This is a Guest Post by Gina Horkey. Even though Gina is new to the freelance writing game, she has found quick success from her hard work. If you’d like to know how she started making over $3,000 per month in her first year as a freelancer, then you’ll want to read this post.
So you’re interested in breaking into the world of freelance writing, huh?
If you’ve been reading much around the web on the subject, you’re likely encountering conflicting information. “Make money hand over fist writing only a few hours per day!” Or “I’m sick of getting paid mere dollars per post and trading hours of my time!”
You know what? Both are true! If you got to choose right now, I’m thinking you’d go for the first group – so would I! I do think it’s feasible – to get there eventually, but it’s going to take a bit of time, a bit of patience and a whole lotta drive to get there!
Lucky for you, I’ve traveled this same road that you’re merging onto. I’m here to give you a few tricks and tips from my journey so far. Would you like that? Great! Let’s get started.
1. Put Yourself Out There
You’re not going to get anywhere if you’re not willing to take a risk and put yourself out there as a writer. Even if you haven’t yet gotten paid to write, if you write on a regular basis right now (or in the past), you are a writer. Stop calling yourself “an aspiring writer” and own your new title! Trust me, it’ll help build your confidence level and it’s best that you do this from the beginning.
Another way to put yourself out there is to bid for jobs that you’re even remotely interested in or qualified for. You don’t have to be “an expert” in every field that you want to write in. I’ve read (a few times) that women are less likely to apply for things they’re only partially qualified for, whereas men have no issue doing so.
If you’re a female, start thinking like a man and bidding on jobs that you’re not 100% qualified for. You should be a little interested in them though, as you’ll likely be doing some research and learning in this particular field!
I’ve adopted this mindset and I’m so glad that I did! If I hadn’t, I think I’d have limited myself and the amount of jobs that I would have applied for. I think I would have ended up getting less writing gigs (after all it’s a numbers game!) and therefore made less money. Not good!
2. Be Open to Feedback
This is probably one of the best things I did early on in my freelance career (it’s only been six months, so really it’s still early on!). Whenever I worked with a new client or editor, I made sure to remain open to any feedback they had to offer. My goal was to please them, but also to get better at writing – and taking direction!
It could have been easy to get defensive, huffy or just discontinue working with clients that I thought weren’t being fair, or had too high of expectations. Don’t get me wrong, there were a few times that I thought like that! Luckily, I was smart enough to vent to my support system and take a step back before I replied to that email!
There have been cases where my writing style hasn’t really been a fit and we’ve parted ways. That’s okay! I tend to write (and enjoy writing) in a more conversational style, but that doesn’t work well for journalistic style pieces. I’m working on it though, as I’d like to be able to do that well too! I think it’ll make me a more well-rounded writer and they can pay well to boot!
3. Surround Yourself with Support
The world of freelance writing can be a bumpy one! It’s best if you can get some allies on your side early on. Who in your circle of family and friends could be an impartial confidant or your biggest cheerleader (note: not everyone will get your new venture)? Sign them up now!
I’ve had my fair share of wins and failures! Some days are more fun than others. You have to keep in mind though, that it’s a journey and each day will yield different results. Sometimes you need a little external encouragement – someone to listen to you vent, tell you it’s okay, but to get back out there and try again!
In addition to using your friends and family as a support system, consider hiring a coach or a mentor. I started working with someone right out of the gate and this is probably one of the things that’s increased my success rate more than anything else.
Without mine, I could have easily quit, stalled out or stopped progressing towards my goals. Lucky for me, she had been almost exactly where I was at the time and through her own process of trial and error made a successful go at freelancing full-time. Do yourself a favor and align yourself with someone further along the path than you, sooner rather than later!
Don’t Wait to Start
There’s never going to be a perfect time to get started. Your writing, your website or a multitude of other things are never going to be perfect either. Start where you’re at right now – today! You don’t have to up and quit your job and pursue a new freelance writing business without a safety net, in fact, I beg you not to!
Just get started by putting yourself out there, being open to feedback and surrounding yourself with support. This might seem too easy and there’s really much more to it, but keeping these things in mind as you continue down your path can only boost your odds, right?
Good luck to you and be sure to stop by my website and say hi! I’d love to hear from you about what’s working and what’s not – I’ve probably been through the same struggle that you’re going through right now! You can also nab a free copy of 8 Tips to Start Your Freelance Writing Career off on the Right Foot by signing up for my newsletter.
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