Confessions of a Freelance Writer [Interview]
Author: Matthew Gates
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Are you tired of working for the man? Are you tired of driving a half hour or hour commute to work each day for a job you really have no interest in doing, but you know you have bills to pay, so you must work in order to continue receiving a paycheck? What if you could change your situation and work at home? What if you could make your own hours? What if you did not have to bust your butt to do it? But you could make a comfortable living, tax-free, and love what you do?
There are plenty of people who work side jobs and odd jobs, shoveling snow, mowing lawns, gardening, going from house to house fixing pipe leaks, broken windows, clogged toilets, air conditioners, and much more. They certainly can make a comfortable living doing this, but they still must leave their house, drive through traffic, schedule appointments, and deal with customers face to face.
What if you could work for someone without ever seeing them? What if you could deliver work to them by email? What if you could be your own boss? What would it be like to wake up every morning and going to work means making yourself some coffee and walking over to your desk? All of your workload is right on your computer and all you have to do is check a few emails, advertise your services on a few websites, and people who hire you become your clients and pay you to do a few things for them?
I was curious to find out more information about someone who makes her living working full time as a freelance writer. Is it possible that she could actually pay all her bills and still have enough money left over to enjoy her life? Most of us might be jealous or even envious of such a lifestyle, but it is a lifestyle that anyone could have, including you!
This is my interview with a Freelance Writer.
What is your name? My name is Victoria Heckstall.
Where are you from? I am originally from a small town in North Carolina but I currently reside in Virginia.
What is your highest level of education? I have some college but no degree yet.
What did you study in school? In 2007, I studied to be a licensed massage therapist. Since 2009, I have been working on my bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with my minor being Juvenile Justice.
What do you do for a living? I work full time online as a professional writer, social media manager, and project manager. I have been doing so since 2011. Usually, I work as a writer for the bulk of my income but recently my affiliate marketing and blogging efforts have been picking up in income too. You can learn more about how I make a living online at Young Work at Home Moms and you can also check out my other site Giveaways 4 Mom to see what I do in my down time.
What is the best thing you love about your job? I love being able to work from the comfort of my own home on my on time. I have three boys who are not in school yet so it definitely cuts back on the expenses that I would have to spend if I worked a brick and mortar job.
What are the challenges you face in your job? One of the biggest challenges that I face in my job is clients not paying on time. Sometimes I think they fail to realize that freelancers have bills to pay too. I take pride in always-delivering clients work early or by their deadline so it is quite frustrating when a client delays paying and I have to overwork myself to make sure my expenses are covered.
What is the best job you have ever done working for a client as a freelancer? The best job I have ever done working for a client is one of my recent clients. The job involves me writing 1500-1800 word articles with 30 pictures on various things that go on in my city. I would say this is the best job because since it is on my local city, writing it is a breeze. It does take a lot of time and effort to compose the perfect piece but the client compensates extremely well for it.
What is the worst job you have ever done for a client as a freelancer? I would not say that I have any job that I would title as being the worst job. However, I have received a Fiverr order that came with no instructions as to what the buyer wanted. Luckily, he was happy with what I provided to him even though I would have happily revised it if it were not what he was looking for.
How do you find work? I have my own business, Unique Words, and I work for a variety of clients throughout the world. I find work on Fiverr, a few bidding sites, and forums. My blogs also bring me clients, social media, classified sites, and word of mouth.
Do you set a goal each week of how much you want to make? I do not have a weekly goal. Instead, I aim for $5,000 to $10,000 each month. I have not made $10,000 in one month yet. However, one month in 2013 I came close.
Have you ever not met your goal? I have a goal of making $10,000 each month. I have not been able to meet that goal yet. However, I think this year I may be able to do it by May or June once I start marketing myself full force again.
On average, how much would you say you make as a freelancer? Usually, I make around $6,000 a month after my business expenses. It does require me to work a lot of long hours and weekends. However, in the future I plan to be able to make more and work less hours. I am currently enrolled in the Freelance Writers Den run by Carol Tice and I am learning many valuable things there that I think will help with my success.
Is there any advice you have for people looking to quit their day jobs and become freelancers? If you are thinking about quitting your day job to become a freelancer you should have money saved to cover at least three months of your expenses. It took me three months to make a full time living online so that is why I base the expenses off that period. Additionally, know that you are not really your own boss. You will have flexibility with your schedule but there are deadlines that are going to have to be met. Lastly, make sure that you have the dedication and determination to work online. You will have to block out all distractions and you may even become a hermit when trying to establish yourself online. If you need tips and a quick start guide to making money online be sure to check out my eBook.
Thank you Victoria for providing some insight into the life of a Freelance Writer. I wish you luck in your future endeavors and wanted to let you know that you are truly an inspiration for many aspiring freelancers!
Matthew Gates is a freelance web designer and currently runs Confessions of the Professions.