If you’re thinking about how to escape your day job…

Be it a “side hustle” to pay down debt or an effort to ditch the 9-5, we dream about living the dream. Be our own boss, control our own schedule, determine our own salary. I get it – because that was me just a few months ago… (and now here I am, making my dream a reality). Blogging was an easy choice for me – because I’ve always loved to write. Even as a kid I knew that writing was my “thing” and it always seemed sad to me that I didn’t pursue it farther. (Someone suggested to me once that I become a freelance writer, but I brushed it off because it seemed too “hard”.)

(Ironic that now I’m blogging – almost the same thing as freelance writing, but much harder to make a profit at. Well thought out on my part!)

Related: How to Start a blog for Profit and Work from Home

As I researched work from home options for this series, freelance writing came back onto my radar.  If you, like me, love to write and you’re looking for a great work at home options then DON’T be like me, and don’t let your passions sit on the shelves for years and years. It seems pretty sad to me that I could have become a freelance writer ages ago – and yet I waited until I was 30 to take the leap and start writing.

But I waited because honestly, it’s hard to know where to leap FROM. And that’s the point of this work from home series. Giving you concrete starting points for your work from home journey. So I did some research on freelance writing, and on how to become a freelance writer.

And I ran into a lovely lady who knows way more than I do about it.

Holly Johnson (from clubthrifty.com) was gracious enough to chat with me about her Freelance writing career. She is crazy successful, and now she’s helping other people become crazy successful too (she will teach you how to become a freelance writer). I got to interview her, and I hope you find what she has to say as interesting as I did!

Meet Holly!

become a freelance writer

How did you get into freelance writing? Did it start as a hobby or was this a career you pursued?

I started writing in 2011 after we started our blog, ClubThrifty.com. My initial goal was to earn some side income to pay down debt and actually “get ahead” on our finances. Eventually though, I learned I could make a lot more writing than I was bringing in as the Director of Family Services at a funeral home.

After 12 months of writing part-time, I started earning around $3,300 per month. At that point, I felt confident that I could continue replacing my $40,000 for the long haul and put in a one month notice at my full-time job. Obviously, I was able to earn a lot more writing from that point on since I had a lot more time on my hands.

Can we ask you how much you make in a year? And what your work schedule looks like?

I invoiced for $180,000 in freelance work in 2015, and should invoice for well over $225,000 in freelance work this year. That doesn’t include income from my blog ( we count blog income as my husband’s income). Since my kids are in school all day, I generally work while they’re gone. I start at around 8:00 a.m. most days and finish up around 4:00 p.m. Occasionally, I’ll work a few hours after they go to bed as well. It all depends on my deadlines and workload.

Who (or what sort of person) would be the ideal candidate for a freelance writing career? Can anyone do it?

It helps to be a good or decent writer from the start. It also helps to be extremely self-motivated. When you don’t have a boss or anyone in charge, it’s up to you to find work, do the best job you can, then get paid. You have to be a jack of all trades and willing to put in the hard work and hours required to be successful.

You’ve just launched a course to teach people to make a living with writing… tell us about it!

My course, EarnMoreWriting.com, answers every question I wish I knew as an online freelancer just starting out. Nothing I share is rocket science, but it’s valuable for anyone unsure how to use their writing skills to find paid work. We also have an interactive facebook group, and it’s a ton of fun so far. It’s a lot easier to get your writing career off the ground when you have help, and my course and group provides that help.

How difficult is it to find freelance writing work? Will completing the Earn More Writing course make it easier?

It’s not hard to find work if you know where to look and how to position yourself for paid work. Most people just have no idea how to get started. My course provides a lot of information on any writer’s first steps.

How much could a graduate of the Earn More Writing course hope to earn in their first year writing?

It really depends on your skill level and how hard you work. I know a lot of writers who earned 30K-60K fairly quickly and others who took a while to reach that level.

What’s the best advice you could give to anyone considering trying out freelance writing for profit?

Choose your niche carefully. It’s important to build a brand and your expertise in an area that actually pays writers well. My course covers how to build your niche as well as how to target your niche in an area that rewards writers for their work.

How has freelance writing / working from home changed your life?

My old job was extremely stressful, and I was always rushing around. I also endured chronic back pain. All of the stress along with constant twisting and turning made my back ache to its core.

Now that I work from home, I no longer commute or stress over how I look. I work in whatever room I’m comfortable in, and I quit working as soon as I’m done. I don’t suffer from chronic pain or much stress at all anymore, mostly because I’m in control of my work and my destiny. I also earn a lot more and provide for my family in ways I never expected I could. Life is good.

become a freelance writer

Thinking you might like to become a freelance writer?

Check out Holly’s course, Earn More Writing, here. Just like blogging, just like ANYTHING, I always say that the successful people are the people who invest in training and learn to do things the right way, (Check out my September blog income report – where I say this STRONGLY and explain why I feel this way!) If you want to become a freelance writer, you should JUST DO IT.

And also..if you DECIDE to go down the freelance route, you can check out this site to help you get your invoices paid faster (because it CAN be a pain if you aren’t diligent about it!)

(And if you’re NOT thinking about how to become a freelance writer but still want to work from home? Read 3 Real Work from Home Options (for People Serious About Escaping 9-5) or consider blogging – it’s working for me! – How to start a blog for profit and work from home.)

how to become a freelance writer and work from home