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Freelance Writing Reality Check

Updated on October 11, 2013

The Hard, Bitter Truth

I am not here to sugarcoat this message. I think writers need to know the facts before they consider going into the freelance writing field. It is better that you learn from me now than after you quit your day job and find yourself knee high in bills without income.

Toss aside the delusions that freelance writing is glamorous. WRONG!

Toss aside the delusions that freelance writing is a lovely stroll in the park during your spare time. WRONG!

Let me ask you this: what are your monthly living expenses? One thousand dollars? Fifteen hundred dollars? Two thousand?

If you made $50 selling a magazine article, you would have to write AND sell 20 of them to meet your expenses of one thousand dollars…each month! Twenty magazine articles per month or about one per work day.

What do you think the chances are of you pulling that off?

Can you say zero?

Nobody can do it! The most established freelancers in the business have about a 30% success rate for magazine pitches.

So, should you give up your silly notion of ever being a successful freelance writer? Of course not; you just need to learn how to play the game with the big boys, and I’m here to help you learn the freelance game so you can survive. Read on and you just might learn how to meet expenses and have money left over to go to McDonald’s for lunch one day each week.

It all begins here
It all begins here | Source

Put in the Time

If you are going to do this full-time then you need to treat it like a full-time job. What’s a full-time job in the real world? Forty hours? Now add ten to twenty hours and you have the schedule of a full-time freelance writer.

I work ten hours each day five days per week and another five to ten on weekends….fifty-two weeks per year….and that’s after recently cutting back on my hours.

Whatever distractions you may have around your household, they need to be eliminated. If you were working for someone else in an office downtown you could not stop working to handle personal phone calls and shopping and doing the laundry. The same holds true if you are a freelancer at home.

If you are a freelance writer you need this book

Become a Fast Writer

Sitting around staring out the window lamenting the infamous writer’s block is not a scenario that is conducive to making money. You will not pay your bills if you do not write. You will not have money to eat if you do not write. You will be homeless if you do not write.

If you are waiting for inspiration as a freelance writer then the hours waiting are hours lost.

You must write. You must write often. You must write quickly.

Eliminate lost time by having everything you need organized and nearby. Have supplies handy. Have reference material handy. Have files handy and contact lists handy and…and….and….then write!

Organization is huge. I have files with former contacts, editors and other office people I have been in touch with in the past. I have my Writer’s Market close by. I have a list of topic ideas that grows faster than the national debt. I have a book of quotes for inspiration. In other words, everything I need to write is close by so that all I have to do is….write and write quickly. And while we are at it, forget about writing the perfect article. Write a very good article and move on. Freelance writers do not have time for perfection.

Develop a niche like wildlife and write often about it.
Develop a niche like wildlife and write often about it. | Source

A realistic viewpoint

DIVERSIFY

Remember our discussion early on about how many articles it would take to meet expenses? Well the simple truth is that a freelance writer cannot meet those standards, but the money to survive has to come from somewhere, so where does it come from?

A variety of sources!

I make $600 each month writing blog entries for businesses. Combined those blogs take me about ten hours each week. I also make passive income from articles that I wrote for a writer’s online community called HubPages, and that is income that continues to stream in and increase with each passing month.

The opportunities are out there; you just have to find them. Have you ever done a newsletter? I make $250 each month doing two real estate newsletters.

Have you written an online book? Consider it! I know a writer who does ten articles per week and two ebooks per month. Have you tried advertising copy or ghostwriting? Have you tried educational materials or handbooks? Have you tried public relations materials or press releases or resumes or sales letters or editing? I have another friend who combined photography and writing and now sells her own inspirational cards featuring wildlife photos and captions that she has written.

You have all heard the old saying about not putting all of your eggs in one basket. Well we raise six chickens, and four of the hens like to use the same nesting box, and invariably one egg is broken after the four of them finish laying. Freelance writing is a bit like that. If all of your efforts are put into one type of enterprise, you just might find yourself short eggs at the end of the day. If you can figure out that metaphor/simile you are a better person than I am.

Churches need newsletter writers
Churches need newsletter writers | Source

Plan on Being a Stalker

“Build it and they will come.” Well, that’s a real nice thought, but it’s about as realistic as the Easter Bunny. Yes you should have a website and yes you should be working on building your platform. Yes you should improve your writing and yes you should network….but….

