Starting this week, I'm bringing back the Friday "weekend reading" post series. These will include 5-10 links to articles I recommend reading, all focused around a specific theme. Normally those will be off-site resources. But to kick things off, at the start of each month, I'll share resources from the All Freelance Writing archives around our monthly theme.
This month's theme is "Getting Started & Starting Over," and I want to highlight some of the best, or most important, content here for brand new freelance writers. If you're using the New Year as an excuse to launch the freelance writing career you've always dreamed of, spend a little time this weekend giving these posts a read. They'll help you understand some of the basics, and they'll help you avoid common freelance writing mistakes.
Find out what nine respected and experienced freelance writing professionals wish they knew when they were in your shoes preparing to begin a freelance writing career.
When you're a new freelancer, it can be tempting to just wing it and see how things go. But that would be a mistake. Find out why it's important to set goals and have a plan before you jump in, and learn how to break even big goals down to make them more achievable.
Another common mistake new freelance writers make is trying to model their careers after someone else's. It's good to feel inspired by the success of others, but find out why, and how, to make your freelance writing career something all your own.
In this post I answer a reader's question about freelance writing niches and her feeling like she didn't have enough experience to market herself as a specialist. Find out why specialization is important, why it doesn't always mean focusing on a niche, and how you might have more experience (and in more specialized areas) than you realize.
This post is an oldie, but goodie, from the archives. It covers the basics of setting your freelance writing rates so you can avoid common mistakes that lead to poor assumptions about the market, and underpricing.
Because setting the right rates early on can set the tone for years of your career, here's another post on the topic. This is for new freelancers who have no idea where to start, and don't even know how much they need to earn. Don't leave these things out of the equation.
Over the years I've gotten plenty of pushback from writers who charge less than they probably should have (most of whom are no longer freelancing because they learned that the hard way). The problem? They fell for some common myths about what clients are willing to pay. While this post was written for freelance bloggers, it applies to many types of freelance writing gigs, especially on the web.
I'm a big proponent of what I call "query-free freelancing." This is when you use public relations and inbound marketing tactics to help clients find you rather than you constantly chasing gigs, sending queries, and dealing with the rejection that comes along with that. Essentially, it's about creating more demand than time you can supply, which lets you be choosier about the gigs you take. A key to that is building a professional platform. These are 30 tools and tactics that can help you do that.
This is another post, and information about Elance itself isn't terribly relevant anymore. But there's a lot of information for new writers about legal differences between clients and employers (and what they can and can't control or demand of you), and some warnings signs that prospects are going to over-step their bounds.
This one also touches on a highly-specific issue that not all freelance writers will face. But it's important to understand how residual income gigs work, and what the likelihood of you making good money actually is. This post not only explores why these were so popular (and still exist), but it looks at the real numbers behind the work needed to earn the attractive pay levels these site owners like to promise.
If you're just getting ready to launch your freelance writing career and you still have questions, submit your question today and I might answer it on the blog so it can help other freelancers. (You can request a private response too, which I answer if and when I have extra time.)