Freelancing Hits and Misses: Reflections from Sharon Hurley Hall

When I first decided to go freelance I had no idea it would turn into a permanent life choice. At the time, I already had almost 20 years of solid journalism writing experience under my belt, but going online felt like an unfamiliar and slightly scary world. So I did what I do best: experimented till I found what worked. Looking back on it after

"Get a Real Job" and Other Freelance Buzz Kills

Ah, the joys of working as a freelance writer. You get to work from home, spend the day in your pajamas, have no boss looking over your shoulder, watch soaps in the middle of the afternoon, run errands whenever you feel like it, and to top it off everybody respects you. Yeah. And then you wake up. It’s funny how non-freelancers have these idealistic views

Making Money as a Freelance Writer: What’s Most Important

If I were to ask those just starting out what is most important in having a freelance writing career, I’m guessing most would tell me what seems obvious. You have to write well. And it’s true that you do need sufficient writing skills to build a career as a freelance writer, but that’s not what is most important. In fact, excellent writing skills don’t even

3 Basic Business Skills All Freelancers Need

Successful freelancing involves more than having the ability to write (or design, code, or whatever service you offer). Freelancers also need some basic business skills to manage and grow a freelance business. These are the skills that allow you to attract clients, manage finances, and make appropriate plans for the future. Let’s look at three basic business skills all freelancers should have, and resources that

Things to Consider When Choosing Freelance Working Hours

One of the biggest perks of freelancing is the fact that we can set our own schedules. But how should you set that schedule? How do you determine what your working hours will be? My “normal” working hours are 5:00 am – 12:00 pm, Monday through Thursday. But that doesn’t mean I always stick to that, especially now that I have my husband’s schedule to think about.

5 Awesome Made-Up Things About Freelancing

Jenn’s post on 5 Frightening Facts About the Freelance Life really put me in a bad mood, especially since I’m doing so much writing nowadays. In retaliation, here’s some stuff that’s completely untrue about freelancing that you probably never knew! You Can Get by with One Client That’s certainly what I did! I get paid a bazillion words to do a monthly column and I

8 Things Freelance Writers have in Common with Satan

Good morning my little fiends, how are you today? Well, however you were doing, you’re about to get doing better (huh?) because I’ve decided that it’s high time for all of us to come out of the hellfire and acknowledge just how much like Satan we freelance writers are. Yes, we freelance writers have much in common with that red horned, fork-tailed devil. Don’t act

10 Things I've Learned While Freelancing

April 17th marked my 1-year anniversary as a full time freelancer. This month marks my 2-year anniversary as any kind of freelancer. During this time I’ve learned a lot of stuff that may or may not be useful to you. 1. The easy way is usually not the best way. Chances are good that if nothing in your career ever excites you, scares you, intimidates

Late Shift

Note: This post originally appeared at on February 9, 2010. The Freelance Theater audio play series is now a part of All Freelance Writing. One of the sometimes best / sometimes worst aspects of freelancing is how much time you’ll spend working alone. While it can be nice to avoid the politics and drama of a traditional office environment, there is also no 5pm

Just One More Reason to Hate Odesk

Thanks to Thursday Bram for bringing this story to my attention. I don’t think it’s any secret that I despise oDesk. Why? Because they not only allow, but encourage, clients to cross the employer / client line with their software that lets clients actually watch you work, while you’re working from your own machine in your own home, etc. I’m not going to get into

Are Your Clients Reverse Nickel and Diming You to Death?

When you hear the phrase “nickel and dime” chances are that you think of being a buyer — asked to pay for ridiculous little add-ons to a product of service, greatly increasing the overall price. Can you also be nickel and dimed as a freelancer? Absolutely. How Freelance Clients Might Try to Nickel and Dime You As a freelance writer, you probably either give a

3 Ways to Overcome the Insanity and Regain Your Drive

One of the best (and worst) things about being a freelance writer is that our schedules are our own. It’s wonderful when we get to choose when to work. It’s not so wonderful when we realize how easy it is to sometimes get sucked into distractions. Those distractions can be complete sanity-slayers when they start to interfere either with our work itself or simply our

Freelance Writers: Why It's Better to "Work Smarter"

Just a quick thought / question for you today: Why is it that so many freelance writers can’t seem to grasp the concept of working smarter, not harder? Sometimes when I talk to writers or read other freelance writing blogs I feel like I’m going insane — like this is an alien concept or something. To summarize: in business it’s always better to work smarter

Freelance Writers: 3 Tips for Taking Your Life Back

Freelance writing is a great career. You have a lot of freedom you wouldn’t have in other lines of work. But with that freedom often comes mental overdrive. Sometimes we work too hard. I think it has to do with the “feast or famine” mentality of freelancing. When work is coming in, we might feel like we should say “yes” to everything offered, because we

The Feel-Good Freelancer

I don’t know about you, but I generally feel pretty darn good being a freelancer. I get to set my hours, choose my projects, set my own rates, and… ouch… what’s that pain in my neck? Must be from that two-hour phone conference craning my neck yesterday. And man… that headache! Must be from staring at a computer screen without a break for 10 hours.

The 10 Second Trick that Doubled my Productivity as a Writer

Lately my work days have been so much more enjoyable than before. I get a solid 7 hours of client work and administrative stuff out the way, I’m actually taking my lunch hour for myself instead of working through it, have the energy to put a few more hours into my own projects daily, and still have time to take care of housework, working out,

Don't Market Freelance Writing Services on Price

Are you trying to build your freelance writing career around price? Do you figure if you offer the lowest rates, you’ll be more successful than all of those writers who “charge too much?” Have you ever lowered your rates just because you saw cheaper services getting picked more often? Do you assume more freelance writing jobs equals a better writing career? Uh oh. You may

5 Ways to Get More Done Today

When you work as a freelance writer, you generally have a lot of control over your own schedule. That may sound great, but what it often means is that we’re prone to procrastination and distractions – it’s too easy to say “Well, I can always just work extra hours later tonight to finish this up.” It doesn’t have to be hard to be more productive