What if I told you that you could be your own boss, work from home, set your own hours, all while making money doing what you love? You could work from home in pajamas, take as many coffee breaks as you want, and even work late into the night if you want to sleep in.
As a freelance writer, I get to do all of those things. But, trust me, as awesome as it all sounds, it’s not easy. Freelancing can be scary, especially to somebody who is just beginning to dip their toes into the freelancing pool — so, basically, somebody like me (and if you’re reading this, probably somebody like you, too).
I’ll be honest, I was (and still am) terrified of this career choice. I've had plenty of "freelance fears".
I’m sure the questions I had are questions you have, too, so let’s go through a few things together and I’ll show you that you can overcome your fears of freelancing in three easy ways.
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Start small — write a guest post!
If you’re going to go into this thinking BIG, that’s great! I applaud you for your bravery, friends.
I’m all about slow and steady; start small. Find a few blogs that you really like and reach out to the person behind the blog — perhaps they would accept a guest post?
You’re not going to make thousands of dollars right off the bat. You’ll have to do a couple of free jobs to start getting your name (and your writing) out there, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Want to learn how to make a $1000 in less than 90 days?
Plus, this will add to your portfolio! Traffic is never a bad thing, no matter what way you’re getting it.
Just because you aren’t getting paid for it, doesn’t mean it won't advance your career.
Don’t be afraid of rejection
No one likes rejection, but it’s a part of the freelancing game. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to get used to it.
Use rejection as a type of constructive criticism; ask yourself what you can improve on for next time. Every negative can be turned into a positive; you just need to find the silver lining.
I’m 110% afraid to just put myself out there and hope that someone will like my story/article enough to publish it. If the answer is a ‘no’, well, that definitely stinks, but if the reason for my rejection can help me improve, then I regard that as a great learning opportunity.
And, to be perfectly honest, I don’t think the fear of rejection really ever goes away. Eventually, you just begin to realize that for every publication out there, there are probably hundreds of freelance writers trying to get their pieces published. For every ‘no’ you’re going to get, there is a ‘yes’ in there somewhere.
But, how will you find it if you don’t try?
Write as much as you can
It’s great to have a portfolio of all your work, but what if you don’t have as much experience as you’d like?
If you’re worried that your skills aren’t up to par, start small — take some writing classes!
I’m in the final stages of completing a journalism certificate at a nearby college, and this has opened my eyes about the industry so much. It’s helped me hone in my skills by having me complete assignments, and actually get me out in the field and talking to people.
I’ve also started a blog that I try to post to as much as I can.
The bonus to doing this: I write about whatever I want, it keeps me writing, I’m able to share my ideas and opinions, and just tell stories.
The more you write, the better at it you will be #startnow #writenow #blog
Plus, you can’t let lack of experience hold you back from not doing something. Everybody has to start somewhere. Surgeon’s aren’t just given a text book, a scalpel and told to dive right in; they go to medical school where they study an obnoxious amount for anywhere between three to seven years, and (if Grey’s Anatomy has taught me anything), they don’t even get to perform their first solo surgery until they’re in their residency, which is usually in the fourth year.
I’m fairly certain that if they can do it, so can you.
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And, there you have it.
It’s not all rainbows and butterflies; it’s mostly anxiety and self-doubt. Freelancing is a lot of hard work, but if you’re dead set and motivated, this could be an amazing career to have.
No one can force you to do it, though. You have to want to do it for yourself.
And, really, what have you got to lose? Are you ready to overcome your freelance fears?
P.S. Ready to dive in? Let's get you started today.