Category: Freelance Life

Working from Home: The Ultimate Guide!

stuffed animal working at home

“I don’t need to put pants on today… right?” Working from home provides the ultimate in freedom and comfort — but sometimes, a little too much. Before you know it, you’re three seasons deep into Game of Thrones and you haven’t accomplished a single task. So, how can you maximize your productivity while running your business from home? I’m going to share 10 of my best tips.

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How to Escape the “Single Client” Trap

Being a freelancer or running an agency is an amazing and rewarding experience. You get to set your own hours and work when you want (in an ideal world), and you only take on as much work as you feel you can handle at any given time.

There’s just one problem: what will you do when the work dries up? What if that one big client you have suddenly doesn’t have any work for you, or unexpectedly cuts their budget and has to cancel your contract?

There’s nothing worse for stability and security for an agency or freelancer than falling into the “single client trap”. As the old adage goes, don’t put all of your precious eggs in one basket, which is exactly what happens when you become too reliant on one or even a couple of “main” clients. If you find that 80% or more of your income comes from just one client, then you’ve fallen into what’s often referred to as the “Single Client Trap”.

Let’s look at how to get out of this all too common “trap” and into a regular rotation of clients and work that is consistent, reliable and dependable.

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5 Ways to Stay Healthy as a Freelance Writer

Yes, there’s more to it than just “stand up!”

Illustration by Sandpaperdaisy Art

You know the usual tips for staying healthy when your job involves a lot of sitting — take breaks, use a standing desk, stretch — but you probably don’t have the tricks to follow through.

Let’s be real, how many of us actually get up and walk around every fifteen minutes or stay vigilant about our posture?

I know I don’t. In fact, I’m currently writing this in an armchair in my living room. (Not the most ergonomic).

So, let’s break down some ways you, as a freelance writer, can stay healthy during your workday. As a bonus, I’ll include an app recommendation for each tip to help you stick with your new habits.

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50+ Freelance Writing Questions: Answered!

Lauren Spear freelance writing AMA
Illustration by Sandpaperdaisy Art.

Last month, I reached out to my readers/followers via social media and my newsletter to invite them to “ASK ME ANYTHING” about freelance writing. You guys readily responded to my “AMA” and I ended up with over 50 questions!

That was far more than I was expecting, to be honest — which is why this became my gigantic START-of-the-year post rather than my enormous END-of-the-year post like I’d originally intended. (Apologies to anyone whose been anxiously waiting!).

In the end, it feels incredibly fitting and, dare-I-say, “right” to have this post go up in 2020. This year marks LittleZotz Writing’s 10th anniversary — and what better way to get my 10th year rolling than to answer a buttload of questions from the folks who’ve stuck with me and made this site everything it is?

Which reminds me! Before I do anything else… THANK YOU!! Yes, you. Thank you — and you and you and YOU — for sticking with me and continuing to read the LittleZotz Writing blog for an entire decade! And extra big sloppy thank you hugs to those of you who wrote in with questions for this extra special post. You rock!

Ready to have your questions answered…? Here we go!

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Don’t Fall for These! 6 Common Freelance Writing Scams to Avoid

Watch Out for Red Flags! | Graphic by SandpaperDaisy

Getting caught in the web of a fraudulent client is every freelance writer’s worst nightmare.

If you’re a newbie, you’re the easiest prey. There’re a good number of scammers out there looking to milk free content out of you by using your naivety and desperation for work to their advantage. That said, well-seasoned writers aren’t immune to these insufferable predators either.

Follow along as I shine a light on the telltale signs that reveal common freelance writing scams.

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You’re NOT Alone: Surviving Depression as a Freelance Writer

freelance writing with depression
Illustration by Sandpaperdaisy Art

This is either going to be one of the best, most helpful, posts I’m ever going to write (on LittleZotz Writing or anywhere else), or one of the worst. Either way, it’s going to be very long and deeply personal. I’m holding NOTHING back.

Why write about mental illness on a website dedicated to freelance writers? Why not write another post about how to up your blogging skills, or how to earn affiliate income? How could this possibly be useful to anyone on this “niche” site?

