This is my view.
No lies, no tricks, no cliché stock photo. Simply me, writing to you, on a beach house balcony in Taiwan – still wet from surfing with my husband.
Earlier today, I secured another ghostwriting gig for a client while riding on the back of a motorcycle, as my husband and I began our round-island trip, while tomorrow I have yet another interview scheduled with a client – right after I go snorkeling around Green Island.
I’m sitting here, breathing in the view and ocean breeze, wondering how this could possibly be my life.
But it is my life. It’s a writer’s life.
And it could be yours too.
Dare to Dream
Here’s the thing: it’s okay to have big dreams – especially when it comes to a writing career.
I can’t tell you the overjoyed sense of freedom I got when I first discovered freelancing, and the revelation that you don’t have to make the New York Times’ Bestseller list to make it as a successful writer.
Becoming a freelance writer is an incredible avenue of work, that not only allows you to be your own boss and set your own hours, but to also have the potential to earn a six-figure salary, doing what you love most.
And in this technological age, the demand for talented copywriters is only going to get bigger as companies expand to online formats.
So, go ahead! Imagine yourself writing on the porch of that beach house, or in that fancy corporate office, or in that ski lodge in the alps, or on the couch with your kids. Whatever your dream may be, go ahead and dream big.
Because, with a little bit of tuning, our dreams become our goals.
Find Your Niche
Contrary to popular opinion, the niches for a successful writer are not solely limited to journalism and making it as a creative novelist.
From copywriting, B2B (business to business), ghostwriting, grant writing, resume writing, editing and proofreading, content marketing, and many, many more, the opportunities and desperate need for talented writers in the workforce is endless. Basically, whatever you see in the written word – someone, somewhere, needs a writer for that.
And what if I told you that you can start your own writing career, right now – even if you don’t have any commercial writing experience?
Sound too good to be true? Believe it.
Even if you’ve never written professionally before, if you’ve ever held a job, studied a specific subject, or have a passion or hobby, you already have all the experience you need!
For instance, if you own a garden, you’re qualified to write for a gardening company. If you own a couple pets, you can write for a veterinary clinic. If you ever went to nursing school, you’re qualified to write for a doctor’s office. Have a couple of kids? There are hundreds of parenting magazines and blogs who would pay for your experience.
The list goes on.
Once you find your niche, you can start landing your first client… and from there it only gets better and better (while your resume grows longer and longer)!
Put in the Work
If there’s one frequent mistake I’ve seen amongst freelance writers, it’s that so many people use it as an excuse to not actually work. Being your own boss and having the capacity to set your own hours, often is a huge temptation to consistently opt for a day of fun, rather than a day of searching for clients.
However, while it’s true you are certain to have more free time throughout the day, for the most part, the clients won’t come to you – you have to come to them.
Doing this takes work – especially when you’re first starting out. There’s resume’s to update, websites to create, blogs to upkeep, clients to search for, interviews to be had, and then the fun part: copy to write!
Letting yourself fall behind on work adds stress, lowers earnings, and damages your reputation and clientele.
As a writer in a digital world, it’s your responsibility to be ahead of the curve, on task, and always writing, writing, writing. It takes practice, a sharpening of skill, and a constant upkeep to maintain your professional and online presence.
The real key behind every successful freelance writer lies in a careful schedule. Even a dedication of only 5 hours of work every work day (or weekends, if that works better for you!) can go a long way.
Take careful note of your typical schedule, when you usually have free time to dedicate to writing, when you’re most apt to be free of distractions, and when your creative juices are flowing at their peak. For instance, some people think better in the morning, while others (like me) are night owls.
Whichever you are, learn when and how you best write, work that into your schedule, and stick to it!
The more work you put into your freelancing career, the more clients, income, and fun you’ll get out of it.
Love What You Do
Let’s be honest: if you think writing – especially writing for others – is a chore, then freelancing isn’t for you. There are far too many out there who simply chase a dollar figure, rather than a meaningful life and career, to be counted as one of them.
Even if you’re the most talented writer in the world, if you don’t absolutely love writing – and seeing the joy and prosperity your writing brings to others – then pursue another career you do love!
If, however, you do love writing, then it’s crucial you learn to love your clients as well. Putting them first, even above your own priorities and income, is the only way to truly succeed as a writer.
I can speak from experience that there’s nothing better than getting to know a client, and watching their business thrive through your partnership.
And let me tell you, that kind of dedication pays.
Not only will your reputation and feedback soar, but your clientele and hiring rate will, as well. Plus, surprise bonuses? Best feeling in the world!
Hands down, when you love what you do, suddenly it doesn’t feel like work – and I promise you, the money will come.
Till next time!