Hello, how are you? I hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving and are getting ready for the upcoming end of year holidays. Today I wanted to talk about writing and the different avenues we can take to turn it into multiple sources of income. Also, how to stay steadfast in your commitment to yourself and not be ‘short changed’ by clients that don’t value your worth.
A short story
I acquired a freelance client via LinkedIn about a year ago. In retrospect, I landed him because I am a good editor/writer but also because I was first starting out and so I was cheap – dirt cheap. He would send me copyediting/copywriting projects and at first he had unrealistic expectations of how long it should take me (I was working a fulltime job as well then). I’d start, send him the project and my bill, and he would tell me he ‘sent it to someone else’ because I didn’t get back to him in time.
After a discussion about that, he said he liked my work and told me he was only going to work with me directly. I obliged – still charging my measly fee. After six months, he told me he needed more from me and even offered to pay more.
I thought about it. Why wouldn’t I accept more? If someone feels I am worthy of more money, then I certainly am (some writers and artists inherently undervalue their skills – I was one of them). So, he sent me two other projects that took two hours and I sent him my bill, at my new rate… and I told him how long it took. He emailed me back saying, “Two hours? Really?” I wasn’t sure if that was good or bad. I always put my hours and fee on the bill. Maybe he never looks at it… I have been cc’d on a couple emails when he tells someone else to send me a check.
Did I mess up? Did I blow it, so to speak?
No. It is important for people to know how long a job takes… they don’t have to know all the details, but if someone thinks it should only take twenty minutes to copyedit a five-page document, it is really up to me to let them know it takes a lot longer – especially if I am copyediting and copywriting the same document – these two copy jobs are not the same thing.
I got my check in the mail, but I haven’t heard anything else from that client.
Other ways to earn
I recently quit a well paying full-time job to pursue a few of my dreams. True I miscalculated my funds (and severance pay I was promised but never received) but over the last three weeks my stress has been at an all-time low and I am sleeping better.
It is important to have more than one way to earn money. Besides a part-time day job and selling jewelry on Etsy, I write to earn my money. I pitched an idea to Roadtrippers Magazine and they accepted it on the first shot! Roadtrippers Magazine (online) is a great source for people who love to drive on the open road and visit wonderful, peculiar places rich in culture and history. That’s a big part of who I am, so I can see me having multiple articles on there once I get this first one finished. I have a deadline in a little less than two weeks and I am excited to submit my final, polished article. I just need to get back to the area I am writing about, snap a few pictures and get a short interview with a local. Stay tuned for the article link.
Protip about Roadtrippers: make sure there isn’t already an article about the place you want to write about. They have a ton of places that are open for a pitch if you search the website.
There are always many places to find freelance work. If you are trying to build a portfolio, look into a local newspaper or even friends and relatives that might need something written on a blog or website. In my opinion, I try to stay away from sites like Fiverr and Upwork. LinkedIn and BloggingPro are better for legitimate freelance jobs. I’m not saying the former two are horrible, but if you’re starting out, gigs on there are a lot of work for a few pennies and it can be tempting to get sucked into thankless work like that just to make a few bucks. I made the mistake of accepting a job once and the person was not 100% forthcoming. She wanted me to write thirty-three greeting card verses for what came out to eleven cents each. Um… no thanks.
So, if you are looking for ways to make money between writing novels look into various forms of freelance writing. LinkedIn is one of the best places to find jobs. But there are many others.
Where do you find your writing gigs?