Judging the the results of my ongoing survey, many freelance writers struggle to have enough income.
If that’s you, know you’re not alone.
In my experience, writers who struggle to have enough income fall largely into two camps.
The first are experienced writers who are having what they know is a temporary setback.
The second are writers who are fairly new at the game and have no idea if the poor income is temporary or not.
Savings and marketing can solve the first problem
The experienced writer most likely recognizes that they should have been doing more marketing and saving more money. Oh, there can be variations on this theme, but it usually breaks down to the discipline of both.
More marketing is always in order it seems, even though many of us wish it would go away. Paying attention the marketing you’re doing and the results you’re getting will help you avoid much of the ups and downs in freelance writing income.
Saving is the same. Making a practice of putting ten percent or more of everything in a savings account to tide you over lean times not only saves the day but makes you a better negotiator.
Where are you really in your writing career?
If you’re a newish writer, the above approach may work, but the chances are you need to do more evaluation of exactly where you actually are in your writing career. Getting super honest with yourself about your struggle to have enough income from your writing might cause you to ask questions like:
Am I really (or was I really) ready to quit the steady income of a regular job and start a freelance writing business? There’s no harm in realizing you bit off more than you can chew and getting a regular job with the idea of going freelance later. Stepping into full time freelance writing isn’t the best path for everyone.
Have I treated my freelance writing like the business it is? If so, you wouldn’t be the first to realize that freelance writers are in business for themselves. That means everything from bookkeeping to marketing. It may not be too late to get the business side of your writing in order. Or, it may make sense to get a part time job or find some other funding source while you get the business side working.
Am I able to set fees and talk about money with clients in an easy manner? If you haven’t learned to talk with potential clients about how much you’ll charge them and be comfortable with that conversation, it’s worth learning. The article, It’s okay to talk about money may help.
Is my writing good enough? Do you have some reason to suspect you’re a decent writer? Did you get good grades in school writing? If English isn’t your first language and you want to write for the English speaking market, don’t be surprised if you have to work on your writing extra hard. Writing classes at your community college or a local university might be just what you need.
The struggle to have enough income from your writing is anything but fun no matter where you are in your career. My hunch is if you get quiet and go deep inside you’ll soon know if you should keep at freelance writing or change your approach.
Write well and often,