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Talent Isn’t Everything: 5 Secrets to Freelance Success

So you think you want to be a freelancer? A pro shares some tips for success.

by
Kathy Shaidle

Bio

April 30, 2012 - 10:56 am
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I’ve been a professional writer since I sold my first piece to Seventeen at age 21, on my first try.

(Take that, Sylvia Plath: she racked up about fifty rejection letters from the same magazine before breaking in.)

Since then, I’ve veered between being an on-site staff writer and a full-time freelancer, doing one or the other for about three or four years before getting bored/wanting more money/getting sick of winter commuting/spotting an ad for the full-time “dream job” I just HAD to have (for a while).

Right now, I’ve been freelancing full-time since 2008. Along with the politics and culture pieces I do for PJ Media and other online magazines, I write web copy for clients ranging from funeral homes to roofing contractors; edit and ghostwrite books, newsletters, and op-eds; and manage a few social media accounts as well.

Over the years, countless people have told me they want to be freelance writers, too. So here are some tips and home truths about the freelance writing (or freelance anything) life.

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