Are You a Successful Freelance Writer? 6 Ways to Tell

Happy writer writing down her ideasby Lorraine Reguly

Imagine, for a moment, that you are a successful freelance writer. I mean really, really imagine it.

What does that look like? And how do you know if you’re attaining it?

I like to look at six components of success to see how I’m doing: values, money, freedom, achievements and personal progress, statistics and sales, and social status.

1. Values

Values are our inner beliefs and qualities. Some core values of freelancers might include

  • ambition
  • approachability
  • bravery
  • discipline
  • efficiency
  • expertise
  • gratitude
  • integrity
  • originality
  • patience
  • perseverance
  • resiliency

If you possess and practice these, then you’re a step above the rest!

2. Money

Most of us are merely trying to pay the bills each month, put food on the table and maintain our independence. If we’re able to do these things, we deem ourselves successful. If we have money left over, that’s even better.

Earning more money from year to year is another way to measure financial success. Higher-paying assignments are something to continually strive toward. Working fewer hours for more pay is a great goal. This allows us to have more … freedom.

3. Freedom

For some freelancers, freedom is being able to work from home. For others, it means being able to travel to an exotic island or take regular vacations.

For me, it’s being able to do what I want, when I want. This includes sleeping, eating, showering and occasionally staying in my pajamas instead of getting dressed!

Do you have the freedom you want?

4. Achievements and personal progress

Freelancing success is an individual thing; no two people will have the same accomplishments or goals. Having an impressive résumé doesn’t dictate that happiness will follow.

To me, a true indicator of success is whether you are enjoying the journey of life. Although your path may be riddled with obstacles, overcoming them provides a sense of satisfaction that can be equated with success.

5. Statistics and sales

If you have a blog, you can measure your success by the number of readers, commenters, social shares, and daily hits you have. Here, bigger is better. The same principle applies to the sales of any products or services you offer.

6. Social status

Our social status is measured differently nowadays.

We live in an era where having an online presence on several social media sites is crucial. This can be time-consuming and not always fun, but it is necessary to gaining references, guest posts, links to our website and exposure to new people, including clients.

If you get asked for an interview, are featured on others’ blogs and become a recognizable name (and face), you’ve definitely attained some level of social status as a freelancer.

My favorite indicators of success, though, are referrals from clients and compliments on my writing — unsolicited testimonials are awesome!

How do you measure your success a freelance writer? Tell us in the comments below.

Lorraine Reguly is a certified high school English teacher-turned-freelance writer and editor who is blogging while she works on publishing two books. She relates her struggles and successes on her blog, Lorraine Reguly’s Life.

Tagged with: , , , ,
57 comments on “Are You a Successful Freelance Writer? 6 Ways to Tell
  1. Jeri says:

    The main thing I’ve realized about freelancing for my own purposes is that it’s very important for me to keep normal working hours. I get really grumpy when I’m at my computer after dinner or on the weekends. It can be hard to draw the line between home and work time when working from a home office.
    Jeri recently posted…JeriWB Blog Resolutions 2014My Profile

    • Jeri, thanks for your comment. I understand where you’re coming from, and there are a few things you can do to remedy that. Try “commuting” to your home office by talking a walk (around the block) before sitting down to work, try meditating before working, or try having a shower and donning a professional outfit for work. In addition to using a timer, these are some strategies that you could employ to assist you in separating your two lives and finding an appropriate work-life balance.

      Do you currently do any of these things now? Do they help?
      Lorraine Reguly recently posted…Time Management: Strategies Aid In Increased Guest PostsMy Profile

