Not sure how to break this to you. It’s bad news.
Maybe you really *shouldn’t* try to be a freelance blogger. I mean, normally I’m quick to point out that almost anyone who is teachable can learn to do freelance blogging.
And yep, anyone teachable can learn to earn anything from a decent chunk of “mad money” to a full-time income that pays for everything you want to do.
But this career choice isn’t right for everyone.
So how can you find out if it’s wrong for you, before you spend valuable time trying and failing?
I’ll tell you.
If you see any of these warning signs in yourself or your usual lifestyle, then freelance blogging may not be a good idea for you. ￼
1: You have a special message to share with the world
That’s awesome, but it isn’t how freelance blogging works. You need clients who pay you to write for *them* — and that means your special message for the world is irrelevant unless it overlaps with your client’s.
Carving out a niche for yourself is important, and you will probably gravitate towards clients and projects that fit into the niche you want to own, with similar views and values. But if you just want to share your personal thoughts and opinions online, start your own blog!
(Side note: I just this moment realised how weird the phrase “gravitate towards” is. I mean, I think it’s supposed to suggest a slow attraction, but gravity is the thing that turns absent-minded bungee jumpers into jelly on impact… Gravitating towards stuff can be fatal.)
2: You have a unique voice that blog readers will love
Hmm… ALL the blog readers? Are you sure?
This is kinda the same as the “special message” problem above. Paying clients may love your natural voice and want you to use nothing else. Or they might want you to write in a different style that meshes your natural voice with theirs. Or perhaps they’ll need a ghost blogger to create content for their CEO’ weekly posts, in which case it’s your job to write in *their* voice instead of your own.
And, word to the wise, nobody in the universe has a voice that literally *everyone* loves. Some people hate my cursing, get upset about “kinda” and “gonna”, or think my use of old-fashioned emoticons is either unprofessional (if they’re older) or dated (if they’re younger). You can’t win them all. ;P
It’s your job to find out what voice is needed for a post, and use it. That’s how you’ll win over your client’s target audience and keep them interested.
3: You can’t control time
Fair enough, you’re not Hiro Nakamura or Doctor Strange. I don’t expect you to have superpowers.
What I really mean is, “You absolutely suck at being on time for pretty much anything, even when it’s important.”
How many times in an average month do you miss a bus or train, give a birthday gift late, or miss the start of a meeting or event?
If your answer is more than a few — hell, if your answer’s more than zero — then once you start freelance blogging you may discover you don’t enjoy a career in which your reputation and your income are connected to your punctuality.
(But then again, you just might discover a knack for finding clients who don’t care so much about perfect timekeeping. I suppose it really depends on whether you’d rather achieve timeliness or great marketing.)
4: You can’t wait to start earning
Hey, we’d all love to get paid the very first day we start freelance blogging. But as I’ve learned from years of training and mentoring other freelance bloggers, most don’t earn a huge amount in their first month of business unless they already have good business sense, strong motivation, plenty of time to spend on marketing, and a lot of balls.
If you need to pay next week’s rent or buy this week’s groceries, for the love of all the gods please *don’t* rely on freelance blogging to make that happen.
Find a job that pays fast and reliably, even if that job sucks — and work on freelance blogging in your spare time until you can afford to make it your main source of income. Yeah, your bread-and-butter job might be boring. But it’s better than not knowing how you’ll pay the rent.
5: You’re looking forward to working on the beach / in your PJs / at the kitchen table while surrounded by adorable children at play…
Yeeaah. All those freelance writing experts who chirp about the joys of working from home while you raise (maybe even homeschool) your little ones, grow your own food AND train to run a marathon while wearing a gorilla costume?
I wish it were true! But it isn’t for most people, because it’s very difficult to fit all of those things into your day while still earning a living.
If you have children who are at home during your working hours, you will need childcare to get some of your blogging work done.
Doesn’t have to be an official daycare centre, and you may not need it all the time. But sooner or later you’ll need someone who can take younger children off your hands while you handle high-focus tasks like editing and invoicing.
The only other option is to blog while your offspring sleeps, which worked for me in the early days (when we had only one young baby in the house) but would be totally impractical now that we’ve got more — and older — children.
And for every digital nomad who blogs self-sustainably from glorious beaches around the world, there are a hundred other freelance bloggers who’ve barely left the house since last year because they’re so busy churning out posts for low pay at content mills. They might be in their PJs, sure — but that’s not necessarily a sign that things are going well.
6: You hate numbers, mathematics, or money
I’ve forgotten most of what I ever learned about spreadsheets. But I did once take a bookkeeping course (SO DULL), I don’t mind working with numbers, and I can just about handle it well enough to keep my own accounts and file my own tax returns. Wouldn’t call it fun, but it’s manageable. 😉
Unfortunately, unless you’ve got a ready source of funds you probably can’t just pay a qualified accountant to do it all for you right from Day One (you know, the day when you start out with zero freelance blogging income). That’s only gonna happen if you miraculously find an accountant who works on credit or barter, or if you have a generous and tolerant family who don’t mind you paying the accountant out of the household budget for the first few months.
The truth is that if you really can’t stand doing some basic bookkeeping and cash flow tracking… then you’re gonna quit from repetitive math injury long before your profit numbers get big enough to keep you motivated.