You still have to go out and stalk customers like a famished lion on the savannah.

Remember those two real estate newsletters I mentioned earlier? I snagged those by sending emails to every single real estate company in our county….one hundred and forty-two emails! I recall it took me close to two days of full-time emailing to cover everyone on the list. I received twelve responses and from those twelve I snagged two jobs that provide a very nice residual income each and every month.

Did you know that nearly every church publishes a newsletter? Just sayin’……

I will make an admission right now: I hate stalking clients, but one thing I hate more than that is not eating. Perspective is a wonderful thing, is it not?

Are you a freelance writer?

See results

Enough for Today’s Reality Check

By now I have either scared you off or made you more determined. Either one is acceptable. Only those determined to make it and willing to put in the work need apply for this freelance writing position. There is nothing easy about it and there are many times when you will wonder if you are going to make it. Remember, too, that once you have made it; once you have earned enough income to cover your expenses for the month; you have to do the same thing next month, and the next month, and the next….

So lace up those boots and get ready for some hard work. The funny thing is that for those of us who love writing, this really isn’t work at all. It is at worst a labor of passion and at best a trip to the candy shop, and really, how cool is that?

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Great advice Billy. When I first joined here, there were people online pointing writers in different directions to try this website or that website. And they all claim you can make $700-$1000 a month writing online. I found out that wasn't the case for me. Writing is not a quick get rich idea. It takes a lot of time and effort.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 3 years ago from New York, New York

      You said a mouthful here Bill and you are right being a freelance writer is anything, but easy and you definitely need to put in long hours, as well as diversify. So, I do pretty much agree with you on this. But at the very least, it is almost the weekend finally now. Hope you have a great one my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      it really is, Brandi. There are people who make great money as freelancers, but that money did not happen overnight.....still, it is out there to be made for someone willing to work hard and hustle.

      Thank you my friend and have a great weekend.

    • srsddn profile image

      srsddn 3 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

      billybuc, Quite thought-provoking. I would like to work on with this stimulus. Thanks for sharing your great ideas. Useful.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine. I am winding down for the weekend. A few odds and ends, some billing and I'll call it a day early. Thank you and have a wonderful weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      srsddn, best of luck to you, but really luck is not needed....hard work and determination is what you need. Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for the visit.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 3 years ago from Arizona

      This is so true...I did get lucky with one site and made excellent money for a period of time..and it was not at all difficult..However, that is gone so one has to move on. I have not been commenting here on Hubpages trying to take care of new projects--including my new totebags. I need to keep reading your stuff though Bill as it is a reality check but also an encouragement check...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, I hope that new project is so very successful. Best of luck with it and I'm sure you will work hard enough to make it succeed. It is a great idea.

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 3 years ago

      I enjoy the writing that I do, and I enjoy reading works from HP friends.

      If I had to feed myself by writing, I would be a much thinner lady.

      Have a great weekend, Bill.

      DJ.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Bill, I love and appreciate the reality check, and guess what? I'm still hungry and eager to learn and growing more antsy each day about pouncing. : )

      Loved the metaphors you used in this one, my friend! Very effective in getting the message out.

      Have a relaxing weekend, and let's look forward to the Seahawks finally having a home-cooked meal of T. Titans!

      Aloha, my friend!

      ~Joe

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL....well DJ, I enjoy your writing and see no reason for you to change it. Thank you and I hope you have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joe, I love your drive and determination, so I'm lifting a figurative toast in your direction. As for the Seahawks....and Huskies....here is hoping this weekend is better than the last.

      Aloha buddy

      bill

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      Cindinspired 3 years ago

      Woooow!! Well, I am definitely determined! Love the pic, btw and the use of your capsules! :) Awesome, thanks for the motivation & wisdom! Man Bill, you rock, I truly enjoy reading your Hubs!! Lets just say, I'm ready!! :)

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thanks you for that interesting peek into the world of freelance writers. I'm very new here and so far manage to get 9 hubs published. My daily schedule is such that if I manage to write 1 hub each week for now, I'm doing OK. I'm having to encourage our authors to be more active in marketing their book, but that does mean I have to be the trailblazer at it. I stumbled onto the hub-pages.com through a Skype chat room. I'm very impressed by the standards Hub require you follow. That made me more determent to continue. Its a creative network platform and I hope to contribute over time. So far none of our authors have signed up, so I will have to nudge them some more.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Amara, I love the enthusiasm. Toss in a little hard work and I think you'll see some positive results. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nadine, it's good to have you with us. If I can ever be of any help feel free to ask. :) Thank you!

