overcome fear

The Secret Terrors of a Successful Freelance Writer

Secret Terrors of a Freelance Writer. Makealivingwriting.com

Every writer I meet seems to think they’re the only one who’s scared. That successful freelance writers don’t suffer doubts.

Many imagine that once you ‘make it’ and get some bylines or great copywriting clients, the fear goes away.

Let me burst that bubble right now.

Fear is a writer’s faithful companion, as ever-present in our lives as our laptop or our pen.

The secret is to learn to make peace with your fear demons. Don’t let them keep you from shining your light.

One of the most toxic fears comes from the suspicion that we are the only one who’s petrified.

But I’ve never met a good writer who doesn’t have their own private terrors. To prove it, I’m here to share mine.

But let’s start with the fears I’ve learned other writers have. I asked my readers two questions on Facebook this week about their writing fears — and the floodgates opened.

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How a Newbie Blogger Negotiated a 100 Percent Raise

Bloggers: Get a 100% Raise

In early 2016, I landed my first freelance blogging client.

It was a big win for me, even though it wasn’t in my niche (because I  hadn’t really figured out what my niche was yet). The client actually reached out to me after seeing some of my blog posts on Facebook.

But there was a problem. I had no idea what to charge, and the client wanted to know my rate.

I pored over everything I could find online, asked around, and finally settled on a rate of $50 per 500-750 word blog post. I sent the editor my rates, and voila – I had my first contract in place.

I jumped into writing awesome blog content for this client. But it didn’t take long to start second guessing my rate. Was I charging enough for this type of work? What were other writings charging for writing similar blog content? What would need to happen to raise my rates and keep this client?

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How I Quickly Created a Video to Attract Freelance Writing Clients

Create a quick video to impress freelance writing clients. Makealivingwriting.com

I thought I had the whole freelance marketing thing down.

Send out queries and LOIs? Yup.

Maintain a basic writer’s website to point prospects to? Definitely.

Fumble around with Skype for a client meeting? Got it.

Make video to grow my freelance business? No way.

Why? It’s too hard. I don’t know anything about video editing. And it will cost too much to pay someone else to do it.

But video is a powerful marketing tool.

In a recent Forbes report, 75 percent of business executives said they watch work-related videos weekly. An estimated 54 percent of senior executives share videos with their team. And industry analysts estimate that 96 percent of businesses use video for online marketing, sales, and communication.

So I decided it was time to make my own marketing video to attract freelance clients.

Here’s how I did it.

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5 Benefits of My Pro Writing Degree — That You Can Get Free

Get my pro writing degree lessons for FREE!

Freelance writers often ask, “Should I get a writing degree?”

The answer is different for everyone. I hold a master’s degree in professional writing, but plenty of highly successful freelance writers don’t have a degree.

If you’ve got the time and money, there can be a lot of benefits to getting a writing degree — but you can also get some of them through experience.

My degree didn’t guarantee that I would have my pick of high-paying clients or even that my pitches would get accepted. But it did help me become a better writer.

The good news? You can get these benefits without a degree. Here are five benefits I got from my degree that you can get for free:

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4 Ways to Make Time for Your Writing (Even if You Really, REALLY Don’t Have Any)

Make Time for Writing (even if you don't have any) - Makealivingwriting.com

You want to write … you really, really do.

You keep waiting for a good time to open up in your schedule, but it seems that every day you hit the sack wondering, “Where did the time go?”

I get that. Between our jobs, families, housekeeping chores, and other obligations, it seems like we have zero minutes left over to work on our passions.

And building our writing business takes a backseat to the rest of the tasks on our to-do lists.

I’ve coached many, many writers around this theme, and also wrote a book for women who want to do it all—including starting a side business—but don’t seem to have the time: How to Do It All: The Revolutionary Plan to Create a Full, Meaningful Life — While Only Occasionally Wanting to Poke Your Eyes Out With a Sharpie. (Though the book is aimed at women, the strategies apply to men, too!)

Ready to make the time to write more—and get your writing business off the ground? Here are the top tips from my research:

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Toughen Up: 7 Ways to Get Serious About Full-Time Freelance Writing

Get serious about being a freelancer. Makealivingwriting.com

Have you been toying with the idea of becoming a full-time freelance writer?

If so, I’ve got some tips for you. It’s time to change your thinking.

Writing full-time to pay your bills isn’t for the meek. And it’s not a career you can succeed at with a half-hearted effort. This is going to take serious commitment, and a thick skin.

I hear from writers every day who’re in love with the idea of becoming a freelancer…but they’re hooked on the security of that paycheck. Fears hold them back.

If this is you, let me give you a step-by-step on what successful, full-time freelance writers do to launch their business:

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