A (Totally Free) Guide To Freelance Writing
(Many) Freelance Writing Courses Suck. So Here’s What I’ve Figured Out About It Free of Charge.
(Paid) writing courses are popping up like mushrooms these days. You may have noticed.
While it would likely be in my financial interests to start one, I’m too much of a curmudgeon to jump on a bandwagon that I can’t get behind.
Why I Believe Freelance Writing Courses Are Bad For Writers
There’s Nothing You Can’t Learn For Free Online
Besides — and more pertinently — even though I’ve been doing this full time for a number of years now (and if you include my ‘side hustle’ years for five), I consider myself to be very much still learning.
If I can be so immodest to say so: many rookie course creators would do well to similarly question whether they’ve actually accrued long enough experience to teach others. Really understanding the nuts and bolts of how to make this work doesn’t happen overnight. Or even, I would argue, in a year.
So all without leaving Medium, here are a series of posts that I have written to date about how to manage various aspects of your freelance writing business. I hope they’re of some use.
How To Find Clients
If you can’t find work, then you’re going to have a hard time pushing ahead in this game.
This post examines the various sales and marketing channels that you can tap in order to find work.
Thinking about cold emailing?
I’ve done a bit of that and have gathered some thoughts about how to make it work (the short version: be very, very targeted).
What You Need To Know
To succeed as a freelance writer, you need to know more than how to move your fingers quickly over a keyboard (although that certainly helps).
You need: sales chops, marketing know-how and — at times — a good heap of patience.
How Much To Charge
There are several ways in which you can charge for freelance writing.
You can also price by retainer.
Figuring out your target hourly rate is also pretty essential.
These posts shed light on the various formulae that I’ve used to figure this out for myself. The last post is of very recent vintage. Consider the thoughts there “leading edge” and subject to potential retraction in a few months.
My Freelance Hourly Cheat Sheet
Several people have reached out to me recently on foot of two Medium posts which I wrote trying to dispel some of the…
Freelance Writing Pricing: Per Word, Per Hour, or Per Project? And How Much Of Each?
Most freelance writers would agree that pricing is just about the hardest thing to get right in this job.
Why I Think A 25% Billable Ratio Might Be Most Realistic For Freelancers
You Can’t Be Productive All The Time
Managing sales process is actually a really vital skill that rarely gets talked about. Most freelance writing problems are really sales problems. At least to the extent that those doing the writing are at least reasonably competent writers (news flash: content marketing doesn’t typically require the prose of Shakespeare!).
Lead qualification, in particular, is a vitally important skill to develop and refine.
Here’s my guide to how to use one such methodology to qualify freelance writing leads.
The Tech You (Might) Need On Hand
This one’s something of a misnomer. Because you don’t strictly speaking need many of the tools I list here including things like a CRM. But it’s good to know what you might need just in case.
Other Ways To Make Freelance Writing Work
Eventually you’ll probably get around to thinking to how to scale your income and possibly also diversify it.
You might also think about taking on a remote job so that you’re not “only” a freelancer.
If thoughts such as these are circulating in your head, then these posts might be of interest.
Freelance Or Remote Work? What’s The Better Deal For Digital Nomads?
A Run-Through Of The Pros and Cons Of Two Increasingly Common Working Arrangements
The Importance of Networking
Freelance writing can be lonely, lonely, business.
Keeping in touch with other writers and finding good writers’ communities online can both by extremely helpful.
Here are guides to both.
The Best Freelance Writing Community You’ve Never Heard Of
Reddit’s Penchant For Creating Obscure Communities Is A Win For Writers
How To (Try To) Stay Sane
Finally, freelance writing can be brutal from a mental health standpoint.
Did you know that more than 50% of freelancers suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder?
This subject is near and dear to me. Here are some wise words I’ve received that might help you if the difficulties of freelancing have been getting you down.