How running changed the way I think about my business  

I have never been a runner. In fact, I’m not really a huge fan of exercise in general. My relationship with exercise has always been sporadic – I’ve played tennis, gone swimming, done a couple of years when I was really into spin classes, dabbled in yoga, but apart from a three month stint when I was 15, I’ve never been a runner. But recently I took up running and had an epiphany that changed the way I look at my business.

The questions you absolutely must ask potential clients

There’s a lot to think about when you start working with a new client. It’s imperative that you have a clear brief, a detailed scope of work and set deliverables. I’ve found that if you don’t have these from the outset, a productive and stress-free working relationship can be very difficult to achieve. By having an established project intake process, you’re much more likely to get the information you need and be able to judge if the project is a good fit for you.

November - the month I added to my 'failure CV'

It definitely feels like we’re reaching the end of the year, doesn’t it? Most writers I know are flat out, having said yes to almost every project that’s come their way just in case things in the new year slow down or get lean. Despite being a pretty good month overall, November had one enormous down for me - one that really shook me and saw me turn off my computer for a few days.

How to ensure 2019 is your best freelancing year yet

We are only five weeks away from the new year. I’m not really one for new year’s resolutions, but I do love to reflect and take stock on where things are at and think about what the next stage of my freelance writing business might look like. With December and January looming, it’s important to carve out some time to think about your approach for 2019. Here are 4 ways to help make 2019 your best year yet.

How 5 freelance writers make money by diversifying their business

One of the keys aspects of being a successful freelance writer is diversifying. While that may sound like spreading yourself thin, in fact it’s the opposite. Diversifying means that if one part of your business (like writing for a particular client or magazine) takes a dive, it’s only going to cause a small ripple. But diversification is much more than how many clients you have or the type of writing you do – it’s a whole way of looking at your business, guaranteeing (as much as you can) that you’re not going to be a freelance flash in the pan.

October - my highest monthly income ever

I am used to work speeding up on the approach to Christmas, but it’s usually November when things start to get really hectic. I feel like November came a couple of weeks early this year and by the end of October, I had invoiced for a crazy amount and had an unbelievable amount of work commissioned. And never in my wildest dreams did I expect that I would be $5K off hitting my income target for the year by the end of the month.

Want to go on a press trip to Queensland? You need to meet Shelley Winkel

Shelley Winkel is one of my favourite people in the travel industry. She’s the PR and publicity leader for Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ), which means she’s forgotten more about Australia’s second biggest state than most of us have ever known. In this Q&A Shelley shares her incredible knowledge and experience about how freelance writers can work with tourism bodies, what travel writers need to know about how tourism bodies operate, and what you need to do to be considered for a famil or press trip.

Updated: The 4 podcasts every freelance writer should listen to

I am such a fan of podcasts - in fact, I think the podcast app on my iPhone is the one I use most. I don’t think you can underestimate the power of a podcast - it was listening to Ed Gandia’s podcast that made me realise I could make a living from being a freelance writer. In March 2017 I wrote a post about the four podcasts that I believed every freelance writer should listen to, but two of the podcasts I recommended don’t release new episodes any more, so it’s time for an update.

From pitch to published article - a behind the scenes look at travel writing

I recently received an email from a fellow writer saying they would love to see a post about freelance travel writing. More specifically, they wondered if I could share a timeline for what goes into getting a travel story commissioned. So I thought that rather than giving you an arbitrary timeline of what it generally looks like as a freelance travel writer, I’d pick a trip that I did last year to give you a sense of the time (and level of communication with editors and PRs) it takes from pitch to published article.

September - a month of ups and downs

September was a bit of a weird month – my press trips were all done, but I had 10 days away with my family at the end of the month. I thought I was being really clever by getting our car hire, some of our accommodation and experiences FOC (free of charge), but as you’ll see, I don’t think this was the smartest move. I also made some mistakes this month with new editors. Well, the one thing I can say is that I’m always learning.

Meet John Espirian - freelance technical copywriter and LinkedIn go-to man

If you’re a freelance writer who spends any time on LinkedIn or Twitter, you’re likely to have come across John Espirian. John is known as the relentlessly helpful technical copywriter for a reason - he always seems happy to help. A guru on all things LinkedIn and blog-related, John is generous with his advice (you don’t want to miss his top three tips for LinkedIn), so I was thrilled when he agreed to be interviewed for this Q & A.

The best (free and paid) tools for freelance writers

I am definitely not someone who nerds-out on the newest freelance writing apps or writers' organisational tools, but I have to say, there are a lot of super helpful (and easy to use) tools that can make a freelance writer's life so much easier. In this post I've rounded up the best tools I've found for freelance writers - I use them all and they have saved me time, money or a mental breakdown (and at times, all three). 

August - my month of press trips

It's hard to describe what a whirlwind August was - I spent the first week in Fiji, the second week at home, the third in Thailand, the fourth at home and the last week of the month in Vietnam. At the end of 2017 when I said I wanted to do more travel writing, I don't think I ever imagined a month like that! I went on three famils (press trips) in August, but I also attended the annual Australian Society of Travel Writers Conference in Thailand, which was incredibly worthwhile. 

How freelance writers can get the most out of a coaching session

In the last eight months, I have coached over 30 different freelance writers. I've worked with writers in person, over Skype, and from all over the world including Australia, the USA, France, the Philippines and Mexico. I wasn't 100 per cent sure about becoming a freelance writing coach, but it's become one of my favourite parts of the job. Many writers I coach aren't making the income they want, so I think it's imperative that if you are going to pay for professional support, that you get the most out of it. 

The 5 things that can help get a pitch across the line

What kind of success rate should freelance writers be aiming for when pitching editors? I got asked this question recently and it's not easy to answer because it depends on if you're sending pitches to editors you have a relationship with and the quality of your query letters. But I think if freelance writers get 60% of their pitches accepted they'd be doing exceptionally well. There's lots of advice out there about how to pitch, but there are five particular things I have found that freelance writers can do to help secure a commission.  

Meet Neha Kale - freelance writer, editor and delightful human

Long before I met Neha Kale at this year's Emerging Writers' Festival in person, I had read her work. I was full of admiration for her eloquent and evocative writing, and how Neha manages to master a range of styles, from personal essays to profiles and food articles. In person, Neha is just as her writing suggests - thoughtful, articulate, honest, passionate and willing to explore topics that rarely get highlighted in the mainstream media. I hope you enjoy this Q&A with Neha - it's one of my favourites.