The Many Different Ways You Can Measure Success as a Freelance Writer

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Becoming a freelance writer isn’t just a dream. It’s an opportunity to be fulfilled as a creative professional and to reap the rewards of your hard work.

Success is something that every freelancer considers when going solo. Are you being compensated well for your work? Are you getting enough exposure so that prospective clients will find you? How can you determine if you are successful at what you do?

These are all valid considerations leading to the same answer: there is no one metric for defining success. Success means different things to different people. Here are just a few examples of how you can gauge your progress.

Earning six figures in monthly income

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For some writers, earning six figures (at least PHP 100,000) in monthly income is a measure of freelancing success. It indicates that you are earning more than enough time to live on. Making six figures in one month is possible if you work smart and are committed to building your freelancing business. You can eventually hit the six-digit milestone by taking on more clients, setting higher fees, and hiring a junior writer or two.

Having several clients all at once

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You can show the value of your services to sales leads by having multiple clients. Having a broad client base also shows that you are a reliable freelance who can handle several projects simultaneously.

Many freelancers find that their profits increase when they have multiple clients. This is because you often must work harder to accommodate each client’s needs and deadlines. Working on several projects can help you build a portfolio demonstrating your skill and experience. You can also gain knowledge by working with different types of clientele.

Serving repeat clients on a retainer

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Having repeat clients is a good indicator of freelancing success because it implies that you can build long-term professional relationships. Customers willing to work with you again suggest that they recognize your value and trust that you will do good work. In addition, working with repeat clients increases your chance of landing new business.

Producing lots of content every week

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Ensuring you write tons of content weekly is another measure of freelance writing success. Content can be anything from blog posts to social media posts. Publish content regularly so your name stands out in the eye of potential clients. Writing frequently also shows that you make an effort to write and are willing to invest time. You might be slowing down if you produce only two or three articles per month. In that case, consider how you can increase your productivity.

Getting published in print or online

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Getting published in print or online is a measure of freelance writing success. For most writers, it is the ultimate validation of what they do.

There are many ways to get published, such as submitting your work to magazines, newspapers, and websites. You can also submit your work to literary contests or competitions.

Your writing portfolio should include examples of all types of publications they have been published in, both print and online. If you want to be taken seriously as a freelance writer, put your byline in blogs, websites, and print publications.

Working for an admired company

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Some people think working for a big client is a way to be successful as a freelance writer. The competition is stiff, and there are many hurdles to jump. But the journey is well worth it: freelancers working for an esteemed organization have a better chance of success in the long term. It will be easier to get clients, you can leverage the company’s good reputation, and there might even be career growth opportunities with the client.

Turning down projects and opportunities

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We wish we could take on every project, but sometimes we have to say ‘no.’ As counterproductive as it sounds, declining opportunities has its benefits. Turning down projects not only helps you avoid burnout but also allows you to maintain the quality of your work.

You should be able to decline projects that are not in line with your skill set, goals, and values. This will help you build a solid portfolio and ensure you’re not taking on too much work.

There is no one way to measure success

There is no single metric for defining success as a freelance writer. When measuring your success, there are many ways to go about it.

Keep in mind that success is subjective. Some of the most accomplished writers did things in a way completely different from what you would do. Once you’ve got a handle on your goals and how to achieve them, you can start working toward them. Track your progress and make adjustments accordingly.

About the author

Carla Tensuan is a freelance writer, editor, and communications specialist. She specializes in crafting blog content, creative copy, and press releases. She enjoys listening to podcasts, reading books, and practicing yoga in her free time. She lives with her husband in Manila, Philippines.