If you’ve ever thought about being a freelance writer, Rachel Ferrier is the one you want to talk to. She started a freelance writing business to be able to spend more time with her children, and she’s been a successful freelancer almost since day 1! Read on to learn more — and pay attention to where she gives you step-by-step instructions on how to start a freelance writer career!
1. Tell me about your yourself.
I grew up in a tiny country town in Gippsland (Victoria, Australia). It was a great mix of beach, farmland and rainforest!
I moved to Melbourne when I was 18 to study nursing and fell in love with city life. Eventually we will move back to the country, but for now, we love where we are.
I am married to an old flame (we split up in highschool and found each other again many years later) and the rest is history. We have 2 beautiful, highly energetic children (3-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter) as well as a dog and a cat! Crazy!
I am a qualified critical care nurse. I still work as a nurse in cardiothoracic (heart attacks, recovery post heart surgery and lung surgery). Currently, I only work 2 days a week, and the rest of the time I am busy with family and running my business.
Fun fact – After my husband and I married we found out that a great aunt of mine and a great uncle of his were engaged! Thankfully it never went through so we are not related!
2. What is your business?
My business is Rachel Maree – Write Freelancer For You. Put simply, I am a pen for hire. I help businesses write content, blog posts, newsletters, product descriptions and so much more!
3. How long have you been working with your business?
I have been running my business for about 3 years now, however, it is only the last year that I have been pushing hard to grow my business so I can cut back my nursing shifts.
4. Why did you want to work from home? What is your “why”?
Shift work is hard. I miss out on weekends, nights, family functions and my family. Nursing is also mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting. It takes a lot out of me. I want to be more present with my family. Working from home allows me to work less shift work so I am home more with my children. I also LOVE writing. I love creating stories and helping businesses with content that helps grow and engage their audiences. So my why boils down to being present for my family and my love of writing!
5. Why did you start this business? Did you look into any other business ideas?
I love writing. I am good at writing. Why not make money from it?! I have not tried any other businesses (although I am always open to opportunities).
6. How many hours do you work every week? What kinds of things do you do to make money?
How many hours I work depends on how many clients or projects I have on the go. It can be anywhere from 10 hours to 40! I do try to keep the weekends work free.
I make money by writing for others – blog posts, articles, product descriptions, ghostwriting, newsletters/emails, eBooks, editing, website content etc
Also, I hope to sell eBooks/courses/resources on my blog soon, but this is a work in progress around client work.
7. How long did it take to see your first sale? How long did it take to make a profit?
I had my first client within a week of launching my business! Yes, there was a happy dance!
The best thing about a business in freelance writing is there is not a lot of initial outlay costs. As long as you have a computer and internet you can write! I already had those, so I guess you could say I made a profit from my first “sale”.
8. How do you help your customer? Why would they work with you?
I write compelling copy, blog posts and so much more that really speaks to your audience. I help to build up your audience, rank on search engines such as Google and save you time by completing all those writing jobs that pile up. This way you can really focus your time and energy on other areas of your business.
9. What do you like best about your business?
There are so many things I love about my business. If I had to pick one favourite thing about my business it would be the flexible working schedule! I can work anywhere, anytime I want and fit it around family commitments.
I also enjoy the relationships I build with businesses and other clients. The sense of community and building a network of inspiring business owners is amazing.
10. How would someone start a business or like yours or with your team?
Honestly, it is quite simple to start a freelance writing business! (I have several blog posts on it). Here are the basic steps:
A) Decide on WHO you will write for.
B) Decide on your business name.
C) Register your business (In Australia we register a business name and also apply for an Australian Business Number ABN for tax reasons).
D) Business Plan – keep it SIMPLE. Work out how much you want or need to earn from your business, and then break it down into small achievable goals.
E) Logo/Branding/business cards. –This can get pricey if you hire a designer. I initially did it myself, but last year I rebranded and had a graphic designer do my logo and I am so glad I did. It looks amazing!
F) Create a website, portfolio and writers’ platform (social media accounts, email). Again, a website can get pricey. I do suggest you self-host as it looks more professional. Creating the website was the BIGGEST learning curve for me as I am not very tech savvy!
G) MARKET your services.
H) Job boards such as craigslist, ProBlogger, Indeed, Gumtree can have great jobs opportunities. Just beware of the scammers.
I) Cold pitch companies/businesses/websites you would like to work for in your niche.
J) Write articles and submit them as guest posts/paid articles to websites.
12. What kinds of expectations should someone new to online business and working from home?
You need to expect (and accept) that there will be failures. How else do we learn and improve? This was certainly the hardest lesson for me!
You need to be disciplined to work from home. Set your alarm for the same time in the morning and treat your day as a working day. This can be super hard when you have young children at home. I know it is something I struggle with, having a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old. They do attend daycare twice a week but those are the days I am usually nursing.
So instead, I get up an hour before them to work. I work at nap times for my youngest and have an activity set up for my toddler (playdough is a HUGE winner). And I work in the evenings when they go to bed. I ignore chores so I can get work done. Thankfully my hubby picks up the slack (most of the time).
(For more tips on working with young children, read 7 Tips for Working Mothers at Home)
Make sure you set boundaries. Sometimes your partner may not see tangible benefits of you working from home, especially if the money is slow to roll in. But you need to protect your “working time”. Have a chat with your partner and work out a time that you can take uninterrupted. This is your working time. Nothing else.
Hours of work vs money to be made really depends on how much worth you are placing on your time. If you are charging a pittance, you will only earn a pittance. Value yourself, the services you offer and your time and you will make money.
13. Anything else you would like someone to know about you or your business?
We all know how important a solid online presence and compelling content are to businesses, the problem is finding the time to create, edit, schedule and post all of that content. That is where freelance writers come in. I know how valuable your time is, and how you can be pulled in so many directions when running a business. Outsourcing all those writing projects to me will save you time and energy.
I am honest, reliable and friendly. I love what I do, and it shines through everything that I write.
14. How can someone connect with you?
Thanks Rachel! If you’d like to be featured in an interview, contact me!
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