There are hundreds of blogs on the internet about freelance writing. Thousands, actually. Google offers about 2,750,000 results to the search "How do I become a freelance writer?" But the answer is simple: You work at it.
Many of those blogs say conflicting things. The bad ones will tell you to spend a dozens of useless hours running around in circles for "clients" on some race-to-the-bottom site like Upwork or Freelancer so some asshole can pay you a penny per word. Others will toot their own horn about how successful they are without really telling you how they got there. And of course, like most things on the internet, the vast majority of them will tell you nothing at all.
So who can you trust? That's why we're here. I want everyone who reads this to know who they can trust when it comes to advice about building their writing brand and career.
1. Jason McDowell at Just About Write. Yes, this is me. Here's the gospel truth, my friend. Every one of us who blogs about writing is doing it for self-promotion, so I'm not going to pass up the opportunity to plug myself. But also know that some of us are doing it to help. My blog on the topic of freelance writing is fairly new, so it's not getting the most traffic or topping the search engines, but I'll tell you this: I will not lie to you. I have been doing this for a couple of years now, and I worked several years at a trade magazine before that. I know this industry and my advice will steer you in the right direction. I promise.
2. Bamidele Onibalusi at Writers in Charge. This site doesn't seem to update as much anymore, but there's a lot of valuable evergreen content still sitting on Writers in Charge. It's a great place to go to find lists of magazines and blogs that pay, that accept guest posts, etc. You can Google lists like this and come up with many of them, but they are often way out of date or flat-out inaccurate. Writers in Charge does a pretty good job of vetting these lists to make sure you don't get ripped off.
3. The Write Life. This site provides a constantly updated stream of guest posts from successful freelance writers aimed at guiding you toward a successful writing career. It's definitely a must-stop for those still trying to get their feet and figure out where clients come from. You'll also find a lot of less common advice, such as practical tax tips for writers, or good gmail add-ons that keep writers organized.
4. Jorden Roper at Writing Revolt. Jorden Roper advertises "no-bullshit, in-depth freelance writing advice" and that advertisement is spot on. I particularly enjoy watching her take the content mills and bidding sites to task for taking advantage of writers, and her blog and training sessions offer an endless supply of straightforward, no-frills advice to freelance writers of all levels. In particular, beginning freelancers will get a lot out of her kick-you-in-the-ass style of advice. This is a first stop for any writer trying to figure out how to get started, or anyone who needs a no-nonsense shove in the right direction to help them get their career on track.
These writers and sites won't steer you wrong. You deserve the work/life balance that comes with being a writer, and reaching out to take it shouldn't mean you don't also deserve a good income. We're here to make sure writers like ourselves can succeed. Maybe some day you can return the favor.