I am frequently asked by aspiring freelancers, “How did you become a freelance writer?” Long story short: It started with a (now defunct) food blog, which then morphed into a desire to write for publications. I needed a fun side hustle to make my day job bearable and I always love a challenge.
I found out about a gig with a local website and worked with that editor for a year before pushing myself to pitch other outlets and publications. I’ve freelanced full-time for nearly three years and now write for publications like Wine Enthusiast, The Washington Post, House Beautiful, and USA Today. Last year I exceeded what I earned at my last 9-5 job. (Please note, though, that I am married to someone with a steady income and benefits which helps tremendously.)
Getting to this point in my career didn’t happen on its own. There were a lot of mistakes, low-paying gigs, and disappointment (the disappointment part never really goes away but it does get better). Below, I’ve shared the resources that have been most instrumental to me throughout my career as a freelance journalist and writer.
Write Like a Honey Badger – This online course is several weeks long. I took it with an instructor who was a pro at pitching and was also generous with her contacts. I credit this course with being the biggest game changer for me in my career.
13 Pitches That Worked by Kate Kordsmeier – Kate was my first editor and was instrumental in launching my freelance career. When she published this e-book I knew I had to have it. It’s really helpful if you’re struggling with ways to format your pitches. I still refer to it years later.
UPOD Academy – UPOD (Under promise, over deliver) Academy is the brainchild of freelance journalist David Hochman. I’ve taken one of his virtual workshops in which editors share advice on how to pitch them over the course of two days. I’ve also purchased videos from previous workshops.
These are not sponsored links, just things that have worked for me!