#FreelanceFriday: the hustle is real
I began blogging some years before I became a freelance content creator. It was the ideal platform for me to work at my own pace while I held down a full-time job. It was also a great space to build content that was my own.
My goal was to hone my skills as a writer, direct traffic to my site and get people engaging with the content I was creating. The bottom line was I was passionate about writing and I just wanted a space in which I could voice my opinion. Blogging was a purely cathartic experience. At the time, I had no intention of monetising my blog.
Then the idea of living the “gig life” began taking shape in the recesses of my brain. If I was creating all this content for myself and people were interested in what I was saying, why couldn’t I do the same for others? And be paid for it to boot?! Of course, it’s not that simple. If it was, everyone would be doing it right?
As a blogger, I worked to satisfy myself. I wrote what I liked and when I wanted. That readers engaged with what I created was a bonus. If they didn’t that was okay too.
As a freelancer, the client and his/her needs are always front of mind. This changes the dynamic. Setting rates, coming up with original pitches for something I may have zero interest in or have to spend hours researching … these are the variables I have to deal with as a freelance creator.
While creating may no longer be a solely cathartic activity, loving what I do still makes it enjoyable. Passion drives me.
I’ve learnt that if I want to succeed as a freelancer then two things are most important.
The first is that my portfolio is never complete. I work on improving it every day. Sometimes I add to it. At other times I remove dated projects. I often tweak existing content too. My portfolio lives and grows as I do.
Second, I’m no longer afraid to charge what I’m worth. I started off charging a measly R2 500 to build a website in 2017! Yes, R2 500. My mentor thought I was mad! Today, that’s my rate for a single article. If I don’t see value in my work, why should I expect anyone else to?
This, my friends, is the hustle of being a freelancer.
- Read more about my freelance journey here.