The bigger problem is that even if you can handle the bookkeeping, that level of numeracy still isn’t enough to give you useful insights into how your business is really doing — and how you can improve your cash flow, your profit, and your earning potential.
For that financial level-up, you have to combine mathematical capability with strategic thinking and a solid grasp of how your business works.
I know lots of people who disliked the minutiae of business, but could cope with numbers, who’ve become successful freelancers with support from a few online tools at first and backed that up with a business coach as they started seeing more revenue. But most of the truly math-phobic people I’ve worked with have needed human support to stay on top of their finances.
As for the few people I’ve met who outright told me they didn’t care to think about money and assumed that it would all be dealt with fairly… well, those people are either still writing for low, low rates, or they quit because they didn’t feel respected or appreciated by their clients.
7: You don’t like talking to people
Listen, I get it. If you’re introverted, you’re introverted.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t talk to people; it simply means you feel drained if you spend too much time with too many other people.
You can be shy, too. That’s totally cool and it’s normal. As long as you admit your curiosity is capable of outweighing your shyness.
Because if you had a chance to chat quietly with someone who’s doing something unprecedentedly fascinating, you’d take that opportunity, right? And often, that curiosity is where the best blog posts come from.
8: You feel entitled
I have no doubt that you’re a wonderful human being who writes well and has interesting ideas. However, I’ve seen a strange thing happen to a smallish percentage of the freelance bloggers whose careers I’ve watched from their beginnings, and I’m going to take this opportunity to warn you about it.
See, even very good bloggers who are running their freelance businesses without any real problems sometimes fall into this trap as their careers lengthen. They start to believe they’re entitled to certain things just because they’ve received them recently, or they’ve heard that other writers did, or even because they’ve “paid their dues” for a certain number of years.
So when you hear that Jane earned $500 for writing a post at Example.com, you pitch the editor your idea and you feel entitled to expect the same rate of pay as Jane. But that’s between you and your editor; Jane’s rate is between her and her editor. Seek to understand what your post is worth to the client instead of focusing on what other people earn.
Or maybe your last three clients all paid in full in advance. Good for you! Don’t be offended, though, if your next client asks for a different arrangement. You’re not entitled to any special terms except the ones you negotiate in each new client contract, and your client isn’t a Scrooge just because they’re being cautious about paying the unknown new writer (that’s you!) upfront.
Don’t lower your expectations — but do remember the difference between a right and a privilege.
9: You run away from the tough stuff
Sometime or other, something will go horribly wrong in your freelance blogging life.
Don’t kid yourself for a second that it won’t happen to you. (That’s if it hasn’t happened already, of course; if it has, you have my deepest sympathy.)
It might be a brilliant post that gets mangled by the editor until you’re ashamed to see it carry your byline. It might be the horror of comment trolls. It might be a client who gets angry with you or refuses to pay you. It might be a pressing family concern that stops you focusing on your work. It might be a challenge to your mental health. It might be almost anything.
And when it happens, it’ll hit you harder than you ever thought a really fucking hard thing could hit. There will be tears before bedtime. You’ll be tormented by self-doubt and second guesses, convinced that you’ve done entirely the wrong thing and that your situation is hopeless.
Here’s my advice: if you can’t stomach the idea that once or twice a year you’ll wind up sobbing into your cornflakes because your whole freelance blogging career is The Biggest Mistake Ever, then you might as well quit now.
[Pro tip for the non-quitters: When you’ve finished crying, start looking for a possible solution to your problem. And ask for help when you need it.]
OK, if you’re still with me at this point, I’m going to assume that means you still want to be a freelance blogger.
Today is this blog’s 6th birthday.
So, fun fact, we’ve got 6 years’ worth of blog posts right here that are all about freelance blogging — how to start, how to grow, how to manage it all, and how to stay sane.
Don’t read them all at once. 😉
But that’s not all. I celebrate Be a Freelance Blogger’s birthday each year with a prize contest, and this year I’m giving away more prizes than usual!
The BAFB Birthday Prize
This year, 10 people will win copies of my book with Lauren Tharp, How to Pitch a Blog Post (Kindle edition, or PDF if you prefer).
And one person will win a half-hour live mentoring session with me to discuss any freelance blogging ideas, questions or struggles you think I might be able to help with.
What do you have to do for a chance to win one of these prizes?
Tell me what this blog means to you.
Did you learn something good from us? Did we help you solve a problem, or answer a question? Did we give you confidence to do more, earn more, enjoy more?
Share your “me and BAFB” story in the comments, and I’ll choose the 11 winners on January 20th, 2019. The most detailed and compelling stories get the prizes! 🙂
Hi Sophie! I just love your blog, I never knew you could make money money while blogging It was your blog that changed my thoughts, now i try to keep up with all your email notifications and i really hope to win that one hour chat session
Delux Designs (DE), LLC says
Godwin Ihagh says
very interesting post. i agree with your comments. freelance blogging might not be for everyone. its almost like how marriage is for partners: freelance blogging is for the clients. some people would be better off blogging for thsmselves than freelancing for clients
I’ve always had a love of writing but with children and old-er age I just didn’t think much of it. When I actually became a contributing member of a blogging community I found your page and it made me think just for a moment that I can really get back to one of my first loves. Your blog made it realistic for me…obtainable. I have learned so much…even with this blog post, about becoming a freelance writer. I appreciate what you do for us all.
