Freelance Writing: What You Need to Know Before You Jump - ToughNickel - Money
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Freelance Writing: What You Need to Know Before You Jump

Shauna believes that knowledge should be shared, especially with whomever can gain from it without learning the hard way, as we so often do.

So, you want to be a freelance writer, huh?

So, you want to be a freelance writer, huh?

I have the luxury of working from home as a freelance writer

I have the luxury of working from home as a freelance writer

Introduction

Recently I had a rather frustrating experience with a new writer I've been mentoring. Actually, I didn't even realize the extent to which I've been coaching him until he took all the (free) information I've given him over the last several months and did the exact opposite of what I advised. I made him take down the blunders he posted on his website or he could have found himself in a heap of legal trouble.

I’d like to save you the embarrassment and possible legal repercussions of jumping into a freelance writing career before you’re ready.

I’m not the most successful freelancer in the world (yet), but I’ve spent the past year learning the tricks of the trade and it’s starting to pay off, so I’m pretty confident in what I pass on. I’ve had several contacts I made on LinkedIn reach out to me for advice and critiques on their websites, proof their articles or eBooks, etc. so I must have something of value to share with fellow writers.

This may be old news for many of you, but I’m sure there are plenty of new writers who will benefit from what I have to share in this post.

Build a Library of Clips

Clips are examples of your published pieces. Prospective clients want to see your work and where it’s been posted online or published in print.

What? You have no clips? That’s okay. Not many newbies do. Then again, you may have clips you’re overlooking. Have you written an article for your company newsletter? If your name is attributed to the piece, scan a copy of the printed article and save it to your computer. Same goes for any distributed contributions you may have made in your school days. Did you respond to an article in your local paper and your letter was printed in a subsequent edition? Copy, scan, and save. You now have a base on which to build your library.

That’s all well and good, you may be saying to yourself, but how does a new writer get clips in real time with no experience as a professional writer?

Don’t be afraid to start at the bottom; most of us do. However, you need to be aware of what you can use and what you can’t.

The only clips that are permissible and legal to use are those for which you have the byline. A byline is your name printed below the article title or at the end. The important thing to remember is your name must appear somewhere on the page as author of the piece.

Before moving on to where a new writer can gain experience and actually be paid for his/her work, let me explain the two basic types of writing you’ll find yourself doing.

Ghostwriting Versus Byline

Before you earn a name for yourself and enjoy the privilege of carrying a byline, you’ll spend most of your time ghostwriting. This means you write the piece but don’t get credit for it. Usually you’re at the end of the line between the person who’s paying you and the person who hired them to hire you. This may also be true if you write web content directly for a client. You exchange copyrights for pay when you work as a ghostwriter. The rights are assigned to the paying client unless otherwise agreed upon by contract.

As stated earlier, when your name clearly states that you are the author of the work, this is your byline and is really the only form of writing that allows you to add the work to your portfolio. A byline includes a brief bio of the author with links to their website and other areas where their work can be seen. This is excellent exposure and can lead to more lucrative writing gigs.

Until you’re an established writer and have the luxury of writing for magazines, newspapers, or clients who give you the byline on their websites, most of what you write will be ghostwritten.

It is vital that you understand this: in no way can you use ghostwritten pieces as clips.

Why? Simply and brutally stated, you have no rights to the piece. Yes, they may be your words but the work does not belong to you – it belongs to the client. Therefore, you cannot claim it as your own.

Where Does a New Writer Find Paying Gigs?

Unfortunately, unless you know someone in the business who's willing to take a chance on you, you’ll probably find yourself writing for the mills, which is actually better than taking your chances with bid sites. Bid sites are notorious for paying writers $1-$3 for 500 word articles. Those really are not worth your time. Plus, you’ll more than likely get bid out by a writer from a foreign country who has a much lower cost of living than we do here in the States.

The more reputable mills have you go through training and certification before they’ll award you projects. The education you gain while going through the training is invaluable. Even if you never write word one for them, the training is free. You learn how to embed links, attribute photos, apply SEO practices, AP and Chicago grammar rules, and so much more. These are all skills that will help you climb the writing ladder, giving you the tools you’ll need to pitch editors, clients, and bloggers.