  2. Peter Dean says:

    Hi Lorraine. Great article – naturally! I don’t always have the time to post replies, but very seldom miss an article – Sorry..time! I feel a bit of a fraud calling myself a writer as I write mainly for business, although (if I ever get it finished) there is a book in the pipeline and a couple of half finished fiction stories I am determined to put to bed this year that few people know about yet!
    OK Values is a biggie for me – I seldom if ever write about what I personally have not experienced, it may have the disclaimer that this is only my personal experience, but I always try to give a balanced view from ‘both sides’ Originality is a major point in business as you can get severely stamped on for ‘borrowing’ others content, plus it gives people pointers as to how you think and act; ‘you can trust me I just stole someone else’s words’ isn’t a great advertisement! All of the other points are important, but for me personally the next ‘biggie’ is perseverance – I write a blog every week, I know people read it as it is mentioned in conversation, yet in 3 years I have received only a handful of replies – I persevere!
    Money is not a direct correlation from my writing (yet!!) but I am working on that as mentioned.
    Freedom is very important, as a web designer I can be sat in a field camping, sunning on the beach or as you said, sat here in my PJ’s (ok today I’m in sweats and a thick jumper) Bottom line, I can fit what I do around my life and still have a life!
    Achievements; I have been asked to speak to small businesses based on what people have read in my blog and continue to support several charities with free consultations to help them get started on Social media etc. To me they are big achievements, I may not have the money to donate, but I can ‘gift’ my knowledge.
    Statistics/sales – hard to measure strictly off the blog s it is part of the site, but I guess those who read it regularly build a level of trust which leads to them working with us. I get great hits on my blog – but as mentioned few comments..
    Social status..hmm that’s difficult. One has an idea of how we would like to be seen, but without running a survey, it is hard to gauge. I have a following on social media and some great friends on Linkedin who comment on my thoughts, so I guess I have some social standing. I know I could be more popular perhaps if I conformed to social niceties, but sometimes one has to point out the ridiculous nature of others actions /decisions and occasionally I have got a little short with obstinate folk who try and convince me that rain goes up and they ‘really’ aren’t trying to sell me anything…hehe. Hope you are feeling better after the surgery btw and a belated happy new year from dull, cold UK!
    Peter Dean recently posted…Tiny problems – BIG headachesMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      You feel like a fraud because you write for businesses? That makes me feel sad. Business writing makes the world go round! Makes money, creates jobs, sells products. You are a critical cog in the entire US economy.

      Be proud!

    • Peter, thank you for sharing your thoughts – and for the nice wishes. 😉 It sounds like you are having some success with your writing; good for you!

      Like you, I write from my personal experiences. It seems that others have more respect for you if you do this, and it adds credibility to what you’re saying. However, I’m not a business writer (Carol is) and so cannot speak to that. I can relate to the whole making money part, though! LOL Who doesn’t want to earn more? 😉 That’s one of the reasons I read Carol’s blog.

      A belated Happy New Year to you, too. May 2014 be the year you gain more social status and comments on your blog! Perhaps try ending your posts with a question for your readers to answer; this may prompt more engagement! Best of luck!
      Lorraine Reguly recently posted…Time Management: Strategies Aid In Increased Guest PostsMy Profile

  3. Pete Rogan says:

    I’m not sure I qualify as a freelance writer these days, but I think these six guidelines to determining success are very useful to any writer. We sometimes need reminding that not all success is monetary, or even the approval of friends or acquaintances. It’s something more nuanced, and success for any individual must be determined from the alchemy of work and ends, goals and means.

    You can get to the point where, after months or years of work, you stop and say, What did I do it for? What did I achieve? What am I doing? It’s vital then to know what it is you are doing, where it is you are going, and whether this at all resembles what you had planned — if you had planned! — when you started out. These six considerations allow the writer to find himself or herself on six different scales and measure their progress, or lack of it, in a very complete space. Did you get the recognition you sought? Are you making the money you wanted? Did you reach the people you wanted to reach, and teach them? Did you gain notice and awards with your work? Is this, in the end, what you want to keep on doing?

    I think these six criteria can orient a writer to the direction in which they are moving, and allow them to perceive if there’s another way they should be going, or a different way they have yet to try, but which now reveals itself after assessment. That’s a pretty valuable commodity to have when you are chasing the visions in your head, the spirit from your heart. It’s a sextant to figure out if you’re on course, and lets you decide how to deal with finding your position. That’s a very useful thing to do, when it would be so much easier to prescribe a course or a viewpoint to adapt.

    Thank you, Lorraine, for the insight into guidance. Have you considered finding a larger audience with this work? Thousands could benefit from it, I am sure. I greatly appreciate your work here. I hope others come to know its value as well.