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Bill,

      Excellent piece! My HP experience, along with receiving such good advice from folks like you helps to build my confidence--something, at least for me, I need. I have worked hard all of my life so I think I have the work ethic. Thanks for writing such informational hubs, and for your willingness to write honestly and openly about the real world of writing.

      Wishing you a Wonderful Weekend,

      Kim

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      Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

      But I read that most freelance writers make $65,000+ a year working part time. Are you saying the interwebs are lying to me?

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 3 years ago from Taos, NM

      Bill: Enjoyed another writing article by you. You are truly inspirational and my spirits are always lifted when I read your pieces. You say it like it is - writing is hard work and we have to put hours and hours into it to do a good job. I can't agree with your more. I am on a regular schedule, like you are. I try to write everyday between 5am and noon. Those are my best inspirational and writing hours. I get the most accomplished. I am finding myself busier and busier with freelancing even though, for me, it is still part time. Thanks again for your insight!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kim, you are a good writer and if it is encouragement you need then you will definitely find it here. I wish you all the best and if I can ever help you know how to find me. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Lizzy, you know the truth as well as I do, you little rabble-rouser you. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzette, those are my best times too. My productivity takes a nose dive after lunch. LOL I'm glad you are finding success; you are a very good writer and I know you will do what is necessary to find success. Thank you for your kind words.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 3 years ago from Minnesota

      Sounds like a lot of work! I am deeply impressed by anyone with enough gumption to pursue this full-time. I also wanted to congratulate you on your Hubbie Award!! WELL-DESERVED!!!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      You know I have the beautiful photos with captions I have been just hanging onto for two years, lol. It seemed a good idea and I had fun with it but then I moved on to something else. You have some great options here I have enjoyed learning. Thank you. I know you are doing what you love and am glad you were smart enough to make it start paying. ^

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Melissa. I love it here and it is because of people like you. :) Have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Jackie, I would be happy to see it pay more LOL but I do love what I do and I'm willing to put in the time and effort to see where it all goes. Thank you....and I hope you do something with those photos. :)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      I surely appreciate the raw facts from someone who knows. I also want you to know much I admire you for your devotion and discipline in this field. If I said this before, it is still true. You are an inspiration. Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, I want you to know how much your words mean to me. You are a good person and I like to surround myself with good people. I am happy we are friends. :)

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

      There is a lot of love in this inspirational message. Like you, I'm at my desk all day long, and then some. I get tired, but I really enjoy it. Prospecting is not my favorite thing either. My mom said when I was a child I didn't like to go Trick-or-Treating because I didn't like the idea of asking people for candy. I'm still like that. I don't like to ask people for their business. But, bills have to be paid. And, just like when I was a child, if I wanted to have candy, I had to walk up to the house and beg, "Trick-or-Treat!" Now, as an adult, I have to do what it takes to get the business. I have to ask, "Do you need a writer for...?"

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Those words never rang truer. I love writing but there simply aren't enough hours in the day. And even waking up early and writing at the crack of dawn, typing 80 words per minute...writing still takes time. Even if the ideas are there, which, sometimes they come zooming in out of thin air (hopefully). But, like you have shown, where there is a will, there's a way! Great hub and fantastic writing!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      This is one of your best hubs yet, Bill. I have ideas for stories, but not the marketing prowess as to how to go about getting them out there. What I'm looking for is exactly what you offered in this hub - the how to go about it thang...

      Thanx for the direction; that's what I need.

    • Froggy213 profile image

      Greg Boudonck 3 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico

      Excellent advice Bill. It is more than a full time job. Diversification is very important and a willingness to attempt writing gigs you have never tried.

      Thanks Bill. Fired me up from this duldrum.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 3 years ago from Georgia

      Now I know why it seems like you are always on the computer. Because you are always on the computer. I admire your determination, Bill. Freelance writing is not for everyone, and despite my fantasies of making a living at freelancing, I have to say there are aspects I'm not sure I could handle very well, including the increased workload -I'm trying to decrease - stalking clients, unstable income, no health insurance. Reality doesn't always conform to our wishes. I appreciate you for not sugarcoating the reality of freelancing.