I have been writing travel articles for CopyPress. Their training is very thorough. Unless you rank an A on their certification tests, chances of being offered assignments are slim. Although most of what I’ve written so far is in the capacity of ghostwriter, one client, Hipmunk, is giving each author the byline to accepted articles. Once the articles went live, I had professional clips to add to my library.

Online Writing Sites That Give You the Byline

Another way to claim rights to your work and have clips to show a prospective client is to write for sites like HubPages. Make sure your real name appears somewhere on the page. Pen names are great, but clients don’t Google pen names, so make sure you can be found.

Another great way to retain a byline is to start a blog. Include your blog on your writer’s site. That way, a prospective client knows what you have to offer and can click over to your blog tab to get a feel for your writing style. Again, include your name. I put my full name directly beneath the title and timestamp on every blog I post. This also helps you rank with Google which brings me to another point.

Whether you like it or not, Google is your friend. When you approach a prospective client or editor, the first thing they’ll do is Google you. Make sure you have an online presence and a positive one at that.

Post testimonials and links to your clips on your website

Post testimonials and links to your clips on your website

How and Where to Post Your Clips

Your writer’s website is the place to post links to your clips. If you don’t have a writer’s website, build one. Consider it your online office. It’s your marketing department. Create a page on your site for clips. My page was called Testimonials/Samples.

Include links to your best clips. Don’t post the article itself (or you risk pissing off the Google gods for duplicate content and possibly violating first rights agreement with the site where it appears); rather embed the link (to open in a new window) in the title. Use your best work. If your site has a specific niche, choose articles for that niche. Try to customize the clips to the services you offer. For instance, if you mention product reviews, include a clip. If you tout versatility, include clips on various topics. You get the idea.

It’s a big no-no to include clips for ghostwritten work. That would be plagiarism (even though the words came out of your brain) and you don’t want to go there. What you could do is ask clients for whom you’ve ghostwritten to send you a testimonial to post on your site. Testimonials speak volumes to a prospective client who doesn’t know you from Adam.

Learn All You Can

While you’re waiting for the magical assignment that will bring you fame and fortune, learn everything you can about freelance writing.

Subscribe to blogs and newsletters about writing posted by real-life successful writers. Follow them, read, and leave comments using your full name or the name that appears on your website. This also helps build your online presence. Note: be consistent. Use the name clients will Google on all of your social sites.

Sign up for the free webinars held by prominent, successful writers and bloggers. Be active in the online communities. Comment often. Become friends with writers and bloggers. I’ve had job leads come my way by online writer friends as well as copy editing jobs. Share what you learn with others. Master the creed of successful freelance writers: Know, Like, Trust. Clients need to feel comfortable and confident in hiring you.

Following successful writers will teach you the ropes. You’ll learn how the market works, stay up to date on Google changes, learn how to write a query letter, gain access to job boards, and more. BTW, query letters are a key tool in getting you out of the mills and into your own lucrative freelance business.

Follow agents and resource guides. In addition to a few six-figure writers, I subscribe to Janet Reid (Literary Agent), Writer’s Market, Writer’s Digest, Submit Now! and several others.

Before you can market yourself as a freelance writer you need to know how the business works and constantly work to better your craft. If you expect to offer advice and expertise to a client and increase his bottom line – and your own - you’d better know your stuff.

That’s it for now. If I can help you in any way or you have questions, fire away!

Best wishes in your writing career. I hope I’ve given you a start in the right direction.


Peace,

Bravewarrior




This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2014 Shauna L Bowling

Comments

Riffat Junaid from Pakistan on June 09, 2020:

Thank you bravewarrior.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on June 09, 2020:

I'm glad this article is of help to you, Riffat. Good luck in your endeavors!

Riffat Junaid from Pakistan on June 08, 2020:

I am glad to read it. Very informative article, thanks for sharing.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on May 21, 2020:

Rohini, I'm glad you found this helpful. Good luck in your freelance endeavors!

Rohini T from Virginia, USA on May 20, 2020:

This is one of the most informative articles I've read about freelance writing. Thanks so much for sharing this info.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on February 27, 2020:

I'm glad I could be of help, Avinash. It's nice to see a new face. I'll wander over to your page to see what you're all about!

