5 things learnt from my first year as a freelance writer

This past year, I’ve learned a crazy amount of information on freelancing. I’ve written a few points on how you can make the step into freelance work over on my other blog – you can find that post here. With that in mind, here’s a few things that I’ve realised in my first year of self employment.

1. Going freelance isn’t that difficult

Now, this may be due to the fact that I jumped in head first and didn’t really consider it not working out. Usually, I’m not that spontaneous but my train of thought at the time was to just go for it and see what happened. Luckily, I have managed to earn enough to pay my bills. Like everything in life, freelancing seems harder at first than it really is but once you get a few jobs under your belt, your confidence rises and you start to see a steady stream of work flow in.

2. Believe in yourself

I’m not the most confident person in the world but you probably wouldn’t know that if you read my blogs or CV. When it comes to self employment, you really need to show belief in your abilities. In order to obtain freelance work, you have to show what you can do and pitch to clients. That requires sounding professional and basically, bigging yourself up. Even if you’re not a confident person, pretend you are when it comes to work. I always mention my key skills in any pitch and the areas that I have experience in.

3. Set reasonable rates

The hardest part for me when going freelance was to set my rates. Every freelancer has different ideas about what their personal rates are. I’ve seen many people state a range of figures but I generally set my rates in terms of an hourly figure. Some people might think that’s too low but it works for me and its what I’m happy with at this moment in time. If you’re starting out, you might want to think about how much freelance work you can do in one hour and how much you would charge for that. Personally, nobody should be charging less than minimum wage.

4. Look at various freelancing job sites

I always look at various job sites – you can see a few of those here. I’ve actually found most work via freelance sites. These tend to have a stigma of only advertising low paid jobs and there are employers who only want to pay very little. However, there are also many clients that are willing to pay good rates for quality work so dont dismiss these sites when you’re starting out.

5. Learn new skills

Learning new skills is always going to help in gaining employment. One of the main reasons that I use WordPress for this site is down to the fact that I see many clients that require experience of using the platform. I’ve also recently moved my lifestyle blog over to Squarespace as its a platform that seems to be gaining popularity with many businesses. I’ve also undertaken a few courses to help me improve my knowledge of marketing and social media. Free courses can really help in this area!