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 3 years ago from Midwest

      So true, I think that's why many wannabe freelancers never make it, because they don't fully consider all that goes into it. Writing is maybe 70% of my time, the rest is follow-ups, promotion of my own writing, finding new clients when needed, answering emails, doing the taxes, etc. etc. Building the speed and experience are cumbersome. I think you have to have writing in your blood. I know I was born to write, otherwise I'd have given up long before I found success at it.

    • profile image

      safari chic (Doc) 3 years ago

      voted up useful. thank you for this valuable information. I'm bookmarking this hub & definitely coming back to it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, it is not easy, and asking for work is the hardest part of the job for me....but we suck it up and do what we have to do my friend. Until the day comes when we write a best seller, this is the gig we have. :) Thanks for your thoughts and have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, you and I type at about the same rate. Thank God we do type that fast; I can't imagine how little I would get done if I had to hunt and peck on the keyboard. :) Thanks my friend; enjoy your weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure Sha! I know you struggle with this, as do many writers...me included. We just have to do it.....go contact some churches....who knows what will happen. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Greg, if I fire someone up it gets me fired up as well. Go get them, buddy, and I'll do the same. Thanks Greg!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Crystal, that no health insurance is a biggie and something people have to realize. We work for ourselves, rain, shine and sickness. I hope I didn't scare anyone off but I don't think a lot of people realize what it takes to make it in this business. Thanks for your thoughts and honesty.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Christin, you and me both. If I didn't love this I would go out and get a paper route. Guaranteed income and about half the hours. No way you can do this if you don't love it.

      Thanks for sharing your experience; it is helpful for those considering this way of life.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Doc; I'm glad it helped you. Have a great weekend my friend.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Very useful and realistic information, Bill! Hopefully I will need it one day when I don't have my present commitments.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hopefully you will, Alicia. Thanks for the visit as always.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Billy, this is a reality check I needed to read. There are way too many distractions in my life to be able to become a freelance writer--I can see that very clearly now. There's no way I could support myself. However, I don't plan to quit writing any time soon; it's just too much fun for me.

      Thank you again for your wisdom and realistic approach. Have a great weekend ;) Pearl

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Connie. I have the feeling you will make money writing even if it is part-time. Your niche is too good and you are too good a writer not to make money at it.

      Have a wonderful, restful weekend my friend.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Now I know why I have my day job. You are telling it like it is. Writing is not some get rich scheme. It takes hard work and long hours. And you are right, it needs to be treated like a full-time job. I admire your discipline to put in the hours you do. Have a great weekend.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Billy, what a nice thing to say! The pilot light under my confidence just got a lot brighter; thank you so much my friend ;) Pearl

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure Connie! :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Bill. Your day is coming my friend. Just a couple more years. :) Rest up and enjoy your weekend.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      A great hub, writing needs lot of hard work and perseverance. Thank you for sharing your experiences. Yes and we have to be stalkers and be persistent. Voted up.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      You tell it like it is, Bill. If I ever decide to do this, I will remember that it takes a lot of determination and the ability to write well - the first time. You are quite a role model in this field. Thank you for sharing such valuable advice.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      It is what it is and you tell it like it is ....reality! Thanks for always being real with us. I am thrilled that one of my stories on HP (of course had to unpublish), was recently published in a book, along with many wonderful writers, where most of the proceeds are going to K9s for Wounded Warriors, so that make me happy. At least it is out there! With the wonderful friends who are behind the scenes doing all of the promoting and hard work with press releases and such, it is gaining momentum!

      Have a great weekend.

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • Patkay profile image

      Patrick Kamau 3 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      You have not scared me off but you have really encouraged me to work hard. I will no longer be sitting now 'Facebooking' and checking how many views I have in a day. What I have learnt from this hub is to "forget about writing the perfect article. Write a very good article and move on. Freelance writers do not have time for perfection."