Avinash Khopade from Mumbai, India on February 27, 2020:

A very very helpful article for new writers like me... Thnx.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on April 17, 2017:

Nadine, I found I didn't enjoy writing for other people either. However, when I wrote TV commercials for businesses in the 1980s I had a blast and really enjoyed the diversity of the work. But I didn't have to market myself or seek sales. The sales department did that for me. All I had to do was meet the clients, get a feel for their business and write!

Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on April 17, 2017:

Great tips in this article Shauna. First time I heard about the term clips. I can only write on topics that holds my passion. I could never be a freelance writer for payment, but I admire others who are. Creating a book cover on a freelance bases is already more than enough.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on October 09, 2014:

Casey, I'm still a newbie, too. At least in the new world of the Internet and all it involves. I pass on what I learn in hopes that it helps other writers trying to make it in this complicated market.

I'm glad you found this useful. Good luck on your career!

Melanie Casey from Indiana on October 09, 2014:

Great tips! I have only been writing for a few years, but I still feel like a newbie! I'll have to take a few of your tips and apply them to my writing!

wings2 from Philippines on September 29, 2014:

Ok maam. I'll do it.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 25, 2014:

Wings, I'm glad you found this helpful. I write in several genres (including poetry) and do have some others you may find helpful. Feel free to cruise around and see if you find something of interest.

wings2 from Philippines on September 25, 2014:

Maam I'm a newbie and I find this article of yours very helpful. I hope I can find more tips and advise through some of your other hubs. I also hope that you would care to read my hubs (actually I have three at this time, all poetry) and please tell me what you think about them, if you only have a spare time. Tell me if "I have jumped". Thanks.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 30, 2014:

Prairie, Carol Tice and Linda Formichelli are good people to learn from. I was in Carol's Freelance Writers Den for a while. I subscribe to both of their blogs.

Congrats on taking the leap. I did the same thing. Quit cold turkey a couple of years ago.

Please do stay in touch with me. Perhaps we can learn from and help each other on our freelance journey.

Sharilee Swaity from Canada on August 30, 2014:

Shauna, this is great advice! I just quit my job to do my writing full-time, and have been learning all this. My writer's website is now updated, and ready to go. Have joined a couple linked-in groups, and I am taking 4 courses in the next little while, two from the Carol Tice and Linda Formichelli... They are excellent and so informative.

I like your tip about making sure your blogs have your own name on it, to make your name climb with Google. I need to do that! Have a great day. I would love to stay in touch with you as a I go on this freelance writing journey. It sounds like you are really growing and learning!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 28, 2014:

I hope you got something out of it, Dana. Thanx for reading and taking the time to comment.

Dana Tate from LOS ANGELES on August 28, 2014:

Great information you have shared here. Thanks voted up!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 27, 2014:

I agree my friend. I think you lucked out. I never signed up for the site because of the $5/article thing. I still wish you'd email me and tell me how you landed a client to pay you more than $5.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on August 27, 2014:

Here's the link Shauna. http://www.fiverr.com/?utm_source=el_re

I was only looking to write greeting card poetry, but getting $50 for a 40 line poem and ongoing work sounds good to me. Good luck with it.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 27, 2014:

Awesome, John! I've been reluctant to try fiverr because of the $5. $5/4 lines of poetry isn't bad. I'd get the acknowledgment and sales promise in writing, tho.

Email me with more info. I'd love to get into greeting cards. That would be a good place for my poetry and would encourage me to write more. I've been so concerned with articles, blogs, etc. that my first love - poetry - has suffered from lack of my attention.

Awesome, buddy! I'm so proud of and happy for you!

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on August 27, 2014:

Hi Shauna, just letting you know of a recent experience that has me excited and may be the start of freelance writing for me. I joined a site called 'fiver' where you advertise your services (called gigs) for $5. It could be anything like write an article on any subject up to 500 words, proofread writing, provide a 2 minute instructional video on any subject etc. if it's something that requires postage you can add extra for that.

