What It Really Takes To Be A Freelance Writer

Jennifer Mendez Editorials

Freelancing has been one of those job titles that most people outside of the freelancing/creative circles bat their eyelashes at in a baffled manner. “You’re a what?” is a common question.

But think about the mercenaries of the days of yore. Bounty hunters that went after a culprit for financial gain. The freelance photographers, graphic designers, and writers of today are no different, except for the part about tracking someone down.

And as detailed in “8 Strategies to Build Your Freelance Writing Career,” a guest column in Writer’s Digest:

“There are still plenty of magazines around. It seems as if two are born every time one dies. And since most can’t afford in-house writing staffs, they depend on no-overhead freelancers for more content than ever before.”

Yes, there are many freelancers out there, and the payment for each job/article has fallen. But that doesn’t mean well-paid work isn’t out there. And it surely doesn’t mean you can’t reach success despite the competition. If that were true, there would be no career paths for anyone anymore.

Steps to Take to Start Freelancing

As a brief run-down of the article, the following are the steps to take to be a successful freelance writer:

  1. Choose to specialize or generalize.
  2. Cold-call, cold-call, cold-call.
  3. Generate a lot of ideas.
  4. Leverage your experience.
  5. Don’t hide behind your computer.
  6. Relationship-build.
  7. Find auxiliary writing and editing income, i.e. projects that bring in steady money.
  8. Be a smart blogger and social media user.

The Neat Bow

To tie a neat bow on the words already stated by the article, freelancing as a career is entirely possible, but it’s not for everyone. Some people want a 9 to 5 and forget about their jobs once they punch the clock. Others, like freelancers, want to create brands and write. Writers have voices, they have platforms, they can help shape minds. But to do that, they have to put themselves out there a lot more than your average person.

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About the Author

Jennifer Mendez

Jennifer Mendez has brought insightful articles to From author interviews to how literature meets gaming to expert insight into tools and writing processes, her dedication to helping our author community is quite inspiring. You can find more of her writing at