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.

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