What To Do Before You Start Freelancing Full-Time

So you’ve decided you’re tired of the rat race. You’re tired of having to answer someone else, ask them when you can go to lunch, take breaks, take vacations, and go home for the day. Great! But before you decide to start freelance writing full-time, there are a few things you should do – i’ll discuss those in this blog.

Make sure you have enough money to pay bills for at least three months, preferably more.

When I quit my job last year, I had about three thousand dollars in my bank account. That helped me pay bills while I got started. My husband was still working full-time and we were still on his health insurance through Obamacare so I could do that. I was lucky enough to find work right away – it didn’t pay as much as I was making at my old job, but I made enough to pay the bills I needed to pay and put some in savings, which helped.

Decide on a schedule.

Decide what kind of schedule you’re going to work. I mostly work the same schedule I worked as an employee – Monday through Friday from 9 am to 6 pm. My Fridays tend to be shorter because I try to work hard during the week to get things done early so I can relax on Friday and maybe work on some personal projects.

If you’re a night owl or have kids, you might decide to work when your kids sleep or are in school.

Make sure you have support from others.

I had my husband’s full support when I quit my job to start freelancing – it was his idea. He was tired of me not being able to take time off when I wanted to, so he had me put in my two weeks notice last November. It’s been almost 10 months since then, and I don’t regret it.

Look for resources to help you get through the freelancing transition.

When I started freelancing full-time, I’d already been doing freelance writing work, so I knew about some of the resources. Since I’ve started freelancing full-time though, I’ve learned about other ones, like the IAPWEand Quickbooks – these tools cost a little, but they provide some great information and resources to help me find jobs, improve my writing, and keep track of my freelance income and expenses.

Find groups you can post in to get support from other freelancers.

I’ve found a few great groups and places I go for support in my freelancing journey. One group I found out about recently is Lisa Ward Cumes’ Full-Thrive Freelancers Group – I’ve learned a lot from her live sessions and the posts she makes in the Facebook group. I also love Shaunta Grimes’ Ninja Writers’ Group and the writing sprints she does every morning during the week and on Saturdays – they help me get going for the day.

Figure out how much you want to make from freelancing.

This will become important when you decide how you want to make money as a freelance writer later. Different freelance writing sites and clients pay different rates, and other streams of freelance writing income can also contribute to that.

To figure out how much you should charge as a freelancer, figure out how much you want to make per year, divide that by the number of weeks you want to work per year, then the number of hours you want to work per week.

So let’s say you want to make $50,000 per year as a freelance writer. If you want to work 50 weeks a year, that’s $1,000 a week. If you want to work 40 hours a week, that’s about $25 an hour. If you’re bidding on an hourly job on Upwork or Freelancer, that’s what you would set as your hourly rate.

Those are my tips for things to do before you start freelancing full-time. If you’re a freelancer, feel free to comment on this post with anything I missed. If you’re considering freelancing, you won’t regret it. It’s a great way to earn a living, but it takes dedication and a lot of work initially. Good luck!