Friday, February 11th, 2011 will be marked on my calendar as my first official day as a full time freelance writer. No other job to go to. No other income source. Just my words to bring in the paycheck.
I started writing online in April of 2009. I was posting poetry and articles on a pay-per-click writer’s site. I wasn’t expecting to earn much money (and I didn’t). I was just enjoying the opportunity to share my words and thoughts with others and the pennies I generated from views were just an extra bonus.
Through that first year, I received plenty of encouragement and feedback on my writing. I learned more about the craft by reading the writings of the more experienced writers on the site and grew to love this new avenue of expression even more.
After a year of dabbling in the online writing world, I asked one of the other full time writers if they thought it would be possible for me to achieve a full time freelance writing income in a year’s time. They were hesitant. “It’s possible,” they said. “You have the talent. It’s generating the income that’s the hard part.” I decided to give it a try.
I had a good paying, full time job already, so I could work at finding the freelance jobs as a sideline. That helped immensely since it relieved the pressure to bring in dollars right away. It gave me time to explore the different options available.
My first step was to sign up on additional pay-per-click article sites and also setup profiles on a couple of freelance bidding sites. I started writing more articles for the various sites and bidding on writing projects on the freelance sites. Within a month, I had received my first article contract from one of the freelance sites. I made ten times more money from that first article than I had the whole year before on the pay-per-click site and with a lot less effort. I was sold. I focused all my energy on the freelance bidding sites and slowly dropped out of the pay-per-click sites.
The jobs didn’t come pouring in, but little by little I began winning contracts for a few articles here and there and getting positive feedback. In December I did a group of ten articles for an online article broker. He liked my writing style and asked if I’d be willing to write more for him. Of course, I would! I also sold my first article to a print magazine just before Christmas. A huge step for any writer. The next month I did some test articles for two different websites and both gave me monthly contracts to write articles for their blogs. I was moving forward.
It was just after receiving these two monthly contracts that my article broker client contacted me again and asked if I could possibly handle more than 20 articles a month I had been providing. He had enough work to keep me busy full time. It wasn’t hard to make the decision. I signed up for 30 articles a week and gave my two week notice at my office job the next day.
Now I’m in the process of learning how to discipline my time at home so that I can meet my deadlines, keep generating new work leads and not work 24/7 on my laptop. I’m enjoying every minute of it!