How to start freelancing?

So: I’ve decided to give freelancing a go.

This is something that terrifies me, just ever so slightly; in July, I would have completed my NCTJ course. (Out of education, and into the big wide world! Gah!)

The thing is; competition for jobs is fierce. And, at the time of writing, I am still not NCTJ qualified. So, what can I do? My back up plan was to be a freelancer for a little while-save money, plan for moving out to live independently, and focus on trying to get that staff job. (It’s also likely that meanwhile I’d also have a job-such as stacking shelves, etc.)
(As not to be boring, I left out the admin side of things-such as taxes.)

Pitching and writing for freelancing:

I’m going to pitch for more paid opportunities. (I’ll also be looking for more.) I have been writing for free for a long time now-ever since the age of twelve. (I’m now nineteen.) There’s websites like Medium .  I also have a habit of continually creating lists of stories in my jotter.
There’s even places like The Huffington Post. (Oh, and check the paragraph about resources-there’s some crossover.)
There’s also awards, like the Anthony Howard Award; I’ll be entering in if I have any work that’s worthwhile.

Contacts and resources: 

Sometimes I go to events; these are the perfect opportunity to network! (Hopefully I’ll have business cards soon..)
Due to the internet, there is also a wealth of resources available. So, there’s the wonderful Journo Resources; they also have a dedicated section to freelancing. (Oh, and there’s also the NUJ website; as soon as my student membership runs out, I’ll be signing on as a freelancer. They also have a freelance rates section.) I also linked to a few resources when writing about how to formulate story ideas.Rebekah also has a Pinterest board relevant to this. And Ann Friedman wrote this essay with plenty of resources. 

Developing the blog: 

I have fallen out of love with this blog, big time. (It seems so mawkish, constraining, and above all, it has lost its appeal to me.) But I think there is an opportunity for development.
Once my personal plan runs out, I would like to go self hosted; that way, I can use Plugins, download a nicer theme, make it look a bit more professional, develop my portfolio of writing.
With that, I’ll also begin to start pitching for things such as sponsored posts; I would also add affiliate links. If anyone has any advice about how to go self-hosted, I would be very grateful.

Lydia x



  1. April 23, 2018 / 11:44 am

    Aw, good luck with freelancing lovely, it’s not easy but it’s so rewarding to be working for yourself. I started a year ago and signed on with a local to me agency, which got me my first three clients. I’ve found a few more by myself since then but it’s hard work! You’re in a different line of work to me but I’m sure some of the contacts you’ve made should be able to help you? And I don’t think your blog is mawkish at all, quite the reverse, you should be very proud ot it! There are lots and lots of blog posts out there about going self-hosted but if you’re going to choose a PipDig theme then I think they have an option where you can ask them to manage the migration for you? Whatever you decide, I’m sure you’ll make a sucess of it, you’re too talented not to! x
    Lisa |

  2. April 23, 2018 / 6:13 pm

    Love this post! A really clear outline of your plan and it’s helped me think about potential freelance work a little better. Thank you!

  3. April 25, 2018 / 3:07 pm

    I have gone self hosted and it is bewildering but Pinterest is always good for advice. I will dig out some info for you.

    • mademoisellewomen
      May 2, 2018 / 12:42 pm

      Thank you!

  4. April 30, 2018 / 12:53 am

    Thanks for keeping us updated about your plans for going freelance after you finish your journalism course! I remember the communications we had over emails when we both found out we were beginning our freelance journey’s, and it certainly seems like you know where you’re going. Your blog looks very professional now, and I certainly think it’ll work if you want to start monetising it!

    The tips about pitching to companies for freelancing is also a big part in getting high-paying clients, which is certainly a bonus, especially if you’re just starting out. I’m underselling my services at the moment, but in the hopes that, one day, it’ll be worth it and I can put my prices up. I’m pretty sure I’ve already mentioned this, but if you’re not having any luck through cold pitching, you could try a website like Fiverr or Upwork and see how that works for you. Fiverr is how I earned $288 in my first month of freelancing (just over £200, I think), and I’m not even working full-time.

    • mademoisellewomen
      May 2, 2018 / 12:42 pm

      Pitching is very hit and miss; in the first week of freelancing, I pitched about fifty ideas-and got three commissions from it 😂 I think I’ll maybe write a blog post about this-a sort of “how to”.

      • May 2, 2018 / 6:12 pm

        Oh wow, it’s definitely not a lucrative way of building things up then, especially not in the beginning. Congratulations on the three commissions, though; that’s a lot better than 0! And it’s great that you’re able to start them while still finishing your journalism course. I’d love to see a blog post about it!

  5. Greatness Reinvented
    January 27, 2019 / 5:40 pm

    This is a great post. Be good to see some progress updates.

    GR |

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