Be A Successful Freelance Writer

So you want to be a writer!

Desiree Wisekal
4 min readJun 24, 2021

Writing is not fun, in fact, sometimes it’s incredibly difficult. It requires 100% focus and attention, and just when you’ve reached that peak of your creative mind, a toddler is hungry or a child is asking you what 60 times 4 is - just because!

If you’re already writing

Do you just love to write? Maybe you’re a hobby blogger or just enjoy writing things privately in your spare time! See if you can polish those pieces up and submit them to places like Vocal Media or even here on Medium!

Vocal gives minimal pay for views, but there are opportunities for direct ‘tips’ from readers! They offer many milestone bonuses for publishing X amount of articles as well as interacting with other writers. The best part, Vocal always has writing ‘challenges’ running. These can help you expand your abilities and open your creativity to new ideas for your personal writing! The challenges have larger pay-days if you win, and there are usually 3 places, if not more.

Medium also gives minimal pays for views and has recently started a more active giving of bonuses as well! This platform is less restrictive of what can be published. There isn’t a ‘submission period’ or topic restrictions.

These are both good avenues for leisure writing practice as well as building a portfolio to show what you can do!

So where do you find clients in the freelance writing world?

If you’re looking to get started in freelancing, Job boards are a good place to start building your confidence and portfolio, it’s also a good place to practice and refine your pitching!

Two common job boards for freelancers just starting out, are UpWork and Fiverr. I say for those just starting out, primarily because, they are insanely competitive with a lot of unfathomably low-paying offers.


It can be extremely frustrating and even discouraging as you scour the jobs on this platform.

As a newbie, the price offers can range anywhere from ‘Am I actually qualified for that?’ to ‘I know I’m worth more than that!’ and everything in between. Plus, don’t forget the 20% platform cut from whatever you’re earning!

Don’t let the discouragement of low pay or even the repeatedly lost bids get you down! Yes, if done right, you can build a portfolio here. The biggest asset you will gain from this platform, however, is your pitch skills and your gracious letdowns and your negotiation ability. These skills are must-haves in the freelance market!

Once you’ve built a solid reputation, this platform can keep you going as a decent side hustle, or you may get lucky and even find that perfect long-term relationship!


If you’re good at self-promoting, this may be the better platform for you!

Again, the competition is all over the place and you will likely need to work for ridiculously low pay while you build your reputation here, unless you know how to market yourself outside of the platform!

This platform also takes 20%, however, it’s a small price to pay for the simplicity of creating custom “‘gigs” / work cotractions for your clients!

On Fiverr, there are no job listings to cypher through. You create your profile / resumé and ‘gig’ offers that those ‘hiring’ may find, then use your personal links in self-promotion. I’ve seen a few Fiverr Links be shared in Facebook Freelance groups using already created ‘packages’, as well as offering ‘custom gigs’.

Reviews are key to your success on these platforms!

So you’ve done the job boards thing. You’ve gained your confidence. You’ve perfected your pitch and you’ve built your portfolio. Now you’re ready to find real work!

I’m going to sound a little cliché for a moment.

The key to your success is finding your Niche!

During your beginner job board phase, you probably learnt a lot about your own writing abilities and interests. Some topics were hugely successful and easy to write about, while others were a dreadful experience. This is essentially what we’re talking about. Not necessarily the idea that once you’ve written a Travel Blog, you can never write about The 7 things you wish knew before having kids!

The whole idea of niching down is to find what you enjoy most so you can find those clients and enjoy what you do!

Ready To Pitch!

You’ve chosen your niche and you have the portfolio to back you up, now it’s time to find clients who will pay you what you’re actually worth!

Think about who you would enjoy writing for. If you love to write about your full-time momming life and have some funny insights to share, think about approaching companies and magazines like Today's Parent Magazine. is a great resource for finding some publication rates, as well as simply a list to give ideas on who you may be able to pitch to!

That’s it, You Got This!


Thanks for reading!

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Until next time,

  • DW



Desiree Wisekal

#Mother of 4, #homeschooler, #homesteader and wife! Trying to navigate through a poisoned culture, keeping #God in mind and heart. Finding our roots 💛