How I Became a Freelance Writer In 4 Months with No Experience

I’ve very recently had my first ever article published in an actual print magazine. For most fulltime, freelance writers, I’m sure this is the absolute norm, by no means something to particularly note or post to social media about. But for me, it’s quite a landmark in my own little bubble of life goals and achievements. Yes, it’s a small arts magazine and no, they don’t have hundreds of thousands of subscribers and followers. But for me, certainly something I’ll keep and treasure and, for a couple of days at least, be a little bit proud of.

Art Knews Magazine Issue 2 Queenie

Reason being, I started my writing career in October 2017, it really started to work as a potential full-time job in January 2018 and I wrote and pitched this article in March. Therefore, as you’ve now guessed, I am in NO WAY an expert in my field, nor am I trying to pretend to be. 

However, I found something I liked, realised that other people liked what I was doing and made the decision to grafftttttt until I could make some dollar. By the way, I know they say “it’s not all about the money” and they’re right, it’s not ALL about the money, but with mortgages and bills and cars and insurances and attempting to have some sort of social life, yes, it’s quite a bit about the money. Let’s face it, we’ve got to make it, so we may as well talk about it. 

So, when I say I started my writing career in October, that’s exactly what I mean. Having had a bit of a break from work due to being lucky enough to spend some time renovating my house, I wanted to get back in the game, but was struggling to find my niche. I started to see lots of jobs for copywriting and in particular fashion copywriting. One day, I saw a job that was writing fashion blogs for an online retailer and I thought; I love to write, my whole history is fashion and Ecommerce, this makes sense. That day, I text my friend saying I was going to become a copywriter and I secured the job. 

Art Knews Magazine

Following this, (and a really great start writing 4 blogs a week for a Dubai and London based company) I got knocked back for roughly 100,000 jobs, there or there about, but then I got another one. That month I made under £500 total and realised that this was gonna be tricky but I thought it was my path. 

Carrying on when you get knocked back for a job you really want, knocked down on price to the point of an insult and critiqued to fuck for a piece you were proud of isn’t the best. But when you score a job you worked hard to get and actually get paid for it, it was a feeling I loved and knew any office job or 9-5 just wasn’t going to cut it for me. 

Getting freelance work is almost a fulltime job in itself. I spent hours a week on freelancing sites, scouring for the right jobs and applying for so many that I never heard back from that the power of positivity is the only thing that keeps you going. Luckily my boyfriend is a bubble of positive energy because I’m what most people will call a “negative Nancy”, but obviously I just say I’m realistic (that’s another chat for another day).

Consistent applications to jobs were one thing, but there was also contacting a million marketing agencies and independent online stores and boutiques, which involves personalising and tailoring a covering letter and following up. 

However, the huge effort I put in over November and December started to really impact this January. I had a month money-wise that superseded jobs I was looking at applying for in Manchester in a 9-5 and many of the outreaches I sent out late 2017 started to get in touch. I was building work in advance so that I knew what I had on each day and after a couple of months of fulltime applications, actually being able to write for the day was the dream.

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I’m now working full time, come Monday evening my schedule is pretty much set for the week with a full week of work in place. 

So, after just a few short months, I have a fulltime, freelance writing career/job/whatever with decent (not great BTW) pay, set my own schedule, work to my own timeline WITHOUT a boss to boss me. Although, I’m pretty fucking bossy myself, let’s be fair. 

I have a degree yes, but it’s from 2012 and nothing to do with writing or journalism, I have a digital marketing diploma yes, but I actually did very minimal work on the subject of content marketing at the time. I have a background in fashion yes, which does obviously give me a certain level of expertise in what I’m talking about. However, I truly believe that I have got to this place because it’s something I love to do and I’ve got off my arse every morning, sat at my kitchen table ALONE (I have now made myself a chic little home office) and grafted for it. Anyone that doesn’t want to work a 9-5 job and feels depressed by the thought of it, there are certainly other options and I’ve proved that you really can build something from nothing. 

Lastly, I’m fully aware that I have been lucky on my journey, while I was aimlessly stressing about what to do with my life, my boyfriend was able to give us extra support so I could take the time I needed without getting a night job or weekend job to make up for making shit money for a few months. However, even if you’re not in that situation, there are always ways to do it that could alter your life’s path and take you away from the 9-5 rat race, if like me, you truly feel that it’s just not your vibe. 

Moving forward, my goal is to build my business, start to take on bigger jobs from less clients and hopefully less and less ad hoc work, although now I’m always grateful for it. There’s so much room to improve, but it’s so easy to forget that what you have now is something you once used to hope for and it’s important to just take 5 and give yourself a fucking pat on the back. Then get straight back to work, obviously ;)

 Love, Kate  x

Love, Kate

x

Founder and Blogger