You’re staring at the computer screen thinking about making money writing online. But something isn’t right.
You’re anxious. You’re full of self doubt. You keep thinking of worst-case scenarios. You’re terrified by the fear of failure. And that kind of makes writing online and making money hard to do.
If you’re cowering in the corner afraid to make a move as a freelance writer, you’re not alone. A lot of writers struggle with the same kind of issues, even pros who’ve been writing online for years.
But if you want to make money writing online, you can’t let fear stop you from trying, writing a query, sending a letter of introduction, networking, or going after higher-paying clients.
The thing you should be most afraid of is wasting days, weeks, months, or even years paralyzed by fear, when you could be writing online and building your dream freelance life.
Ready to move up and earn more? Punch fear in the face and kick self doubt to the curb. These 15 no-fear moves will help you make it happen.
Ever feeling like one failure after the next keeps you from finding good freelance writing jobs?
I know I did. When I first started looking for freelance writing jobs, I felt like a total failure. I even thought about quitting. It sucks when…
- You’re not getting any bites from query letters or letters of introduction
- All the freelance writing jobs you find on bid sites, job boards, and content mills pay pitiful rates, or
- Even after consuming countless podcasts, courses, and blog posts about freelance writing, you still doubt your skills.
Instead of giving up, I decided to take a step back and look at what I was doing wrong. I really wanted to find a way to turn things around and get back on track.
And I’m glad I did. It took me about five months to break down all the false ideas I had about freelancing writing and start landing better-paying gigs. It wasn’t easy, but I learned a lot from those failures.
Want to avoid making the same mistakes? Check out these five fast-track fixes to find more freelance writing jobs:
They pay late, or too little. They’re not sure what they want. They’re unavailable when you have questions, and sometimes downright abusive when they do pick up the phone. They’re clients from hell, and as a freelancer, you just don’t need this grief.
And yet, tales of client woes are an epidemic in the freelance world. Stories of the best friend you went to work for, who underpaid you for years. Or the company that never raised your rates, even as your responsibilities grew. The one that disappeared with your big final payment.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could avoid freelance writing clients from hell like these?
Well, for the most part, you can! There are some classic warning signs that things will go wrong — if you know what to look for.
Here’s my guide to quickly screening out losers:
Ever have one of your freelance writing jobs turn into a total disaster? It happens, even to experienced writers.
I know, because it recently happened to me. After roughly 18 years of freelancing.
This flameout happened on a $3,000 corporate research report project that required intensive interviewing. I’d done these sort of projects in the past, loved them, was excited to do another one.
Then I did my research, put my list of possible interview subjects together, sent out hundreds of inquiries — roughly triple what I’d needed in the past to land the 6-8 interviews required — and got zero responses. Not. A. One.
It’s been a long time since one of my freelance writing jobs ended in failure. In fact, I’d only ever had one other article that got killed, at the very beginning of my career. Having a complete whiff this late in my career was a humbling experience.
What should you do if the worst happens and one of your freelance writing jobs gets screwed up? Here’s my guide to keeping it professional and minimizing the damage, when everything that could go wrong does:
Are you one of those freelance writers who can’t seem to win no matter how hard you try? All the freelance writing jobs you touch seem to turn to merde. Things may start out well, but then something often goes wrong.
You don’t get paid. Your client drops you. All your prospects just want to know how little you’d be willing to do a gig for. And you’re always struggling to book more freelance writing jobs.
If this is you, listen up.
I’m going to tell you exactly why that’s happening, and how to fix it.
How do I know what’s up? I recently added a free, 1-on-1 consulting perk for all Freelance Writers Den members who’ve been in the Den a year or more. That turned out to be…500 writers!
So I’ve been talking with many, many writers who’ve been working on their careers a long time, and learning what keeps them broke, and why it’s so hard for many to find and keep freelance writing jobs that pay well.
Turns out, it’s mostly themselves. Let me spotlight the major mindset problems that lead you to choose crummy clients — or screw up better gigs — over and over. See if you recognize yourself in any of these archetypes of the low-paid freelancer:
Ask any writer about their worst writing job — and they’ve got a story to tell.
If you’re a freelance writer for any length of time, some gig will go sideways on you. That’s just how it is.
The key is not to see that worst-case experience as an indicator of your skills, or a referendum on your future potential as a writer.
It’s just…business. Things go wrong. Misunderstandings happen. Everybody has a bad day.
Because so many writers seem to be devastated when they bomb at a gig, I thought it might be useful to collect worst-client stories and let writers compare notes. I thought we could collect them in the comments on this post.
So I’m having a contest! Details are below. But first, I thought I’d kick this off by sharing my own worst writing job stories.