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Should you take that freelance course?

~~~ Notes from Minnesota ~~~

Hey Freelancer,

Christmas is nearly on my doorstep, but I’m not shopping. Yet. Even out here in the boondocks, the stores are far too crowded for my liking.

So, I’ll keep ‘er short today.

If you’re prepping for your holiday celebration, have fun! If you’re at home, fire up the stove, grab a mocha, relax, and get ready for an interesting read in today’s main article. It has much to ponder…

After all, if you’re a freelancer (the best job in the world, btw), you have control of your schedule. So enjoy living the lifestyle you desire.

Onward and upward,

Beth 🙂


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Points to Ponder Before You Give Up
Beth Ann Erickson

Ah Facebook, what a font of interesting developments. Case in point: I ran across this post written by an aspiring author (identifying information has been removed):

Very much feel like giving up today. Up to now, I’ve written 1 x 115kword novel about two blokes on a road trip, 1 x 25kword romance/erotica, 2 short erotica and 2 short erotica reader magnets, I also have a 2 chapter free sample available of the longer novel. I’ve spent all my savings (15k sterling) sold my beloved classic motorcycle and now am putting my home up for sale. I have 4500 email subscribers and good open and click rates (40-50% open, 15-25%click) but since January this year when I decided to give it my all, I’ve made less than £100😞 I’ve used professional editors and had my covers designed properly to give a branding theme. nothing seems to work for me😞 I have 2 days left now to decide whether or not to risk going into debt for [A VERY POPULAR WRITING] course, any ideas/help/advice would be greatly appreciated !! and they may stop the tears!!

(Beth again):

OK. We have a bit to untangle here.

1. It’s great that this person is putting feet under his dream. KUDOS for writing. However…

2. The author has four books (apparently) in Amazon. You should note that they’re in two different categories. If I were coaching them, I’d get him to pick one genre and then build a strong author platform. It’s way easier to promote one genre than two.

3. I’d tell him to write works of varying length, various price points, and engage in copious guerrilla (low cost and no cost) marketing tactics to build organic traffic to his website. He can go on Podcasts. He can write articles (with fat bylines). He can participate in forums. He needs organic traffic to his website where visitors can sign up for his email list if they desire to do so.

4. Once he grows his list with fantastic subscribers, he needs to offer valuable information, entertainment, insights, and keep in touch with his audience.

5. After that, he could start growing his Amazon readership slow, attracting purchasers in his genre so Amazon’s magic algorithms can work their magic.

6. Under no circumstances, would I advise he go into debt. It’s one thing to plow your profits back into your business, it’s another to throw good money after bad and dig yourself deeper into a business strategy that clearly isn’t working.

7. I’d get off Facebook (or get in better groups) where I’ve often found it’s a “blind leading the blind” situation or (worse yet) a “guru” who offers advice for copious amount of cash, then somehow finds a reason to blame you when his/her techniques fail and/or their techniques no longer work because they’ve already milked them for all they’re worth. (Uff, that was a mouthful, eh?)

8. I’d tell him to write his next book. Invest time in building an authorship right, don’t fork out tons of dough trying to replicate someone else’s success, but (and this is super important) enjoy the ride!

Writing is a great profession. However, it’s got a few pit falls. Luckily there are many solid, seasoned writers more than willing to share their experiences for way less than the big bucks many gurus charge.

Finally, I’d suggest he freelance like a farmer. It’s the only way I’ve found to provide a consistent wage in this topsy turvy profession.

(Don’t know what “freelance like a farmer” means? I’ll talk about that next time.) 🙂


You can use any of these articles free of charge on your own website or zine. Just don’t make any changes and be sure to include this byline:

This article is courtesy of Filbert Publishing. Make your writing sparkle, write killer queries, get published. Subscribe to Writing Etc., the free e-mag for freelancers and receive the e-book “Power Queries.”


Published inWriting Etc.