I’m not going to sugar coat it. Building up your freelance writing income takes a lot of determination, grit, and persistence but can be done.
In fact, it can be done way easier than I went about it. I started with no real focus, no niche, no idea what I was doing and no clarity. Once I got serious about it, I started landing magazine and travel guidebook writing work. Today, I still write for the travel industry (as well as ghost blogging and offering virtual services for tourism businesses) but I also turned into a virtual support business for travel bloggers and tourism businesses that I love.
And that’s the real point of building up a freelance career. It should evolve and grow as your interests shift. That’s why I love writing about how other freelancers are doing it too. It shows that there’s no one niche or path that you must follow. It’s really more about hyper-focusing and choosing niches that align with your financial and lifestyle goals. Here are four Moms crushing the part-time, freelance life.
I’m just a straight-up Gina Horkey fangirl. She came out of nowhere and is the very definition of a go-getting Mom. Her story includes being a bartender, a Jenny Craig consultant, and a financial planner out in Minnesota. Gina decided to use her ability to hyper-focus and threw herself into building up a career as a virtual assistant and freelance writer.
Gina also did one crucial thing that I always recommend to everyone trying to break into the business. What’s the big secret? Repurpose the knowledge and experience they already have to break in.
Gina’s freelance writing classes and virtual assistant courses are also phenomenal, easy to digest, and focus on actionable goals for success. Her students are making thousands each month, even with almost no experience.
If you feel like you can’t get a freelance writing career off the ground because of your kiddos, look no further than Elna Cain. She’s a busy Mom of twins and still managed to build up a lucrative freelance writing business around their hectic schedule.
I really can’t imagine this, because it took all of my energy to keep writing with a 3-year-old and an infant after my son was born. Although Elna is everywhere and has a Mom blog, freelance writing blog, and professional site, her paid writing work appears on Blogging Wizard, OptinMonster, PageWiz, and other clients. She’s branded herself as a “coffee-loving millennial mom to twins and a professional B2B writer for digitally native brands.”
I love Alexa Mason’s story of Single Moms Income. After a painful divorce, Alexa became a single mother of two young girls and got to work reinventing her life. I find it impressive she opted not to keep up with the Joneses, and instead move into a trailer to save money and get out from under financial stress.
Alexa realized she would be still in relatively low-paying work in her small town, she decided to look online to create a career for herself. Alexa also diligently built up a freelance virtual assistant and freelance writing business while her girls were in care or at school. She slowly scaled her way into earning nearly $65,000 in 2017 while newly re-married and raising a new baby alongside her older children.
This Mom really blows the “too many kids and things to do” excuse out of the water. Lisa Tanner is a mom to EIGHT children and still manages to earn several thousand dollars a month writing from home, working as a virtual assistant, and editing on a part-time basis. Did I mention she also homeschools?
The Tanners live on a farm, drive their family around in a short school bus, and indulge in their entrepreneurial loves like writing and photography. Lisa has also nailed the package options for her services with 12 blog posts starting at $1,000 at just 350 to 550 words per post. She also recognizes the value in diversifying and offers social media content and customized packages. I love how transparent she is about publishing her rates online to attract the right clients.
Focus on the Journey
Hopefully, you’re inspired by the success of these Moms, but chances are you’re also playing the comparison game. Unfortunately, that’s a game you will never win.
Even when I “made it” and started earning the freelance income I was looking for as a stay-at-home Mom, I suddenly realized how much more I could be doing. I also found I wasn’t wholly satisfied by the results and wanted to earn more blogging, and not just with my high-paying freelance clients.
That’s when I realized it’s always going to be a balance, always an “I wish I could earn more,” always more of, “I wish my life looked a little different,” no matter what goals you reach. That’s why you should focus on the journey of growing as a writing and entrepreneur instead of exclusively on the money goal.
Money is important, but so is happiness. And believe it or not, happiness and success are two totally different things and skills. To be happy, you need to have some kind of control over your life and work you enjoy at least sometimes. For me, that type of enjoyable work is freelance writing and offering virtual solutions to travel bloggers and pros. The next step is appreciating and expressing gratitude for what you have while you have it. That’s something I continue to work on, but I don’t expect the journey to ever be done.
Not sure where to get started as a freelance writer? Try this list of 200 writing niches that pay big.