Last week a reader asked the question we’ve all heard or asked in some form or another —
What specifically does one need to do to make a living as a freelance writer?
Shawn, this post is for you.
It’s actually for all freelance writers who find themselves stuck in a low-paying rut, in an unfulfilling cycle of work and unhappy client interactions. It’s for new writers too, who are prone to asking the same question Shawn did, not knowing that the question is too broad and requires a lot of repetition of things that have already been written about. But if you don’t look around, you don’t know that.
So this post is a consolidation of all the things I’ve talked about over the years — and what friends have posted. These are the details. These are the nuts and bolts that are needed to get your freelance writing career either off the ground or out of the trenches.
But they don’t work alone.
See, other writers can give you every single item — they can write the template that will get you earning better. They can give you point-by-point advice and even cheer you on.
But they can’t do it for you. You, my friends, have to apply the advice that fits.
Consistently.If you're not consistent with your freelance writing efforts, you will not meet your goals. Click To Tweet
That’s a fact.
That’s also my disclaimer. I cannot make you do these things, nor can everything I’ve done that worked for me work for you. You have to be willing to tweak it and work your own system every day.
Who knows? You may be back here in a few months teaching me how you do it better. (And I’d love it if you did.)
Let’s do this in the form of the questions that are often asked.
How do I start?
Where do I learn how to…?
How do I know what to charge?
Goal Planning Worksheet (via Jenn Mattern)
Where do I find clients?
How do I contact clients?
Guest Post: The Letter of Introduction (via Paula Hendrickson)
How often should I get in touch?
Can’t someone just walk me through this?
How do I know if my approach is working?
Your Freelance Career Evaluation
Need more? Try this roundup of the best post on freelance writing on the Web:
These are just a few of the posts on this very blog. If you look, you can find even more. But you have to do the legwork. Freelance writing success does not come through the work of others — it comes through the work you put into it. It’s hard, but not impossible. There are plenty of successful writers who are proof that it can be done.
Now it’s your turn. Show us how you can rock.
Writers, what would you add to this list?
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