Needless to say, before I quit my job I read. A lot. I read about everything that could go wrong and how to make things go right. I bookmarked, took notes, re-read…and now it’s paying off. My first week into freelancing I’ve already scored 4 regular (as in, we’ll work together on more than a one-off assignment) and well-paying clients.
That’s right – four people actually read my work and my proposals and said “Hey, I’m going to part with my money so this chick can make my life easier.” It’s been really encouraging!
In light of that, I’ve decided to share everything I read and did before I quit my job to be a freelance writer. Hopefully it will help you, too 🙂
Inspiration & Reference
Make a Living Writing. This site does what it says on the tin and if you have any questions about freelance writing, search here first.
Matador Network, Freelance Series. Bryce Emley (and a few other writers) have great advice on getting started and how it feels to freelance.
8 Reasons You Shouldn’t Be Scared to Go Freelance. If The Guardian says it, I believe it!
The Content Strategist. They are publishing awesome reports and articles so if you haven’t subscribed, do it now!
Content Idea Generator. You could pitch these titles but you probably shouldn’t! It’s a fun way to get the juices flowing though.
Break Into Travel Writing. How could I forget this book?! I read it last summer and it really got me started on the right foot.
Improving Your Craft
Guardian Masterclasses. I did attend the ‘How to Write Better Copy’ masterclass. I wasn’t entirely pleased with my experience (I felt that as a professional writer I didn’t learn very much) but I could see it was valuable for others starting out. Besides, you go to network with people anyway.
MatadorU. What I’ve done of this course so far is awesome. One of the great things about MatU is that you’re provided access to the Bounty Board – jobs and press trips galore! You also have the opportunity to have your work published on Matador Network and get paid for it.
Creative Revolution Retreat. If you’re a new writer or looking to be newly inspired, definitely check out this retreat. It’s in Costa Rica with Jeannie Mark and Leigh Shulman – two awesome writers and storytellers that I’m sure will help you take your writing to the next level.
TBEX. I went to TBEX Dublin last year and was lucky enough to attend a workshop with David Farley, Ernest White II, Leif Petterson, and Christine Cantera. I got amazing advice about freelancing – some that I use today. As you can see, I’ll be at the next one in Athens!
What NOT To Do
5 Signs It’s Time to Quit Freelancing. My plan is to look out for these symptoms!
I Quit My Job to Freelance – What was I thinking?!. Some mistakes that a freelancer made in her first year.
You Should Never Quit Your Job to Freelance. If you can make it through this article without changing your mind, then you’re probably ready to take the next step!
The Official Stuff
Registering as Self-Employed (UK). Thank you HMRC, you actually make this pretty darn simple. Realize this folks: you do this and that coffee you had with a friend where she mentioned her uncle’s business might be looking for a copywriter? Tax deduction.
10 Great Apps for Freelancers. When you’re the boss, you’ve got to keep everything together!
Accounting Tools for Freelancers. A lot of people I’ve worked with use FreshBooks. Personally, I use Wave Accounting because…it’s free!
Setting Your Hourly Rate. This is serious business folks: never shortchange yourself. Sell value to clients, not time.
IdeasTap The Business. Everything from how to write an invoice to chasing clients – it’s all about business here.
Choose wisely when it comes to apps and software – making a move to a different one might prove a huge headache later down the line.
Gold Mines for Work
Elance. I never thought I would say this, but I’ve found a lot of good clients here. If you have a good portfolio they are willing to pay you well. Just avoid those $3 for 500 words people – they’ll be the death of our industry. If you sign up with this link, you’ll receive 10 free Connects (the currency used to submit proposals – you start with 40 free ones and I’ll tell you – it took me 40 proposals to get 4 clients).
Caroline in the City. She does monthly travel writing round-ups which are often my first port-of-call for a place to look for new work.
Perfect Pitch. A list of publications to pitch with advice from the editors.
Directory of Travel Publications, Matt Gibson. I just discovered this recently and it’s a great reference to have.
Writer Guidelines. Wondering what the editorial submission guidelines are or who the contact person is for a publication? Look no further than this comprehensive listing.
Problogger Job Board. I’ve applied for quite a few jobs here but I’ve yet to hear a response. This is a popular board so I suspect they get hundreds of applications! It’s probably best if you have a very specific niche.
There you have it: some of the most memorable articles and resources I’ve come across. I’m sure there are so many more – any that you think should be in there? If you want to get more useful content like this, subscribe to my blog using the form on the right!