      Thanks for sharing this useful information and keep the pen rolling.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 3 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. Ironically, writing is literally all I can do. But it is getting difficult. Soon I will have to leave HP.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Freelance Writing Reality Check well said, for as long as I have been writing I have experienced many obstacles and started substantial earnings only two years ago lots of time and patience required to earn and gain that steady platform

    • profile image

      SruthiShyam 3 years ago

      Wonderful article...

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks for the reality check! We need to eliminate notions of grandeur when it comes to freelancing!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vellur, thank you for the visit. I just want everyone to go into this freelance thing with their eyes wide open.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dianna! I'm just giving back to a community that has meant so much to me and my writing career. Have a great weekend my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure Patkay and good luck to you and your career.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      And Martin, we will all be the poorer for it. Thank you for your loyal following my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      For sure, DDE, but you have stuck with it and you will reap the rewards because of your hard work. Well done!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you SruthiShyam! I appreciate you stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL....perfectly said Michelle! Grandeur is a nice dream in writing but rarely a reality. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That is fantastic news, Faith, and I am happy for you and proud of you. Well done my friend; you have a wonderful voice and it needs to be heard.

      blessings always

      bill

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      “Build it and they will come.” Well, that’s a real nice thought, but it’s about as realistic as the Easter Bunny." Lol. So very true. Another hub I have bookmarked in my expanding folder, titled, "Gems by Bill Holland." Excellent.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, I'm honored your have a folder of my stuff. Thank you very much!

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

      Congratulations on winning the hub pages "Oscar." You are a mentor, inspiration and father figure for hundreds of hubbers. As usual this hub was packed with great ideas that I will eventually try.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Another awesome hub. Congratulations on the Oscar.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Hi my dear friend Billy and another wonderful and sobering lesson concerning our writing world.

      As I read this hub it was all advice that I already knew but you have that wonderful way of reinstating it and this time not to forget either . I am not talking daft or being false here because I don't do falseness and I along with all your very many followers on here know that you wonderful prize was so well deserved . I find that slowly but surely my writing world is slipping into place ;I have deleted many sites I'm afraid and am left with the ones I know I can cope with. This one I share again onto A Brand New Dawn.So thank you for another great lesson teacher and lots of love from Wales.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mel, thank you Sir! I am honored by the award and I hope I will always remain a mentor and inspiration.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      vkwok, thank you very much!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, we writers are in constant flux, aren't we? Always trying new things, dabbling here and experimenting there....hopefully one day it will pay off big for us. Thank you kind lady and I hope the week ahead is filled with success.

      love,

      billy

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      drbj and sherry 3 years ago from south Florida

      Marketing was always a large part of my various jobs, Bill, no matter which career I was involved in at the time. So I genuinely enjoyed reading your description of that art as 'stalking.' You got that right, m'dear!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      drbj, marketing is where I got my start originally. I hate it but it's necessary...damn it! LOL

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Gosh Billy congratulations on winning the hub pages "Oscar." I still need to learn how to get around this online community. You are indeed a mentor and a teacher. Your article reminded me of what we sometimes have to say to a new author, especially when they are very enthusiastic about their new book. We usually tell them that writing a book is relatively easy, compare to selling a book. I'ts far more difficult to keep promoting a new title, it takes a great deal of ongoing work!

      So many new authors are discouraged when after 6 to 8 weeks the sales have dropped to almost nil, unless the author has a large data base and many followers, and then it still takes a great deal of networking to keep selling a new book at a trickle.

      Sadly some authors blame us, their publisher. We do a great deal of marketing but I often tell them: "when you see a movie, who do you remember, the actors of the producer?" Times have changed in the book world due to the internet, and that must be the same for short stories and article writing.

      Nadine

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nadine, your point is an excellent one and one many writers would do well to learn. This is a tough business, and it soon becomes apparent who is made of the right stuff to succeed. I blame the internet for many of the woes in the industry, but blaming does not good in the long run. We either learn to adapt or we fall by the wayside. :) Thanks for the visit and your valuable input.

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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Without a doubt, HubPages is a great way to build clientele. And who knows, you could have enough good fortune where jobs come knocking on your door. Believe me, I know.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I believe that, Deb; I have seen it happen often since I joined HP. Thanks for sharing those thoughts.

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      Brian Prickril 3 years ago from Savannah, GA

      Great hub. The very first lesson I remember reading years ago was that freelance writing is a hard buck. It is only for those with true grit! (Also it doesn't hurt to have a supportive spouse). Thanks for the inspiration.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, thanks for the following and welcome to my little world. Having that supportive spouse certainly helps, doesn't it? :) Good luck to you!

