Ready for another confession from a highly successful freelance writer/blogger?
My next freelance writer I interviewed was Alicia Rades. Alicia was one of the first few freelance writers I found online when I embarked on my freelance writing career. I was immediately drawn to her marketing strategies and informational content she provided via her own blog and guest blogs.
It wasn’t until recently that Alicia found out about me! I posted a question on Beafreelanceblogger forum and she provided some useful advice.
She had asked her network of freelance writers if they wanted to contribute content on her new blog. I said I did and now I’m part of her expert panel of freelance writers.
Want to know who else I interviewed?
Alicia has definitely made a dent in the freerlance writing world. Take a look at how she broke into freelance writing.
Get to Know Alicia
I’m Alicia Rades, freelance blogger, writer, and editor. When inspiration strikes, I’m also a fiction author. I’m the kind of girl you will see all over the Internet with different projects going on. On top of that, I’m going to school full-time for my B.A. in communications. A year ago, I decided to make it my full-time life-long career. That decision seems to be working well for me.
Realizing Her Life-long Career
At first? The money. I started freelancing when I was in high school. I was working for different content mills and really liked the flexibility of it. When I got into college, I couldn’t decide what to do with my future career. Long story short, I did a lot of thinking and jumping from major to major, and I eventually decided to really make a career out of freelance writing because I loved what I did so much.
A Supportive Husband On Her Side
My husband has been 100 percent supportive! Part of the reason I chose to move forward in my career as a freelancer was because I could work from anywhere. When my husband graduated, we had no idea where we were going next, so I transferred to an online school and got serious about my freelancing career. Now I can work and go to school from anywhere, and he’s really supportive about that. He still doesn’t quite understand what I do and how I make money (who does?), but he always tells me, “Just do what you have to do.”
How New Are You To Freelance Writing?
I started freelance writing in November 2010, so I’ve been at it for four years now.
In Charge of Her Own Rates, But Doing It Alone : Freedoms and Limitations
- You get to work in your P.J.s! I actually do this.
- You have more freedom in arranging your schedule. For example, I could spend a few extra hours finishing up client work on Thursday and then have a free Friday morning to go to a doctor’s appointment or even take an early weekend to go visit family.
- You can work from anywhere. I think this is a freedom coming to more people than just freelancers, but most people I know don’t have this freedom. I really like that I have the option to visit family but still stay connected to clients while I’m hours away from my home office.
- You can change your salary. You are in control of your rates for the most part, assuming you have clients willing to pay your rates. If you realize you’re not making enough money, you can just raise your rates. (It’s obviously not that simple since there has to be a balance between supply and demand, but you know what I mean.)
- You get to choose who you work with. I’m really picky about who I work with, but that seems to work well for me. I generally turn down clients who request anything but blog posts (since that’s my specialty) or if they’re asking me to write in an industry I know nothing about. And I can always stop working for clients who give me a headache.
- Given that I’ve always been a freelancer, I think I’ve missed out on some of the experiences of what some might call a “real job.” I don’t work face-to-face with anyone, so sometimes I feel like I’m missing out on the social interaction. At the same time, I really like not being interrupted while I’m working, and I do have online friends who I’ve learned a lot from.
- I can’t really think of any others.
What Are Some of Your Challenges and Winnings?
One of my biggest challenges was getting over how scared I was to move forward in my career. It felt comfortable working for content mills, but I knew they weren’t going to actually get me somewhere. I was terrified of private clients. Now I’ve found that they generally cause less headache than content mills, and they pay better.
One of the challenges I’m working on right now is that I’m a workaholic. I don’t want to be, so I’ve been trying to be more productive and work less hours.
Some of my biggest wins are the guest posts I’ve contributed to well-known blogs like ProBlogger. People used to tell me all the time that all I needed was confidence, so I took a shot at it. Actually, I first pitched my post on ProBlogger to Social Media Today. They didn’t want it, so I took a stab at ProBlogger. I’m proud that they’re a part of my portfolio now.
Every day I land a client, improve my website, or help another freelance writer is a win for me.
From Content Mills to Landing Her First Top Paying Client
My first client was a content mill, if you can call them a client. It took as little time as filling out the paperwork. My first private client was a couple months after that, but she literally paid me $1 per 500 words. I was really naïve back then.
But my first good client? It took me three years of content mill writing to land a private client offering decent pay. But I blame that on myself since I was scared of private clients.
Tell Us Three Resources For New Freelance Writers
Be a Freelance Blogger: This blog has helped me so much in my career! Sophie’s Client Hunting Masterclass is what kick-started my full-time life-long career choice.
All Freelance Writers: Jenn Mattern has been such a huge help in my freelancing career. She’s very supportive and encouraging, and her advice is always super helpful.
Freelancer FAQs: Elna’s other freelance site that helps all types of freelancers.
What Do You Plan to Accomplish This Year?
Right now my biggest goal is to finish my degree, but that won’t happen until 2016. In regards to my business, I want to make enough money so that I’m comfortable and have some to put away in savings. Right now, that’s working out well for me.
What is the Main Way You Find Clients?
Most of my clients come to me via search engines. I don’t even know what SEO I did, but I’m ranking on the first page for “freelance writer for hire,” so something is working out for me!
Anything You Want to Tell New Freelance Writers?
Do what works for you. There’s so much advice out there about what you should and shouldn’t do and how much you should and shouldn’t charge. Don’t get me wrong; that advice is usually very good, but don’t be afraid to stray the beaten path if it helps you reach your goals.
Alicia Rades (@aliciarades) is a freelance blogger for hire who specializes in blogging, career, and lifestyle topics among other subjects. Get to know more about her and her services.