Image for post
Image for post
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…


Image for post
Image for post
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…


Image for post
Image for post
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.

OR

(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…


Image for post
Image for post
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…


Image for post
Image for post
Freelance lifestyle got you down? Photo by Magnet.me 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…


Image for post
Image for post
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. …


Image for post
Image for post
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…


Most freelancers will agree — you don’t turn down work, unless you have a very, very good reason. After all, who knows when you’ll hit a dry spell and you’ll need that work (aka, money)?

But are there actually times when you should turn down the work, money be damned? Of course! Here are five times when you should consider turning down a freelance gig.

1. Turn down the work if you know it’ll make you miserable and you’re not in desperate need of cash.

Image for post
Image for post
If this pug is you at work, you need to reevaluate your choices. Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Sometimes, keeping the lights on is worth a little misery. But, if you’re not in dire need of cash, you know you have enough coming in to cover your bills and anything extra is just…


It is 9 p.m. on a Wednesday night and I’ve just ended a contract with a new freelance client without one iota of work being done for that contract. I am forfeiting the lost money and the lost time, graciously.

Why?

The client began flaking on their end of the contract and, rather than suffer headaches and even more wasted time and lost money, I told the client we needed to part ways. Or rather, I called them out on not fulfilling their end of the contract, they threatened to end the contract and then I did it for them.

Holly Riddle

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

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store