Do you want to know how many mistakes I made when I was getting started as a freelancer? All of them. Yes, I mean all of them. It was pretty bad news for me (because don't we all hate learning lessons the hard way?). But it's really good news for you, because it means I have all sorts of hard-won insights that I can share with you (so you can avoid those same blunders).
Trust me—I know firsthand that freelancing comes with tons of questions. You feel like you have no idea what you're doing, and you just want someone to take you by the hand and guide you through it. Imagine that this page right here is me grabbing your sweaty palm, giving it an encouraging squeeze, and showing you the way forward.
Unsurprisingly, I get asked a lot of the same questions about freelancing over and over again. So, on this FAQ page, I've pulled together all of those common, burning questions, my very best answers, and even links to full blog posts that dive into that topic in detail. Grab a snack, give them a read, and prepare to tackle the freelance life (feeling way more prepared than I was). You've got this, my friend.
Take it from me: The best thing you can do is to get started freelancing before you ever even think about leaving your current job. I didn't do things that way (I just up and quit my full-time position without much of a backup plan), but I really wish I would have. When freelancing comes with so much uncertainty, I look back and am envious of people who were able to get the ball rolling when they still had the comfort and security of a steady paycheck in their back pocket.
It'll probably involve quite a few late nights and weekends spent working, but use that time to build up a side hustle and also take care of those nuts and bolts things you need to get started—like setting up a website and an accounting system, for example. FIND OUT MORE
Do you absolutely need one? Not necessarily—I’ve seen plenty of freelance writers become wildly successful while covering a huge variety of topics.
But, personally, I credit landing on a niche as one of the major things that helped me take my freelance business from good to great.
Choosing an area of expertise means that you can focus your efforts, build a relevant portfolio, and also establish yourself as a pro and a thought leader in your chosen field. DIG IN DEEPER
Absolutely! While I can understand that all of those online gurus who promise you’ll earn $10,000 within your first minute of freelancing can make you skeptical, it’s totally possible to earn an awesome living as a freelance writer.
Personally, after two years of freelancing, I was already earning double of what I did when I was employed at a traditional full-time job. Now? I earn about four times as much. So yes, freelancing is a totally viable career path.
Make no mistake—it takes some patience and elbow grease. But, this is a career that will support you—provided you're willing to put in the work! GET MORE REASSURANCE HERE
I wish I had a straightforward answer for you. However, this really all comes down to personal preference and your own unique situation.
Again, I think it’s best not to quit until you have at least a couple of clients under your belt. Also, I recommend having some savings in your back pocket to support you while you get up and running.
What did I do? While I didn't have as many clients lined up as I should have, I did put away enough money to support three months of my living expenses without any additional income. READ MORE ABOUT MY PERSONAL STORY
From networking to job boards, there are so many different outlets you can use to find freelance gigs (and I've probably used them all).
My favorite methods for scoring jobs have been perusing Twitter, scouring niche job boards, and (get ready to let out your own exasperated sigh) cold pitching the outlets I'm interested in writing for.
Rest assured that there isn't one right way to find freelance clients. The important thing here is to find something that works well for you. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HOW TO LAND CLIENTS
Ugh. This question will make newbie and veteran freelancers alike let out a groan.
In terms of getting started, I recommend setting an income goal for yourself (whether that's for the month or the year) and then working backwards from there to figure out how many projects you'd need to complete at certain rates.
It’s smart to have a larger strategy in place, rather than just pulling random numbers out of a hat. Plus, knowing where that number actually came from will help you have a lot more confidence when sharing your price with your prospective client. LEARN MORE
Join this private Facebook community to pick up helpful tips, score job leads, engage in conversations, and connect with plenty of other creative freelancers.
Heads up: I'm on maternity leave through April 2022! My freelance newsletter could be on hiatus or sent with irregularity (rather than weekly) during this time.