in the beginning

In The Beginning: Tips For The New Freelancer

Guest Post By Michelle Bordage

Becoming a new freelancer was a calling that I felt from deep within. I’m still learning as I go and will continue as I go on. When I began this journey (not that long ago) an amazingly seasoned freelancer took time from his busy day to show me some of the ropes, in return I told him I would do the same for someone else. As you read this, know that it is you…

First things first…

Most writers need a place of solitude, somewhere that your brain can create all those magical words that can indeed make you some “doe-ray-me;” I’m talking money people! With that said, there are some steps to take in preparation to becoming the very best freelancer that you can be, but I digress, a place to work, to write, and create your words is mandatory in a freelancer’s field. This is an area that you will (hopefully) not be disturbed. Some examples may include:

  • An empty room in your home such as a spare bedroom.
  • Even the kitchen table as the kids have settled in for a nap, or down for the night.

These are just a few ideas I’m throwing out there, I’m sure you have the perfect spot!

Is it a scam?

Let me throw out a quick scenario. Let’s say you’re looking at a job ad; this job has it all! The right shift that you are looking for, the right area your searching for, but hum, the pay that this job is offering is above extraordinary for something that I don’t have a massive amount of experience in, or the position for a small amount of money, will send you all the details to the job.

Chances are this is not quite a legit opportunity. We have all seen these ads. I cannot state this enough… RESEARCH! I have come across many a freelance position that if (you) send (them) a small fee, (and sometimes not so small), they will make all your writing dreams come true (so they say). When you are a new freelance writer some of these ads are beyond inviting and after all you want to succeed in your writing? Right? Don’t be taken in, as in any job, YOU, should be paid for your work. I will state this a final time, do the research, the legit jobs are indeed out there!

refurb.ioOrganization 101

As I have found being a fairly new freelance writer myself, organization is key! I have a bit of a routine; prior to going to my home office every day to either write an article, or search for more writing opportunities, I take a few moments and clean my work area of anything that will be in my way.

I’ll give you the example of last night’s late-night coffee cup to get this article completed. If you have the space freed in your work station, you then have the space freed in your mind I always say… A few more examples of staying organized could include:

  • Keeping your freelance files in your email organized, create a separate file for such things as clients, potential jobs, blogs, tools, information etc. Believe me avoiding this mess saves so much time and energy! I have learned this through experience.
  • Always back-up your files
  • When you send out for a freelance position, write it like a pro!

Make sure everything is spelt correctly! I always add (thank you for your time and consideration at the end of my emails).

  • Pocket notebooks. I just want to add a word about pocket notebooks. You’re out and about and just came up with the perfect piece to write about, the problem is by the time you get home, it’s gone…vanished into thin air. A pocket notebook is exactly that! It fits in your pocket, purse, baby-bag etc and it’s there at the ready when you have a brainstorm! I know in today’s world filled with technology you’re asking yourself “why don’t I just use my phone? Good question! Things happen, you forgot it at home, etc. Pocket notebooks are cheap and handy!

You are your worst critic

Ok, so you want to write, you put yourself out there for all the world to read. You’re up all-night re-reading what you are to present, believe me, you will make mistakes! Don’t give up! You had to crawl before you learned to walk, this too will take time. As in anything else we learn, it takes practice to become the master. If you write something and for some reason it gets declined or you are needed to do a re-write, do it! If you don’t, you will forever wish you had. What if the re-write would have been accepted? This could end up being a long-time client because you didn’t throw in the towel.

R & R

It is my belief that proper rest and relaxation are very important to the new freelance writer. Build your stamina over time, don’t rush everything and end up with poor judgment calls on your work. Poor work = no work. If you have a set time to get a piece in, give yourself the adequate time to write said piece or believe me you’re on your way to failure.

The biggie! Plagiarism

This is the “Holy Grail” of do not do! Any reputable company will put any of your work through a plagiarism checker prior to publicizing your writing. This is unacceptable from a writer and could cost you not only the job, but your reputation!

Believe in yourself


Whether this is a lifelong dream, or something you are doing for the extra income in your life, you must find that can-do attitude! It takes time, practice, patience and simply put, love of writing to be a freelancer. You probably won’t get the higher pay that a seasoned freelancer gets at first, but in time, if you practice your craft, and believe in yourself, the sky could indeed be the limit.

I hope in reading this I have painted a picture in your mind of becoming and understanding what it is to become a freelancer. Happy writing!

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Thanks for this great post Michelle.

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3 thoughts on “In The Beginning: Tips For The New Freelancer

  1. I had a series of emails with someone recently who was bemoaning the fact it was so hard to make money as a writer…wanting advice…what was she doing wrong….and she had been at it for six months. LOL Some people just don’t understand what it takes to make it in this business.

  2. Hello Billybuc, Your words are very true! I have spoken to many since starting my journey into freelance writing and I have received quite a bit of feedback of unhappiness, confusion and failure. This business is not for the weak of heart, it is for the Lions that wish to rule… There is much wealth to be earned in this business, not only in dollars, but there is also a wealth of knowledge one learns as they continue. Thank you so much for your post Billybuc, I have just read some of your articles, I see you are a master of your craft!

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