break in to freelance writing

How to Be a Freelance Writer: The Mindset Manifesto

Mindset Manifesto: How to Be a Freelance Writer. Makealivingwriting.com

Many would-be freelance writers ask me what the first step should be in their journey. Many struggling mid-career writers also wonder what they may be doing wrong. If you’ve wondered how to be a freelance writer who earns well at it, my answer is: It all begins with what’s between your ears.

The mindset of an independent, self-employed, home-based business owner — yes, that’s what you are! — is worlds apart from the mentality you need to survive a corporate job.

Freelance writing is a head game, no doubt. If you can’t psych yourself up to market your services, or if one rejection crushes you, you’re unlikely to have enough good-paying clients to sustain a nice freelance lifestyle.

What are the important attitudes to adopt, as a freelance writer? Here’s my 10-point mindset manifesto (check out the infographic version at the end of the post that you can download and save):

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How to Become a Freelance Writer: The Ultimate Answer Sheet

The Ultimate Guide to How to Become a Freelance Writer. Makealivingwriting.com

Have you wondered how to become a freelance writer? This is the time of year when many writers who dream of earning their living doing what they love most finally stand up and shout, “I’m doing this!”

Each January, my email inbox fills up with questions about how to get started in freelance writing. Rather than try to answer them one at a time, I’ve created an ultimate guide below, that walks you through all the common questions and gives you everything you need to know to get out there and start getting paid as a freelance writer.

Ready? This guide takes it step by step, with sections for each topic. It’s got a breezy, Q&A format, to make it easy to read through and quickly move forward with your freelancing goals.

If you’d like a copy of the whole answer sheet to keep, get a downloadable PDF by clicking here.

Ready? Let’s get you started in freelance writing:

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Get Hired: 5 Proven Angles to Land Your First Freelance Projects

Find an Angle to Land Freelance Projects. Makealivingwriting.com

It can be the most baffling part of finding new clients, as a freelance writer: What initial freelance projects should you pitch, to try to get in the door?

You look at their website and you think…. uhhh…. I dunno. Looks great! You can’t tell what they need.

Well, good news — once you know what to look for, this is easy.

Most great first freelance projects fall into a few specific categories.

Once you know those, it’s simple to find a first project to propose that’s got a high probability of getting a ‘yes.’

What are these categories?

Here are my top five project types to pitch to new freelance writing clients for an easy sale:

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How to Be a Freelance Writer: 25 Amazing Break-In Stories

Breaking In: How to Be a Freelance Writer. Makealivingwriting.com

How much time have you spent thinking about how to be a freelance writer?

If it’s always on your mind, what are you waiting for? Just start.

That might sound too simple if you have a million things buzzing inside your brain about how to be a freelance writer like choosing a niche, finding clients, setting rates, productivity, mindset, writing skills, and more.

But here’s the thing. There’s no better way to learn the business and craft of freelance writing than to jump in, get started, and carve out a niche for yourself.

Take one step, and then another. Move up and earn more. Get a couple of solid writing samples, raise your rates, and keep going.

You can’t do any of that if you’re stuck on waiting to find the perfect path for how to be a freelance writer instead of just getting started.

Be a writer, not a waiter. That’s what you’ll learn from the 25 amazing break-in stories from freelance writers featured in this post. Ready to get started?

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How to Become a Freelance Writer: 7 Traits You’ll Seriously Need

Success Traits: How to Become a Freelance Writer. Makealivingwriting.com

Every week, I hear from people who ask me how to become a freelance writer.

You hate your job, or you can’t work outside the home, or you want to be home with your kids…the reasons vary. But the glamorous reputation of freelancing has caught your eye. Being your own boss sure sounds great!

Everyone wants to know how this gig works — how to stay home and pay your bills with your writing.

Aspiring freelancers usually have strong writing skills. But there are other strengths you may lack that could doom your chances.

What does it take to be a successful freelance writer? Is this career for you?

Here’s my unvarnished, let’s-get-real list of key traits you’ll need:

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Do This Right After You Get Your First Freelance Writing Job

Leverage Your First Freelance Writing Job. Makealivingwriting.com. Makealivingwriting.com

I can still remember how excited I was to get my first freelance writing job. It was an essay for an alternative paper in Los Angeles that paid $200.

Over the moon! You know I ran right down to my nearest mini-mart, the hour those papers got delivered, to grab myself a few copies.

Then, I followed up on that by doing…nothing.

When you’re just starting out, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of seeing your name in print, or getting that first client check. And to be a bit in the dark about what to do next, to keep building career momentum.

There are some key moves to make right after getting that first gig that can help you build your career faster — steps that most newbies don’t take. (I know I didn’t!)

Want to get some real mileage out of your first freelance writing jobs? Here’s what to do right after your work gets published:

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