Anyway I said I'd write a poem on any subject (for greeting cards etc) for $5.00. Had a guy book a gig immediately asking me to write a poem to be the rhyming text in a children's picture book...and pay $5 for each 4 line stanza (one page) of the book, also give me a percentage of sales and acknowledgement. I sent him the poem in 24 hours (as soon as he paid me) and he was ecstatic with the result...already has an artist ready to work from my poem, and an idea for the next book he wants me to work on. Very exciting.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 27, 2014:

Jo, having many irons in the fire is better than having none! Thanx for sharing. It means a lot to me.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 27, 2014:

Melinda, I'm glad you find my posts helpful. That makes it all worthwhile!

Jo_Goldsmith11 on August 27, 2014:

This is very interesting to know. I will definitely have to save this information for when I am ready to proceed. Nothing like having too many "irons in the fire". :-) Thank you for explaining in great detail on how to accomplish these challenging tasks. Shared, tweet and thumbs up!

Melinda Longoria MSM from Garland, Texas on August 27, 2014:

Bravewarrior, I am so glad to have made a connection with you. I've certainly learned a lot from your experiences and knowledge as a freelance writer. This is another great hubpage. Sincerely, Mel :-)

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 25, 2014:

Thanx, Rehan. I'm not Mary, tho. I'm Shauna or Bravewarrior.

Rehan Ahmad from United States on August 25, 2014:

Thanks for sharing your experience mary, I'll follow your tips ..

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 25, 2014:

Mary, writing was different in the 1980s too. That's when I was a copywriter for TV commercials. All I had to do was write - and interview the clients, of course. But there was no selling or marketing or SEO or any of that. Today's environment dictates a writer be an entire company with multiple departments if any kind of success is to be achieved.

Thanx for sharing your experience.

Mary McShane from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on August 24, 2014:

When I first started writing back in the late 1950s, the closest thing to a manual we had was our English teacher who taught "composition" only. We had to learn everything by trial and error to try to "make it" as a writer. Today with sites like Hubpages and writers like you and Bill and countless others who share their expertise, one can't fail at this effort. The only way to fail is not to try hard enough or follow the steps as you have outlined them here. Bless you for being such a prolific and down to earth writer who is willing to share what she has learned. Sorry about your student, but hopefully he has learned from this experience and now you have as well, knowing how much to share and with what ground rules to have in place from the outset of mentoring. Voted up and shared, even if I am a few days late with my comment.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 20, 2014:

Yep, that it is. I'm starting to get busy but I still make it a point to check in with my HubFamily!

Anna Haven from Scotland on August 20, 2014:

You definitely succeeded. It reads very fluidly and makes sense of a very tangled world.

Nice to see you too. I haven't had any time to write recently or even to read!!

Tomorrow is always a new day, as they say. :)

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 19, 2014:

Anna, when I pass on information I try to make it easy for the reader to understand and follow. It's nice to hear I've accomplished that.

Nice to see you. I haven't heard from you in a while. I very much look forward to your next post!

Anna Haven from Scotland on August 19, 2014:

Hi Bravewarrior

Thank you for sharing your experience and sound advice. You laid it out in an easy to read style and made it clear.

Good advice and very helpful.

Anna :)

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 19, 2014:

Hey, Deb! Yes, I would advise you get a site up as soon as you can. It'll be your home office and showroom all wrapped into one. Good luck!

Deborah Neyens from Iowa on August 19, 2014:

Wonderful advice. I really need to get a writer's website up with clips.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 18, 2014:

Hey, Late For Dinner! (Sorry, I couldn't resist. Go ahead and give me a cyber-slap - I deserve it!)

Mel, if your articles have been published on the big sites, you should absolutely include links on your website. That impresses clients who pay more than residual income or the mills do. Every little bit helps. Each time we reach a milestone it should be recorded for all to see. Every little bit helps on our way to fulfilling our dreams as writers.

Thanx for the votes and share, my friend!

Nell Rose from England on August 18, 2014:

Do you know I have never done a 'clip' site! I really need to make one for my psychic stuff or health hubs, I have had a few articles that have hit the big sites, but I tend to just bookmark it, thanks for the great tips, voted up and shared! nell

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 18, 2014:

You're welcome, Liz. What's the point of gaining knowledge if you can't share it, right? It's how we all learn. Hopefully, I've provided some direction for newbies.