  4. Hey Lorraine,

    I am not a Freelance writing, so I can’t really answer the question…but I have came close to doing freelance writing (if you consider guest posting as freelance writing. I got most of my blog traffic for the first blog through guest posting and search engines…all I did was guest post…along with posting on my own blog :D).

    With that being said, I do plan to start offering writing services by the end of this year (I’ve finalized anything yet..it really depends upon my success with other planned projects, like niche sites and Kindle books).

    As for success, well I consider building an active community within one’s blog as success (it depends though…perhaps you seem to have a community since most people came to your blog because you comment on theirs..you know, reciprocity. While reciprocity is a really good idea, it makes it really difficult to judge whether the person is a loyal reader or not).

    For a freelance writer, success might be defined by getting clients (actively..and making enough money to live a good life..of course, that is very subjective).

    Anyways, Great post Lorraine 🙂 Thanks for sharing this with us 😀
    Jeevan Jacob John recently posted…Goals, Resolutions and Motives – Why?My Profile

    • Jeevan, I get what you mean about commenting reciprocity. Some of my readers and I belong to a group in LinkedIn called Bloggers Helping Bloggers, and many of us do reciprocate comments. However, a good test to find out if readers are loyal or not would be to stop commenting on their blogs and see if they’ll still read your posts. On the flip-side, though, commenting and sharing their stuff will also get them to share your stuff, which leads to others learning about your existence, which may lead them to become subscribers. But, I’m sure you know this already. 😉

      As far as freelancing goes, I think what you decide to do with it is up to you. I’d advise paying attention to Carol, though, as she offers many good tips and tons of freelancing information in her blog posts on this blog. I’ve been a loyal subscriber of hers for nearly a year (about as long as I’ve had my laptop)!

      • Yeah, I used to be part of that group (with my old blog). How’s it going? 😀

        That is a good idea…the only problem is properly testing it will take time (people might still visit and comment on our blogs for the latest articles….and experimenting with this method isn’t a very good idea, especially if we are limited with time. Going to take a lot of time to catch up).

        But, it is a great way to test it out 🙂

        Thanks for the recommendation, Lorraine 🙂 I already have this site in my bookmarks (did it some time ago…when I was looking for paid guest blogging opportunities). Guess it’s time I added this blog to my reading list 😀

  5. TheGirl says:

    I guess those are some reasonable goals in order to recognize “success” I don’t know if I’ll attain it. However, I do know that you can have whatever you want, as long as you’re willing to work for it.

    ScRhyne
    TheGirl recently posted…Guest Contributor: Five Can’t-Miss Suggestions to Design the Perfect Valentine’s DayMy Profile

    • TheGirl, working hard is mandatory for attaining any level of success. You can’t reap the rewards if you don’t do the work first!

      Thanks for pointing out this very important basic premise. So true!
      Good luck with your own successes! As an author, I’m sure you’ve experienced some level of success with your writing. I know your blog is read more than mine is, so don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re getting there! (Slowly, I am, too.) 😉

      Have a great weekend, and thanks for commenting.

  6. cindy knoke says:

    Loraine, what a well thought out and well written piece. I agree with all your suggestions. I especially like the mention of integrity. It is one of the things I look for in writers. You know I am already a big fan of your blog and this piece just adds another dimension to your written work. Kudos to you and thank you for this grreat post!
    Cindy Knoke

    • Cindy, thanks for stopping by to give support! To me, part of my success is having awesome people like you show up to read what I’ve written. 😀

      I’m glad you liked you this piece. Thanks for the compliment.

      Integrity is pretty high on my personal list of values. Online, this is often a quality difficult to find in people.

  7. Melanie says:

    Awesome summary and list, Lorraine!

    #4 really resonates big time with me. These words jumped off the page:

    “Freelancing success is an individual thing; no two people will have the same accomplishments or goals. Having an impressive résumé doesn’t dictate that happiness will follow.”

    The older I get, the more I’m holding tightly to “You can’t take it with you”. Meaning money, of course. And “it” won’t buy you happiness, either. Heck! Sometimes it won’t even buy you a new pair of shoes. LOL!

