Got a burning Freelancing 201 question?

July 2nd, 2010

Anyone have a question about how to take their freelance business to the next level? I’m looking for fodder for an upcoming article and would love to hear what issues keep you awake at night. Wondering how to raise your rates, tame a tough client, make more money? Want to collaborate with or subcontract to other independents but don’t know how? Covet an assistant but aren’t sure you can afford it? Do tell. Mama’s here to help.

Entry Filed under: Popular articles,This freelance life


  • 1. newbie freelancer  |  July 2nd, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    I just started freelancing. I’ve landed one client, but I need more to survive! And can I send a LOI to the big leagues (national mags)?

  • 2. Susan  |  July 2nd, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    I’d like to hire a VA, but I’m not sure how to do it without in trouble with the IRS. I’d also like any tips on how to move from a magazine’s FOB section to the feature well. Thanks, Michelle!

  • 3. Pete  |  July 2nd, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    How best to advertise & market tech/marketing/Web writing services? Thanks, Michelle! Have a great 4th!

  • 4. Mayra  |  July 2nd, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    How about, taking yes or no, a partner.
    Pros: you don’t have to face the fear alone. Somebody else that takes risks with you, somebody to lean on when your alone!
    Cons: money fights, is she/he reliable?. get an office or each works from home. Same level of commitment.

  • 5. Jean  |  July 2nd, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Want to collaborate with or subcontract to other independents but don’t know how?

    Yes, this please. Especially the subcontracting part. How does that work, exactly?

    @Susan – I’m a VA, and my clients have to keep track of what they pay me and send me a 1099 at the end of the year if they want to write off my services as a tax-deductible expense. That’s it. Actually, I’m not even sure how necessary the 1099 is. Most of my clients don’t even bother with it.

  • 6. Chelsea Bush  |  July 2nd, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Hey Michelle,

    I’ve been writing for 8 years and freelancing for 1. At this stage in my business there are 2 things that keep me awake at night.

    1) whether a freelancer in it for the long-haul has a better chance of being successful (finding more work and making more dough) by cultivating one niche, or being a great all-around writer, and
    2) when I’m hired to write a piece but am also using my byline, what are some tactful ways to put my foot down when the client tries to put weird words in my mouth? (By weird I mean inaccurate, not ethical from a journalistic standpoint, or just plain awful)

    P.S. My So-Called Freelance Life buoyed me through Freelancing 101 (and I junked several others). It was spot-on and fun to read. Thanks!


  • 7. Mir  |  July 2nd, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    My husband has been after me to hire an intern to take care of some everyday low-level stuff for me (post office runs, handling some email and back-end stuff) forever. I feel like I can’t justify the cost; he feels like I’m needlessly losing hours on stuff I could easily pay someone else to do. Would you believe I’m incorporated, happily pay an accountant quarterly to deal with my financials, and I still can’t figure out whether this truly makes sense for me? Would love to hear your thoughts.

  • 8. Serena  |  July 4th, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    I know you’ve written in the past about how to follow up with clients who haven’t paid you, but it’s a subject worth repeating. Got any tips for shaking down clients who are behind on their payments?

  • 9. Patricia R.  |  July 10th, 2010 at 9:17 am

    I’m in with Chelsea:
    Is it better to become the expert on one subject- or is that a trap? Or if by being a ‘general freelancer’ does that lower your appeal in the market?
    Also, I’ve been a writer for five years, and a freelancer for two. I’m still no good at cold queries.

  • 10. Melissa Stevens  |  July 12th, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I’d like to learn more about how to better estimate project costs and issues with sales taxes. I’m focusing in on commercial copy writing and my accountant has advised me that some projects I do will require me to collect sales tax. I started with the apparently incorrect assumption that because writing is a service and not a product that no sales taxes were to be charged. Has any one else faced this?

  • 11. Morgan  |  July 12th, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Should I list my rates on my website?

  • 12. Jodi  |  July 12th, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    How do you land the long term (6 months – 1 year+) contracts?
    I get the short/medium term contracts and repeat work, but I how do I secure the long term projects? Do I need to change my services or just package them differently?

  • 13. Megan  |  July 13th, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    On average how often do you pitch articles to magazines etc?
    Also, what are your thoughts on cold-calling?

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Who I am

Hi, my name's Michelle Goodman and I've been freelancing since 1992. I'm author of My So-Called Freelance Life and The Anti 9-to-5 Guide. Read my full bio here.

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