Hello fellow freelance writing enthusiast. I understand you want to work for yourself. I completely understand. If given the opportunity freely from some “Entrepreneur God”, most people would opt to work for themselves. Whether that’s lounging in your PJ’s with your laptop or heading off to an office somewhere, being a freelancer just sounds appealing, huh?
Yes, I love being a freelance writer, but you know…it’s not all glory like you may think. I know there’s plenty of young people who are aspiring to be freelancers, but they’re just not sure where to get started. Or there’s those who think that it’s going to be a cakewalk and the first time they encounter an obstacle, they get frustrated and turn back before they really even get started.
Look to the freelance writing hot shots
If you talk to a freelancer who’s been in the business for a while, they probably have a lot of great lessons to share with you. Tips and tricks and strategies to help you navigate the freelance writing landscape. If you talk to anyone who is successful in any field, you’re going to get some great tips on how you can be successful.
I know the business coaches charge a lot of money in order to give their time and effort to others. I don’t have a problem with that. I believe that their time is very valuable and they have exceptional skills to teach and tips to share.
I also know that there’s a lot of people who just cannot afford or aren’t willing to part with such large amounts of money for coaching.
Good news is that there’s so much valuable information online. There are thousands of articles online having to do with being a successful freelance writing entrepreneur. There’s guides and strategies, free resources, books, audios, videos, and more to help you along your journey. You’ve got everyone from the Big Wigs like Danielle Laporte to the smaller Jo’s like well, me. (That’s humility, darling).
The important thing is to just jump in and get your feet wet and get that momentum moving by starting to saturate yourself with freelance writing strategies and tips.
My start in freelance writing gigs
When I first started working for myself 8 years ago, I didn’t know much at all about freelance writing. But I know that I enjoyed working from home and I had a dream to be successful in business. Granted, I have not started some multi-million-dollar business, but I am a freelance writing entrepreneur and I run my own ship.
I’ve learned a lot over the years, but there’s a whole lot more to learn and I’m consistently putting in the effort. See, if you have a dream, that dream is just not going to come true without you doing your part. You can believe all you want if you happen to believe in the law of attraction, but there are also actions that you must take.
Now to get on with this, I’m going to share with you tips for you freelance writing newbies, or anyone who wants to launch out in your own business.
1. Realize that “get rich quick” is not usually the way it goes.
There are hundreds of get rich schemes out there in the freelance writing niche. I admit that many of them look and sound perfectly legitimate when it comes to rolling in the green. However, from experience and a bit of research, most of the programs that promise you a pile of prosperity in no time are simply bogus. Yes, you can certainly earn big money as a freelance writing genius, but success comes from hard work, smart work, patience, and diligence.
If you think that you’re going to be rolling in the millions in months, think again. Yes, I want you to dream big. Yes, I want you to lay in bed at night and in the morning envisioning you on your yacht or in your mini mansion.
I am not opposed to you making big bank at all.
What I will caution you on is thinking that it’s going to happen overnight without much effort. Or that you bite the bait of someone who’s selling you 4 simple tricks for prosperity. Try not to be lured by exceptional sales copy. There are strategies and tips for sure, but it may take some time.
And… it will probably take some setbacks and disappointments as well. But you know what darling?You’re going to learn how to get up, dust your pretty little self off, and keep it rolling. You’re going to learn about grit and believing in yourself and your dream even when all hell is breaking loose around you. You’re going to become a freelance writing ninja.
2. Become an expert.
I’ve had people come to me through the years and say, “Oh man, I would love to be like Doreen Virtue or Tony Robbins. Or I would love to be like Iyanla or Oprah. And then I’ll ask them what they’re doing to make their desire come true and they’ll come back with…
Well, the truth is they don’t really want it badly enough. You know why Tony Robbins is one of the best? Because he busted his ass and he’s become an expert. He’s invested a boat load of time and money into his skills.
You know why Iyanla is freaking amazing at what she does? Because she’s busted her ass over the years, studying, practicing, keeping up on things and then studying some more.
Become an expert, dear one. Make the investment.
Interested in what billionaires are reading? Head on over to see what Warren Buffet says you should be reading.
Spend time each day reading books, guides, and tips from the leading experts in your field. If you need to master online marketing, do some research on the big shot marketing gurus and ingest all their proven wisdom. Attend seminars, workshops, and webinars. Be sure that you invest in yourself as a businessman or woman and personally as well. Dedicate a couple of hours each day solely for growth, eating up the best of the best content out there!
3. Use some free time for experiments.
Online entrepreneurship requires some trial and error. In your free time, do some experimenting with different projects. Learn how to create your own websites, graphics, or multimedia projects. Learn about SEO and content marketing. Tackle subjects that you think are too much for you to prove yourself wrong. Make part of your business experimenting.
