It’s easy to get caught up in a myriad of information available on the net, and for me, the journey as a freelance writer hasn’t always been an easy one. When I started out, I was roped into writing blog posts for a client I met on a bidding site and was paid a measly $2 fee. I didn’t know that it was called a bidding site and didn’t know that there were options other than other bidding sites. $2 per 500-word article was a pittance, considering the number of edits she made me do. She always gave me a stellar rating and that was partly why I kept writing for her for so long.
I started writing online after a client told me what she did for a living. I must admit, at first, I wanted to find out more as I knew my sister wanted to be a writer. It took me a couple of months to realize it was one of my desires too but having a stable job meant my dreams didn’t matter, only the bills did. My profile started attracting more employers online, and before I knew it I was writing hours a day after work. It still wasn’t enough to become a permanent position, but at least I started experiencing some kind of fulfillment.
It Wasn’t All Peachy
Two clients turned out to be major frauds and the system that I believed would protect me, didn’t. I turned to the content mills and once again had to start right at the bottom, $2 per 500 words. The topics were soul-draining vacuum-cleaner-dribble and I soon found myself resenting the writing. During this phase, I also quit my job to pursue another career, which ended up not working out at all. I was at the bottom with a terrible writing career and no permanent income to fall back on.
I was working with my husband in his business, trying to build it up to cover the loss of income on my side, and in the evenings I would write articles. I applied to every casting call I could and googling as many writing resources as time allowed. It was a few months later when one of my pitches were accepted and I finally started getting regular writing. It started with 40 small articles a week, which I could comfortably squeeze in after a long day spent at the business. It took me an hour to write up five of these and the information was already provided. Soon the client extended that and was requesting anywhere between 150 to 300 of these write-ups per week. The money was good and the relationship lasted a full year. This was a project that was only supposed to last a month! This was a massive confidence boost and I managed to work my way up the rankings on the various sites. I now have a steady flow of income, however, some months are better than others.
Freelance Writing as a Side Hustle
Sticking to the Good Ones
I have a few profiles on bidding sites, content mills, and regularly check for work on the various job sites to ensure that I have as many clients in the pipeline as possible, without compromising quality. I prefer the stand-alone client jobs, however, the mills do provide bread-and-butter income.
Writers constantly need to keep many balls in the air, and yes, we do drop them on occasion. There are many resources out there to help us, however, and taking advantage of these can be game changers. There are a few basic things to work on first, which will be covered in a later post.