I’ve been able to earn money freelance writing. In the past five months, I’ve made $4,000.
I realize that’s not exactly enough for a full-time gig, but it’s a start. I had toyed with the idea of freelancing for the past couple of years but never really invested in the idea for several reasons.
First, marketing myself is not my forte. I went to school for journalism, yet still didn’t have confidence in my writing or skillset.
Second, anytime I tried to start as a freelancer, I would become overwhelmed by the logistics. How do I find clients? Once I get clients, how much do I charge? Invoices, taxes, etc. The list goes on. I didn’t know where to begin, and I’m sorry to say I let the overwhelm keep me from trying.
Finally, I was honestly just afraid to fail. What if I wrote an article, and the client hated it??
These fears and worries are not uncommon. You might be experiencing them yourself. If that’s the case, hopefully, this article will help you push through and make a start on your side gig. Below are a few methods I use to overcome my fear and immerse myself in the freelancing world.
Find an easier route to your goal
The money I’ve been able to earn from freelance writing so far has been through the platform Fiverr. And before you ask, no I’m not getting paid to talk about or promote this service in any way. I’m simply telling you about my experience.
Fiverr solves a lot of issues for me when it came to starting as a freelancer. It fixed my self-promotion issue because you really don’t have to market yourself. If anything, your rating does the marketing for you. The better you do, the more the platform will promote your gig on the site.
It was also easy to see what kind of rates my competition was using. Admittedly, there was a wide range of pricing options, but it gave me an idea of where I could start and how far I could go with experience. I also didn’t have to worry about a client stiffing me because they pay through the platform. Customers can’t place an order without paying first. I don’t get paid until I submit the order. It works out for everyone.
For me, Fiverr was an easier alternative to starting from scratch with my own website and cold calling clients. Maybe Fiverr could help you make a start too, or perhaps there’s another platform out there that’ll help you get over that beginner’s hump.
You don’t have to go the traditional side hustle route anymore, either. Technology has made it possible to carve your own unique path in the gig economy, so don’t feel like you have to start the same as everyone else.
Accept the bad reviews
Before you even start, you may as well accept that you can’t win them all. There will always be at least one unsatisfied customer, no matter how hard you work to make them happy. Does it feel good? No, but it also isn’t the end of the world.
My worst review on Fiverr was two stars out of five with the comment “very poor.” I wasn’t particularly surprised by this review because the buyer was vague with instructions, and when asked for more detail, only gave more vague answers. I’m not sure if it was a language barrier or if they were trying to get me to do extra work without paying. Either way, they were dissatisfied.
The two-star review felt terrible, and it dropped my overall rating because I didn’t have a ton of reviews at the time. Here’s the thing though, the other reviews I had were all excellent.
You can’t let one bad piece of feedback keep you from trying (even though it’s tempting).
Look at it as a learning experience
When you start something new, having the right mindset is way more important than people give it credit.
I used to look at side hustles as something that had to succeed, or I would be a failure. That’s way too much pressure before I’d even taken my first step. I wasn’t looking at it positively.
This past year, I’ve adopted a couple of new mantras that make getting started a little easier. The first one is: Focus on the process, not the outcome.
The process of writing on Fiverr has made me feel more confident in my overall writing abilities. There’s something to be said for positive reviews and knowing that people appreciate the work I’ve done for them.
Focusing on the process also helps me appreciate the little wins more. My small victories on Fiverr include repeat customers, five-star reviews, and being listed as Fiverr’s Choice when it comes to article and blog writing. I’m gradually increasing my prices and working toward my overall goal, which is to make a full-time wage as a freelance writer.
Achieving your goals doesn’t just happen overnight, though. It takes time, and focusing on the process will give you a little more patience while trying to reach your goals.
The second mantra I’ve been following lately is one by Marie Forleo:
Everything is figureoutable.
When I feel like I’m in over my head, repeating this phrase helps me take a step back and figure out where to go. This mantra helped me decide to increase my Fiverr rates recently.
I wanted to make more money on the platform, but I didn’t feel like I could take on any more gigs. After looking at gigs similar to mine, I decided I should raise my rates. I wasn’t sure how this process would work with existing clients, but I’ve had no issues so far. My orders haven’t slowed down either. I just kept telling myself it was all figureoutable, and I made the necessary changes to make more money.
By approaching freelancing as an opportunity to learn and grow, I’ve been able to move forward with my freelancing career. Even on days when I don’t feel confident in my writing, the drive to continue learning helps me push through.
Starting a side hustle takes a lot of work, no matter what path you take. Even navigating Fiverr took time to get used to, and admittedly, I still don’t understand how to use all of the platform’s functions, but I’m learning. I’m figuring it out, and it feels good to be trying in the first place.
Just because you’re nervous doesn’t mean you shouldn’t move forward.
Nerves are a sign of excitement, and sure, anxiety. But these feelings come from knowing something different and great is waiting for you on the other side. Stop letting your nerves hold you back and keep you from making extra money. Take that first step toward your goal and get to work, just like I did when I started to earn money from freelance writing.