    I define success by doing what matters most to me. On any given day, it could be something different that I’m pouring my heart and soul into — the kinds of projects that bring on that wonderful feeling of self-accomplishment or communicating with others to help them in some way.
    And some days, just getting out of bed and getting through the day is a success in my book! 🙂
    Melanie recently posted…Here’s The Thing About Personal Drama And Trauma On Your Business BlogMy Profile

    • Melanie, I know exactly what you mean when you say getting out of bed is a success in itself. As someone who has suffered from major depression, I concur. Those are the days that count as true successes!

      I’m glad that something in this article touched you. Money, in my opinion, is meant to be enjoyed to the fullest, like life is. 😉

      Thanks for reminding us all that you CAN’T take it with you.
      I like your definition of success. Having freedom to do what you want, when you want to, is great!

  8. Glynis Jolly says:

    Nice to see you here, Lorraine. Many people miss out on putting values on their lists of what success means. It’s great to see it a the first thing on this list.
    Glynis Jolly recently posted…Bozo the ClownMy Profile

    • Glynis, values are really important. Without having definitive values, it is really difficult to figure out what’s important to you. These values change from person to person, but many commonalities are found among “successful” freelancers (the ones I included).

      I know you’re a writer, so let me ask you this: How do you define success?

  9. Greg says:

    Hey Lorraine and Carol,

    As a professional blogger I get the difficulties in freelance – but I’d imagine this is even harder. Thanks for these tips to get us on our way!

    — Greg

    • Greg, there is no doubt about it: blogging is tough and freelancing is tough, too – for some more than others, for BOTH.

      And you’re welcome. 😉
      Thanks for your comment.

  10. Excellent advice, Lorraine. I’m not really a Free Lancer, but a lot of the advice applies to authors as well, especially the advice on Values and Social Media.
    donnajeanmcdunn recently posted…I Wish You EnoughMy Profile

    • Donna Jean, I just finished saying to Ashley that if you take the word “freelancer” out of the equation for success, this post is applicable to practically everyone, authors included.

      Since I know you work a full-time job in addition to being an author (as most authors do – maybe with the exception of Stephen King and James Patterson and the like), I know that your definition of success is different from, say, Tom’s or Lori’s (two other commenters here), which proves my point about success being a highly individual thing.

      I’m glad you found something you like, that resonates with you, in this post. Thanks for reading and commenting, Donna Jean. You know I appreciate it!

  11. Tom Crawford says:

    You chose some interesting standards in this article, Lorraine. Personally, my choice revolves solely around my values. I want to be able to set my own income level, choose who I work with (this takes time), and pursue my own goals.

    Money is very important, which is one of the reasons I pay attention to Carol. She isn’t afraid to proudly state the importance of getting paid high rates, asking for an increase in fees, and not feeling guilty about it.

    Freelance writers are in business to make a profit. No doubt, we all love the freedom that comes with freelancing, but that is tied to our income.
    Tom Crawford recently posted…21 Ways To Get Free Traffic To Your Website or BlogMy Profile

    • Tom, I understand where you’re coming from. Believe me, I would rather get paid $500 than $50 for an article; who wouldn’t? 😉

      My “standards,” however, take into account the work-life balance than many people seem to seek. It’s tough working a 9-5 job AND raising a family AND trying to grow a business AND trying to pay all the bills, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. I’m sure you’d rather work less and earn more, which is why you do heed Carol’s advice so much.

      I know that’s why I read her.

      What values are the most important to you, Tom?

  12. I like the way you put things so succinctly, Lorraine.

    Like has been mentioned in the comments before this one, I firmly believe that *enjoying* what you do is the key. I think that when your work shows that you like doing it, your readers notice that. In turn, that translates into happy readers! Happy readers tend to share your posts more regularly, and they tell someone, then *they* tell someone, etc.

    Sharing others’ blogs posts, Tweets, Google + and all that social media stuff has made a big difference in the number of page views on my blog, as other writers/bloggers have reciprocated.

    Looking forward to more posts from you, Lorraine and Carol!

