Making Money from Freelance Writing
Making Money from Freelance Writing
It's the question that every aspiring freelancer eventually finds themselves asking: is it really possible to make money from this? The kind of money that lets you keep a roof over your head and feed your kids occasionally, that is?
Well, yes, it is. But let's be honest: it's not easy. In fact, you probably just picked one of the most difficult career paths in the world. That's the bad news.
The good news is that with the right approach and the right attitude, you can earn a respectable wage from freelance writing. Here are a few tips on how to do it:
Love your writing career
If you're anything like the thousands of other freelance writers out there, you're probably not in this for the money. If money was your main objective, you'd probably be working your way up the corporate ladder right now in a nice, safe office job, washing the car on Sundays and forgetting all about writing.
If that kind of lifestyle is anathema to you, then congratulations - freelance writing could be the right career choice after all.
At the bottom line, most freelance writers do it because they love to write, and because they want to be able to make a living doing something they enjoy. And that's a good start. If you really want to make a success of your freelance writing career, you're going to have to love what you're doing, and really want to make a success of it.
This is a rule that doesn't really apply to conventional working. You don't have to love Big Macs to work in McDonalds, or love filing to work in an office. You just have to turn up on time, do what's required from you and then walk away. If your career is freelance writing, you never get to walk away. The truth is that at first (and often for a long time afterwards) you'll spend much more time looking for work than you'll spend actually writing. Looking for work will become all-consuming. When you're not writing, you'll be either thinking about writing, or looking for writing you can do to make money. If you don't love what you're doing, and if you're not absolutely determined to keep on doing it, you'll find it very hard to keep that up.
But enjoying what you're doing isn't going to be enough: if you really want to make a living out of your writing, you're going to have to treat it like a business.
Treat freelance writing as a business
As we've said, the chances are that you write because you love to write. Or because you want a job you can work around your kids, your hobbies or your other commitments in life. Whatever you do, though, never lose sight of the fact that your writing is, first and foremost, a business. And as with any business, you need to work at marketing it and growing it.
This may not come easy at first. You're a writer, after all, not a marketer! If you wanted to sell things, you'd have found a job in sales, right?
Wrong. You DID find a job in sales. Freelance writing is as much about selling as it is about writing. You picked a competitive industry to work in. No matter how good you are at writing, there's someone out there who's as good or better. There are even people out there who aren't nearly as good at writing as you are, and yet they're getting more jobs. Why is that?
The difference is in the selling. The mediocre writer who does a good job of getting out there and selling their services (and themselves) will ultimately be more successful than the excellent writer who sits at home and waits for the work to come and find them. The truth is that the work will never come. You need to go and find it - and when you find it, you need to make sure you pitch yourself well enough to secure it. If you don't know anything about marketing, it's time to learn.
Remember the golden rule of writing
Of course, there are ways to make things easier on yourself. There are a whole host of websites out there which allow you to "bid" for writing jobs. Great idea, no? Well, it depends. Remember the golden rule: money flows towards the writer. If you're thinking of signing up with an agency that requires you to pay money to join, you're already breaking the number one rule.
Be wary of bidding sites, too. Often the competition is so fierce that you have to be willing to practically work for free in order to secure the job. And working for free isn't paying your mortgage or feeding your kids.
Love your work, market yourself, and remember the golden rule. Welcome to the wonderful world of freelance writing!
Amber McNaught runs WritingWorld.org, a new agency for freelance writers. Writing World provides a free agency service which helps writers find work, and helps employers find the best writer for their project.
Writing World also offers a range of service such as proofreading, edting and manuscript appraisal services to new and aspiring writers.
Chat about all aspects of freelance writing in the WritingWorld forum!
71 Ways For A Writer To Make Money
There are so many ways for writers to make good money by writing. Some people love to write, even as a hobby.
Write On! - Key Components of Successful Business Communication
Written communication is often the first impression you make on potential customers, business partners, or employers. Because of its significance to your marketing message, it is one of the most important aspects of your business.
How to Pitch a Story
Ever wonder why we refer to convincing an editor a story is worthy by "pitching a story?" I have. I'm a baseball enthusiast, and it makes a lot of sense to me.
