While you may dream of a being a writer, the idea of “starving artist” doesn’t hold the same appeal. Maybe you have a family to support, an apartment to afford, or you just like to eat. Well, it is possible to be a freelance writer who is also a successful business person. Here are five tips to help you make a good living while enjoying your dream job as a freelance writer.
1. Treat It Like a Business
The first step is to treat your writing like a business instead of a hobby. This will look different to each person, but it may mean setting up an office area, developing set times to work, or even having a separate bank account for your business income.
You may want to create a business name and print business cards. It’s also important to think about how you’ll answer the question, “So, what do you do for a living?” with a professional answer that tells something about your career. The important thing with this tip is that you take steps to make it feel like your career and not just a hobby.
Do Your Research
Do some research to find out what you want to write, how much you can charge, and where you can find clients. Writing is a broad category for a lot of different kinds of work. Maybe you want to write blog posts for clients or yourself, or perhaps you’re more interested in writing ebooks. You may find you can earn more writing website content or landing pages. If you’re a persuasive writer, you can get into direct marketing.
Not all types of writing pay the same. Writing about complex software programs, medical, or legal writing usually pays more than writing about pets or gardening. You can still write about those topics that appeal to you but be realistic about how much you can earn. When you treat your writing as a business, you make decisions about what will help you financially. For example, you may write about pets along with legal topics.
Build a Savings Account
If you still have a full-time job and plan to transition to writing as your sole income, now is the perfect time to build your savings account. If you’re already writing full-time, work to start and add to a savings account on a regular basis.
Unlike with traditional employment, being a freelance writer may mean your income varies by season, month, or even week. You need to make it a priority in your budget to put money back for those times when your income drops. Start out with a modest goal, such as $500, then work your way up to 2-3 months of bills in a savings account. When developing a budget to know how much work you must have to pay bills, include paying your savings.
Create a Game Plan
You could also call it a business plan, but your game plan is not written in stone. Look at it as a loose plan that can change and grow but gives you guidance. Know what you want to be doing in five or ten years and how you will be able to retire.
For some writers, their game plan is to start out writing for clients and transition to writing for themselves. They may want to write e-books, instructional courses, or a monetized blog.
To make yourself more financially secure, think about how you can make more money doing what you love. Maybe you’re writing blog posts for clients. Expand that to landing pages, emails, white papers, or other types of content that may pay better. Plan to diversify your client base by adding bigger businesses to your portfolio.
Continue to Market and Set Goals
Whether you’re struggling to find clients and get by or you’re booked solid with enough money to pay bills, you need to continue to market. You never know when things can change, and you want to be prepared. Create a marketing strategy just as you would with any other business, and stick with it no matter how busy you get.
Set goals about where you want your earnings to be in the next month, next year, or even longer. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and just continue creating the same kind of content for the same clients at the same pay. However, as a business owner, you must think about raising prices, getting higher-paying clients, and generally increasing your income. This is the best way to ensure you not only survive but thrive as a freelancer.
The old adage, “if you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backwards” is true. When you set goals and work toward them, you increase the likelihood of success for your future as a freelance writer.
Link to Author's Blog
- You Can Be a Successful Freelancer
This blog tells about my experience as a writer and provides information and tips I have learned on my writing journey.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on March 30, 2021:
Sound advice. Will others here hear the sound?