    Thanks!
    Fearless Leader recently posted…More Dumbass Signs!My Profile

    • Toby, ahem, Fearless Leader (LOL), thanks for stopping by to comment. You have probably been my number one supporter this past year, and I am grateful for . . . everything: our relationship, the shares, the comments, the support, the emails, your caring about Sammi, your interactions on all social media, and most of all your wisdom, which I KNOW you don’t get from your articles – LOL. I am blessed to know you and want to thank you for helping me become the successful person I am today. Having good friends like you make me successful, in my eyes. 🙂

      The domino effect is so true, too, and even though this is a blog about making a living writing, the topic of this post is such that it is evergreen and easily relatable to and by many people. All you have to do is take out the words “freelance” and “freelancing” and read it as a post about “success” and it can be applied to everyone.

      Thanks again, Toby. You are my Fearless Leader for sure. 😉

  13. Good post and the comments it has solicited make it even better. I agree, personal satisfaction is what it’s all about–but I have something to add.
    For me, success has meant my personal goalposts keep moving. Twelve years ago, when I left a great career to write full-time I would have dreamed myself doing exactly what I was doing, maybe, 2 years ago…and I would have said, “That’s it. I’ve arrived!” But by the time I was closing in on that goal, I already had a new one (and several before that, and before that…etc.).
    Today, ironically, my goals more closely resemble what I was doing in those first few years as a full-time freelancer when I had more time to simply write whatever I wanted without the pressures of client needs (because I didn’t have a lot of clients!). The huge difference today is that I am not trying to grow my business. I can let the business end coast (granted, there aren’t exotic cruises every year) because I have learned that what REALLY makes me feel fulfilled, satiated and in my power is simply writing–fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays, whatever strikes my fancy. I write/speak/teach as much as needed to maintain a base income. But I no longer strive for the 6-figure bank account that I once thought was so essential to feeling successful.
    One last thing, I have to disagree (strongly) that an on-line presence is a necessity. Given my goals for personal satisfaction, the niche I have carved out for myself keeps my income at a modest but steady level. Looking back just a year, when I drove myself crazy trying to get out there more (on social media), do more, promote more, imitate this or that blogger or best-selling author, or the bajillion things I THOUGHT I had to do to be successful, I was constantly drained. I had nothing but an endless to-do list of things I really did not enjoy and it meant I never, EVER had time to simply write (without feeling huge guilt that I was not “working”). So…I will probably never be fifty shades of famous. But today, sitting at my keyboard, I feel immensely fulfilled and so grateful that I have enough to live a simple but great life AND time to write.

    • Christine, thank you so much for contributing to this conversation.

      Your successes are a perfect example of how being online – everywhere – is just sooo not needed to make a living writing. I hope many of Carol’s readers see your comment, too. I know, from reading this blog and the comments that her readers leave, that most of them don’t like using social media. This is true, even for me. However, I feel it’s necessary to have some type of presence, to get my name “out there” while I create books to sell. I do have to agree that it is time-consuming and so I’m actually re-thinking a few of my current strategies so that I can free up some of my time so I can write more.

      I want to feel that happiness you speak of while working at the computer! I feel it only to a limited extent right now.

      Thanks, Christine, for giving me (and others) this reality-check.

  14. Great write up Lorraine, but no surprise there. I think perseverance has got to be one of the most important values when getting started. Whether you want to be low key or a powerhouse of an entrepreneur the work can feel very isolating. Conversely freelancing also offers tremendous freedom. There something to be said about spending a productive day in your pajamas. 🙂
    Debra Yearwood recently posted…Random Acts Of BrandingMy Profile

    • Debra, persistence is definitely key in pursuing any type of dream, regardless of “how much” success you want. Good point – and one I mentioned in point number one. 😉

      Anytime you can make money while wearing jammies is great, too. 😉 For sure!

  15. Ashley F says:

    Hi Lorraine
    It seems to be a common theme when starting off the new year. What is success really? And how do we personally measure our own?

    Of course as you point out it is all very personal and despite what people think (money, fame etc) it really depends on what YOU value the most. Time and freedom are also important to me. Perhaps more so than money. Having had well paying jobs in the past has made me realise that although money brings a certain amount of freedom, you do pay a price, often in happiness, for that!

    thanks for sharing your thoughts
    ashley
    Ashley F recently posted…David Blaine – Real or MagicMy Profile

    • Ashley, I couldn’t agree with you more. Money is not everything. Happiness is. So is health. If you don’t have good health, finding happiness is hard. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience here. (Yes, I know you know about my recent surgery, and I’m still recovering, and will be for awhile. I don’t feel too happy these days, even though I’m thrilled to be hosted on Carol’s blog.)

