Make it Work
Make It Pay
The Freelance Strategist asked writer Aubre Andrus, “What’s your secret?”
When Aubre Andrus decided to make the switch to full-time freelance writer, she cashed in the secure paychecks and benefits that came with her copywriter position. She first began part-time moonlighting with freelance writing in November 2010, but six short months later—and just over a year ago—she has already created a flourishing freelance resumé that reads more like that of a seasoned veteran.
Andrus is a regular online contributor as Wired’s “IT Girl.” She’s written five tween-based book titles under Mattel’s American Girl publishing brand. Her writing has been published in National Geographic Traveler, Family Fun, and American Girl. And her marketing and social media contributions are simply too long to list. Suffice it to say that Andrus has the drive to go the freelance writing distance.
But, for as far as the proverbially blood, sweat, and tears can take you, sometimes freelance writers need a few tricks up their sleeves to make it big in this business. Andrus shares a few of her secrets:
Do things instead of just thinking about them
“There is so much advice out there for freelance writers; you could spend years just prepping to go solo, to start a novel, or to send a pitch,” Andrus said. “Nothing will happen until you finally take the plunge, write the first draft, or click send on an email to an editor.”
Andrus, who thinks of herself as an entrepreneur, advises freelance writers to never overlook the basics business principles just because you’re a writer. “Is that low-paying assignment good for your business’s bottom line? No? Then turn it down! A good business owner invests time and money in marketing and networking as well as in providing a service,” she said.
Track your earnings and save money for taxes
Andrus’s quick success meant she was earning almost double what she was getting paid by “the man.” But as she pointed out in her Freelance Strategist article, “… some writers don’t hold their writing business up to the same standard as other successful businesses.”
“I obsessively track my income on an Excel spreadsheet and immediately put away money for taxes,” she explained. Andrus hired someone to help create her LLC, open her business bank account, and file her quarterly taxes. “It was totally worth the $500 to hire her. I use an EIN number and business bank account for all my invoices and payments. That way my personal finances and my business finances don’t get mixed up, which will be easier when tax season rolls around.”
Image courtesy of Flickr, Allegra