UGH. Photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash

Occasionally, if you’ve been freelancing long enough, you’ll find yourself with what I call “a clueless client.” Maybe they encourage you to ask questions and email them with any concerns… but then all your emails and questions go unanswered. Maybe they complain that they’re not getting enough of your time and attention… but when you make time for them in your schedule, their projects are suddenly “on hold.” Maybe they constantly ask you to refer to the project brief… that they never send you, no matter how many times you ask.

Whatever the case may be, you might be tempted…

Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

About a month ago, I ended up in Upwork’s mediation process. A client had decided they didn’t want to pay and the only other option beyond mediation was to forgo the cash.

For those not familiar with Upwork’s freelancer platform, set-fee contracts (versus hourly) are set up so that the client pays Upwork when the contract is initially agreed upon, and then the freelancer requests the money be released to their bank account once the work is complete. …

Freelance doesn’t mean free. Photo by Lance Grandahl on Unsplash

Just starting out as a freelance writer? You may assume you’ll spend your days (and some of your nights) writing articles, blog posts, web copy and the like… Right? But then you get your first gig and you realize that your clients want so much more from you.

The sad fact is, there are many, many clients out there that will take advantage of you as a freelancer and many that will try to get more work out of you than what they’re paying for. Those are the clients you’ll want to avoid. Put your foot down and find someone…

Come on in, the water’s great. Photo by Drew Dau on Unsplash

All too often, I see freelance writers bemoaning a lack of work. Why? I have freelance work running out my ears. I’m swimming in work. I have too much work. I have a waiting list and I’m turning down projects. Frankly, I have enough work that it’s become a problem and I’m overworking myself. So why isn’t that the case for every other freelancer out there?

I’m nothing special. I’m a good writer and a professional freelancer (ie, I don’t leave clients hanging and I meet deadlines; I’m also flexible enough to meet individual clients’ needs), but I’m not a…

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

All too often, I see freelance writers bemoaning their empty bank accounts, even the ones who write for large, household-name publications. Why?

It’s not that their writing isn’t great or that they have too-little experience. In many cases, it’s because they’re focusing all their efforts on one or two stellar pieces of journalism… and nothing else.

There are Two Paths to Making Money as a Freelance Writer

(1) Write a very small amount of content at a very high rate.


(2) Write a large amount of content at a lower rate.

While you might think that the first path is more desirable, it’s not as easy as it sounds. For…

The difference between going broke and not going broke as a freelancer? A little math. Photo by Amol Tyagi on Unsplash

One of the first things you have to do as a new freelancer is determine what you want to charge for your services, no matter your industry. If you’ve never freelanced before, this can be pretty intimidating, and all too easy to completely screw up. Set your hourly fee too low and you won’t be able to pay your bills. Set your hourly fee too high and you might not be able to find work.

For the first-time, full-time freelancers, here’s an easy way to calculate a starting, hourly fee.

Step 1: Determine Your Annual Salary

First things first. What do you want to make per…

Freelance lifestyle got you down? Photo by on Unsplash

I was looking for ideas for this blog and, to jog my brain, I googled some freelance phrases to see what others were looking up regarding freelance careers. I typed in “Should freelancers…” and “Why are freelancers...” — and Google’s third suggestion for the latter literally made me laugh out loud. Why are freelancers so depressed?

Are we? Are freelancers severely depressed? I have both anxiety and depression, but is that because of my freelancing, or are people with depression more likely to take up freelancing?

According to a few of the articles that pop up in response to this…

Look at the totally unrealistic stock photo freelancer! She needs (1) messier hair, (2) a messier office and (3) one giant coffee instead of that tea… or maybe a vodka. Photo by Paige Cody on Unsplash

Ever wonder what it’s like being a freelancer (especially, now, during COVID)? Thinking of taking the plunge into self-employment yourself? Think that I just sit around and watch television in my pajamas as I wait for a gig to come in? Tag along for a day in the life of a freelancer.

Keep in mind — I don’t do breaking news/hard journalism. That’s not my preference. I like writing fluffy, easy-reading content, for the most part. …

For introverts like me, networking events are a special kind of hell. Photo: HIVAN ARVIZU @soyhivan on Unsplash

As a very happy introvert, whenever someone mentions networking*, I can’t help but cringe. Forced conversations between businesspeople who are all just looking for ways to use each other (they call it “helping,” but come on)? Count me out.

Yet some freelancers claim that networking is one of the only ways to be successful in the freelancing game. It’s how you meet editors and/or potential clients.

If you’re an introvert considering going full-time freelance, I’m here to tell you: it’s not as cut and dry as this. Your freelance success is NOT dependent on your ability to network.

Here’s why.

1. At the end of the day, your value, not your connections, is what feeds you.

I know what you’re thinking. “But, Holly, that’s a recipe for failure! Disaster! How will you stay in business if you’re not giving great work to your clients?!”

Well, I didn’t say don’t give great work to your clients. Make your clients ecstatic over the work you’re doing for them. Exceed their wildest expectations. Be the best they ever had.

But don’t give them your best work.

What do I mean? (And this is no novel idea of my own; my therapist deserves a big shout out for walking me through this new way of looking at freelance work.)

  • I…

Holly Riddle

Travel journalist, full-time freelancer. Passionate about non-traditional careers. Published thousands of non-fiction articles and not one word of fiction.

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