Making Ends Meet as a Freelance Writer

For those individuals who may be considering taking up freelance writing, there are a few very particular skills that you will likely need in order to survive. The days of starving artists are far from long gone, despite what some might think. It honestly does not matter if you are a writer, editor or even both. Freelance writing is a tremendously challenging industry. It requires constant hustle alongside networking, proper time management and project management in order to be a success or even to just squeeze by. Every hopeful freelancer should be well informed of the numerous trials they will face and core skills they will need prior to taking the plunge into the writing industry.

Producing Ideas

Most reporters and writers for magazines or newspapers are constantly pressed to produce new and inventive ideas for hundreds of stories every year. This makes having big ideas a major advantage in the freelance world. Some might ask just where they manage to come up with so many fresh and creative ideas for stories. The answer is simple. Read. Whether you choose the local newspaper, a magazine or some articles you find entertaining online, reading is a great generator for bold novel ideas. It is universally known that the ideas of others can not only inspire, but also motivate you immensely.

Discovering the perfect idea to put to use as a writer can be a major obstacle for many. This is why you should always attempt to introduce yourself with original ways of thinking. Opening up your mind to a variety of thought processes is an excellent way to stay intellectually available to ideas in the writing community.

Keeping Records

How you fill out your tax forms can be highly beneficial depending on just how much of your finances are spent towards tools or equipment for your writing business. Additionally, utilizing a certain amount of space in your home solely for the purpose of business operation and management can be declared as a tax right off as well. This makes keeping astute records of all expenses, invoices and payments a worthwhile process that you can definitely gain from in the long run.

Writers must pay taxes on their writing income. One of the fundamental reasons for keeping records is to pay taxes accurately and forego those unnecessary troubles with the IRS. The best way in which to pay your fair share (and not a penny more) is with proper record keeping. Uncle Sam has to have his cut. So be sure that you report back to the IRS all that you have done during the fiscal year via your 1099 form. These forms should start rolling in from clients around January or February of the year following your work.


The freelance writing industry does not benefit those individuals who simply wait for things to fall into place. It is a go getter industry that should be approached as such. Just like those who work typical full time jobs at brick and mortar establishments, a freelancer must take every moment that they have set aside for work to pursue more money. This responsibility lies with you when you are your very own boss. You will need to scrounge up your own work. The process can be exhausting at times. However, it comes with the territory.

Every successful freelance writer must quickly learn how to sell their services to the masses. In order to make ends meet, writers will advertise at every turn. This is largely due to the fact that anyone could be your next potential client when running within writing circles. For writers who are just starting out, some will suggest doing a few gigs at no charge in order to make contacts and branch out. This is obviously up to the freelancer. There are other tips to hustling within the industry in order to get by.

Be absolutely shameless on social media websites. If you are able, build your own website that will effectively showcase your work. Be sure to include work samples, a client list, your specialties, bio and any contact details or other relevant information a potential buyer may need. Next, you will want to promote it to no end. With each project that you complete, you should update your website or page with the addition. This can mean Facebook posts, Twitter, LinkedIn and any other subscribed sites as well. Never forget to also utilize social media as a means to following both editors and clients that you wish to gain access to. Scope out when they may need a helping hand. It will benefit you both.

Follow BlogHer on LinkedIn:

Recent Posts by SarahP14

Recent Posts


In order to comment on, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.