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How an Unknown Freelance Writer Built a Platform to Succeed

succeed as a freelance writer

This is a guest post by freelance writer, A. Davis. If you would like to submit a post to the blog, please use our contact page.

To tell you the truth, I never saw myself writing. I would write some as a young child, but, to be honest, it was atrocious. After entering the law enforcement profession, I realized I needed an outlet to dump some of the garbage I took into my mind during the day/night.

One day, after about three years on duty, I sat down and began to write.

At this point, I didn’t have any purpose for the writing. I just began to write. I had no idea people would pay me to write. To be honest, I never dreamed of being a professional writer, until I began to write.

Now, I not only understand what writing does for me, but I understand why I write. So, how do you build your platform? I believe the first step in building your platform, is understanding who you are.

Who am I to tell you this?

I have recently written a book, sold a ton of paperback copies, thousands of e-book copies, I am an internationally read blogger, guest blogger on multiple sites, a full-time employee, and college student.

Oh, plus, I am a husband of 15 years and father of three. So, if I can write, you can write.

I am nothing extraordinary. I don’t write at work. I find time between the rest of my day. After all, if it is something you really love, you will find time for it. Don’t be afraid to learn your identity, here are some simple tips to help you along the way:

Know Your Identity

I believe knowing who you are is the most important aspect of building your platform as a freelance writer. Even if you never want to publish a book, you should know who you are as a person and writer.

Know your own strengths and know your weaknesses. For me, this meant taking time to learn who I am. It was a discovery phase in my life of which I will forever cherish. Know who you are.

I realized some ambitions I had were fantasies, they were not realistic, nor were they profitable for me or my family.

When I wrote my book in January of 2015, it was out of a desire to help others in my profession. What I did not expect was the bombardment of hatred, jealousy, and

negativity from it. You should prepare for jealous people when you write. When I learned to overcome the hate, I began reaching people who needed my message.

Understand Your Identity

What are your natural passions?

find your passion as a freelance writer

You know these natural passions. If you do not recognize them easily, you will find your closest friends recognize them. Your natural passions are likely something you do often but never receive monetary payment for. Completing a life inventory will help you greatly in this aspect.

When you think of your dream life, what does it include?

Don’t focus on the material stuff as much as what life would look like, without the whole “lack of money” thing. Who are you naturally drawn to? Who are you intrigued by? When you see a book, an article, a news story, who grabs your attention? When you identify who you are, what your strengths are, and what your natural passions are, you will find writing to be a lot easier.

Know how you are made. Know your strengths. Know your weaknesses.

Don’t focus on making money, it is a trap.


Focus on providing help to others through your work, the money will come. It is amazing what seeking to match your skills, your abilities, and your passions, with the needs and desires of other people and businesses, will do for your financial goals. Regardless of what you do, maintain your focus.

Who Can You Reach Right Now?

Are you a professional in a current field of work? If so, what ways can your writing establish you as an expert in your field? Here are three simple tips to get you going:


Conferences are great opportunities to reach out to other experts in your field of interest. Even if you are not speaking or selling a product, you have the opportunity to network, and if you are in the infant stages of your freelance career and platform establishment, you need to network.

Think Outside the Box

Meaning, have a plan to work beyond your local setting. At some point, you have to expand your horizons. Don’t focus so much on the who you are writing for as much as you focus on the why.

Prepare to Be Rejected by Your Own People


Do I really need to say more? Others with no ambition or dreams WILL try to pull you down. When they pull you down, they will try to put their foot on your windpipe to keep you there. Don’t listen to the garbage from haters.

Wrapping It Up

As you navigate through the infant stages of your writing career and building your platform, you will notice a few things.

First, you will notice, as I mentioned above, not everyone you know will accept your gift. Additionally, not everyone you know will understand or accept your gift as a writer.

I have learned as I continue to write, I develop confidence and appreciation for the critics.

You will always have critics.

When I say “always”, I mean, you will always have critics.

Learn how to deal with the critics now, without it having a negative impact on you or your writing. Accepting constructive criticism is fine…but, you will never reach your audience until you know who you are as a person and writer, and who you were created to write for.

Whatever you do, if you are a writer, don’t stop writing.

Keep on!!

About the Author

adamdavisA. Davis is the author of “Spirit & Truth: 52 Encouraging Messages for America’s Law Enforcement”. Davis loves to see the dreams of others come to pass through his coaching individuals and small business owners. His writing has been featured on websites such as Lifehack, The Good Men Project, and Linked2Leadership. Davis and his wife reside in Alabama with their three children. For more information about J. A Davis visit

Ari Rule

I'm Ari — a freelance writer, digital marketer, and side-hustle guinea pig. HustlePineapple is where you'll find my best tactics for freelance success, blogging and social media tips, and ideas for profitable side-hustles. Connect with me on Twitter or Instagram @HustlePineapple

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  1. Great post Adam! Thanks for sharing what you’ve learned and encouraging others along the way!

      1. Adam Davis

        Thank you all for your kind words and continued support!

  2. Thanks for that very motivational and inspiring read. I like the idea of staying authentic and in balance with your passions also in your professional life.

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