Cherese R Cobb says
First of all, Happy 6th birthday to Be a Freelance Blogger! *<|
Here's my "Me and BAFB story":
After I graduated from college with a teaching degree, I had my second nervous breakdown. (I had the first one in high school when I was 16.) I knew that I didn't want to teach — other teachers were bullies and I really, really *sucked* at disciplining kids. But, I had no idea what to do with my life. Then I came across BAFB and began reading as many posts as possible. I literally ran out of the room shouting that I found what I wanted to do with my life: write. And that's what I've been doing going on for four years now.
Sadie Konrad says
Hi there! My name is Sadie Konrad, and I am twenty years old.
What does this blog mean to me?
Be a Freelance Blogger has literally given me a second chance. I am really, really, not the type for diving into deep thoughts or mopey backstories, but I would love for you to know truly, how this blog has given me a second chance.
I have always loved to write, and when I was younger I used to write little fan-fiction pieces about Star Wars (which was where I first discovered my love of story-telling), and first started getting feedback from other kids at school and online, saying they really liked my stories. I had a passion that changed practically every day, from wanting to be a dolphin trainer to wanting to be a teacher, but I never stopped writing, even after the Star Wars phase, and often day-dreamed about writing stories and movies for Walt Disney Studios.
As time went on, I began to panic in high school. My English classes were a breeze and I was thankful to still be able to write, but I felt that there were no opportunities for a writer, so I gave up completely my senior year and frantically tried to change course and get a practical job that paid well, as my parents so implored. So, I decided to become a Correctional Deputy for the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, where I could go to my local community college for an associate’s degree and quickly start earning big money after transferring to the academy.
I was blessed to be able to have a full-ride to Mt. San Jacinto College, and after all of my AP credits had transferred, I was able to get my AA in just 11 months. All of my friends were still halfway through their second year of school and I was thrilled to be ahead of the game, and debt-free, while maintaining a part-time job to pay for gas and books.
As I was applying for the academy (a lengthy process in Southern California), I began to get nervous. What if I couldn’t handle being a deputy? I’m 5’1″, not very threatening, and I listen to Disney music on my drive to and from the Training Center. I began to think back to my writing, which I had set aside for a couple of years at this point, and was getting major anxiety in the coming weeks approaching my “conditional offer” from the County to enroll in the next academy.
And one day, I snapped.
I was walking through our local mall and saw a book written by Ashley Eckstein, who was the voice actor of my favorite Star Wars character, the one I had first started writing about all those years ago. I picked it up and on the very first page, it started talking about how her dream with Disney began, using all the cheesy, “when you wish upon a star” quotes from the movies that I loved so much. And, in the middle of a Macy’s department store, I cried. I felt like it was a sign, that I had to at least try to write for the studios, I just HAD to try. So, I bought the book, called my parents, and then called my background investigator for the county.
I was going another direction.
My next move was to apply for a position, ANY position within the Walt Disney Company. I would clean the toilets if I had to, I didn’t care. All I knew was that I wanted to be a writer for this company, and I wanted to show that I was willing to start anywhere and do anything.
Fortunately for me, my local Disney Store happened to be hiring seasonal cast members for the holidays, and I got the role! I was nowhere close to writing Frozen 2, but I had a nametag with Tinkerbelle on it and that was good enough for me!
At the same time that I did this, I applied for the Disney College Program, which was a program in Anaheim where you were given a full-time job at the parks to cover your housing expenses while being able to attend any of their creative courses held in the University next tot he apartments. My seasonal position would end January 6, and this program would start January 17. Everything was going according to plan!
Did you guess it? Everything did NOT go according to plan.
I passed the entrance application for the Disney College Program, and the online interview, so there was then nothing left but to wait for my phone interview, pass, pack my bags, and go make some magic. I studied like crazy for the interview, had possible questions and good answers laid out on my bed and on my floor and on my walls, wearing my mickey ears, and waiting for the call.
I felt so strong, and really thought I did the best that I could. I had researched, I took notes, I spoke clearly, I didn’t say “um” more than twice, and I remembered to thank the interviewer by name at the end! But, in the end, the deadline for “accepted” emails came and went, and I was put on a waitlist with about 50 other applicants. And at the end of that, I received the email that I was not accepted into the Disney College Program.
I was incredibly hurt and confused, but was determined to stay positive and keep on running. After all, I had still had my seasonal position at the Disney Store and they said they were looking to keep on a couple people after the season. I was going to be the best cast member they had ever seen, keep a position there to maintain cast member status and just keep on trying to move up every single day!
I learned everyone’s names, always asked what I could do to improve, and sold more holiday lights than any other cast member, including the ones who had already worked there. My managers liked me, and I made friends along the way. So when my store manager called me on New Year’s Eve this year and told me that they couldn’t keep me on after the holidays, I was destroyed.
She said it was nothing personal, but that they couldn’t keep anyone after all due to sales not being as high as they once predicted, and that she would write me a glowing recommendation for “the next step” I chose in my life.
