Can You Help These Freelance Writers Figure Out What to Do?

Carol Tice

Baffled young freelance writerJudging from the emails and Facebook questions I get, some freelance writers think I am the oracle of all knowledge.

Fact is, I do not know everything about freelance writing. I get questions I don’t really know how to answer now and then.

They might be about writing niches or types I’ve never done, such as applying to gigs on online portals.

Like this one from my Facebook:

Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 9.24.53 AM

Or this one, about a sticky ethical situation I haven’t experienced:

I provide ghostwriting for self-help professionals, like monthly newsletters or short weekly blog posts. They either don’t have the time or aren’t good at writing short marketing-style pieces, and it’s reliable and entertaining work for me, so it’s a fine arrangement.

But one of my clients has been contacted by an editor at a print magazine. He likes her blog, and wants her to start writing articles for him. One problem – my client doesn’t want to come clean to him that her blog is ghostwritten!

In fact, when she told me, the topic wasn’t even up for discussion. She just tacked the directions for this new venture on to her usual content requests for the month.

This is a real dilemma for me! I’d appreciate any insight you have.

Thank you, Alexandra

This would-be writer is juggling a lot of balls already, but would like to know how to get into freelancing:

I stumbled across your website and found it very interesting.  I’m currently working the normal M-F 8-5 with a 4 hour daily commute into the city.  I’m also working on my MBA and will graduate in May with a 4.0.

In going through work and school for many years now, I have not been able to find my niche.  I’m a finance manager now, and my prior positions have included marketing, accounting, recruiting, anything business related—I’ve done it.  I’ve never found any type of happiness or healthy challenges any time in my career.

My passion has always been in writing.  I would love nothing more than to use my passion and do it for a living.  My problem is I have no idea where/how to get started.

I recently found freelance positions on flexjobs.com and other places.  I will admit that it is a bit overwhelming.  I’ve written many papers and have always been nominated to proof, edit, and write throughout my education.

Any help and/or direction is greatly appreciated.

Best Regards, Natalie

I haven’t tried to freelance while getting an advanced degree and working full-time. A little flummoxed on that one.

I’ve also never worked as a lawyer while trying to launch a freelance business, like this writer — but I’m thinking maybe some of you have:

I have a question about starting a writer’s website. For beginning writers who are currently working at a day job in another field, how do you recommend creating a writer’s website without putting your current job in jeopardy? I am an attorney at a law firm, but I want to transition to working as a freelance writer.

I am starting to work part time at the firm to allow more time to write and eventually, I hope to be able to leave that job entirely. Until I get to that point, however, I need to pay my bills. I am afraid that if I create a writer’s website with my name and my firm finds out about it, I could lose my job. Of course, it is hard to get started as a writer without a website.

Could you provide some insight into how to avoid this Catch-22? Thanks, Charise

So I turn to you. If you have any thoughts, ideas, insights — this is your day to share them and help other writers to break in to the freelancing biz and earn more.

 Got some advice for these writers? Leave it in the comments — thanks!

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