The term freelance is used to describe people who make their living by completing independent work for different clients. They’re not employees of a firm and can generally work on multiple projects at once (unless they’re contractually obligated to complete one job at a time). As a freelancer, you can work from anywhere as long as you have a reliable internet connection.
The path to becoming a freelancer looks different for everyone, but most successful ones lay the groundwork over a period of years by building a portfolio of their best work and creating a name for themselves in their industry. They may also build a network of contacts and work on developing their skills. They’ll typically open a business account to separate their personal and professional finances.
It’s important to be self-disciplined when pursuing freelance opportunities because there’s no boss looking over your shoulder and colleagues aren’t there to call you out on spending an hour online shopping instead of working. Freelancers must manage their own finances, keep track of income and expenses, and respond to client emails promptly. They also have no legal or HR support to fall back on when a dispute arises.
To land an assignment, freelance writers must pitch editors with interesting story ideas they can execute well. Editors expect balanced reporting, so they’ll want to see a range of points of view in your research. This could mean interviewing politicians, CEOs, customers, community activists, and other experts in your subject matter.