An Open Letter To Budding Freelance Writers Everywhere

Dear budding freelance writer,

When I first came up with the idea of this blog, I almost talked myself out of it.

Another freelancing blog? Kill me already!

Almost every freelancer out there is blogging about freelancing. What could I possibly have to say that hasn’t already been said before?

Then I took James Chartrand’s Damn Fine Words course and used the idea for this blog to do the exercises. It only took the first three lessons for me to figure out that I did have a lot to say.

In fact, it wasn’t what I had to say as much as what I didn’t.

Confused? Let me explain.

Conventional Freelancing Advice No Longer Applies

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Over the years, I’ve followed a LOT of freelancing blogs. Many of them offer excellent advice. But every single one of them says the same thing to freelancers.

Don’t work for low pay. Don’t write for content mills. Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t get stuck in a rut.

Don’t, don’t, don’t.

Just don’t.

As a budding freelance writer, I can’t tell you how inadequate that made me feel. I was stuck writing for content mills, couldn’t find better paying work and every successful freelancer I came across was telling me that writing for content mills was killing my career.

Talk about feeling incompetent!

I was convinced I’d never be successful. Thank god, I proved myself wrong, huh?

Which is why I always say:

You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do

Do whatever you have to do (as long as it’s ethical).

If that means writing for low pay to get your foot in the door then so be it.

If low paying work is all you can find, then write for low pay.

It’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Everyone Starts From Somewhere

Countless of us started from where you are right now. As long as you use it as a stepping stone, it doesn’t matter how low you start.

Just start, move forward and don’t look back.

But Know This: You Won’t Succeed Unless You’re Ready To Succeed.

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You have the answers right here.

My free report “10 Unexpected Places to Find Freelance Writing Clients” shows you where to find clients  and how to approach them. It even gives you examples of freelancers who successfully used those places to land clients.

The best part? None of these places is a job board, content mill, or bidding site.

But here’s the thing: the report won’t do a thing for you until you decide to take matters in your own hand.

No one will magically do your search for you or reach out to clients on your behalf. You have to do it yourself.

You have to decide to be successful.

And then you have to go out and do whatever you need to do to be successful.

Remember, There’s No Room For Excuses

Don’t waste your breath on excuses. Freelancing is a business. It’s NOT a hobby.

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This isn’t something you do on the side.

Like any other business, it requires discipline and hard work. Every. Single. Day.

It requires you to do things that scare you – like finding clients and pitching them your writing services.

You can’t sit back and think “Oh, I can’t do that” or “I don’t have a portfolio” or “There aren’t any well-paying jobs out there” or even “I don’t earn enough to invest in my business”.

Those are lame-ass excuses and as long as you cling to them, you’ll never succeed.

There’s No Better Time To Succeed As A Freelance Writer Than Now

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With Google getting smarter every day, online (quality) content has never been more in demand . From solopreneurs to Fortune 500 companies – everyone needs content and most of them don’t have the time, knowledge, or skills to write it themselves.

Which is where you come in. You have what all those businesses want – the ability to write quality content. And they’re willing to pay good money for it. You just have to find them.

The good news is you already have 10 places to find freelance writing clients.

So what’s it going to be?

Freelance writing success or remaining stuck (and poor) in a sea of mediocrity?

If you’re at the tipping point where you’ve decided to make a success of your freelance business no matter what – welcome to Freelance Flyer.

Here we treat both your freelancing and writing as a business – and not a hobby!

Looking forward to helping you succeed (and doling out tough love when required).

- Samar Owais

P.S: Don’t forget to download your copy of 10 Unexpected Places to Find Freelance Writing Clients!

Comments

  1. says

    Congrats on the launch of your blog, Samar.

    Your site looks nice and clean. I love the color scheme.

    And a great article to start with! Looking forward to more :)

    • says

      Thanks Henneke! Went through two complete design overhauls and I’m pretty sure I drove my designer nuts.

      Definitely have more in the works. Thank you for commenting. You’re awesome :D

  2. says

    Love it, Samar! I, too, started in the Mills. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

    You can always improve on what you’re doing — but if you’re too scared to do ANYthing then you have no growing room. It’s better to start working for low pay than to not start at all. ;)

    Plus, it makes sense! You don’t just walk into a company and demand the CEO’s seat. haha. You work your way up! (Though, thankfully, without the politics and “structure” found at “normal” jobs, we freelance writers get past the “paying our dues” phase relatively quickly!).

    I can’t wait to see where you go with this. Your writing is always a treat! I’m looking forward to seeing a fresh, positive, perspective on freelancing. :)

    • says

      Hey Lauren. I know, right? The way I see it, focusing on improving your skills as a writer is as important as treating it like a business. Both grow gradually.