I felt like I had lost everything. I was back at square one. And, for once in my life, I was directionless.
I still had my other job of course (I work for In-N-Out Burger), but my parents were consistently asking me (every day) what my plan was now, what I was going to do next. All I could say was, “I don’t know”. I’m not sure if they just weren’t used to this answer, or if they thought for some reason my answer would change overnight, but they asked every morning what I was going to do next.
This was just two weeks ago. I was going to give up on everything, call it a day. I was looking for any full-time job, anywhere, just to move out of my parents’ house and forever silence the echoing question, “what are you going to do now?”.
And then, I found this blog.
After getting rejected from two applications to full-time positions, I futilely searched up, “jobs for writers”.
And then, I found this blog.
The creator, this Sophie Lizard, seemed like she was talking right to me, a crumpled up pile in the dirt, telling me that there was a way to write. Like, for a living.
And she had actual JOB LISTINGS. With actual companies, who wanted actual writers, to write for real money!
I have only been a freelance writer for about a week now. I have no clients or published work, but I created a Reddit account for applications, a website with samples of my research essays, poetry samples, and speeches I’ve written, and I have sent out four pitches. This blog gives me something to show my parents, something to show them what I am doing, that I am doing something every day to become a real writer. I can tell them who Sophie Lizard is, that she made it… and that she’s telling me I can too.
I still work at In-N-Out Burger, and am picking up shifts constantly to put more into savings and really get up off the ground. It gets hard to try to do all of that, build a business, and still meet my parents’ expectations, but you know, I did buy that book by Ashley Eckstein, and there is a quote I have been telling myself each and every day inspires me to continue fighting for my dreams.
“It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”
Thank you so, so much for doing what you do and for being so very kind in your posts and emails. I have much left to learn, but I am willing to fight through the hard stuff and be brave to not always know “what I’m going to do now,” but to just keep fighting.
Can anyone think, write, strategize, or go to college in their pjs? I doubt it. Good advice!
I find your posts to be motivational and humorous, including this one. I am glad not everyone is training for a marathon while homeschooling, growing their own food and wearing a gorilla costume! : )
I love BAFB, it was one of the first blogs I subscribed to when I decided to start my writing career. It really isn’t rainbows and fairy tales. The most frustrating is when people hear you work from home, then proceed to call you or interrupt you during the day because “you’re your own boss, you can talk right?” It’s like uh no, I have exactly 2 hours and 3 minutes until I have to get my son from school and I still have photos to edit or an article to upload to WordPress! I love this post in particular! It’s honest and real, and not something you’d expect from a professional blogger! But I think honesty is the best policy. You don’t want to encourage people to get into this field when they aren’t right for it! All that’s doing is wasting their time and eventually hurting their pride- and side note, don’t feel bad it this isn’t right! I’m an introvert, so I do everything via email when possible, because being around my son’s teachers is about all I can handle. But I can stick to routine, I’m good with numbers, and I’m good with technology. Do I always like my assignments? No, but I still produce the best quality I can, because that’s the game. Anyways, I’d love to win “How to Pitch a Blog Post”, because there are always tips and tricks worth learning!
Lillian Mulili says
Happy 6th BFAB Birthday, and I hope I get to be here for more.
I have not always had enough confidence to put my work out there for editors to criticize, and what little courage I have gets crushed every time I post an article or a pitch and it is rejected. But, although I know I’m not ready to be a freelance blogger, I haven’t stopped reading your material or opening every email you send because sometimes, just seeing your name pop up in my inbox reminds me that those who want to make it are those who do not give up on what they want. So, I’m still learning from you, and this post in particular has given me a kick in the b*tt by showing me why I cannot be a freelance blogger (for now), and I have decided to respond even though I never have before.
Thank you for everything.
These are the aspects of this blog that appeal to me:
1. The blog posts have great information with sound reasoning.
2. The diversity of authors enhances the appeal of the posts.
3. The length of the blog posts is usually spot on – long enough to cover the subject, but, short enough to be interesting.
4. The comments and discussion often enhance the value of the posts.
5. The editing and checking process seems to ensure that there are very few errors in the posts.
6. The tone, pitch and purpose of the blog is appealing as it doesn’t adopt a “one size fits all” approach.
7. The frequency of the blog posts fits my requirements.
8. I like the layout and design – it is very elegant and readable.
Congratulations on providing a great blog!
Amanda Piccarreto says
“‘Me and BAFB’ Making It”
Three years ago, I stood on the edge of a boat with sunscreen and a towel, ready to dive into shark-infested water, without knowing how to swim. Admittedly, I’m being a touch dramatic for describing my decision to begin freelance writing that way, but it truly did feel like that.
Raw talent and a dream only take you somewhere if you know how to navigate the territory and stay afloat. It seemed impossible. Then I found Sophie Lizard and BAFB.
Reading a post about the way Sophie started writing grabbed my attention. She did not live a life of luxury and get it all handed to her. She learned how to swim by jumping in and learning from her mistakes, from a starving artist’s lifestyle, as I remember her describing it.
So I decided to do the same. Using the huge list of paid gigs saved so much time in figuring out where to look.
