How to become a freelance writer

It’s not going to be easy, but it can be rewarding, says the author, a journalist who supported herself for years while freelancing. Here are the tips the author wish she knew when her freelance career began.

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He asked me to share any advice I might have for him: a freelancer just getting going.

Hmmm. I’m qualified to offer some advice. I freelanced for Businessweek (before it was owned by Bloomberg),, The New York Times, Barron’s, the Far Eastern Economic Review, the Singapore Straits Times, and other publications.

Although I could give freelancing advice, should I?

I am not a huge fan of freelancing in the modern state of journalism. So many amazingly talented journalists have been let go as their publications have crunched their budgets and their staffs. That means that the market is still lopsided in the favor of employers, or so it seems from the intelligence from my friends who are still freelancing.

My disclosure: I haven’t freelanced in more than a decade. I started a consulting practice when I left the Cleveland Plain Dealer through a buyout offer in 2008 and doing business development is different than freelancing. Believe it or not, as unpredictable as recruiting new clients can be, it feels more secure to me than getting started in freelancing felt.

Still, it was the getting started in freelancing that was the hard part. After that, it got better. Much better.

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