      I started freelancing straight out of college. I finally took a full time job because the curiosity was killing me – and quit six months later. Loved the work – HATED the politics.

      Thanks for the comment. Very excited about what I’ve planned ahead (but then I’m biased ;))

  3. says

    I really, really appreciate your post! I *am* at that tipping point, I’m juuuust ready to leave content mills-where I’ve found some great clients- and have found a few great clients outside of content mills. I just love reading your truth here- because it’s mine, too. Not only do I have to be willing to start somewhere, but I can leverage that-which I did. I wrote well at low pay, and my price increased.

    I really get tripped up with networking, and writing about freelancing-yep, heh- kill me now-but your article really helped. I will be starting a blog on my portfolio site, and even though moving forward is daunting and new, if I have the intention of serving others and clients, then it makes taking those steps easier. Best of luck to you!

    • says

      Congratulations on moving ahead Tricia! I’m so glad my post came at the right time for you.

      In today’s world of social media, we get to do silent networking which is brilliant for us awkward freelancers. All you have to do is follow someone, share their stuff, comment on it (it’s not a live conversation, yay!), and generally stay on their radar. Oh and share stuff that’s of interest to them and answer questions they ask.

      A common mistake I made in the beginning was to network with other freelancers instead of my prospective clients. Once I shifted the focus, I started getting work queries through Twitter of all the places.

      Good luck with your business (yep, freelance writing is a business). Let me know if I can help in any way. I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed for you :)

    • says

      Thanks for stopping by Rohi. Men With Pens is my absolute favorite! :D

      Congratulations on moving forward too. Keep me posted on how my report helps you.

  4. says

    Hi Samar,
    What I loved best about “10 Surprising Places to Find Freelance Writing Clients Freelance Flyer” is that it’s specific and action-oriented.

    I’ve a question: How do I decide what to write about? Do I make a list of topics I know about or am interested in and then pitch accordingly? It would be great if you could write a post about this.

    Also a post about “The Damn Fine Words” course. I couldn’t find any reviews about it by anyone.

    Thanks for your wonderful e-book.
    Rohi Shetty recently published…The Best Thing You Can Do With Your LipsMy Profile

    • says

      Glad you found the report helpful.

      When it comes to deciding a niche, I always say you need to decide on the kind of writing you want to do rather the topics.

      My main gig as a freelance writer is blogging and I blog about small businesses, communications, writing, freelancing, blogging, marketing etc.

      I don’t like binding myself to a particular topic. I’m interested and knowledgeable about a lot of things and like to write about them. Focusing on a specific type of writing helps me do that.

      You’ll find a review of Damn Fine Words in my “Products I Swear By” page. Did you run a Google search for “Damn Fine Words writing course”? There are tons of reviews by James’ students.

  5. says

    Hi Samar,
    “When it comes to deciding a niche, I always say you need to decide on the kind of writing you want to do rather the topics.”
    Woah! Will have to do some deep soch on this.

    Thanks, I checked out the treasures in your “Products I Swear By” page – I plan to join The Damn Fine Words course in September, though have to see what James comes up with tonight. I’m expecting it to be a membership site for writing – damn fine writer’s club.

    Thanks again, Samar – from a writer who’s ready to hustle. :-)
    Rohi Shetty recently published…Let Humor Accompany You Like The Shadow That Never LeavesMy Profile

    • says

      It took me a while to figure that one out myself. And do join DFW (if you haven’t joined DFW writer’s club). That course is going to change your life.

  6. says

    Very true. Everyone does have to start from somewhere. I’m exploring growth tactics to try to get it going quickly, but it’s all trial and error.

    Nice post :)

    • says

      Thanks Rob. Trial and error is very important. Just don’t dwell on the errors too much. Good luck with finding growth tactics that work!

  7. says

    Here I am, Samar! A bit late, but better late than sorry. ;)

    I love, love, love this debut post! You are right about the writing advice out there — it’s “don’t, don’t, don’t” but beginners need to know what to DO, too!

    And writing for low pay clients is not bad — as long as you don’t stop there. I still write for my low pay clients from time to time because they bring in a lot of good traffic — and more clients. The clips I got from them never failed my expectations.

    And we’re friends anyway. :)

    - Luana

    P.S. I *know* there to link back to this post in my guest piece. For the joy of students who freelance. :D

  8. Rao Ayyoub says

    What a piece of advice! I feel inspired! Samar! You conveyed your message in a wonderful way! Stay blessed always!

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