Category: Freelance Life

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!

Continue reading “Top 3 Productivity Boosting Books for Freelancers”

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”

6 Ways to Manage Your Fears and Turn Around Your Freelance Blogging Career

Illustration by Ramiro Roman

Do you know what happens when you allow fear to take up ownership of your life?

DOUBT, HURT, WHAT IF’S

Some define F- E- A- R as False Evidence Appearing Real

You know that all too familiar fear when you your client likes your pitch and now-you-have-to-put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is fear.

I struggled with fear management for two years, every time I decided to write something I would stare at the screen for hours at a time and produce absolutely nothing.

What happened when my fears tried to get the best of me?

I developed 6 ways to manage my fears and it turned around my freelance blogging career.

I’m NOT saying it’s the solution to all your freelance writing fears.

But it helps! Continue reading “6 Ways to Manage Your Fears and Turn Around Your Freelance Blogging Career”

Six Tips to Keep You Productive When Working from Home

Illustration by Ramiro Roman

Staying productive and on task when you work from home can be super challenging, but, if you’re a freelancer and your home is also your office you absolutely need to nail this if you want to succeed.

Getting everything done just as you want it and on time can be one of the hardest things to get right when transitioning from office life to working for yourself at home.

When I first started working from home I’d get up just before I needed to be at my desk and then spend the morning working in my pyjamas.

I’d make regular trips to the kettle, potter around the kitchen, and, before I knew it, it was 11am which meant time for a break. I’d eat biscuits, stick on Netflix then sit at my PC to work without focusing on anything in particular.

Soon enough it’d be 3pm and I’d done pretty much nothing.

I did this for two weeks before realising I was getting nowhere and would be back in a ludicrous 9-5 office job in no time if I didn’t get my act together, pronto!

Now I successfully work from home as a freelancer and here I share my top tips for how to stay on task and be sure the job gets done when your office is also your living space. Continue reading “Six Tips to Keep You Productive When Working from Home”

4 Types of Toxic Client Behavior (And How to Avoid Them!)

Illustration by Ramiro Roman

Freelance writing is a big, bold, exciting world full of possibilities. You can find success beyond your wildest dreams — if you know where to look and have the right work ethic.

In this sense, working online is similar to working in the “real world.” However, like the real world, people can be toxic jerks — specifically, new “clients.”

If you are a doe-eyed newbie freelancer, hopefully, you haven’t encountered a client with a toxic attitude. If you HAVE, I’m sorry, and I hope this piece helps you avoid people like that in the future. You deserve payment for your hard work — never let a so-called “client” convince you otherwise.

We are going to go through four different types of behavior that toxic clients possess, and why they are hurting you. Afterward, we will dive in deep and figure out how to avoid them altogether.

These examples are based on my personal experiences and horror stories from freelancing friends. Continue reading “4 Types of Toxic Client Behavior (And How to Avoid Them!)”

How to Be a Perfect Guest Writer

Illustration by Ramiro Roman

Imagine for a moment that a friend has invited you over for lunch.

When you get to your friend’s house, you not only eat their food, but you take a shower in their bathroom and sleep in their bed. Then, you put their indoor-only cat outside, take their paintings off the walls, sell their car to a man down the street, and smoke a cigar over their baby’s crib.

Is that any way for a lunch guest to behave?

Of course not!

Now imagine that you’ve been asked to be a GUEST writer. Would you walk into the publication like you owned the place?

You’d be surprised how many writers do! In fact, I get hundreds of e-mails every month from writers who do just that.

I’m the Head Editor of Be a Freelance Blogger and 133T, two online publications that depend on guest writers for content. However, despite the extremely clear guidelines on both publications, an overwhelming amount of writers don’t seem to know what guest writing is.

Let’s clear that up once and for all, shall we? Continue reading “How to Be a Perfect Guest Writer”

EXACTLY What It Takes to Be a Managing Editor

Illustration by Ramiro Roman

Last week, I asked you, the readers, what you’d like me to write about next. The response I got most often was “What are the duties of a Managing Editor?”

That’s a great choice! But, boy – this is going to be a LONG post.

I’m the Managing Editor of both a news site and Be a Freelance Blogger. So I have some personal experience in this particular area. I’ve also seen the Managing Editors of the publications I’ve written for in action.

The basic duties of a Managing Editor in today’s online world boil down to this:

Accepting and rejecting pitches. Some publications hire a separate Pitching Editor for these duties but, most of the time, they fall onto the shoulders of the ME.

Editing writers’ posts. As a Managing Editor, you’ll not only be looking for typos and grammatical errors in the posts you intend to publish, you’ll also be making minor rewrites to get the “tone” of the overall article correct, and you’ll also be keeping an eye out for a Call to Action (CTA) at the end so that the post’s final goal is fulfilled (getting shared/getting comments/selling something/whatever).

Uploading and formatting posts. It’s your job to make the posts look pretty before they’re published. This means adding in headers, enhancing certain sentences, adding in a photo or video, etc.

Writing posts yourself. As a Managing Editor you’ll often be called upon to write certain posts yourself. Generally, when something needs to be done RIGHT – and is “too hard” for your stable of writers – you’ll have to take on the task of writing the post yourself. Or, if you’re a publication that accepts guest posts and your buffer has run dry, it could be up to you to fill in the gap in the schedule. So don’t think your writing skills are going to go to waste just because you’re an editor now!

Maintaining a uniform social media presence. Again, some publications hire a separate person to take on the duties of updating the publication’s social media accounts. But, as the Managing Editor, it’ll be your duty – if not to write the updates yourself – to at least take a peek at what’s being written to make sure it’s “on target” with the publication’s overall branding/message. You may also have to edit copy before it’s sent out.

Okay, now that we’ve gotten the “basics” out of the way, I’m going to share some helpful tips to get all you aspiring Managing Editors out there on the path to success! 🙂 Continue reading “EXACTLY What It Takes to Be a Managing Editor”

What to Do When You Lose Your Best Client

The day before my 32nd birthday last week, I lost my best blogging client due to major layoffs at their company. Normally, I’d keep that fact to myself (it’s generally a good idea not to let anyone know that you’re essentially “jobless”); however, I wanted to write a blog post about this predicament to help others (like you!) and knowing that I’ve “been there” — and so recently! — might be of comfort to some people who view me as such a phenomenal success.

And, I am a success, by all rights. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t struggle from time to time, just like you. It’s not uncommon for me to have to go job hunting. Contracts eventually come to an end. Or, companies have layoffs, and freelancers are always the first to go. That’s just how it is when you’re a freelance writer, “successful” or not!

So what exactly do you do when this happens? Well… Continue reading “What to Do When You Lose Your Best Client”