Liz Davis from Hudson, FL on August 18, 2014:

Good advice, Sha! You share so much useful information from all of your experience in this field. Thank you!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 18, 2014:

Suzette, I hope this article gives your niece some inspiration and direction. Feel free to email me and I'll provide you with some links to get her started on the learning path. Thanx for sharing!

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on August 17, 2014:

bravewarrior: Great article and wonderful suggestions for struggling freelance writers. In fact, I shared your article with my niece as she is toying with the idea of freelance writing. Thanks for such a comprehensive article full of great tips! Voted up and shared!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 17, 2014:

Thank you, Michelle!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 17, 2014:

Genna, you're absolutely right. Practice is good, but bylines are better for our careers. Thanx for sharing your take on ghostwriting.

Michelle Liew from Singapore on August 17, 2014:

Passing this on, Sha!!

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on August 16, 2014:

Excellent tips. I was a ghostwriter for awhile, but gave this for the reasons you outlined above…namely, we have no rights to the piece. The term, “ghostwriter,” means exactly what it infers. Although it is valuable experience, eventually, and hopefully, we move on to greener pastures in the world of writing. Voted up and shared.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 14, 2014:

Mom, I almost entitled this post Freelance Writing 101. I have a tool I use that measures the solidity of your title. It rates each for intellectual value, emotional value, and spiritual value. According to the tool, professional writers' headlines rank in the 30-40 percentile. This one came in at 60% in the intellectual and spiritual categories. As you see, I do my homework before I even begin a post.

I feel it's my duty to pass on the information I learn. If it weren't for people in my early adulthood who believed in me and shared their knowledge, I wouldn't have the inspiration to tackle the unknown.

Barbara cook on August 14, 2014:

Very professionally reported info. I would be so lost and in trouble right away. Fortunately there is someone like you to guide the errant ones. Very we'll researched and presented. Freelance 101.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 14, 2014:

Thank you for reading, Homeplace.

William Leverne Smith from Hollister, MO on August 14, 2014:

Excellent hub, for sure. Thanks for sharing.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 13, 2014:

You're very welcome, James. Motivating? Awesome! Thanx for the votes.

JamesPoppell on August 13, 2014:

Excellent hub Shauna. I found your advice extremely motivating and helpful. I voted up, useful, awesome and interesting. Thank you so much for this post.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 13, 2014:

Ruby, I haven't achieved anything in life without someone giving me a chance, believing in me, and sharing their knowledge. If I can make anyone's journey easier - well, I can look myself in the mirror and feel good about myself. Life is about paying it forward.

I'm glad you learned from this hub. And you're very welcome. Thank you for your wonderful comment!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 13, 2014:

DJ, never underestimate yourself. If I (she who is very resistant to change) can learn new things, anyone can. And I'm no spring chicken - believe you me!

That being said, not everyone aspires to freelance for a living. We each have our own drummers. I happen to like the beat you march to. Keep it up!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 13, 2014:

Debra, other than having a prior career as a TV copywriter I was pretty green when I joined HubPages also. It's a great platform to learn and practice the craft of writing. But writing on HP and earning a living at writing are a bit different. HP has helped me wipe the cobwebs off my writing and has helped me grow. However, what I've learned from very successful freelancers has been invaluable. We're never too old to learn, nor will we ever learn all there is to know. The world of copywriting - especially the online world is constantly evolving.

For me, HP is where I write for pleasure. I have to look outside HP in order to pay my bills. The information I provided in this article is to help others who would like to do the same.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on August 13, 2014:

I learned a lot from reading this nub. I can see how difficult it must be to make a living from writing. You are a good writer and glad you are doing well. Sharing knowledge with new writers is a great way to give back. Thank you

DJ Anderson on August 13, 2014:

Great information, Sha. Just wish I had a clue as to what you are talking about! LOL

Seriously, my days of learning new skills seem to be slipping away faster than boiled okra off a spoon. I read these super informational hubs and

think to myself, this is out of my reach. Rubbing shoulders with some of the best writers like you and Bill should have left an indelible mark on me.

