Freelance Writing: 9 Things I’ve Learnt So Far…

pic by: dutchtl

I’ve been doing this online freelance writing thang since January, so I’m a baby really. It’s not something I see myself doing in the long-term – uh-uh – I feel there’s a more efficient way of earning a living from my writing; but for now, it’s an income source that I’m super-duper grateful for. In the short time I’ve been doing it, I’ve picked up a couple of lessons/observations along the way:

1) Charging $0.01/word makes me feel like a cheap hooker, so it’s something I just don’t do.

2) The more writing gigs I do, the more I get into the flow of things. I remember my first proper gig – I was excited ‘cos, yes!, I finally got a gig! Then I got a bit scared. But now, familiarity breeds less doubt. Yay!

3) Some clients will love my writing, think I’m brill and ask if they can change their middle name to mine; and some will think I’m, erm, ok. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Does it matter?

4) Lightning won’t strike me down if I increase my rate.

5) Some clients can be really really nice.

6) I’m not a ‘Jill of all trades’. I’m not interested in writing articles about anything (hoodia) and everything (casinos) under the sun. However, I have taken one or two gigs where I thought ‘how the hell am I gonna write 30 articles on that?’ and it’s turned out ok – they turned out to be more interesting than I thought they would be.

7) We’re doing each other a favour – the client is paying me, I’m writing for them. They don’t own me.

8) I’m not scared to lose a potential client when negotiating a fee. I know how far I’m willing to negotiate and if we can’t come to an agreement, I move on. Sometimes they come back, sometimes they don’t.

9) I’ve gotten most (if not all) my gigs via Digital Point. It’s where I started, after all. However, broadening the markets I explore is important. I’m learning that now.

Ok, that’s me done. If you dabble in freelance writing, would be great to hear what you’ve learnt.

Or you can go ahead and keep it to yourself – Grrrr 🙁

Until then…

Ciao.

8 comments

  1. Hanafi Ismail

    Hi Monica..I hope I get your name right :-).I never wrote for anybody else,except for the article in my blogs.I’m still new and really like to build my blog with good content,and maybe someday be like you,doing freelance writing.Interesting post and will surely be my guide if I manage to get writing gigs later.When I first start my blog,I always think,will people read it,will people like it,can I really write,but as you said,we can improve with time,and that is absolutely right..but we must love doing it,and it will all come naturally.

  2. 2ThePoint

    Hi Hanafi! Thanks for passing through and leaving a comment. I’m not Monika, my name’s Ebele (aka 2ThePoint). Monika commented on my ebook. I probably need to update that site to make it clearer ‘cos you’re the 2nd person who’s assumed I’m Monika!

    I found you via LinkReferral and liked your angle on things.

    If freelance writing is something you’re thinking of getting into, do your research, find out what you need and ask yourself if you have it (or what you can do to get it). There are a lot of freelance writing sites out there like hopewrites.com, chrisblogging.com and menwithpens.ca that I found useful.

    I don’t recall mentioning we can improve with time, but you’re right, we can! I’m not sure if loving something and it coming naturally is always the case though – but it can often make it…easier, more bearable, keep you going, make you more likely to stick to it.

    Thanks again for passing through. I wish you well.

  3. Petula Wright

    LOL! You always make me laugh. Okay, seriously, I’ve learned a lot in the past about 14 years of this career, but it’s been a whole lot different in the blog writing/earning money world. I was stricly a magazine article writer where the rules were pretty much cut and dry. I knew people (editors) who knew other people (new clients) that got me gigs and I stayed in the loop.

    I don’t know what has changed in the past year but my magazine article writing has dropped off so maybe the rules have changed. I’ve networked, emailed, contacted, came up with ideas and all, but haven’t gotten back in there. Maybe my time writing for mags is over.

    I guess, after all this rambling, the most important thing I’ve learned is to never give up doing what I love. No matter what I’m writing; I’m happy. Like I always say: “Writing is not a job it’s a joy and getting paid is just icing on the cake.”

  4. 2ThePoint

    Petula: Potential income source – could you perhaps use your vast years of experience as a mag writer to help others? I’m sure there are things you know that those who want to break into that market (or who have just stepped into it) would love to know.

    ‘Never give up doing what you love’. Very true. Very.

    I’d add to that: ‘do what you love’, as a lot of people struggle to get to that point.

    I’m glad you’ve found something you adore doing.

    Thanks for your contribution.

    Hugs…

  5. Monika Mundell

    Hahaha…that is just too funny. People calling you Monica. No wonder you had to update your site fast. 🙂

    *she giggles like a maniac

    Like Petula, you make me crack up Ebele. You have that something magical only a good writer has , like a hint of chili in my chocolate or a touch of spice in a curry. The flavors just keep lingering.

    Loved this post. Like you, I’m not afraid to hear a no from a client when it comes to negotiating fees.

    You go girrrrl get ’em

  6. 2ThePoint (ebele)

    There can only be ONE Monika Mundell (not that I didn’t like being you, hun) 😉

    My mum always wanted me to play the piano ‘cos I have insanely long fingers. I guess tapping on a keyboard will have to do!

    Yes, clients may come and go, but chocolate is for life. 🙂

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