. Aren’t you glad that you didn’t listen to people’s negative comments? Congratulations on your successful freelance writing career!

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

I’m glad about that every day!

Linnea S.
Guest
Linnea S.

Thank goodness Seinfeld stayed true to his own passion! We would have missed so much brilliant comedy if he had picked up that brush!

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

He co-created, produced, and starred in what is probably the greatest sitcom in television history. According to a biography of Seinfeld, he knew from an early age exactly what he wanted to do. He’d spend hours sitting in his room listening to comedy records (can somebody tell me what a record is, by the way?).

Anne Simon
Guest
Anne Simon

I like the fact that you advised building loyalty with your clients – such an important factor! Also honing your abilities in specific areas is a smart thing to do. The better you become at writing in one area, then you can launch out into other fields.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

With so many options available today, loyalty is probably harder to build than ever. If you can build that loyalty, it’s that much more special.

Anne Simon
Guest
Anne Simon

It’s also encouraging to know that freelancing is a growing industry! Best time in the world for freelancers!

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

This is proof that timing truly is everything. We have the opportunities we do because of the time we’re fortunate enough to live in. Thirty or even 20 years ago none of this would’ve been possible.

Hi.dTurner
Guest
Hi.dTurner

Thank you for sharing this post! I noticed another commenter asked about the number of freelancers who supplement traditional jobs. Thus far, this is the route I have taken and I am loving it!

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Glad to hear it! Hope it stays that way!

Natalya Ward
Guest
Natalya Ward

I think beginning freelancers should definitely pay attention to the part about picking a few niches. I’ve seen so many fail because they try to be an expert in everything. It’s just not possible.

I tried my hand at a wide range until I found three areas I was best at. It’s easier to build up a portfolio and get the types of clients you want that way.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

What three areas did you settle on?

smcnesby3
Guest
smcnesby3

Great points! I would add the importance of diversification — if you are solely relying on content sites to provide you with work, you don’t really have control over your income. I know lots of folks who were doing great at places like DMS and more recently Zerys; changes to these sites caused major issues for writers.
I’d hesitate to put more than 30% of my income/efforts in one place, just because you never know…

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

That’s great advice, and something a lot of people (including myself) probably need to hear. If you’re doing well in one place, why would you think about going somewhere else? But as you point out, those who don’t can receive a rude awakening.

georgeroot
Guest
georgeroot

I appreciate the fact that you say that freelancing is not easy towards the end of the article. I still get plenty of people every day who insist that I should get a real job. Of course, they say this on their way to jobs that they hate. So, I guess I win.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Do you ever point that out to them? It might shut them up.

Doe Richard
Guest
Doe Richard

I’d also like to add that self-discipline is vital on the part of any freelancer that aspires to succeed. You’re enjoying unlimited flexibility on a number of areas, and without self-discipline, you’re likely to disappoint your clients.

Rob Toccs
Guest
Rob Toccs

And not only your clients. Yourself, as well — and anyone else that relies on you.

Doe Richard
Guest
Doe Richard

True, indiscipline will affect a lot of people, myself included.

John  Johnson
Guest
John Johnson

You provided great information for newcomers. Starting your career as a freelancer is not as easy but also not as difficult. It all depends on your ability and hard work. I am glad to share this information here for beginners that always work with WordPress signature plugins to sign documents online. It helps you to keep away from scams.

Tay H
Guest
Tay H

I’m looking forward to getting to a point that i can figure out my niche market. thank you for some words of encouragement.

Melissa Gishnock
Guest
Melissa Gishnock

I’ve been freelance writing for years, but recently decided to take it to the next level. And you are correct, in the beginning we all pretty much just take whatever we can get, but I definitely know what my niche is and what I can relate to the most. I recommend doing searches on a regular basis for new opportunities. Even if you have ample work and are happy with your current clients, it’s still nice just to be aware of what’s out there and available.

melissagishnock
Guest
melissagishnock

It’s good to be reaffirmed that I picked a good time to take my freelance writing career to the next level! And you are correct, in the beginning, most of us just take what we can get, but I definitely know what my niche is, what I can relate to the most. One thing I recommend is doing new searches regularly. Even if you have ample work and are happy with your current clients, it’s nice just to be aware of what new opportunities are available.

Roy C.
Guest
Roy C.

Being a writer who works from home doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be freelance. There are various companies that just hire writers for full-time employment on a regular schedule, so it’s like having a day job. They also supply you with clients, so you won’t have to seek them out yourself.

Charlotte Weeks
Guest
Charlotte Weeks

The freelance market has opened up so much since I started. And the pay is generally much better too. It’s also easier to ask for a fair wage when someone’s first offer is far below your worth as a freelance writer. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, but it is a great time to be freelance.

Dee
Guest
Dee

Hi Drew, this is an encouraging article! However, I have been doing freelance writing for the last 6 years and have yet to break out of the “content mill cycle”. I come from a customer service background. Any tips on how I can launch out onto my own and start demanding better paying opportunities. I’m really tired of trading my time and effort for $5-$10 articles….

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