I also read on the blog how to pitch to editors, which built up my courage to try. From this, I learned really quickly how to take rejection in stride and how to move forward even stronger. Rejection stings, like a gigantic man o’ war wrapping you up in a hug. However, it makes every acceptance email feel a little magical.
Signing up for the newsletter and continuing to read the blog helped me grow into a better blogger and to stay focused. More than once, freelancing nearly drowned me. Each time, I looked to the blog, and to Sophie’s newsletters, to see what I needed to fix with my pitches, voice, writing, and client choices.
BAFB pulled me out of a writing mill that I may have otherwise blindly settled for. Without a blog post that chastised those dream killers, I may have gone on thinking that was it- $8 per 500-word article, with a 24-hour turnaround, and nightmare editor always too stressed to treat writers like humans.
Three years later, I’m still learning from BAFB. Only now, I’m swimming strongly and learning how to move a little fancier.
Your post today hit the nail on the head though. I love freelancing and do a good job of changing the voice and message to match my client. But I also need to start sharing my own voice and message with the world, or whoever will read my stuff.
I’ll always look to BAFB for sound advice, and still freelance, but I also need to expand on this career. Thanks for everything, and happy 6th birthday, BAFB!
Happy freaking birthday to the blog site that makes dreams a reality for those who for those who have lost hope!
What does this blog mean to me…….freedom.
The word is simplistic and vague but it describes this blog perfectly. Fun fact I used to hate writing until my senior year of high school. I took a nine week journalism class only because I was insured a passing grade. Little to my knowledge it opened the flood gate to a life I never could imagined. I feel in love with writing that transcribed to college.
College was ruff, my english professor was not my favorite. At the time I was fighting the class because I hate grammar basics. I just wanted to write and be free, I don’t care about a comma. Just let me breathe and get off my back lady. I did not like my professor but oddly enough I took her again next semester. She challenged me in the best way possible. She believed in me, so when I finally let me ego slide, I began to learn. Knowledge is what’ll set professional writers apart from the mass. Learning this I began to love writing even more. Who would think that a pen and paper would be my biggest challenger of life thus far.
Fast forward to two years later and I bought my first journal. I hadn’t written in so long it stunned me the way everything fell in sync again. I wrote about my pain, past and future. I wanted so much more than to be at the hand of an employer with an evil spell. Working for people who hate their job is a bad combination. I learned that I can work alongside someone but not underneath. It’s not an ego thing but awareness that everyday I come to work I am uncertain of my future. That is something that killed me everyday. so I acquired a new motto.
One foot in and one foot out…
If I choose to work a corporate job I will find a side hustle that will safeguard me for the future. I will not put my faith in the palms of uncertainty.
I choose freedom!
I carve my path, not you. Fast forward to January 4,2019, the day I was fired. I was fired but it was a good day. It was a brilliant day of rejuvenation and fight. I had been planning on became a freelance writer for supplementary income. I didn’t have enough time in the day with a full time office job to do what I desired. Without it I can do so much more than I ever imagined.
Then I stumbled across Be a Freelance Blogger website and freedom became my destiny. I cannot tell you how many blog websites beat around the bush when it comes to answering questions. You provide the tools for success in a clear and precise notion. You’re honest and feed the truth and that what I need. Your website is a virtual support system that I feel safe in. So, never stop what you’re doing for the community.This is a beautiful site that I know will never fail. You provided me with a vision of freedom that once was blurry and I thank you so much for that!
First of all let me start by saying Happy Birthday and congratulations to BAFB for it’s 6years of educating articles and all inspiring post.
Here is what BAFB is and means to me, BAFB is a dream come true blog the first website I came across and literally the blog that made me dedicated, and even know what freelance writing really is. Little did i know that i would end up being an experienced writer, though i’ve been writing. Years back, i really didn’t know what freelance writing was all about all i knew was i want to write, i kept struggling until i became feedup and said i wouldn’t write anymore, but one day while search through Google for for names of writers so i could read about them list of writers came up and the very first name that interest me was BAFB amongst every other site i saw i picked interest in this blog and ever since then i started following up on its’ Posts which did help me out, i kept and never stopped following BAFB, the posts i love most are these
* “PROCRASTINATION WHEN YOU’RE TOO SCARED TO START FREELANCE BLOGGING” Here the writer talked about communicating with the clients to find out or get a clear discription about his/her requirements on a given project when it looks like we’re confused and don’t know how to go about it. Funny enough i was once a victim of this, each time i’m to research i keep postponding it and never end up doing it.
* HOW TO SURVIVE THE BUSINESS SIDE OF FREELANCE BLOGGING.
* FREELANCE BLOGGING IS A NUMBER OF GAME: I so love this expecially the part the writer said, dashing off sloppy pitches to every blog in the universe is not the most profitable use of ones time. There was a time i would pitch 5 articles to 200 blogs.
* HOW TO BREAK OUT OF THE FEAST AND FAMINE CYCLE: the writer of this explained how we can prepare ourself ahead of time for the famine part of the circle so that the moment it comes we won’t record as much breakdown mentally or financially.
* THE BLOGGING PITCH TEMPLATE THAT GETS YOU A YES: This post has helped me a long way in pitching and getting clients unlike when i never knew how to pitch a client. Most things i know today are as a result of being a adhent reader/follower of BAFB.
