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Becoming a Freelance Writer: How to Smoothly Transition from a Full-time Job -- An In-Depth Discussion
Written by
Yuwanda Black
February 2016
Written by
Yuwanda Black
February 2016

About a week and a half ago, I received the following email from an aspiring freelance writer.

"Hi Yuwanda!

Hope Jamaica and business are treating you well. I am in retail right now and I just graduated college. Currently, I am looking for a job as the money in retail is not enough to pay off debt and eventually move out of my mom's house. I also want start freelancing on the side of my new job. How do I market myself so I don't confuse my target audience? I want to use LinkedIn for part of my marketing but I was told by my job hunting mentor that I should use LinkedIn."

As you can see, she wants to keep her job while freelancing on the side. This question gave me the idea for this post, which I wanted to take in another direction because it’s one a lot of freelancers struggle with.

Also, I asked several freelancers to contribute to a book I was contracted to write on freelancing. Cathy Miller – a long-time freelance writer – told why she made the transition years ago. You might not want to do what she did – let’s just say she quit suddenly. She gave some excellent tips for how to transition – and possibly take your old employer as a new client when you venture out on your own.

How I Started My Freelance Career

When I first started freelancing years ago, my old employer was my biggest client for almost a year after I left. They remained a client for the first few years, which made the transition to freelancing so much smoother. But there are drawbacks to this as well, which I address at the end of the post.

7 Things You Should Do Before You Quit Your Job to Freelance Full-Time

So, just how do you make the transition? Following are seven things I advise:

1. Write a Business Plan: It's not as hard as you think.

2. Financially Plan Your Exit: How much do you need? You just might be surprised.

3. Get Set Up before You Quit: This will allow you to push the “Go” button on day one of your freelance writing career.

4. Start Freelancing before You Quit: Getting those initial clients can be the toughest, which is why you should land them while you have the security of a job under you.

5. Get Out of Debt: This can be one of your biggest barriers to freelance success. Learning how to navigate the debt waters will increase your chance of freelance success.

6. Apply for Credit: It's hard enough to get it with the security of a full-time job under you; freelancing presents a different set of challenges. So it's best to apply while you still have a job.

7. Never Burn Bridges: You never know who can throw work you way, so don't burn bridges with former employers or co-workers.

Your First Freelance Client?

Each of these points are addressed in grave detail in the full post, where we also discuss how to handle your employer after you leave your job -- and possibly take them with you as a client.

You'll remove the angst of landing that "first client" (if you haven't started freelancing before you quit). This can make your transition from working full-time to freelancing full-time so much smoother -- and is an easy "get" as a client because you already know the company, its needs, how it functions and exactly what it expects.

Freelancing writing is a wonderful career option for anyone who is ambitious and hardworking -- the same traits you likely bring to a full-time job. By taking the seven steps outlined here, you can make the transition from working full-time to freelancing full-time a very smooth one.

P.S.: Are you dying to quit your job to freelance full-time? This ebook, "How to Know When You're Ready to Quit Your Job to Freelance Fulltime," is a realistic road map of exactly what quitting to freelance full-time is all about.

A review of this ebook left on Amazon sums it up, saying in part:

"This book is just what it says. It will give you a good idea of the pros and cons of becoming a freelance writer. I really like it that the author gives a lot of personal information about her situation. After reading this book, I feel that I have a good insight into the life of a freelancer – the pitfalls as well as the joys."

P.P.S.: Ready to embrace the wonderful zaniness of freelancing? Get the training you need to get started. SEO writing ecourse: http://dld.bz/cUDb4. SEO writing ebook http://dld.bz/d5KzD.

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