On May 30, I’ll be teaching a class called “Secrets of a Six-Figure Freelancer,” sponsored by the Northern Colorado Writers (NCW). I’m thrilled to have a chance to share my experience with fellow writers but I’m also nervous that my story won’t be interesting. I’ve only been freelancing for six years.
What’s more, I wonder if “Secrets of a Six-Figure Freelancer” — my title, not the sponsor’s — sounds arrogant and overdone. Who am I to talk about freelancing in this way when Bob Bly, Christina Katz, Kelly James-Enger, Linda Formichelli, Diana Burrell and Michelle Goodman are published experts on this topic?
My class could be a disaster. Here’s why I think it won’t be.
My freelancing feeds a family of five. I first began writing for The Motley Fool in 2003. Two years later, I signed a contract that would allow me to write full-time as a contributor. I’m still a Fool today. The work is tough; I sometimes publish 1,800 words per day. But if the key to successful freelancing is repeat business, my query-to-contract story is as relevant as any.
I’ve had (some) querying success. I’m a happy and loyal Fool. My writing for TMF pays our bills. But as a freelancer, I’m also served by querying often. My most successful queries have been rejections but I’m slowly capturing the attention of national print magazines. It’s only a matter of time before I break in.
Social media is feeding my career. Curmudgeonly writers and old-school editors will tell you that social media is a colossal waste of time. My experience is different. I’ve used Twitter to market myself and my writing in ways that weren’t possible before. Thanks to Editorchat — a weekly discussion between writers and editors on Twitter that I co-host with fellow freelancer Lydia Dishman — my rolodex is fatter and my queries sharper.
In short: this class will be a mixture of the classic (i.e., how to build repeat freelance business) and the new (i.e., why Twitter is an essential marketing tool). If that sounds interesting to you and you’re within driving distance of Fort Collins, Colorado, join me on May 30. Registration is $75 for NCW members and $85 for non-members. Click here to reserve a spot.