I always liked writing, but as I discussed in my last post, it was something that I mostly kept under wraps for a long time. Then one day, I stumbled across HorkeyHandbook which offers an online writing course called 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success. (Affiliate link – details at the end of the post)
I was definitely skeptical at first. Getting paid real money to write about topics you like sounded too good to be true. But I took the plunge and did the course this past April, and I haven’t looked back since!
That’s not to say it hasn’t been a lot of work getting started – and I’ve only just scratched the surface of the freelance writing industry. But I have been surprised by the way things have developed in just four short months. The most notable of which have been the following:
I Started Seeing Success Sooner Than I Expected
I was pretty lenient on myself when I started setting goals for freelance writing. After all, my main focus is on my full-time job.
But here’s a secret: There’s actually a demand for freelance writers out there! Who would have thought!
There are so many opportunities online, it’s just a matter of understanding your niche, knowing where to look, and pitching as much as possible. There was definitely a learning curve to pitching ideas to publications, but I managed to score my first paid submission less than two months after I started!
My Niche Started as One Thing, then Grew into Something Else
And it’s still growing! At the beginning, I really enjoyed writing lifestyle type topics that centered around work-life balance, wellness, and yoga. (and still do!) After a while, my niche evolved to contain more of a career-development focus, and I have had a great time with it!
I Converted to Google Docs
I used to be a total Word snob, and I hadn’t even heard of Google Drive before a few months ago. I was resistant to start using it because I have been using Word since I was a teenager and I am stuck in my ways. But I finally sucked it up and switched over and I haven’t looked back since. Shared folders? Access from anywhere? Group editing capabilities? Yes, please!
Google Sheets ain’t bad either 🙂
Writing Actually Became Fun and Exciting
I thought getting started would be more of a grind, but for the first month, it was all I wanted to work on. Sending out pitches actually became fun once I got comfortable doing them.
And now there’s always this lingering excitement that the next time I log into my email there could be a submission acceptance waiting in the inbox!
Plus I’ve enjoyed sharing blog posts with others, and reading and commenting on other writers’ work as well!
That’s not to say I haven’t already rolled into a rut or two. There are some weeks when I’m about to plaster the neighbourhood with “lost” flyers and start stopping people on the street to ask if they’ve seen my motivation. Its times like those when I look for a dose of inspiration, which brings me to my next point…
The Online Writing Community Became a Huge Source of Inspiration
A perk from taking the 30DOL course is gaining access to the course’s FB group. They are such a group of inspiring, helpful, awesome people! There is this misconception – one that I admit I had before getting started – that other freelance writers are competition for work.
But the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Who better to share your writing struggles, questions, and successes with than other writers? Not to mention it’s a great hub for sharing writing opportunities and support. Sometimes I just pop by the group to read other people’s posts for a boost of inspiration.
I Wanted Other People to Try Freelance Writing
Sometimes I come across job posting and I think, “Ohh, _____ (friend/family/etc) knows all about that topic, they should get into freelance writing!” There are so many niches, topics, and opportunities out there that it’s hard not to wonder why more people aren’t doing it!
If you are interested in freelance writing but not sure where to start, check out Gina’s free 200+ writing niches for ideas how to get started. Yes, this is an affiliate link which I proudly endorse as I would have never embarked on this journey had I not taken it.
In the kickstart course, there are 5 lessons which are very useful and give you a good idea of what to expect from the full version.
You certainly don’t need to take the course to begin a freelance writing business, but for me, it took a lot of the guesswork out of getting started. It broke everything down in such a way that suddenly I was like, “Hey… I can DO this!”
So there you have it. I’ve still barely begun this journey and yet it already feels like so much has happened!
What do you think about freelance writing? Let me know in the comments!