Be a Freelance Writer: 4 Keys for Success

Freelance Writer Tips

be a freelance writerAnyone can be a freelance writer. It’s not hard. However, before we get into that, happy 4th of July everyone. It’s great to be free and independent! We live in the greatest country in the world. We can pursue whatever we like. We can buy cool things like these. It’s a great thing. Any of us can achieve success, or so we are told.

Yet, have you ever asked why it seems only a few people are successful at freelance writing, but your plans fall flat? Success is not elusive. Anyone can be successful. Anyone can be a freelance writer. Below are 5 tips that helped me get to where I am today. I wish I would have started practicing sooner! Read on for my secrets.

Track Personal Income

Not only is tracking your income a smart financial step, it’s a motivator too. How do you know where you are if you don’t know what you have? It just makes sense., Even if you only make $200 one month, track it! Then devise a plan to double it each month. Running up to your first $1,000 is a goal many freelance writers make. Not me. My first goal was 5k. My next goal was maintaining that for six months and then doubling it. The only way I knew whether or not I was close to achieving my goal was by tracking my income.

Use a simple spreadsheet or quickbooks to help you out. In the beginning you can even do what I did… tally up various invoices from online payment systems and list them in a word doc for the month. Yep, true story. It worked like a charm and I knew how much I was making. You don’t need a revolutionary system. You just need to track your income. Start now. This is what it takes to be a freelance writer.

Find a Mentor

True, you may obtain a lot of valuable information from their blog posts or course material, but nothing beats true relationship with a mentor. To find the best fit, pick someone who is:

  • Ridiculously more skilled than you.
  • Has a ridiculously large company
  • Is the best at what they do

I could expound a lot more on this, but there is someone who does a much better job of it than me. Ramit Sethi lays out how to find a mentor in his book, Your Move. Skip your afternoon snack and pony up $3 instead. You will be glad you did.


Work a Schedule

A work plan is your guide on what to do and at what time of day. To be successful, ,you have to treat your freelance business like a business. This means checking email at certain times, creating new content at others and reaching out to potential clients. If you do not have a schedule of when to do these things, they will never get done. You have to stay on task and work on a schedule. It’s what all successful freelancers do.

I will advise in the beginning your schedule should be weighted about 80% towards fining new clients. When you plan out your week, make sure you are spending 80% of your time reaching out to new clients to pitch your services too. You will not regret this. The dividends are huge.

Be PersistentFreelance Writer Tips

Again, Ramit talks about this in his book Your Move. I know I sound like a broken record, but you need to get it. Seriously, it’s only $3 and will change your business much more so than anything else you could do with $3. To speak to the point, however, you must be persistent. The honeymooon phase of freelance writing will wear off after about 6 months. Then it will feel like work. Then your sales will slack. Then you will get desperate. Then you will feel hopeless. Then, if you read this post and Ramit’s book, you will gain traction and find success. Remember, most people’s web pages are just highlight reels. They only let you see what they want you to see. They may look all successful and flashy, but they are because they were persistent and owned each moment. Hang in there, you will too.

The first three tips will help you with the last one. The bottom line is anybody can be a freelance writer. The resources and tips given here will help you become a successful one. That’s what we call living the good life. See you there.

For helps with the nuts and bolts of Setting up your business, check out my Pocket Guides.