I don't think you have to worry about me doing any freelance writing.

Instead, I am still learning to post pictures with an hp publication!

Still, I consider this a very informative hub and I think you have done an outstanding job.

DJ.

Debra Allen from West By God on August 13, 2014:

Lots of great information in here. I jumped in without knowing anything about freelance writing right here on Hubpages. When I signed up, with the advice from a friend, I did it so that I could learn to write. I figured that I could learn by others examples and then I got my own style and lots of people compliment me on that. I would not change a thing in that kind of learning process. Not every one is an expert or even near that in the beginning.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 13, 2014:

Mary, I never thought of it that way, but I guess you're right. I'm one who hates change, but I guess you have to go with the flow when the world keeps moving ahead, huh?

Tillsontitan on August 13, 2014:

You've proven you can teach an old dog new tricks! So much good and useful information. Thanks

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 13, 2014:

Flourish, I've been giving the information I provide here to him for several months. He's not a kid - he's 43 years old. I'm not saying I've given up on him but I suggested he educate himself with the world of writing before he moves forward. I gave him several links. If he chooses to jump in with both feet without first learning the ropes, there's not much more I can do for him. When he contacts me again I'll see where he is and whether or not he's taken my advice.

FlourishAnyway from USA on August 13, 2014:

Be patient with your protégé. He probably got way ahead of himself for an emotionally or financially motivated reason. It's hard when you want to rush success. Good tips that you provide here, Shauna!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 13, 2014:

Pamela, thanx for sharing. I enjoy CopyPress. The staff is very helpful and you can accept or refuse the assignments they send you. I'm certified in three different areas with them, which opens up the types of articles they send me. The pay isn't what it would be if I had private clients, but it's better than most and the clients are legitimate. In addition to Hipmunk, and a couple others, I've written landing pages for Orbitz and CheapTickets. The clients are names we know who get a lot of reach online. Having a byline with one of the big guys can only benefit the writer.

I wish you the best in your freelance business.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 13, 2014:

Ghost, I think you're exactly where you need to be as a writer. You don't have to reach outside of your successful blog and mastery of fiction in order to pay the bills. Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury yet with 11 years left on my mortgage. That's my ultimate goal, tho - to write books rather than articles.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 13, 2014:

Thank you, Faith. I hope many new writers hang on to this and use it as a reference. Actually, I wish I'd had read something like this when I was first starting out, but hey - I muddled through anyway.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 13, 2014:

Thank you, Faith. I hope many new writers hang on to this and use it as a reference. Actually, I wish I'd had read something like this when I was first starting out, but hey - I muddled through anyway.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 13, 2014:

Maria, I doubt he's reading this but I do have half a mind to send him the link. Maybe if he sees it in black and white, it'll sink in!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 13, 2014:

Maria, I doubt he's reading this but I do have half a mind to send him the link. Maybe if he sees it in black and white, it'll sink in!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 13, 2014:

Thanx for stopping by, Linda!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 13, 2014:

Thanx for stopping by, Linda!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 13, 2014:

Suzie, I'm glad you found some value in this article. I felt the need to explain ghostwriting because, although I'd explained it until I was blue in the face to the person I was trying to help, he posted 4 ghostwritten articles on his site anyway. Fortunately, he took them down as soon as I brought it up.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 13, 2014:

Great advice. I have been freelance writing for the past couple of years, so I am not on Hubpages as often. I have started working on a blog, but haven't got it up and running yet. Time is my enenmy. I am marking this article to refer to, as I don't think I am making as much money as I should for my writing even though I get a lot of direct orders. I may check out Copy Press and see if that would be a better option. I think this article is very good, and will share it immediately.

Ghost32 on August 12, 2014:

Solidly presented as always, Sha. I wanted to vote in your poll but could not--because I do figure to "make a living by writing" eventually, I could freelance write for other people if my life depended on it. I'd literally rather dig ditches (and have). It always impresses me, therefore, when someone (like you) can "write to order".

Of course, the same rules apply when it comes to cooking. I've never make it as a restaurant chef, either. :)

Faith Reaper from southern USA on August 12, 2014:

Excellent hub, Sha!