7 Reference Books for Your Desk
I hate to admit this, but I rarely get an original idea. That's bad for a writer.
Should You Hire a Ghostwriter?
Have you heard the term 'ghostwriter' and wondered what they do or who they work with? Although it sounds mysterious, ghostwriting is actually a very simple agreement where an individual or company hires a writer to create a work that will be owned outright by the buyer. The buyer is not required to give credit to the writer and is even allowed to claim authorship.
How To Write Your Way To A Fortune
We've all seen those ads that grab our attention and makes us want to pull out our credit cards and buy. Don't you wish you had that same power to persuade? but contrary to what you may have been told these skills can be learned So you're not a natural born writer so what! The first thing you need to ask yourself is who is my target audience and how many marketers are doing what i want to do? Competition is fine it shows you have a market for your products or services.
Business Writing: 10 Great Authors
Great business writers combine narrative skills with sound judgment to create classics that help both the beginner and the mid-career professional.Writing's completely subjective.
Kick-Start your Juices
Listen, consider this scenario.You have a deadline to honour.
Seven Compelling Reasons to Get Your Name on a Book Cover
Have you ever considered writing a book? If so, maybe you've already established firmly in mind your exact purpose for becoming an author. Your reasons may match one or more of those below.
From Book Notes to Book Reports
Writing papers and book reports has long been the bane of high school and college students' existence. It seems that no matter how hard you work to stay caught up, there is always a paper due tomorrow.
Create A Dream Diary
How many times have you forced yourself to sit in front of a computer and waited for inspiration to strike?Most of us at some point, whether just starting out or even an experienced published writer, have suffered from the proverbial writers block or have struggled to kick-start their creativity.Sometimes ideas just flow and writing our article or story is easy.
Revving Up Your Writing Productivity
Productivity begins by recognizing and valuing your brilliance, time, and space. It starts with awareness of what works and what does not.
Whose Story Is It?
Whenever you sit down to plot a story (or even to think about a story) one of the first things you have to ask yourself is this: "Whose story IS it?"It seems like a simple question - but your story can succeed or fail depending on how you handle this. Told from the wrong point of view, a story can founder before the first chapter has come to an end.
How to Publish a Book: Key Differences Between Publishing and Self Publishing
For many authors just starting out, it can be a confusing and overwhelming decision whether to self publish a book or to seek out a traditional publishing house. It is important to know that the decision you make can have a huge impact on the success, or the failure, of your book.
Top 10 Common English Goofs by Web Authors
In reviewing and browsing web sites over the years, I have compiled a list of the most common misuses of English by web authors. Here they are in Letterman (reverse) order.
Create the Writing Life You Want
Ah, writing. For those of us who love to play with words, it's like standing in front of a smorgasbord, agonising over which delicacies to try.
Publish It Now! No Matter What It Is
Do you want to publish something? An article, a non-fiction piece, a short story, a children's book, the great American novel? What are you waiting for? You may be answering that it's just too competitive. Competition in the writing industry is fierce, no doubt, but many good writers have piles of work collecting dust in a box, sitting in the corner, or in file upon file, tucked away in a desktop PC.
Bring Out the Natural Writer in You
Think you can't write a book that will sell? You aren't a natural writer? In fact, you don't really like to write?Putting a book together can be daunting. But no, you don't need to hire a ghostwriter.
Mission Possible: Get Published with Goals, Guidance, and Persistance
You send me an e-mail. You tell me you've written over three hundred poems since you were 16 (in your teenage angst stage).
A Writers Life
Ever wonder what an author's life is like? What that breathing, sweating, hungry, weary, bona fide guy does when he's not at the keyboard? How does his "day job" affect his writing? When he's mowing the lawn, grocery shopping, or babysitting grandchildren - what goes through his mind? Is he sucking up every sensation as he moves through his day, tucking tidbits away for a future piece? Or, does he simply journey through life, just - doing - these things?How do I define myself? Am I Aaron Paul Lazar, with the obligatory middle name, author of the LeGarde Mystery Series? Sometimes. At book signings, indeed.