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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      It's the Freelance Reality Game Show! Kinda like Jeopardy in a way. Bill, I'll take Sales for $1,000...

      You know how I feel about this, of course. And in diversifying, I'd add selling writing through self-published books and other information products. It might not pay the mortgage, but it does add some $$ to a writer's bottom line and can bolster marketing efforts.

      Have a great day, my friend!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Of course you are right on, Heidi. You are my marketing guru and I listen to everything you have to say about the subject. Thanks for spreading your knowledge for the rest of us.

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      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      It certainly is cool, Bill! I like the way you remain tough but encouraging - not easy. Freelance is difficult but it also means you can write about what you want most of the time. I admire the amount of work you manage to produce and all that I've read is of such a high standard. Encouraging others to do the same is so worthwhile. May you continue to be successful for as long as you want to be. Ann

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ann. I think it's a matter of staying success as long as I CAN BE rather than want to be. :) Old age is creeping up on me my friend; there is no denying its effects.

      Have a wonderful weekend and I greatly appreciate your kind words.

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      caseymel 3 years ago from Indiana

      I agree! Diversification is needed to make any money. If a site goes down, then there goes all your money with it. If you have written on many different sites, your risk is lower. Great article!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Casey and good thoughts. I appreciate you stopping by.

    • minagil profile image

      minagil 3 years ago from Florida

      This is great information as I am beginning my freelance writing now. I do really good resumes too and looking to expand but not quite sure on how to go about doing that. Thanks for such a great hub!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good luck to you minagil; there are resume writing jobs online; just Google and you'll find them.

    • minagil profile image

      minagil 3 years ago from Florida

      Thanks! I will.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great, minagil!

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      minagil 3 years ago from Florida

      So, Buc. I found a website odesk.com for freelance resume writing and I just finished my profile. Check it out: Thanks again! https://www.odesk.com/users/~010a6109567a13a17b

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      minagil, very glad you found that. Good luck!

    • minagil profile image

      minagil 3 years ago from Florida

      thanks.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      You really ought to take all your freelance hubs and write a book. You have such useful information all the time. Heck, they are prompting me to think that I should give freelance writing a whirl, even with all of the struggles it brings.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, your craft articles are perfect for the freelance world. Craft articles are always in demand. It is you who should consider a book my friend.

      Thank you

      bill

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      Fotinoula Gypsyy 3 years ago from NYC BABY

      Very helpful and informative! Thanks for the heads up !! :)

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      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      EuroNinita, you are very welcome. Thanks for stopping by.

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      Missy Mac 3 years ago from Illinois

      Thanks billybuc for the shot in the arm. I have many ideas and just need to put in the extra time and research.

    • twig22bend profile image

      twig22bend 3 years ago

      Very helpful and informative and inspiring info. Thanks for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Missy, you are very welcome. Good luck and if I can be of any help then drop me a line.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      twig, thank you so much. Best wishes to you and your writing career.

    • caseymel profile image

      caseymel 3 years ago from Indiana

      I have been freelance writing for years and I am still not making a part-time paycheck. I'm starting to see an increase, but it takes a lot of work!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes it does, casey! Thanks for sharing your experience. I think it's important that writers know what they are getting into.

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      Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      A lovely read. I have to say that those regular little jobs like the newsletters are very very helpful. I have a few regular small gigs of my own that I can depend on and while not the most fun things in the world to do, they flesh out my income nicely!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzanne, they do indeed. I have a couple regular customers who are very easy to work for and they help pay my bills month after month....I love that kind of assurance and loyalty. Thank you and blessings to you always.

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      lovedoctor926 3 years ago

      Hi Bill, the opportunities are endless. thank you for sharing these valuable tips. I'm reading & educating myself more in the freelance writing field. I could see myself working as a p/t writer even if there's no money. What I'm interested in doing is something out of my comfort zone, learn something new and gain publishing experience. There will always be challenges, but you at least have to try. thanks for the encouragement. Excellent hub. Hope you and Bev had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Doc! There is money to be made as a freelance writer. You just have to be persistent and inventive. Best wishes to you my friend and I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with love.

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