Linda from Wisconsin was your average secretary who lost her job in 2013 due to the recession. After an unsuccessful job hunt she began working online from her computer. She is now earning her living online, while conquering the globe in flip-flops and diving fins. I interviewed her about her remarkable story and she revealed her steps for success; including tips and techniques for aspiring writers, and a behind-the-scenes look at her life and latest work.
Q: How did you get started?
A: The first thing I did was to search JobDB (highly recommended). They are top tier for the kind of jobs I’m looking for. ‘Top tier’ means that Inc. 500 companies and agencies are posting jobs directly into the database. Their HR department is usually closely tied into the feed system (which means higher pay). Then – usually in the morning or at the airport – I’d go through newly posted writing jobs and apply for the ones that interest me, money and topic-wise. In most cases I qualify and receive an email with instructions a few minutes later. I’ve tried many other sites before (Odesk, Elance, Freelancer), but the job quality and pay was much lower compared to those found using this ‘top tier’ method.
Q: What happened next?
A: Once my application was approved, I received a username and password. In the members area you can sort jobs by category, deadline, or hourly wage. There are writing gigs to suit all levels of skill and experience, usually paid at up to 70% higher than average market rates. I’ve seen job postings from Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and Budweiser before. But also lawyers and government agencies seem to use the service on a daily basis. Such exclusive gigs helped me land several other jobs in the offline world later on.
Q: What’s keeping you motivated?
A: I could write a book on this topic, but instead I’m going to keep this digestible. I love to travel. I love to wake up every morning in another hotel room. My morning routine basically looks like this: wake up, open the window and take a deep breath of fresh air, I’d relax and watch the scenery for a while, then order breakfast and a coffee preferably onto the balcony of the hotel room. Freelance writing gives me the air of freedom that my soul wants to breathe. It’s all about running a smarter business and being creative isn’t it?
Q: What would you say are the real benefits of a freelance writing career?
A: I think it’s a shame that freelancing writing isn’t the first choice career path for more young people. Freelance writers are well paid and they have an extremely satisfying job. Creative minded and freedom-loving individuals who enjoy writing will thrive in this space and may not be stimulated in an office environment. They should take the plunge and follow my example!
Q: This is a cheeky question, but how much do you make per year freelance writing?
A: I’d usually not reveal any numbers, but because you guys are basically the reason for all this, it shall be answered: After several failed attempts to earn money online, I started as a moonlighting writing freelancer. It wasn’t easy. It took lots of “trial and error”, persistence, and dedication. But 14 months later, I resigned from my full-time job. And in my first full year as a freelance copywriter, I earned $163,481, and last year I almost grossed $400,000, but I’m just starting!