      Thanks for stopping by. I truly appreciate your comment.

  16. Diana says:

    Great guest post, Lorraine! It is amazing how quickly you came to these realizations about freelance success (i mean, since you freelance from not so long ago) – job well done!

    My views are very similar to John’s (a comment i read above). Work-life balance is super important and i too don’t work much but always try to get paid more and work less so i have more more free time to do the things i love. This is one of my goals this year – to slowly move away from charging for my time and start charging for my knowledge and expertise. Not that i don’t love my job – i do; but still – i do it for the money 😀

    Freedom is the most important part for me. And while it can be many of the things you described – true freedom for me is to be in control of my own time. Time is a scarce resource these days – and it never seems to be enough.

    So the successful freelancer has control over their time and decides what to do, when to do ti, how to do it, where to do it, and so on. No following other people’s schedules. 😉

    And a secondary measure is the freedom to say no to clients. If a freelancer is barely paying the bills and putting food on the table, as you put it – then he or she wouldn’t be able to really choose with whom to work or on what projects. Successful freelancers do.

    But i will stop now – the list can go on forever 🙂 Thanks for a great post, Lorraine – and thanks for hosting it, Carol! Will send you some social media love 🙂
    Diana recently posted…Virtual Team: How to Fit inMy Profile

    • Diana, you raise an excellent point – being in control of your precious time. This is really important and speaks to the work-life balance John and Lori mentioned, as well as the freedom I alluded to. When we have the option of HOW to spend our time, we know we are doing something right!

      I appreciate you popping over here to Carol’s site, too. And I think I can speak for both of us when I say “thanks” for the social shares!

      I’m kind of surprised you didn’t mention your recent move; surely that’s a good indicator that you’ve attained some level of success, isn’t it? 😉

      • Diana says:

        You’re right, Lorraine – it is. i didn’t want to brag LOL – besides, picking up my things and relocating to another country just for fun is part of the whole freedom-and-control-over-my time thing. 😀
        Diana recently posted…Goal Setting and SMART GoalsMy Profile

        • Diana, the fact that you had the guts to up and move is a huge accomplishment. Not only does it speak to your freelancing success, but your strength of character as well.

          I’m so happy for you, and proud of your many successes! 😀

    • Thsi article sums it up. I’m just getting started, so that roadmap that you created will help me to attain and measure each of my steps. Thanks so much for the insight!

  17. I enjoyed your post because it put into words something I have been feeling for a while. I don’t make as much money as some of my friends, but I feel that in some ways I am more successful. It’s the “satisfaction factor,” the “happiness quotient” that is so hard to measure. If you can balance your life so you have time to do the things you want to do – and you enjoy the work that you do, are good at it and this is recognised, then you are successful. Thank you for posting this.

    • Dr. Natalenko, I have to agree with you. In fact, just the other day, my son and I were having a conversation about this. I asked him, “Do you think you are successful?” and the ensuing discussion proved to me that success is measured differently for each individual, since it based on the enjoyment you get out of life and the relationships that you have. (My son is 23 and has been working at a new job since October.)

      It’s important to note that money is not the be-all or end-all factor in success. I know that I certainly don’t have a lot of money, either, nor am I a recognizable name in the freelancing community, but I think I have had a lot of success in the past year. From starting a blog to creating and nurturing relationships to getting paid for my writing – these are all areas in which I’ve experienced positivity, and I love it. I don’t believe that possessing material things proves anything. You can have all the money in the world, but if you don’t have anyone to share your life with, can you really be happy?
      I think not, and that’s why success is dependent upon so much more than cash flow.

      Do you think you are more successful now? 😉

  18. Alicia says:

    Tough question. I’m pushing toward improving my freelance business, but I have set my goals high (you know, being one of those “top freelancers”), but I’d say I’m on the road to success!
    Alicia recently posted…6 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help Cut Unneccessary InformationMy Profile

  19. Good yardsticks all, Lorraine. I make a good living with my business (though working hard to make an even better one 🙂 ), but my most important measure of success is the smile on my face every morning. I set my own hours and when I work, I’m doing something I enjoy immensely.

