Dana Miranda went back to full-time freelancing in January 2020 — this time, writing niche content about personal finance.

I’m no overnight success story. In fact, it took 12 years of long hours and hard work before I could truly call myself a freelancer. When I started out, all I knew was that writing made me creatively satisfied – which didn’t pay the bills on its own clearly! The first few meager-paying assignments barely kept us afloat while my partner did his standup comedy gigs; we even had to couch surf for some nights until he got back from tour dates with enough money in hand. But those early experiences eventually enabled me to land at a personal finance digital media startup where over four steady years, ingrained lessons gave way into building up business basics knowledge – so here’s hoping there are many more earnable insights ahead…

With a stroke of luck and my hard-earned expertise, I stepped into the world of freelance writing with greater success than ever before. 2020 rewarded me handsomely for this decision – to the tune of over $160K in revenue! If only I had figured out sooner what it takes to make it as an independent writer…

Choose a niche and stick with it

After taking a freelancing hiatus, I returned with a renewed focus on the personal finance sector and noticed an immediate increase in opportunities. Instead of aimlessly sending out creative stories my mind had come up with, by specializing as an expert in one industry – being laser-focused paid off dividends! All it takes is honing your skillset to make yourself more desirable for potential clients looking for reliable writers

Work your network to find clients

Looking for freelance gigs? You already have all the resources you need to get started. Your local community, family and college alumni can be some of your greatest assets in spreading word about what services you offer – just make sure they know! It never hurts to mix things up by sending friendly reminders every so often that remind people who pop into their heads looking for a freelancer like yourself. Chances are if they don’t remember it’s because nobody told them…so go ahead and tell ’em today!

Land those freelance gigs faster! Instead of scanning job postings and crafting a resume to send out, try reaching out to your connections. My former coworkers were some of the most helpful in this regard – they passed my name along or sent me recommendations for companies looking for specific skillsets that I could offer. It’s like word-of-mouth marketing at its finest; it took less time so more opportunities became accessible with just one email away.

Learn to value your time

Pitching was a total waste of energy, but I managed to escape the trap. When I stopped chasing down new clients and instead began building up my roster for recurring assignments, it paid off in both time and money! What’s more? Knowing those publications weren’t going to call back meant that when quoting prices, charging per word made much better sense than by the hour – ultimately leading me towards success with greater control over which projects hit my desk.

Your rate should be higher than you think

When it comes to quoting rates, courage is key! I used to think my rate should conjure up a degree of squirminess – and now I put that thought into practice. Starting out in 2020 with an average 25 cents per word? Not anymore; my baseline quote these days takes me back half as much (50c/word). Negotiating’s not for everyone so if someone’s budget can’t match the figure, it’s time for them – unfortunately – to move on… Or maybe just go away forever.

Freelancing has offered me the most job security

Many people assume that freelancing is a dangerous way to make money and full-time employment guarantees stability, raises, and benefits. But the truth is — with recent mass layoffs – “stable” jobs may not mean steady paychecks or lasting job security anymore. Everyone’s situation will look different so it pays (no pun intended) for you to investigate all your options before jumping into something new!

Freelancing is such a great way to find financial freedom and job security, especially when you take into account the nature of our ever-shifting economy. With no need for an employer that could potentially lay me off at any second, I’m free from worry! Plus taxes don’t have to be as scary as they seem either – IRS forms are readily available or working with an accountant can help break down what reasonable estimated income tax payments look like each quarter so there’s never a surprise bill waiting for you come filing time.

If you crave the steady predictability of office life, then freelancing is probably not for you. But if getting to call your own shots — from deciding when and where to work, who with and how much it’s worth — sounds like a dream, chasing after freelance dreams might be right up your alley!

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