business of freelancing

The 3 Types of People Who Fail At Freelance Writing

Should you give up your freelance writing dream? Makealivingwriting.com

Have you ever wondered if you should just give up on freelance writing?

There are people who should. After nearly a decade mentoring thousands of writers inside Freelance Writers Den and elsewhere, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are a few specific types of people who aren’t cut out for this.

If you’re one of these types, freelance writing is not going to work out for you. Ever. Unless you change the type of person you are — which may be tough.

Here’s what I mean…

Yes, I realize saying this is not going to make me popular with every aspiring writer on the planet.

Let me clarify: I’m talking about people who hope to earn a full-time living from freelance writing, and pay all their bills.

If you’re working on a novel, or just like to write the occasional article for the local paper, this post is not about you. Write on!

Regular readers know I like to be encouraging and upbeat. But I also don’t believe in spreading false hope.

If you’re dreaming of making ‘freelance writer’ your job title, you should know there are certain types of people who predictably do not become successful freelance writers. I’ve seen it over and over AND over again.

And no, it’s not because you’re not a ‘good enough’ writer. Mediocrity is rampant in this industry!

Here are the three types of people who fail at freelance writing:

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7 Faulty Assumptions That Derail New Freelance Writers

Faulty assumptions can derail new freelance writers

The Internet has brought us many gifts, as writers. But it also brings with it a lot of misinformation and confused notions as to how to go about building a successful freelance writing career.

If you make assumptions off the bat about how freelance writing works — instead of asking successful freelancers and finding out what’s really working today — you can waste a lot of time and energy.

So let’s iron it out right now, with a look at my top seven wrong-headed notions that leave new writers floundering in their quest to get paid:

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3 Emerging Ways to Make Freelancing Less Risky

Make freelancing less risky with these tips.

Are you scared to take the plunge into freelance writing, because it feels too risky?

After all, there’s no regular paycheck coming in. No paid sick time. And for those of us in the US and some other places, no healthcare unless we buy some on our own.

I meet a lot of would-be freelance writers who’re still slogging away at the day job they hate, mainly because they worry about whether they’ll be able to pay the bills as a freelancer.

As the world shifts increasingly over to a freelance/solopreneur economy — we’re expected to make up half the economy by 2020 — it would be nice if our governments did more to support independent contractors. But so far, not a lot progress on that front, as Elaine Pofeldt recently pointed out on Forbes.

Fortunately, there are a few emerging ideas that may help make freelancing less risky:

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How I Got a Column Writing Gig — After My Article Was Rejected

Column writing is a great gig if you can land it.

One of the most satisfying freelance writing gigs to snag is a regular column. The chance to write what you want on a regular basis, and have ongoing work you can rely on…it’s a dream.

There are a lot fewer opportunities out there to become a columnist than there were a decade or two back, so these can be hard to land.

But I got one in the most unusual way.

I totally screwed up an assignment for a new editor. But I handled it with grace, and turned the situation into a monthly column that’s easy to write — and nets me $150–$200 per hour in ongoing income.

Here’s how I did it…

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Imposter Syndrome: Fighting Self-Doubt as a Freelance Writer

Imposter Syndrome - fighting self-doubt as a freelance writerI was recently asked what the biggest obstacle is for talented writers who want to earn well as freelancers.

Well. First, let’s say what the big problem isn’t.

It’s not living in a small town without a lot of good prospective clients (it’s a global marketplace), and it’s not the ‘bad economy’ (which officially rebounded several years ago).

It’s not that you’re too old, or too young, or that you don’t have a degree in a related field. I have seen many committed freelance writers overcome every one of these issues.

The most massive problem is the one between your ears.

Fears that we don’t “have what it takes” haunt us.

Self-doubt gnaws at our guts.

Take this note from Adeline, for instance, a writer who commented recently in my Freelance Writers Den forums about her reaction to getting her writer website done. I’ve edited this down a bit:

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3 Tip-Offs That Your Dream Writing Job Will Really be a Nightmare

businessman with question maskRecently, I had an interview for what seemed like a dream writing job.

It was in a field I love. The work was right up my alley. And it couldn’t have come at a better time. I was in a slow period of assignments and getting concerned about cash flow.

After a successful meeting with a mid-level manager, I met with the head of the company.

It was ghastly.

Not only did she slash the hourly rate previously quoted to me, but she was rude. She also made several disparaging comments about my former profession. (I’m a licensed attorney.)

After I weighed the pros and cons of taking the gig, I decided it was a ‘no.’ It was scary to walk away from additional income, but my instincts told me it just wouldn’t be worth it.

Turns out, I made the right decision. A couple of weeks later, I landed a job through idealist.org with a legal nonprofit that needed a writer to blog, produce web content, and write grant proposals. After meeting with their very friendly director, I accepted a long-term, $3,000-a-month gig.

How can you tell if a writing job is a good fit, or has all the makings of a hair-pulling nightmare? Here are the three questions I ask:

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