What to Know before Quitting Your Day Job
If you consider yourself a good writer, it is likely because you are passionate about word crafting to tell a story or an idea in your unique way. You are sure of your abilities to write at a level where others are willing to pay you well for what you produce. You have probably spent sleepless nights wishing you could quit your day job to give up the endless grind of working for others. But exactly what should you know to build a successful freelance writing business to ensure it is both profitable and enjoyable on a consistent basis?
Two short centuries ago, we were living in the agricultural age where our survival depended on growing food with our own two hands on small pastoral farms. By the mid-1800s, the industrial age arrived when humans harnessed steam and electricity. As a result, entrepreneurs build factories to produce goods, tools and equipment to make life easier. We went from tilling soil in rural communities to working collectively in urban environments. For most families, the benefits provided by the industrial age came at the cost of abandoning control of their daily schedules.
Today however, we live in the informational age on a global scale, where direct communication and access to information using electronics is commonplace. The world demands instant answers at their fingertips delivered to their smart phones, mobile devices and computers. This demand for instant knowledge, data and information has created a bounty of opportunities for writers to earn a steady stream of income in the freelancing marketplace.
There are significant advantages and a few disadvantages to becoming a full-time freelance writer. As your own boss, you will set your working hours, take the jobs you enjoy writing and determine how much money you will make by the day, week, month and year. However, writers tend to work alone, so some individuals might not enjoy the solitude. As a freelancer, you will not receive regular paychecks at the end of the week unless you stay focused on finding and completing jobs.
As a freelance writer, you can work from home or in any other setting you choose. Working at home allows you to save on commuting expenses including gas, public transportation, parking and wear and tear on the car. If a parent, setting a flexible schedule around home life allows you to save on daily childcare expenses.
Working as a professional freelance writer will provide opportunities to express your creativity more than working as a staff writer in the journalistic community. In time, you will be able to choose the topics you wish to write about to earn a healthy income selling your words. Through research to build your stories, articles and blog posts, you will likely contact stimulating, interesting individuals and learn facts you never knew to expand your understanding of the world around you.
If you are proficient in additional languages you could even offer translation services for you clients or for those that need non English language translations.
How to Start
The best way to begin freelance writing is to start small. Consider building a side business as a part-time job. It will allow you time to hone your trade while earning additional income. By starting small, you can select good jobs to improve your communication and writing skills before turning part-time jobs into a full-time career.
As a startup company, you will have access to thousands of opportunities to write web content, white papers, blog posts and more. Before getting started, make sure you follow the steps below.
- Prepare Yourself for Lots of Self-Discipline – Make sure you have the ability to stay focused on finding and completing jobs, which will require self-discipline on a daily basis
- Be Ready to Run Your Own Business – You will need to ensure you set up, implement and maintain a good financial system to handle your income, reconcile your accounts and pay your taxes accurately
- Join Writing Communities – Attending writer conventions and conferences are great ways to meet other authors, journalists and freelancers. If your writer friends think your writing is good, you will obtain lots of work from magazines, editors, publishers and others eager to purchase your words
- Start Job Hunting – While you are likely to find good writing jobs from magazines and newspapers, be sure to check online writer job boards looking to hire freelancers to create web content, blogging post, online magazine columns and other work
Freelance writing provides you the ability to use your unique voice and style to make everything you write your own. It gives you freedom for take back control of your daily schedule and leave the hassles of a 9-to-5 job behind.