Ever since i started following this site, i’ve learnt how to survive and plan for option B when option A fails, i’ve also learn to say to myself that i can write and develope myself on any skill rather than limit or say i can’t.
I now know the basic of freelance blogging and what it is to be a writer.
This site has helped me to know the importance of creating a freelance writer portfolio and how it is my biggest assets on geting me hired or dumped compared to a normal profile, it has also enlightened me on how my attitude towards interruption can make or even break me and how my opinion is the greatest.
I’m so glad i came across this site has it has helped me so far in my writing journey from being a novice to an experienced freelance writer. This site and all it’s contents are life saving, dream answering and solution solver. I have found answers to the many questions i’ve been asking myself such as what is freelance writing?, how do one get to write? Who do writers write for? Where can one write e.t.c.
Thanks Sophie for the good work you’ve been doing, thanks for all the teachings they are educating, motivating and inspiring. More grace to you for your wonderful works, you really don’t know how much you’ve impacted in our lives through your posts, teachings and good deeds.
Dominique Froehlich says
Here it is. The day I finally start writing with blogging intentions and ironically the day of celebration for another year of BAFB.
But it doesn’t stop there. My first post was about the beauty in returning to a familiar time or place. Coming around with new experience and perspective. A circle and it’s symbolism.
I feel like it’s the scene from the lion king and Sophie is holding me out to the cyberlands.
Que the circle of life.
For this birthday, I hope you are looking back at the years with pride seeing how far you’ve come and the trials that provided lessons. They are our greatest gifts to carry into the future. I hope you look forward with ease and ready to embrace the unknown.
Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge. It’s been inspiring having someone to relate to and show there is a way.
Your words give me confidence and support needed to brave the blog world with hakuna matata.
Happy birthday to BAFB.
What a great post. So inspiring, so motivating, and with a lot of lessons – real life lessons.
Happy 6th blog-versary Sophie
BAFB is a source of motivation for me because I’ve read the stories of real life people and by that I mean…people you could meet down the street and relate to who are living the life they want by design and as a bonus making some money while they’re at it.
This blog in particular means I have found all the nine reasons I need to go running through the door screaming I QUIT!!
But then what do I have to lose by learning by doing?
Knowing WHY I came this way and didn’t choose to read palms instead?
I definitely do not have a special message…is there one? And if there was, why would anyone listen to me?
My voice is not unique…by the end of this year it will have sunk even further into the blog ocean…the sun’s rays have no coverage there.
Time, time is of the essence…that’s the most valuable gift I get each day I live…attempting to be a blogger has taught me the pain of wasting it.
Money? Should not have rushed for the income statements.Totally clueless about how to make any…thought I would but obviously don’t know what I’m doing…if I was to narrow down my reasons for exit to one, this is it.
Swinging in a hammock on the beach…the stuff dreams are made of : ) And since I have come across this line more than once it proves to me that this could not be further from the truth. There must be something all successful bloggers are hiding. It’s a conspiracy!
I’m useless with numbers so if I do decide to stick around I’m making friends with someone who knows what to really do with them.
Do like talking to people…a little too much actually…talk radio as plan B? Better scribble that down before I forget.
I’m not entitled to anything…nowhere near royal lineage or anything like that…just need to climb up the value chain…slooooowly.
This is by far the toughest thing I have ever done. All the signs are pointing towards utter and complete failure…if I fail I would have at least found one more memory to look back on when I’m really old and wrinkly.
Hats off to you for having made it this far. You’re one of the rare ones.
Chana Roberts says
Just FTR, how much you can work with the kids around and awake truly depends on whether your eldest is able and willing to help out (by making everyone sandwiches instead of just him/herself, by distracting whiny younger kids with “cool” games, etc.).
What does this blog mean to me? Proof that it can be done. Plus, BAFB is what spurred me to take the leap and do it. Before I found BAFB I wasn’t sure that it was really possible to make a living from freelance blogging (or any kind of freelance writing). Also this blog helped me land my first guest posts, gave me what I needed to make my (still basic) website, and saved me from writing for content mills and earning pennies. 🙂
I’be been writing freelance for a while but had never thought abot freelance blogging until I stumbled upon you! Didn’t think that existed, actually, and I would love to learn more about it (especially how to pitch).
Marla Szwast says
Whenever I read lists of reasons you should not be a freelance blogger it only reaffirms my ability and desire to move forward with my freelance writing career. Be a Freelance Blogger helped me understand how much money my writing is worth. I am still working up to charging what I am worth as I am still in the stages of trying to find the amount of work I would like to be doing. However, I sometimes make my goal wage, and other times take the work because it is close enough and I enjoy the subject. This blog also showed me that you can make money blogging, just not necessarily on your own blog:) Although I do have a blog where I share my own ideas monetizing it has not worked for me. The truth is, I enjoy helping other people get their message out more than trying to figure out how I can monetize my own message. I love the challenge of finding the voice my clients want me to use for each assignment.
Andrea Phillips says
You and your blog represent the real world to me. As someone who loves to write, I needed to be snapped out of the ideal and into the reality of being a writer worthy to be paid.
