It makes perfect sense and I CANNOT believe I hadn’t considered it before now. What is it? Getting started as a freelance writer, of course.
Sometimes it just takes a well-timed comment; an innovative challenge; or a providential seat in an understated, yet fabulous workshop to spark an idea.
I’ve written continuously for this blog and generously as a contributor and guest blogger for other sites. I’ve never considering offering my writing services as a freelancer.
One reason is I’m passionate about what I do. However, passion alone won’t pay the light bill.
I’m mostly familiar with content mills that ask people to crank out articles or blog posts for a few dollars. I’ve seen some string together enough jobs to make it worthwhile. They work for some – it just wasn’t appealing for moi.
I also have small children, so running around the city to do one-off gigs is a bit of a challenge – schedule wise – and also not so appealing.
That’s why connecting with like-minded souls at conferences is such a valuable opportunity. One that I had yet to fully appreciate until this year.
I recently traveled to Atlanta to attend a Type-A Parent blogging conference. I’m not a type-A personality, but I don’t think anyone really cared.
As with the FinCon15 experience, I want to lay out my potential ROI because conferences can be pricey. The question must be pondered, is it worth the money?
This conference was actually much cheaper than FinCon. I also traveled solo – sans family. My expenditures included:
The total came to $460.
I attended a workshop called “Getting Paid to Write” facilitated by Theresa Ceniccola. She shared valuable tips from her nearly two decades of freelance writing experience. Pearls of wisdom like:
She also shared some income numbers which really got my attention. In addition to the hourly rate of $50 – $75/hour, her freelance network reports charging fees such as:
With this new inspiration, I set about getting started as a freelance writer.
I looked at a few sites that a freelance writer had previously suggested:
From what I can tell, these sites have potential. I’ve created profiles, but there has been no immediate response. To date, it’s has only been 3 days. I’ll give it more time before I weigh in.
I do have a few local conferences coming up in the next month. I was going for the fellowship. They might also be opportunities to source for new clients. Being the less than patient person I can be when great new ideas hit, I thought about how I might seek additional freelance opportunities now.
Within 2 hours, I had secured a freelance gig that will offset nearly all of the money I paid to attend Type-A. I met with the foundation’s founder within one day and will be drawing up a scope of work shortly. They need the first half of the project which includes curriculum development and PowerPoint slides within 1 month.
I also received a few other responses which after further review weren’t the right fit.
Not bad for a member of the microwave generation.
I also have a “writing test” in the works with a potential client who’ll need help on an ongoing basis. It’s not set in stone, but they did respond to my pitch within a day of submitting.
What does this tell me?
I should absolutely pursue freelance writing. Maybe you should think about it too.
While I haven’t gone door to door just yet (a strategy Theresa also suggested for finding clients), I have used the following sites which have been fruitful.
I certainly believe that having a blog and available writing samples contributes heavily to such an productive initial start. Every one of the ads for help asked for 3 – 5 writing samples. Having a blog makes submitting samples super easy.
If you are interested in doing freelance writing, I would definitely suggest setting up a blog and getting started with a few posts. Setting up a blog is actually very simple and won’t cost you much at all. I have plenty of suggestions for anyone who wants help setting up a site on a budget that will be professional and give you the experience needed.
Leave a comment below if you’d like my help getting started as a freelance writer and I’ll be in touch.
A blog would be helpful for a variety of freelance skills sets, not just writing. Photography, editing, graphics, IT, training, product/service reviews or tutoring are just a few services that could help you get a freelance foot in the door.
I like the idea of freelance work to create an additional stream of income that will help you pay off debt faster. Between this #SideHustle Challenge on Fiverr and my seat in a workshop on getting paid to write, I’ve been inspired to try these things so that you might be inspired as well.
I’ll keep you posted.