My 29 Extremely Personal Tips for Surviving Your First Five Years in Business

I quit my job five years ago, two months after making my first income from freelance writing. Sometimes, even now, I have these moments where I’m like, holy fuck, this is my LIFE. I don’t have to rely on anyone else to earn enough money to live. I don’t have to be anywhere at a certain time each day. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do, […]

How I Persuaded a Cheapskate Client to Pay Me More Than Double

Three years ago, when I was still a new freelance writer, I found a potential new client. Most of my clients at that point were people who wanted SEO articles. This woman ended up being one of my first ever copywriting clients. She wanted the content for two websites rewriting, both of which offered the same services but with different branding. She wanted 16 pages for each website. What the […]

Is Fear Keeping Your Rates Low?

If you ever want to start making decent money from freelancing, you must stop operating from a place of fear and scarcity – feeling like this client is the only client you’ll ever have, and that if you lose them, all else is lost too. If you’re always scared you’ll lose the client, you’ll never be able to put your rates up. Actually, scratch that. Because you will always be […]

The Number 1 Sign You’re a Professional

I could talk about integrity right now, or talent, or good communication skills. Confidence, punctuality, ability to meet deadlines. Even initiative, being a ‘team member’, and all that other crap you used to write on your CV. (Because you don’t need a CV any more, amirite? Huzzah!) But the thing is, all of those things are worthless unless you have this one other trait. Without this singular trait, there’s no […]

How to Raise Your Freelance Rates with Cheapskate Clients

I get asked this a lot. How do you raise your rates with clients who are paying you a pittance? So this is kind of a trick question. Or trick headline. Whatever. Because the thing is, trying to raise your rates with clients who don’t understand value is almost impossible. These guys view you as a commodity… so why should they pay you more than any other freelancer? In their […]

How to Take Time Off Without Killing Your Business

Have you been wondering when the hell you’ll be able to take some time off from this exhausting business you decided to start? Possibly wondering what demon possessed you when you decided to quit your job, your lovely lovely job where you could book time off? You can’t just book a week off with your boss, knowing someone else will pick up the slack while you’re gone. Because without you, […]

How Much to Charge for Your Freelance Services

One of the things I get asked most is exactly how much to charge for something. Sometimes people will email me entire messages from their prospective clients asking them how much they charge for something. And then they want me to tell them what their answer should be. But I can’t. I get it. I do. You’re afraid of getting it wrong. You’re afraid of charging the wrong amount and […]

How to Ask for Testimonials

When is the right time to ask for a testimonial? Is it okay to ask for a testimonial from someone you don’t intend to work with again, or for much longer? Is it okay to ask for them at all? And my answer to all of those is: HELL YES. (Except the first one, because that was not a yes/no question, so that would be weird.) Here’s what you need […]

The Fundamental Differences Between the Employed and the Self-Employed

Employed: ‘Oh god, it’s only 10am.’ Self-employed: ‘Oh thank fuck, it’s only 10am.’ Employed: ‘SWEET, IT’S 5PM.’ Self-employed: ‘Oh Jesus Christ, how is it 5pm already?’ Employed: There is only so much you can earn. Self-employed: There is no limit to how much you can earn. Bonus points for getting to decide your own hourly rate. Employed: One person is in charge of your entire wage packet. Self-employed: Your income […]

The 6 Biggest Mistakes Freelancers Make When They First Start Out

1. Wavering on Price Know a pretty much guaranteed way to not get paid what you’re worth? Wavering on price. If you find yourself scrambling to accommodate somebody as soon as they ask for a discount, you’ve already lost. If you say ‘prices are negotiable’ on your website – ditto. Never ever give somebody a discount just because they ask for it. Ever. Stick to your guns and you won’t […]