The one thing that has helped me the most, is your explanation on identifying and unifying my niche, so when potential clients check me out, they see the consistent platform.
Thanks so much for your continual guidance and inspiration.
Pennie Nelson says
BAFB has truly inspired me.
It started as a young teen, at least to my recalection that I
enjoyed writing poetry. It wasn’t until I was older and out of
high school that I thought my poems were good enough to
submit them to different poem publications.
Back then computers were not available to me in the town I
lived in so I spent a lot of time at the library and book stores in
order to find publications to send my work to. It wasn’t to hard
to find publications to write to and most of the guidelines were
simple and easy to follow. Now remember when I said
computers weren’t available for me? Well that meant typing
my poems up on a typewriter and mailing them off. Okay so
now the dreaded wait period from the time I mailed it off, for
the editor to receive it, to the time it sits on their desk and then
finally reads it. So during that time I work on another poem
and go through the same process. Now at this point I am
impatiently waiting to hear back from the first one I sent,
feeling optimistic, I finally receive their reply only to find out
that it said, “Thank you for your submission but at this time your work will not be used.” Rejected! Oh what a sad feeling. So I put that one aside and continued to write and submit. About a year passed and nothing got published and I felt discouraged so I stopped writing.
It wasn’t until I graduated from College which
had nothing to do with writing that I decided to pick up the pen
so to speak and dabble in writing short stories for children. I
wrote about 6 stories and submitted them and again none of
them were accepted. Still eager to write I started my own blog
which mostly covers personal experiences and events. I
haven’t written on there for a while but again would like to get
writing again and this time make some money while doing it.
I ran across Sophie Lizard and her blog and found her life and stardom fascinating. She speaks a language that I can understand and it got me interested. I have been following her for about 2 months now and have learned so much from her. I like that she has so many learning tools and tips made available and is not afraid to tell it like it is. I really enjoy receiving emails from her because I find her and what she has to say so inspiring that it lights a fire under my butt to get moving. I am hoping to be a winner in this contest so that I can have the book “On How To Pitch A Blog” by Sophie herself and Colleague Lauren Tharp because knowing how to properly pitch a blog seems to be the hardest part for me.
Thank you Sophie for your inspiration and Happy 6th Birthday BAFB.
You wrote a preeeeety funny post. I’m now sure that I’m both the special snowflake and the hard-butted blogger. Thanks for showing me how easy and how hard blogging is! I love it. We could be doing heart surgery instead. Thank you Sophie!
Happy Birthday to you BAFB!
Usually, after reading a blog, at least one or two things are taken away which may help in some way. It’s rare however to come across a blog where you can related to every aspect. This is one of those rare ones.
While I have never truly struggle with the feeling of having a special message for the world. It has been a struggle to find a niche, in the blogging realm at least. Because of this I’ve been guilty of #1 by allowing too much of me in to the mix. Thanks to the insight of point #1 it has now become fix number one on tomorrows task list.
Fortunately #2 didn’t make it onto my task list, however, it did get added as a check point on the current or any future blog templates. Note to self: Hear that? Listen to that voice.
Having never been known for my knack with punching a time clock. In lieu of that fact, I’ve not been a clock watcher at the end of my shift either. So you’ve got me with #3, it is a struggle at times to meet deadlines. I can and usually do meet deadlines, but not without effort.
Ah! #4 was definitely a gotcha! When I first graduated from writing school, my expectation was to graduate today, get a job next week, start earning my new living as a writer. SMACK!!! Reality hit me right between the eyes. Had only I’d known about #4 before I leaped, however I belive the cliché says hindsight is 20/20.
When reviewing #5 I can honestly say that I don’t wear PJ’s but that is the only difference, all the rest applies. I’ve broken out of the illusion, and now realize I may never even see a beach again. Wait… are those blisters on my finger tips?
How fitting is it? You hate numbers, mathematics, or money just happens to be #6, which is exactly 1/3 of the statement, when paired with the other 2/3, which equals my feelings on this subject. Summed up it would be 666
#7 was very difficult for me. You see, I love to talk with people. I really do, but for some reason, people don’t seem to like to chat with me. I can smile at them and ask “How’s it going?” They just keep walking or give me a glare. Occasionally, however, someone will smile back and talk. It right then were I wish that person would have just kept on walking like all the others.
In all fairness, #8 really wasn’t what I was expecting! Seems to me that for the amount of time required to read this blog, and to share thoughts about them. In fact ole’ #8 here, really doesn’t offer me too much. I mean in looking for value, here, something more really is expected. You know? Something much more to make it worth my while you see.
No seriously concerning #8, I’ve picked up that setting a value that is weighted fairly for both Writer/Client is a best practice.
#9 Is too important to even joke about. All I can add here really is that if an issue becomes serious enough where you have to think about it longer than a day. Just go back to the start, determine what went wrong, then burn, drown, choke or shoot it. It don’t always correct the problem but it will make you feel much better…. Until the pretty red and blue lights show up.
Congrats on the sixth year milestone. You lead by example.
I am not competitive, so entering a competition is not my style, but a chance to write something that might get read..I’m in. (Thank you Grammarly for your assistance).