Well, in my experience, freelancers – particularly freelance writers – are more often than not “mentally ill” in some way or another. In fact, more than any other post I’ve written in my career, THIS is the one that I get emailed about the most. It’s a post I wrote, along with Sophie Lizard and Kelly Gurnett (both fantastically successful – and mentally ill – freelance bloggers) about dealing with mental health struggles as freelancers.

There’s something about being a freelance creative that really appeals to those of us with “brain problems.” So, yes, I think this post – even with its largely personal focus – is valuable for my audience.

However, unlike most of the posts on LittleZotz Writing, which provide clear and “actionable” advice for the problems they tackle, this post is going to be more-or-less a long ramble about my personal experiences dealing with mental health issues as a (successful) freelance writer. I’ll offer my opinions on what “works” and what doesn’t, of course, but there’s no definite “do it THIS way” advice I – or anyone! – can provide on this topic. Everyone’s mental health journey is different, and what worked for me might not work for you.

What I do wish to provide with this post is encouragement, honesty, and hope.

My dream is that, by being candid about my own life and experiences, I can help YOU – even if you’re just ONE reader – improve your life in some minor-yet-significant way. You’re NOT alone.

Continue reading “You’re NOT Alone: Surviving Depression as a Freelance Writer”

Top 3 Productivity Boosting Books for Freelancers


Illustration by Ramiro Roman

Sometimes, we need motivation from outside of ourselves to be as productive as possible.

We live in a world which is designed to distract us endlessly.

From never-ending emails to ceaseless app notifications, everything is set up to rob our attention away from us.

This conflicts with our desire to be as productive as possible and produce the best work we can.

So how can we regain control of our productivity and do our best work?

I’ve found that books are the best way to regain my focus and drive to work on the things that matter to me.


Today, I’d like to share three of the books that have helped me the most, along with some takeaway tips you can use to make more of your time.

Let’s get to it!

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7 Things You’ll Need to Know Before Becoming a Managing Editor

meditating editor
Illustration by Ramiro Roman

After just over five years of being the Managing Editor of Sophie Lizard’s Be a Freelance Blogger, I finally said “so long” to the job.

Why? Well, long story short, it’s because I’m now a full-time content editor for Syed Balkhi’s Awesome Motive, and I simply didn’t have time for BAFB anymore.

However, five years as a Managing Editor is a long time. Especially in the fast-paced online world. Five years can feel like a decade, especially where learning and experience comes into play.

There‘re so many things I wish I’d known before starting my career as a professional Editor. I learned, of course; but fumbling around using “trial and error” tactics was brutal at times. I desperately wanted someone “in the know” to tell me “THIS is what you should expect, and what you should do…”

But, hey! Now I’M that “in the know” person. And I have the power to tell YOU what you should expect, and what you can do.

So, without further ado, here’s a list of seven things you’ll need to keep in mind if you plan on becoming a Managing Editor: Continue reading “7 Things You’ll Need to Know Before Becoming a Managing Editor”

How to Invoice Your Freelance Writing Clients Like a Pro

Illustration by Ramiro Roman

What’s the most important piece of paperwork in your freelance arsenal?

The contract, right?

It’s that little piece of paper that outlines the scope of work, ensures your client is legally obligated to pay you, and is the official start to all new working relationships.

But here’s the thing.

If the contract is the start, then what’s the end of your agreement? What is it that ties off the agreement and lets all parties involved know that the job is, officially, complete?

The answer is your invoice.

Your freelance writing contract and invoice are the book-stops to the job you’ve agreed to take on. They’re the hard start and stop for each job. And sure, contracts might get more love in the freelance advice world, but these two should always go hand-in-hand.

The invoice you send to the client doesn’t just officially close the agreement (pending payment of it of course), but it reminds the client of the payment terms and work completed.

In my humble opinion, the invoice is almost as important as your freelance contract, but its one of those elements that gets very little coverage online.

And we’re going to change that.

I’m going to run through the key considerations for crafting a killer invoice, as well as list some awesome tools to help you look even more professional. Continue reading “How to Invoice Your Freelance Writing Clients Like a Pro”