How I Found Freelance Writing Jobs
In fall 2015, I started researching how to build a freelance writing business to make money. I signed up on Upwork.com and was able to search for assignments. I also began researching start-ups in my home city, Chicago.
Blogs are all the rage for companies these days. They drive traffic, build trust with consumers, and help convert readers to buyers. Given the trend for blogs, I thought a great place to add value would be at a start-up. I researched a list of “Top Start Ups in Chicago” and one of the first sites I clicked on was Rentalutions.com.
I searched for their job board and I’ll be honest- I got lucky- they happened to be looking for freelance copywriters at the time. For three months, I submitted articles (usually two per month) for their site.
How a Freelance Gig Turned Into a Full-Time Job
Eventually, I got an email that said they’d no longer need my help (they were going a different direction with their content). I remember it came as a blow. Even though it wasn’t much money, it was still a consistent gig.
The inconsistency of work and money was one of the hardest parts of freelancing. I was ready to give up and start job searching when Rentalutions emailed me saying they were looking to hire a full-time copywriter.
So for me, the honest reason my freelance position turned into a full-time job is luck. They happened to want a full-time writer and they were reaching out to their prior freelancers.
Even though that’s how it worked for me, it’s very possible the company you’re freelancing for would be interested in hiring a full-time writer. If you want to make your position a full-time gig, then reach out and ask. My experience taught me that if the company is investing in freelancers, chances are they’d be interested in investing in a full-time writer:
- Hiring a full-time writer means they’d be investing in a subject matter expert for the company. The writer can also completely manage the blog: managing existing content, writing new content, promoting content on social media, sending the content out in emails, and more.
- Investing in content marketing is a smart business move.
- Hiring a full-time writer means they no longer have to manage a group of freelancers.
- If you’ve already freelanced for them, then they know you’re a good writer and understand the topic.
If you can offer the company all of the above benefits, they may be inclined to hire you full-time.
What to Consider Before Moving to a Full-Time Position
The Pay Offs of Moving to Full Time
Writing for a company full-time means you’ll be researching and writing about one topic. This can be rewarding: you’ll become a subject matter expert on your topic. This can also be a scary leap to take. I remember worrying how I would write article-after-article on landlord education. What I learned from taking that leap is that the more you write about a topic, the more rich it becomes to you. You learn the nuances and depth of knowledge required to be an expert in something.
Before committing to writing one topic full-time, ask yourself: Is it a topic that interests you? And does the company’s vision align with your values?
The next pay-off is rather obvious: money. Working full-time means you’ll be making steady income. That being said, some writers are making more money as freelancers. And they have full control of their jobs and time. However, the majority of the time, your full-time job will be better for your finances than freelancing.
Plus, when you don’t have to worry about how you’ll pay your bills, you’ll have more time to pursue other passions, like creative writing.
My career goal is to publish my novels, and sometimes it can be frustrating working 9 to 5 on something other than that goal. However, making steady income allows me to pursue becoming a novelist guilt-free. By that, I mean I’m not living at my parent’s house worrying about what to do with my life. Rather, I’m in full control of my income and career. It’s just a matter of dedicating time outside of work to achieve my creative writing goals.
The Opportunity Cost of Transitioning to Full-Time
When I was interviewing for my current job, I listed the pros and cons and I remember becoming sad. I recognized the job was a growth opportunity, but truthfully, I was nervous what would happen to my creative projects. Would I still have time to edit my novel? And pitch to agents?
I even reached out and asked if the job could be a part-time role. I was willing to earn half the money if it meant having time for my novels. They were firm that they needed someone to write for them full-time.
If you’re similarly nervous about transitioning to full-time, then I recommend asking to work from home. Writers often need quiet and space to get their work done (at least this is true for me). I also have a dog and I value spending time at home with her, even while I’m working. Luckily, my company is flexible about working from home. So keep in mind- you can ask for a schedule that works for you. The worst thing that’ll happen is they say no.
Transitioning to full-time can be a great opportunity: making steady income, becoming a subject matter expert, and adding value to a company through your writing. It can be extremely rewarding. And the steady income will ease your stress, so you can focus on your creative projects in your free time with more passion (and less stress).