Category: How to Be a Freelance Writer

How to Be a Freelance Writer: 25 Amazing Break-In Stories

How to Be a Freelance Writer: 25 Amazing Break-In Stories

Breaking In: How to Be a Freelance Writer. Makealivingwriting.com

How much time have you spent thinking about how to be a freelance writer?

If it’s always on your mind, what are you waiting for? Just start.

That might sound too simple if you have a million things buzzing inside your brain about how to be a freelance writer like choosing a niche, finding clients, setting rates, productivity, mindset, writing skills, and more.

But here’s the thing. There’s no better way to learn the business and craft of freelance writing than to jump in, get started, and carve out a niche for yourself.

Take one step, and then another. Move up and earn more. Get a couple of solid writing samples, raise your rates, and keep going.

You can’t do any of that if you’re stuck on waiting to find the perfect path for how to be a freelance writer instead of just getting started.

Be a writer, not a waiter. That’s what you’ll learn from the 25 amazing break-in stories from freelance writers featured in this post. Ready to get started?

The Ultimate Guide To Becoming A Freelance Writer: How To Get Started Without Credentials

The Ultimate Guide To Becoming A Freelance Writer: How To Get Started Without Credentials

The Ultimate Guide to How to Become a Freelance Writer. Makealivingwriting.com

Have you wondered how to become a freelance writer? This is the time of year when many writers who dream of earning their living doing what they love most finally stand up and shout, “I’m doing this!”

At the start of the year, my email inbox fills up with questions about how to get started in freelance writing. Rather than try to answer them one at a time, I’ve created an ultimate guide below, that walks you through all the common questions and gives you everything you need to know to get out there and start getting paid as a freelance writer.

Ready? This guide takes it step by step, with sections for each topic. It’s got a breezy, Q&A format, to make it easy to read through and quickly move forward with your freelancing goals.

If you’d like a copy of the whole answer sheet to keep, get a downloadable PDF by clicking here.

Ready? Let’s get you started in freelance writing:

What Is Freelance Writing? Answers to the Awkward Newbie Questions

What Is Freelance Writing? Answers to the Awkward Newbie Questions

What IS Freelance Writing? Answers to All of the Awkward Newbie Questions. Makealivingwriting.com

I post a lot of tips here on Make a Living Writing for writers looking to earn more. But recently, a look at my Google Analytics revealed a surprising phrase writers commonly search on:

“What is freelance writing?”

This makes me feel I should back up and start at the very beginning. Clearly, I shouldn’t assume every reader knows what this career is about.

Apparently, some folks know that term well enough to search to find out more about it…but they don’t yet know how freelance writing works, exactly.

So let me fill in the blanks today with answers to some of the most basic questions about the world of freelance writing:

My Best Resources For Freelance Writers

My Best Resources For Freelance Writers

How to become a freelance writer: My best resources. Makealivingwriting.com

Every day, writers email me and ask how to become a freelance writer. Where is the door that you go through where you can start earning a living as a freelance writer?

Well, I’ve created a door.

There’s so much to know when you’re getting started as a freelance writer — how to find and approach clients, what to charge, how to negotiate, and more.

But now that there are nearly 900 posts on the blog, it’s increasingly difficult to find the most useful posts that answer your particular question. Sure, I’ve got those categories in the ‘we talk about’ sidebar, but it’s still a lot of slogging given how many posts there are, and you end up looking at the most recent posts on the subject, not necessarily the best ones.

My best new writer resources in 1 spot

That’s why I’m finally getting my act together and creating resource pages that bring together the very best Make a Living Writing posts of all time on popular topics. The first page is now up, which offers my best resources for new freelance writers:

7 Success Traits For Freelance Writers

7 Success Traits For Freelance Writers

Success Traits: How to Become a Freelance Writer. Makealivingwriting.com

Every week, I hear from people who ask me how to become a freelance writer.

You hate your job, or you can’t work outside the home, or you want to be home with your kids…the reasons vary. But the glamorous reputation of freelancing has caught your eye. Being your own boss sure sounds great!

Everyone wants to know how this gig works — how to stay home and pay your bills with your writing.

Aspiring freelancers usually have strong writing skills. But there are other strengths you may lack that could doom your chances.

What does it take to be a successful freelance writer? Is this career for you?

Here’s my unvarnished, let’s-get-real list of key traits you’ll need:

7 Great Ways to Break into Freelance Writing

By Carol Tice For those of you who have begun freelance writing in the past few years, I'd like to provide a short history lesson. Up until six or eight years ago, most writers who started their freelance career did it without ever writing for a content mill. Content...

How to Be a Freelance Writer: The Mindset Manifesto

Mindset Manifesto: How to Be a Freelance Writer. Makealivingwriting.com

Many would-be freelance writers ask me what the first step should be in their journey. Many struggling mid-career writers also wonder what they may be doing wrong. If you’ve wondered how to be a freelance writer who earns well at it, my answer is: It all begins with what’s between your ears.

The mindset of an independent, self-employed, home-based business owner — yes, that’s what you are! — is worlds apart from the mentality you need to survive a corporate job.

