When I first got into writing, I imagined I’d be living alone in some tiny apartment above a little boutique in some rundown alley, scribbling and starving.
My life didn’t work out remotely like that. Instead, I’m a mom of three and married 30+ years! (Yes, thanks, I was a child bride.) And instead of writing alone in a garret somewhere, I wrote for editors at a string of publications, and later for businesses.
My point is, every successful writer I know has many people standing behind them — family members, personal friends, writer friends, editors, mentors, and more. If you’re a blogger, most of need tech helpers, too.
As we wind to the end of the year, I want to take a moment to recognize all the people who stand behind me, and who’ve helped me be a successful freelance writer and online entrepreneur.
Eight years is a long time to not know what you’re doing as a freelance writer.
But that’s exactly how long it took me to figure out how to get serious and treat my freelance career as a business.
I hope my story helps you figure it out a lot faster than that.
Do you sometimes feel like an easily replaceable cog in the vast wheel that is the freelance writing marketplace?
If so, you’re not alone.
With all the $5 or $10-a-post writing gigs online, it’s easy to feel writing has simply become a cheap activity — and that clients don’t appreciate the work you do.
Here’s one email I got recently that perfectly sums up the problem many writers face:
“The thing I struggle with is that I am unable to land a gig where the client really values what I do. Since the clients I worked with have a number of writers on the rolls, they always treat each writer as just another disposable commodity. Which is worrying, because it means they will drop me any time they want.
“So how I do go about building a relationship where I’m not just another writer?”–Ryan
Great question! That’s exactly what you want to do if you’re going to become a successful, well-paid freelance writer. Here’s how:
Since I became a freelance writer, most of my work has been in my favorite niche — the equine industry.
Along with web copy, newsletters, tweets and Facebook posts for trainers, big horse shows, and venues, I write articles and blogs for a few regional horse magazines.
But I had a few dream magazine writing jobs on my bucket list. My dream was to write for the biggies, the national horse magazines that all horse people know. Three topped my bucket list: The Chronicle of the Horse, Dressage Today, and the United States Dressage Federation’s Connection. They’re the Triple Crown of a dressage geek’s reading list.
Fast forward a couple of months, and I’ve now sold articles to all three magazines — within a 10-day period. How did I move them from bucket list to client list?
It was actually a simple process. I followed four basic steps:
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