This information is most valuable to any writer, especially coming from one who has been there and knows the reality of freelance writing. Your advice will help many and your writing is clear and concise. Oh ... the young!

Voted Up +++ pinning and tweeting

Blessings always

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on August 12, 2014:

Sha,

You are a born teacher and I agree that this hub is invaluable with tips and helpful information. I do hope that your young writer is reading this and heeding the second time around.

Voted UP and UABI and shared. Love, Maria

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on August 12, 2014:

Excellent advice. This hub of terrific tips will be appreciated by many :)

SuzieHQ on August 12, 2014:

Nice invaluable advice Sha for us all to take note of. Sorry to hear about your experience when you were only helping but glad it sparked this article to pen. I found your explanation of ghostwriter and byline easy to understand and invaluable for going forward. Thanks Sha and continued success as the excellent writer I know you to be!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 12, 2014:

Mike, I think Twitter has become a private joke between us. I appreciate the send my friend!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 12, 2014:

John, that it is. But for the one disappointment, hopefully I'll have many more who learn from my experience. I learned the hard way with no one to guide me and it's been a rough road. If I find one person whose road was made easier by what I've learned, we both will have succeeded.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 12, 2014:

John, that it is. But for the one disappointment, hopefully I'll have many more who learn from my experience. I learned the hard way with no one to guide me and it's been a rough road. If I find one person whose road was made easier by what I've learned, we both will have succeeded.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 12, 2014:

Martie, it is very hard work indeed. The fact that I gave my knowledge freely (which is my character and perhaps my nemesis) only to have it fall on deaf ears irritated me to the enth degree. Nevertheless, I want to share my Freelance Writing 101 knowledge with those who will put it to proper use.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on August 12, 2014:

Hi Shauna, I sent this over to Twitter - cause hey, what could go wrong by doing that?!

Great information

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 12, 2014:

Gail, thanx for adding to this post. It's really hard to cover everything you have in your mind when you're writing. Oh, that's a pretty sucky admission for new writers, huh?

You're right. I also wanted to mention to take a writing course. Especially for those writers who don't have a grasp on grammar, spelling, and flow. Many people have ideas but don't know how to put them on paper. Writing courses and writers' groups are a great way to hone your skills and get unbiased feedback.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 12, 2014:

Audrey, I hope I've given you something to hang onto should you decide to take the leap - if you haven't already.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 12, 2014:

Suziecat, if you ever take the plunge, please keep this article in mind when you start. With freelancers having to be an entire advertising/marketing company, it's too easy to make legal mistakes.

Gone are the days of writing copy and having other departments take care of marketing and legalities. It's hard to earn a living as a writer these days, but it's doable if you do your homework.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 12, 2014:

Thanx, Bill. Sometimes it takes getting pissed off to spark my inspiration. I can't tell you how pissed I was over learning my freebie student actually violated copyright laws because he didn't adhere to my advice to learn and practice before he jumped into a pool that has huge legal rules.

I felt the need to share with other newbies who would, hopefully, be a little more adherent to words of wisdom and experience.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on August 12, 2014:

Great advice for anyone thinking of becoming a freelance writer Shauna. Thank you for sharing. It must be frustrating when a student goes against your advice. Voted up.

Martie Coetser from South Africa on August 12, 2014:

Awesome tips! But oh, hard-hard work. Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge, Shauna. I am wishing you only the best in your writing career :)

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on August 12, 2014:

Hi Shauna,

Lots of great advice. I voted this hub up across the board except for funny and also shared it.

I think another good way to hone writing skills is to join a local writer's group. Some have their own websites where individual members can post a bio, clip or writing sample.

Thanks for posting this info.

Hugs,

Gail

Audrey Howitt from California on August 12, 2014:

Great advice!

suziecat7 from Asheville, NC on August 12, 2014:

Excellent Hub. You've covered a lot of useful information for all writers. I wish I had the nerve to take the plunge into full time freelance writing. Voted up!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 12, 2014:

It all sounds vaguely familiar. :) I have nothing to add. Nice summary and newbies would do well to pay attention to your advice.