I wonder if writing can be hereditary? I never knew my Father but I’ve been told he was a writer. He was in a POW camp in WW2 and wrote an underground newsletter for the prisoners. He also wrote articles for printed media though I never got to read anything he wrote. Maybe it’s the disposition that lends itself to the craft, and that’s what I inherited.
I have been alone most of my life, so, I have developed a strong internal narrative. Yep, that’s right I talk to myself. This is how I discovered and developed the voices within. Only a writer would understand what I mean by this, everyone else calls it being crazy. I’ve been getting fired from crummy jobs all my life but it wasn’t until the internet happened that the possibility of writing for a living even occurred to me.
I’m not a journalist, I don’t have a special message for the world. I did a degree to prove to myself I wasn’t stupid because that’s what I had always been told. That gave me plenty of chances to write, and (that was an Oxford comma BTW) I was graded on my work. At first, it made me hopping mad. How dare they! But now I’m grateful.
But how to go about this writing for a living? I have a crummy job to pay the rent, ( we might be laying you off in September) but it distracts me. It sucks the soul out of me. I get home and try to focus. I fall asleep over the keyboard.
I posted a practice website, took me hours to work out how, I have 300 hits in a month, no comments, no clients and no likes…hmmm. It’s all the stuff that goes with the business of business that I’m struggling with, not the writing.
There are groundbreakers out there on the net, they are showing me how to establish my business, they have a message of hope, yes it can be done and here is how to go about it.
I go round in circles. I need to put up a website… I need to write samples..I need to write a resume… I need to write a template for a pitch… I need to check the job boards. How do I do this with the half hour of energy I have left after working my crummy job which will run out in September?
Its now 3.30 am and I have to get up and walk a mile to the bus stop to go to my crummy job. I just wanted to say Sophie that you have that gift of making people feel like you are talking right to the person. It is the gift of the orator. That’s why I always read your emails. Not everybody writing on the net is good at writing. They write too much and don’t say enough. But your work, I enjoy. Thank you.
Sophie Lizard says
Oh my LORDS I can’t believe I made the same mistake again – I posted the winners ages ago and only now realised that my comment was stuck in the”pending” queue, waiting for me to approve it! I rarely feel shame, but yep, this is embarrassing.
So here’s who won what…
1 winner of a 30 minute mentoring session (email me to arrange it):
10 winners of How to Pitch a Blog Post (email email@example.com with “How to Pitch a Blog Post” as the subject line to claim your copy):
1 – Angela
2 – Sadie Konrad
3 – Amanda
4 – Amanda Piccarreto
5 – Kiara
6 – Onyinyechi
7 – Chana Roberts
8 – Marla Szwast
9 – Andrea Phillips
10 – Jeff
Meia Palavra says
Hi Sophie! I just love your blog, I never knew you could make money money while blogging It was your blog that changed my thoughts, now i try to keep up with all your email notifications and i really hope to win that one hour chat session
Sophie, I found your point on charging upfront very interesting. Developers, designers, and most other creative professionals do. As a freelancer in the USA, we are offered no protections if we are stiffed, paid late, or experience any other sort of delay.
Hi Sophie! I just love your blog
Thank you so much for your post. Keep sharing
Fantastic! Thank you for the real, no sugar coated advice. It gets tedious reading through post after post about how wonderful and “easy” it is to be a freelance writer or entrepreneur. I need some hard-hitting facts to chew on as I gear up to start my own freelance work. I am scared as heck to do this, but I am going to give it my best! There is so much content to sift through out there on how to start your own freelance work and it was so refreshing to land on your post. It provides a good reality checkpoint. Now, I will carry on with my investigative journey with a bit more determination!
Nse Etim Sam says
I am learning and growing.
Jerikho Jordan says
Ouch… I’ve read so many articles by freelance bloggers about how great life turned out to be after quitting their 9 to 5 job to write full-time. They’re really motivating and aspiring, but it’s also good to read about the heavier side of this field to mentally prepare me. It’s not always sunshine and rainbows.
Jen Thilman says
Congratulations BAFB on 6 years of helping us learn how to be effective bloggers.
My “me and BAFB” story:
2021 started by getting laid off from my job. Because I had been working on writing fiction for years I decided I would try my hat at being a freelance writer. Since I knew nothing about blogging and have a background in writing marketing materials, I didn’t think it was more me. As I have dipped into other types of writing and failed miserably at making any real money I started paying attention to blogs more and realized it is something I am perfectly capable of doing.
I’ve started 2022 with one regular blog client but getting myself in front of new clients is my biggest challenge. I appreciated reading this post because I have already experienced some of the pitfalls mentioned. I also wasn’t aware of some of the other obstacles that I might create or experience along this journey. This post and many of your others have been helping me tremendously in getting over myself and “taking it to the table,” as I like to say.
Being confident in my writing abilities is more than knowing I can write. It also means I am not going to make every client happy or write perfectly from their point of view, so being a perfectionist is something I have to overcome. I am working on getting faster at writing posts, which is a problem if you’re too picky, like me. Knowing what challenges I may create for myself and how to overcome them is really important to growing my freelancing business. I can’t tell you how much your blog has helped me with this.
Thank you and congrats again on your 6 years of success!