Freelance writing is a head game, no doubt. If you can’t psych yourself up to market your services, or if one rejection crushes you, you’re unlikely to have enough good-paying clients to sustain a nice freelance lifestyle.

What are the important attitudes to adopt, as a freelance writer? Here’s my 10-point mindset manifesto (check out the infographic version at the end of the post that you can download and save):

Get Hired: 5 Proven Angles to Land Your First Freelance Projects

Get Hired: 5 Proven Angles to Land Your First Freelance Projects

Find an Angle to Land Freelance Projects. Makealivingwriting.com

It can be the most baffling part of finding new clients, as a freelance writer: What initial freelance projects should you pitch, to try to get in the door?

You look at their website and you think…. uhhh…. I dunno. Looks great! You can’t tell what they need.

Well, good news — once you know what to look for, this is easy.

Most great first freelance projects fall into a few specific categories.

Once you know those, it’s simple to find a first project to propose that’s got a high probability of getting a ‘yes.’

What are these categories?

Here are my top five project types to pitch to new freelance writing clients for an easy sale:

Do This Right After You Get Your First Freelance Writing Job

Do This Right After You Get Your First Freelance Writing Job

Leverage Your First Freelance Writing Job. Makealivingwriting.com. Makealivingwriting.com

I can still remember how excited I was to get my first freelance writing job. It was an essay for an alternative paper in Los Angeles that paid $200.

Over the moon! You know I ran right down to my nearest mini-mart, the hour those papers got delivered, to grab myself a few copies.

Then, I followed up on that by doing…nothing.

When you’re just starting out, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of seeing your name in print, or getting that first client check. And to be a bit in the dark about what to do next, to keep building career momentum.

There are some key moves to make right after getting that first gig that can help you build your career faster — steps that most newbies don’t take. (I know I didn’t!)

Want to get some real mileage out of your first freelance writing jobs? Here’s what to do right after your work gets published:

Emergency Help for Freelance Writers: My Top 7 Answer Posts

Emergency Help for Freelance Writers: My Top 7 Answer Posts

Urgent

When you’ve created over 900 posts full of free help for freelance writers, it’s hard to remember every single post. Becomes a bit of a blur!

But a few posts stand out in my memory, because I keep sending their links out to struggling writers, week after week. They’re posts that address a writer’s critical need to understand some aspect of freelancing.

You’ve got urgent questions about how to make it as a freelance writer — and these are the posts that deliver the answers.

I can’t remember where I put my sweater half the time these days, but there are a few key posts that come easily to mind, because I find myself sending writers off to read them again and again.

After nearly a decade (!) writing this blog to provide help for freelance writers, these seven posts seem to address the most common problems freelancers face:

Best Posts 2016: The Top 10 Things Freelance Writers Need to Know

Best Posts 2016: The Top 10 Things Freelance Writers Need to Know

Best posts 2016. The top 10 things freelance writers need to know. Makealivingwriting.com

Every year, at the end of the year, I look back and discover the things freelance writers need to know most.

How can I tell? By looking at which posts here on the blog saw the most readers. Those are the topics freelance writers needed to learn about the most.

This year, there’s an interesting variety to the list. As always, this provides a road map for me to what kinds of posts I should bring you more of next year!

To qualify for this list, by the way, the post has to have been published or re-published in 2016. Oldies-but-goodies that keep getting traffic for ages don’t count! But you can check out the sidebar for those.

Here are the 10 things you wanted to know about the most in 2016:

6 Basic Steps to Score Your First Freelance Writing Gig

6 Basic Steps to Score Your First Freelance Writing Gig

6 steps to score your first freelance writing clients. Makealivingwriting.com

The biggest problem I faced as a new freelance writer was wondering when I’d ever feel ready to make the leap to marketing myself effectively, and getting that first freelance writing gig.

I took me some time to realize that I’d never feel 100 percent ready. But if I wanted to make real progress, I’d have to start taking consistent action to find that first client.

Sometimes we just need a shot of inspiration to send us down the right path, and mine came from Bamidele Onibalusi’s recent Earn Your First $1000 as a Freelance Writer challenge.

My strategy and email template are adapted from his articles, and used here with his permission.

Here’s what I did:

Looking for writing courses & community support?

Our online community, Freelance Writers Den, was founded in 2011. Since then, we’ve helped 14,000+ writers connect with peers, improve their skills, and grow their freelance writing income.

Our lively community is stuffed with useful tools and career-building resources. Use our 24/7 forums to get your questions answered by pros. Tap our 300+ hours of self-study trainings to learn new skills.

The Den has live events and multi-week bootcamps where you can tap experts’ knowledge, an exclusive job board, accountability buddies, live chats, and more. Also, if you want feedback on your writer website, LinkedIn profile, or article draft, we’ve got you.

Visit the Freelance Writers Den site to see if we’re open for new members right now. Sign up on the waiting list if we’re not, and you’ll be first to join when we reopen (plus, you’ll get useful free resources in the meanwhile).