Are You a Writer, Freelancer, or Entrepreneur?

One of the most challenging things about being a freelance writer is that there isn’t really a well-defined career path laid out for you. In a regular career, there are specific rungs on your ladder that are pretty well identified. For example, when I worked in IT, I started out answering phones for a help desk. After a few months and after earning some certifications, I moved up to desktop support. From … [Read more...]

The Dark Side of Freelance Writing

Last week we talked about changing your world, and about how it’s so important to freelance with integrity. Today, I want to explore that idea a little further and talk about one of the most challenging situations freelance writers can face. Let me say, from the start, that I believe in what I do. I am a freelance writer by choice. There are plenty of other careers I could be pursuing, but this is the one … [Read more...]

Freelancers: 3 Principles That Can Change Your World

Most freelancers I know didn’t start out freelancing. They worked in a corporate office somewhere, stifled by the buzz of fluorescent lights and surrounded by paper-thin cubicle walls. They calculated profit and loss statements, they managed networks, they sold condominiums. At the end of the day, they went home and forgot about their job until the next morning, when they dutifully rolled out of bed and went … [Read more...]

How to Find Joy in Your Work

If you don't have enough happiness in your day-to-day freelance work, you're not doing it right. The fact of the matter is that whether you're a writer, designer, or other sort of freelancer, there are plenty of different types of work you can do to keep your days from becoming too monotonous. Still, there are times when you've got to do some mundane tasks. You might have a design gig for a client with no … [Read more...]

How Freelancing Is Like Network Administration

I don't regret my past life as a computer guy. There was a time, back in the late 90s, when I could switch jobs every 6 months and make 30% more than I'd made previously. In two years, I nearly tripled my salary. I went from working the phones at a help desk to administering networks in a short time. Things slowed down after Y2K was over and the dot-com crash, but overall the industry was good to me. At … [Read more...]

The Seven Deadly Sins of Freelancing Part 7 – Sacrificing Integrity

There are a number of ways that a freelancer can lose her business. Sometimes, the economy takes a dive and she can’t recover. Sometimes, she isn’t good at what she does. Sometimes, she falls prey to one of the first six deadly sins of freelancing. She doesn’t plan, she doesn’t market, she aims too high or too low. There is something else, though, that can destroy a freelance business. Of the seven deadly … [Read more...]

The Seven Deadly Sins of Freelancing Part 6 – Lack of Diversification

If you’re anything like me, you like getting paid, but you hate dealing with invoicing and collections. You’re a writer, designer, developer, etc... not an accountant. This problem is multiplied when you’ve got a long list of clients with whom you’re working. It’s tempting, when a large gig comes along, to hitch your wagon to that star, and work almost exclusively for a single client. There’s a problem … [Read more...]

The Seven Deadly Sins of Freelancing Part 5 – Accidental Branding

This idea of branding seems to come up again and again when I’m talking to freelance writers. With the rise of blogging as a means of marketing, freelancers find themselves forced to choose a distinct voice, unique look, or narrow niche. Before they realize it, they’ve backed themselves into a corner, only able to get certain types of gigs. Deadly Freelancing Sin #5: Accidental Branding I’ve talked about … [Read more...]

The Seven Deadly Sins of Freelancing Part 4 – Ignoring Marketing And Sales

One of the things that comes up again and again in conversations I have with freelancers is how much they hate marketing. Oh, we love to write or design or develop, but when it comes to creating a brand and putting it out there, we often come up short. Add to that the fact that many freelancers just don’t understand or have a knack for sales and you have a double-whammy. Deadly Freelancing Sin #4: … [Read more...]

The Seven Deadly Sins of Freelancing Part 3 – Failure To Plan Your Business

So, we’ve made it past the sins of underestimating the freelance job and overestimating our own abilities. What’s next? What other critical mistakes can keep you from being successful in your freelancing career? Well, the next sin is a sin of omission. See, not all sins are active; sometimes, you can be humming right along at your freelance business, thinking things are going swell. Suddenly, you find … [Read more...]