4. Stay away from “secrets”.
There are a ton of books and audios out there promising to have the “secrets” to big money. Most likely, the secrets are not really secrets, but formulas for success that you can find online for free in most cases.
5. Keep yourself and your schedule organized.
If you are not great at organizing, it is time that you become a master of organization.
Start here with Google Docs.
As a freelance writer, it is important to have a system and a way of doing things that is organized and makes sense. Have certain folders marked for certain things. Keep your important online information backed up. Know where your files are. Have a certain time frame each day that you really get to the grind and be consistent with that. Turn off your cell phone and Facebook when it’s grind time.
I am a firm believer that Facebook is the most the greatest time-waster that we’re contending with this day and age. You might not think that you’re wasting time, but you very well could be spending an hour or two scrolling Facebook each day.
How many times do you look at your Facebook every hour? Do you think that you could stay off Facebook all day long if you are sitting at home doing work as a freelance writing entrepreneur? I’m not against social media at all. In fact, I think it’s a wonderful tool and it’s an actually a wonderful leverage for businesses. Just watch how much time you spend there.
Also, don’t procrastinate. If the early bird gets the worm, the early productive entrepreneur will get the dough. Now, I’m not saying that you have to get up super early every morning, but don’t waste your day away sleeping.
I especially speak to you young adults or students. It will serve you well to get on a good sleeping schedule. Get to bed at a decent hour and wake up at a decent hour. Now, I do know there are some very successful men and women who do their best work in the evening. They stay up late and do their grind work at night. Kudos to them. They have found what works for them and they’re not being lazy or irresponsible. They’ve tapped into their natural rhythm. You can too if this is truly your natural rhythm.
6. Learn what you can about digital or internet marketing.
Even if you hire someone to do your online marketing for you, learn some about it for your own benefit. If you understand the ins and outs of marketing, you are more apt to make the best choices and get the biggest bang for your buck.
When you’re a freelance writing entrepreneur, marketing is everything. Okay, well maybe not everything, but it is a very big thing. You can have the best products or services available to mankind, but if no one ever hears about them, no one is ever going to benefit. This includes you.
Check out Content Marketing Institute!
Digital marketing is essential to building your business. It’s a huge industry and is always changing. What happens with a lot of freelance writing entrepreneurs and small businesses is they start off all gung-ho and do the things that they’re supposed to do. They’ve got a dream and they’re going after it. They get there website up and running get their products and services together and that momentum take some so far.
And then eventually they hit a wall and become frustrated. No one’s reading their blogs. No one’s visiting their website. No one’s buying their stuff.
It’s because very few people are seeing their products and services.
Marketing is going to be an investment, but you have to look at it is that investment is going to actually make you more money. You get the idea of marketing. How a Coca-Cola commercial might cost $10,000, but it serves as a general reminder to anyone watching it how good Coca Cola taste. So, the next time they’re at the grocery store they buy Coca-Cola.
Learning how to market your business will take some time and effort. Do you have to hire an internet marketing specialist right away? Not necessarily. If you put the time in to creating your business plan and marketing strategy, that will take you so far. But as you grow your business, you want to start putting feelers out for an affordable digital marketer who will do what they’re passionate about, so that you can do what you’re passionate about. You can outsource so many aspects of your business for affordable prices these days. That’s something I’ll talk about more in a different article.
Here’s 20 tools to help with content creation!
7. Get your networking groove on
I don’t love this tip. I’m not that much of a people person. Yes, I happen to love people and I love to help people, but I can get some anxiety when I have to deal with people face-to-face. This is something that I have worked with. Now, as a freelance writing entrepreneur, it will serve you well to begin networking with other people in your niche and other niches.
The first thing you can do is sign up for a LinkedIn account and start connecting with people there. Fill out your profile and build yourself up as an entrepreneur. Don’t shy away from this. This is your opportunity to toot your own horn and sell yourself to a community.
The next thing I want you to do is start a Facebook business page and do the same thing. Then I want you to go to Meetup.com and see what groups in your community you can connect with in your area of expertise.
For example, if you are a newbie freelance writer stepping out as an entrepreneur, find out what is going on in the community for writers and/or poets. Go to the events and start meeting people with the same passion. Let them know who you are and what you’re up to.
By networking, you also meet other people who may be willing to mentor you. Or perhaps you can do an internship for someone. You just never know what doors will open when you step out there and start connecting with other people.
8. Put in the hours
You’re going to have to put in the hours, darling. When you want to be successful at anything, you’re going to have to make an investment of time and energy. No, I don’t want you to think that you have to work 14 hours a day.
Will you have to work more hours in the beginning? Perhaps. I would advise you to come up with a schedule that is healthy and works for you and your family. If you’ve got little ones running around and you’re a mother wanting to stay home with them, create a schedule that works for everyone. You don’t want to burn yourself out, because then you’ll be no good for your family. When Mom’s not happy, no one else is probably happy either.
