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Is Freelance Writing Really a Steady Career for Someone With No Experience?

is freelance writing really a steady career for someone with no experience
Depositphotos 278713196 Copyright: GaudiLab

Is freelance writing really a steady career for someone with no experience? Yes, it certainly can be. That doesn’t mean it is easy or that you won’t have to put the work in, but you can make it a steady and lucrative career if you are motivated.

Can You Make Freelance Writing a Real Career with No Experience?

I get it. I was new to all of this at one time as well. When you don’t have any experience you question everything. 

You also think that prospective clients will laugh in your face or demand proof that you are a “real writer.”

You don’t have any clients. You had to write a couple of writing samples that weren’t even for a client, and you can’t point to any one and say, “Hey I wrote for them and they loved my work.”

You might even be worrying that you can’t get your first client let alone create a steady income without experience.

As someone who has been there, let me tell you something. You need to put all of that out of your mind because none of it is true.

You can absolutely make freelancing a real career even with zero experience. 

I did it, and so can you.

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How to Make Freelance Writing a Steady Career with No Experience

Before I tell you how to make a real career out of freelance writing, we need to have a moment of truth.

If you work for yourself, there are always going to be ups and downs. Some months you’ll make more money and some months you will make less money.

It’s not like having a 9 to 5 job with a paycheck, and trust me that’s a good thing.

Sure, with a regular paycheck you will know exactly how much money you will make each month, but there is a downside.

Unless you get a bonus or raise, and we know how few and far between those are, your salary can’t go up. It won’t go up except maybe once a year when you get that whopping 3 percent raise.

I remember one time when I was in college and working part-time, my boss gave me a 10 cent raise. 10 cents…

I found that rather insulting. Not to mention someone else that worked there and did no work got the same “raise.”

But, that’s how it goes when you work for someone else.

That’s the great thing about freelance writing. Yes, your monthly pay can fluctuate, but no one but you will determine how much your time and talent is worth.

So, how do you make sure your income is steady or at least as steady as possible?  Here are a few ways to help you.

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1. Always Be Marketing

When you are just starting out, 80 or 90 percent of your time will be spent on marketing. That only makes sense. You don’t have any clients yet, so you need to spend your time on getting them.

What happens, and it is human nature, over time once you do have clients, you get busy and stop marketing.

I get it. Marketing isn’t the most fun, but it is necessary if you want to have a steady career.

You might not be marketing for clients as much once you get busy, but it still needs to be part of your week.

I never wrote for writing platforms like Writer’s Access or Textbrokers, or even UpWork. I always found my clients directly by calling and emailing businesses.

So, even when I was busy, I still reached out to prospective new clients. I just didn’t do as much of it as when I first got started.

In the early days, my goal was to email or call a hundred businesses per day. This is a numbers game after all.

Once I was busy, I would still try to reach out to 20 a week.

There’s an important reason for this. Clients come and go.

While many and I would say even most of my clients have been long-term clients (meaning years) you never know when one of them will disappear.

For example, I had one client that I made about $10,000 a year from. Then one day out of the blue, they decided to hire an in-house writer and that money was gone. Poof…through no fault of my own.

Another client, in fact, the very first one I got and have had ever since, keeps having personal changes, and with those changes, the amount I write for them goes up and down.

The first person that handed out writing assignments gave me a lot of work and then one day he left the company. The second person in the same position in the company gave me about 1/4th the amount of work as the first guy.

Then that guy left the company. (Thank goodness!)

The third person that took over that position, gave me as much work as the first one and maybe a little bit more.

The point is, you never know what is going on in your client’s business. The changes in their business can affect yours.

The best way to combat this is to always be marketing. That way, if you lose a client, you have more in the pipeline and your income will remain steady.

Also, there tend to be writing seasons. The summer months are slower and then between Thanksgiving and New Years’ is slower. Business picks up in January and goes strong until about July.

If you are always marketing, the seasonal slowdowns won’t affect your business.

Always marketing is the most important thing you can do for your business.

2. Drop Low Paying Clients

When you are first starting out, you might take on a few clients that pay you less than you would like.

I get it. When you’re new, you just want to get your feet wet and get some experience. I did the same.

My first client asked me to re-write two articles and they paid me a whopping $20. It wasn’t a lot of cash, but it gave me the confidence that I could do the job and get clients.

They are still a client to this day, but paying me much higher rates.

So, while it can make sense to take on a few lower-paying clients just to get started, you need to drop them once you build up your confidence and start taking on higher-paying clients.

I know it can seem mean, but if you’re making $200 to write a 1,000-word article for your new clients coming on board, and you’re still writing 1,000-word articles for clients that pay you $40 then you are not making the best use of your time.

By dropping these lower-paying clients, you free yourself up to make a lot more money. 

Not to mention, but I find that clients that pay me more tend to be less demanding and easier to work with.

Depositphotos 26735695 Copyright: cifotart

3. Increase Your Rates Yearly

I started doing this about two years into my freelancing career. I should have done it sooner.

At the end of the year, I would let my current clients know that my rates would be increasing in the new year and I would let them know exactly what they would be.

Most of them were fine with it and we carried on.

A few would say they couldn’t afford the new rates and we would go our separate ways. No hard feelings.

That was okay too.

Remember what I just said. Drop lower-paying clients. If my clients couldn’t afford my new rates then I would replace them with higher-paying clients.

It is just business. 

As you grow and evolve in this business, you might find that the type of writing you want to do and who you want to work with changes. 

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Related Questions:

Can You Make a Living Off of Freelance Writing?

Yes, you sure can. It takes some work, but if you put in the time, you will be making a full-time living in just a few months. It’s a great way to make a living. You just have to be willing to market for new clients every day.

Do Freelance Writers Work From Home?

One of the great things about freelance writers is you can work from anywhere. Most of the time, you will be working from home. Of course, if you want to work from the coffee shop that’s okay too. 

For some freelancers, they will take advantage of the fact you can work from anywhere and they will travel the world freelancing. 

To Sum it All Up:

If you’re wondering if freelance writing can really be a steady career even if you have no experience, yes it can be. You will need to be motivated to find clients and continue marketing even once you have them. You will also need to be willing to let go of clients that don’t pay as much as your new ones, and you will need to raise your rates each year. If you do that, then you won’t have any issues.

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