5 Common Freelance Writing Questions

Dec 18, 2017

Let’s not sugarcoat it: Taking the leap to start your own freelance writing business can be somewhat terrifying. The whole idea seems impossible at times, and your head is packed full with tons of different questions.

Trust me—I’ve been there myself, and it’s one of the many reasons that I wanted to dish out as many tips, insights, and resources as possible on this little site of mine.

Because I enjoy helping freelancers just like you figure out how to put one foot in front of the other, I’m on the receiving end of a lot of questions. Most of the time? The questions are pretty similar—there are some concerns that seem to always be top of mind for people who are considering jumping into the freelance life.

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So, as a sort of year-end recap, I figured I’d round up some of those commonly-asked questions, jot down a brief answer, and then include a link to a blog post (or multiples, if I have them!) that dives into that topic in detail.

Sound like a plan? Great! Let’s get right into it.

5 Frequently-Asked Freelance Writing Questions

1. How can I successfully pitch outlets and publications?

The art of the freelance pitch is something you’re absolutely going to need to master. But, it can be intimidating for most people—especially since there’s a lot involved.

How can you figure out what to pitch? What do you say when you send your pitch in? How do you find someone to send it to? When should you follow up?

Some of this can vary based on the specifics of who you’re pitching. However, there are some general rules of thumb that will help you set yourself up for greater success with your pitch. I dig into it all in my comprehensive guide on pitching!

READ THIS: How to Pitch: Absolutely Everything Freelance Writers Need to Know


2. I’m considering pursuing a career as a freelance writer. What do you think my first step should be?

There’s a lot involved in getting up and running as a freelancer, which makes it tough to boil it down to one neatly-packaged first step.

But, if you were going to force me to pick just one thing, I’d say this: You need to choose a writing niche.

I know, it’s probably not the exciting starting point you were hoping for. However, you need to crawl before you can run, and taking the time to zero in on a specific topic that you’d like to specialize in will be well worth it.

Why? You’ll be able to focus your efforts. Instead of falling into that “jack of all trades, master of none” trap, you’ll develop a reputation and some expertise and credibility in the area that you most enjoy writing about.

If you need further convincing, I’ve already talked in detail about why I think writing niches are so important.

READ THIS: Freelance Writing Niche: Do You Really Need One?


freelance writing questions

3. Where can I find freelance writing jobs?

When you’re eager to land any sort of assignment, I understand that the siren song of content mills can be tough to resist. Be forewarned: I’m a firm believer that content mills aren’t worth it.

Instead, there are plenty of other platforms and tactics you can use to find freelance writing opportunities within your chosen niche. From pitching to LinkedIn to freelance job boards, I’ve used several different methods to land solid freelance writing gigs.

Want to do the same for yourself? I have a couple of posts that can help you separate the wheat from the chaff and dig up opportunities that are a good fit for you.

READ THIS: Finding Freelance Writing Jobs: Where to Look and How to Land Them

READ THIS: Using LinkedIn to Find Freelance Work: What You Need to Know


4. I just had a potential client ask how much I charge. What do I need to know to value my work and set my rates?

Oh, the old conundrum of setting your freelance writing rates. It’s enough to make any freelance writer cringe.

Walking that fine line between being fair and leaving money on the table is tricky. But, it’s doable.

My best advice is to work backwards. Set an income goal for yourself, and then do some simple math to help you land on a price that’s not unreasonable to the client, but still fits in with your overall income strategy.

You can find out even more in my post about setting your rates!

READ THIS: Setting Freelance Rates: How to Value Your Worth as a Freelance Writer


5. Can I actually make a living as a freelance writer? Or, is this just a pipe dream?

The freelance life can seem too good to be true, which leaves you wondering if your dream job is really just that—a dream.

Plus, all of those “Make $100,000 in Your First Month of Freelancing!” gurus don’t really help when it comes to establishing freelancing as a realistic and reliable career path.

Rest assured, freelancing is a viable option when it comes to earning income. But, unfortunately, you probably aren’t going to rake in six figures in your first few months. It’s going to take a lot of elbow grease.

So, what can you expect in terms of income as a freelance writer? I break it all down in my post.

READ THIS: Can You Really Make a Living as a Freelance Writer?


Over to You

If you’re interested in starting a freelance writing career for yourself, I saved my best piece of advice for last: just get started.

It’s so easy to say you’ll do it tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or next year. You’ll start when you have a little more experience, a little more money, or a little more time.

But, honestly, there’s no time like the present. Start up that side hustle. Begin pitching yourself and putting yourself out there.

Think of it this way: Nothing will happen if you don’t ever get started.