Meet Olivia Gagan - a super savvy freelancer

Olivia Gagan is the kind of writer that many people aspire to be - she's a full time freelancer living in London, having written for titles such as The Times, Psychologies and The New York Times. Olivia cut her teeth working as a journalist for trade media before making the decision to go full time as a freelancer. She transitioned to full time freelancing in such a smart way; by building up her savings, drawing on her existing networks, establishing boundaries and learning about running a business. I hope you enjoy the interview - there's absolute gold here.

The 5 things you must include in a content proposal

We've all heard that content is king. Nearly every business has a website and in order to creep up the Google rankings content needs to be updated regularly. Blog posts are an ideal way of doing that and many companies are looking for freelance writers and copywriters to pen their posts and other content, such as newsletters or EDMs. So what do you need to put in a proposal to give yourself the best chance of landing a content writing gig? 

May - a bumper month

I went into May after a busy April determined to take things easy - not send out too many pitches and dedicate some time to thinking about a creative project I could take on. The beauty of being a fairly established freelance writer is that work tends to flow in, but it's meant that I've found it hard to carve out non-work time. Despite this, I'm still feeling really positive about my writing and I've had an absolutely bumper month income-wise. 

Should freelance writers share contact details?

One of the qualities that is crucial for freelancers to have is generosity. I really believe that the 'soft' attributes of openness, kindness and big-heartedness are just as important as technical skills for freelance writers. I'm part of writing groups and communities that are incredibly generous - especially with sharing contact details for editors. But recently I've started thinking about what happens when writers and journalists don't source their own contacts.

Interested in writing about social issues? Pitch to these publications.

There are numerous online magazines and publications looking for writers. But it can be hard to know where to pitch your ideas if you want to write about social justice, international development, human rights or humanitarian issues. There are numerous magazines and publications in this space who are looking for freelance writers - here are eight that are well worth considering.

How to increase your luck as a freelancer

You know that saying about how you make your own luck? Well, it turns out it's true. And it's not through vision boards or manifesting (although I do know people who swear by them), but by applying a few principles that have been scientifically proven. I know this all sounds a bit woo-woo, so let me explain how freelance writers can enhance their luck (and how it's worked for me). 

April - a topsy-turvy month

Even though I have written before about how it's possible to be a part time freelance writer, I have to be honest and say that this month I've found it really tough. I've only worked about three days a week, but it's been hard to fit all my work in. I had a press trip to Queensland in the middle of the month and five days later I headed off to present at The Launceston Freelance Festival. Those kind of opportunities are amazing, but there's been very little fat in my schedule in April, so it threw things out a bit. Or actually, a lot. 

Meet Donna Webeck - freelance real estate copywriter

If you've ever scrolled through a real estate website and wondered about the person behind the beautifully written and enticing blurbs about your dream house - wonder no longer. Meet Donna Webeck - freelance property copywriter. To say Donna is passionate about property is an understatement - she lives and breathes architecture, design and real estate, and it shows in the way she runs her freelance real estate copywriting business. Her enthusiasm for property is infectious and inspirational - imagine if we all felt this way about the work we do?

Want to break into travel writing? Do this.

When you think about the dream job - being a travel writer is up there for many people. Being paid to travel the world sounds idyllic, and while there are undoubtedly downsides to the dream (let's save those for another post), let's be honest - it's a pretty sweet gig. I'm not a full time travel writer by any means, but this week I'm heading off on a four day press trip to tropical North Queensland. A couple of people have asked me the best way to break into travel writing and I believe there's one very easy way to get started ... 

How to find editors' contact details

You’ve got a great idea for an article for a magazine, newspaper or website. You want to pitch it, but you have no idea where to find the editor’s contact details. While there is no one way to locate every single email address or phone number for an editor, there are a number of tools and strategies you can use to find the right person to pitch to (and some may surprise you).

February - back on track (sort of)

None of us know what life has in store, but when you’re a freelancer, you never quite know what work has in store for you either. By the middle of February I had hit my income target, but I was also grappling with the idea of pulling out of writing a commissioned article on a very difficult topic. My family and work situation changed at the end of the month, meaning I’ve had to re-evaluate the time I can dedicate to my freelance business.  

A beginner's guide to TravMedia's IMM

If you're interested in travel writing or a career as a travel writer, I heartily recommend attending TravMedia's international media marketplace (or IMM as it's commonly called). It's been likened to speed dating for people in the travel industry and I think that's a pretty accurate description. It's fast, furious and fun. And at the end of the day many writers walk away with offers of famils or press trips. So how can freelance writers get the most out of IMM? 

From lawyer to freelance copywriter - meet Libby Hakim

Libby Hakim is a quiet but extraordinary achiever - a former lawyer, Libby now works full time as a freelance copywriter, SEO writer and digital content specialist. She's an incredibly versatile writer and is just at home writing technical white papers as she is penning an article about how tidying may just change your life. I was so thrilled when Libby agreed to be part of this Q&A - she spills the beans on the benefits of writing for agencies, why she resisted writing about the law and her advice for those dreaming of being a freelance writer. 

7 publications that pay well for personal essays

Despite some people saying that the personal essay boom is over, I'm seeing little evidence to suggest that readers' appetites for candid, revealing and thought-provoking first person pieces are sated. For freelance writers, the advantage of writing a personal essay is that you are drawing on your own experience, so there is very little need for external research or case studies. Many writers also say that writing down their own experience and sharing it with others feels validating, affirming and therapeutic. 

January - a slow start to 2018

After a hectic November and fairly busy December, January was really quiet for me. I didn’t feel much like pitching, instead I wanted to hang out with my family and have some down time. Towards the end of the month I started pitching, because I realised that even though I had invoiced for a good amount of money, not having lots of commissions means that a few months down the track, my bank account will take a big hit.