When I first started writing I didn’t have a ton of clients so I didn’t spend all day writing. But even though I wasn’t writing a ton, I was still working on something to boost my business. That could have been learning more about the writing industry, creating guest blogs, learning about marketing, or chatting with someone about a particular topic.
Or it could have been emailing someone trying to get a potential gig. My point here is to be willing to put in the time and effort even when you’re not seeing the results that you want. Being an entrepreneur is about being consistent through the good times and the dry times.
Listen peeps: Consistency matters. Little bits of effort here and there add up to big accomplishments. Writing for 30 minutes every day on one article equals a badass article by the end of the week. So, remember that consistency matters.
9. Keep up with your industry
For a while there I got into my own little routine writing for my clients for a particular amount of money. Then, at some point I realized that I wasn’t keeping up-to-date with the writing and publishing industry. I wasn’t continually checking to see what other freelance writing job sites were out there where I could find new clients.
Or new magazines that would come onto the scene where I could pitch some articles. It’s important to stay up-to-date when it comes to your niche. Subscribe to magazines and email subscriptions to the leaders in your industry. Do Google searches every once in a while to see who’s new on the scene. Or what new products are wooing people in your field. Take a little bit of time each day or set a few hours a week to really just saturate yourself with what’s going on outside of your own little world.
10. Start off part-time
Remember how I told you that not everyone starts out making big bucks when they launch out on their own as a freelancer or entrepreneur? Well, for this reason it may be wise for you to keep your job until you’re ready to make that leap into Uncharted Territory. I didn’t have a choice when I launched out as a freelance writer as to whether to leave my job or not because I had been laid off. It was actually perfect for me at that time to try something new.
You might want to start off as a freelance writing guru part-time and keep your primary job for now. Wait until you get some money rolling in before you make the leap into full-time. It can be stressful at the beginning and you don’t want to add more stress to your life by just jumping in head-first and not having that extra cushion of income.
11. Just keep swimming
Remember Dory in the movie Finding Nemo? Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming. I want you to remember this on the days where you’re freaking out because you don’t have clients, or enough money to pay the bills, or nothing is turning out the way you want. I want you to just keep getting up and trying. If one thing isn’t working, then I want you to try something different. If you can’t figure out what to do, then I want you to reach out for help.
There’s something to be said about perseverance, discipline, consistency, motivation and drive. Did I mention grit? Oh yeah, there’s something to be said about Grit. You may feel all alone, but you’re not. There are others that will help you, motivate you, and give you what you need to get over the hurdles.
Have you hit the wall? Are you clueless as to what to do next? Then I want you to start praying and believing that the right person and opportunity will show up for you. I want you to realize that you are a co-creator of your life and your business. “Co” means it’s you and a Higher Power working together to create something that you actually enjoy.
A business that helps other people, which essentially helps you too. I want you to do what you love to do and I want you to be great at it. I want you to get up when you fall down, dust yourself off, and keep going. I want the best for you.
Will you have days from hell? Oh yeah, baby, you will, but those days will make you stronger and smarter if you let them.
12. Get quiet daily
I’ve saved this tip for last, not because it’s the least important, but because it’s the most important and I want you have it fresh on your mind once you finish reading this. Each day, take time to get quiet with yourself and your Creator. Pray, meditate, or just sit quietly enjoying silence. You know the mind can get so busy with thought after thought after thought. That darn monkey mind, incessantly chattering about so many things.
Give it a rest. Shut it down regularly and become more in tune with your spirit and God. Learn to live life in a mindful state; in a present state. You know where much of your fresh inspiration will come from? When you’re tapped into your authentic, spiritual self. You want to live in such a way that stress doesn’t kill you? Take deep breaths regularly. Do so yoga. Chant a mantra. Get out in nature and just enjoy the magnificence of creation. Remember, you’re mind, body, and spirit. Don’t neglect your spirit. If you do, it’ll catch up with you. You’ll begin to feel frustrated. Edgy. Greedy. You’ll burn out on that hamster wheel thinking you’ve got to go, go, go till the cows drop.
Slow down. Enjoy your journey. Enjoy your family. Take time each day to just rest and BE. Just you. Just be you in an easy, breezy way. Nurture your lovely self, and spread some love to others.
Shew. I’ve said a mouthful, eh?
I’m going to end this article now, because it’s super long.
I hope that you have made it to the very end of this article. I also hope that you’re continuing your dream of becoming a successful freelance writing -or any type of entrepreneur.
If I can be of help in any way- especially if I can write you some epic content as part of your content marketing plan – be in touch.
As always, I am rooting for you and I’m sending big, big love your way.
Make your world a better place, mind, body, and spirit.