    As John so aptly noted, it’s all about work-life balance, and freelancing allows me to achieve that quite nicely.

    Best of luck to you in your pursuits!

    • Lori, finding the balance is something many of us strive towards since most peoples’ lives tend to skew more towards the “working” portion than the “living and enjoying life” part. It sounds like you’re definitely experiencing success, judging from the smile you have on your face. Good for you!

      It is important to be doing a “job” you love, regardless of your profession. Wouldn’t you agree?

  20. John Soares says:

    Very good points here Lorraine.

    For me freelance writing is about work-life balance. I make enough money to pay the bills and fund my retirement accounts, but I don’t work a lot. What’s most important is having the freedom to do what I want in my ample time away from the computer.
    John Soares recently posted…The Best Google+ Communities for Freelance WritersMy Profile

    • Tanya Adams says:

      Jon, your lifestyle the way you’ve explained it here would be my definition of success along with Lorraine’s referral from clients and compliments on the writing. I can’t wait to get there!

      • Tanya Adams says:

        oops, sorry I spelled your name incorrectly, John.

      • Tanya, like all things worth having, it takes time. You don’t start out being successful, you get there eventually. It sounds like you have a few ideas about measuring your own success. These areas are often the hardest part for some people to determine, so you’re already on your way.

        Being recognized for your writing is certainly something to strive towards, too. Good goal, Tanya! I can definitely relate. 😉

    • John, it seems like freedom is the biggest indicator for you, as well as spending time “offline,” and you are attaining it. Fantastic!

      Thanks for commenting and showing others that success is a personal thing. 🙂

  21. Robyn says:

    All great measures! And I love that you’ve maintained the fact that success and what that looks like is different for everyone. I haven’t quite figured out what success looks like for me yet, but I’m excited to move towards it.
    Robyn recently posted…Writing Wednesday: My Writing SoundtrackMy Profile

  22. Jennifer says:

    Great post! I have always said that success isn’t just about money and I love how you quantified it.

    By this measure, i am almost there. I am meeting my values, I doubled my income last year, I only work part time and work very part time about 2 months a year when the kids are home, my blog readership is steadily increasing and I have gotten several dream clients. The only area I am not “successful” is social status. I need to increase my Twitter followers as well as become a thought leader in the content marketing and writer community. I have already been approached to speak at two writing conferences and applied to speak at Content Marketing World, so hopefully all three of those activities will help increase my social status. i also need to dedicate myself to twitter more. I just don’t really like it.
    Jennifer recently posted…How to Get the Best Content Marketing Pay Rate: By Word, By Hour or By ProjectMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Jennifer, if you don’t like Twitter, try another form of social media!

      Google+ is the only platform where what you do in social media gets indexed by Google and helps you in search — maybe you’d prefer to hang out on some G+ Hangouts instead?

      I think writers should skip forms of social media they hate and hang out where they enjoy it. Trust me, you’ll get more done, enjoy yourself, and end up getting more leads and connections.

    • Jennifer, it sounds like you are mainly doing the things you want to be doing, and are definitely enjoying the journey. Good for you!

      As far as your social status goes, it seems like you are doing well despite your lack of Twitter followers, so I wouldn’t stress too much over that. Besides, as Carol has pointed out, Google + is something you may find more likeable. 😉

      Congratulations, too, on experiencing success!

2 Pings/Trackbacks for "Are You a Successful Freelance Writer? 6 Ways to Tell"
  1. […] Commit to fulfilling a daily word quota. It’s easy to tell people you’re writing a book, but unless you actually write (or record your voice and use a transcription service as some of my tribe prefers) you will not actually accomplish this task. It takes some discipline. Just ask people who make a living writing. Carol Tice is one of my favourite bloggers out there who brings in a six-figure income as a professional blogger and talks about just this in her blog. […]

  2. […] obligations to live up to when feeling this way. I kinda screwed up, too, last week, when I had my post published on Carol Tice’s blog. Things went awry and I tried my best to fix them. I succeeded, to a point, thanks to many of you […]