*Switching To A Freelance Career

Sunday, November 15, 2020
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If you've been following my blog for a while then you may know that I started blogging back in 2012 and at the time it was an outlet for my thoughts and opinions on the beauty and skincare products I was using. However, it has evolved into much more, including my main form of income and while I am incredibly happy with the progress of my blog, it wasn't something I ever imagined I'd do or be able to earn money from. 

I have a psychology degree and freelancing writing was a career I hadn't even thought of at the time; I never thought I'd be paid for blog posts or articles I'd write (although I am very grateful for all of the brands, PR companies and magazines I've worked with over the past seven or so years). While I didn't set out to be a freelance writer, it came naturally to me and it was an organic progression from my blog. I love what I do (I'm currently looking at other career paths currently though or study options alongside freelancing) but it has had it's ups and downs. In today's post I wanted to share some of the resources I'd recommend and tips for those wanting to switch to a freelance career or those who want to add a freelance opinion in addition to a 9 to 5 job. 

Online Distance Learning
Online learning is becoming even more popular during lockdown when most people are spending much more time at home. If you are thinking of switching from your 9 to 5 job or if you want to add on a freelance option to your current career, then gaining the skills you'll need beforehand is a great place to start. There are so many online courses that could be help start your freelance career (whether you want to explore freelance writing, photography, journalism or marketing, for example) including social media, writing, photography and business courses, among others. 

However, the freelance breakthrough course provided by The Blackford Centre is a fantastic all-in-one beginners guide to learning the basics of switching to a freelance career which is something I wish I'd had back when I started my blog in 2012 - I had no idea what to do, especially when blogger and brand collaborations started a few years later and there are still things I'm learning eight years on! The course covers 14 different modules on topics including: freelancing essentials, managing your projects, setting your rates, how to get repeat business and much more. Within each module there are a range of topics as well as a task at the end of each section, followed by a final exam at the end of the course. The breakthrough freelance course also comes with a certificate when you've successfully finished the course which would be a great addition to any CV and your freelance portfolio or media kit. 

The Blackford Centre is an online learning website with such a wide variety of courses from anatomy and physiology, criminology, counselling, event planning and digital marketing as well as a few more niche options that I haven't seen on any other online learning website such as dog grooming, dog training, private investigation and street photography. There are many options you could pursue based on your interests, future job prospects or new career. I'm personally most interested in the floristry, copy writing and creative writing courses based on my hobbies and interests. 

Home-study courses, such as those available with The Blackford Centre, are fantastic for so many reason. For example, you can study at your own time and pace within the comfort of your own home, you can receive an accreditation that you can add to your CV, all of the courses are very affordable, you receive online study material along with a printed edition and you have a 60 day money back guarantee with The Blackford Centre, which gives you plenty of time to decide whether the course is right for you and your current career path or new freelance career. 

Tips
  • Plan Ahead: Along with learning new skills and having the basics, planning ahead before any career switch is important; including when you want to make the change, finances, a potential list of clients and project or article ideas, to name a few. Create a spreadsheet, write lists, brainstorm ideas - I personally find that writing down ideas and lists is key to staying organised and productive while working from home. 
  • Make A Career Out Of Your Hobbies: Starting a new business or freelance career can be daunting so why not look into ways of making your hobby into a career or additional project; whether it's crafting, calligraphy, photography or poetry. Find a passion, learn new skills to help promote and sell your work or ideas and have a little patience. 
  • Patience: When I started my blog and freelance career I never thought I'd earn any money from it but with time, dedication and patience, the blog opportunities and work started to appear. I think there's a misconception about bloggers or freelance writers, that it is an easy job but getting to the stage of working with brands/PRs consistently and having a set rate, is difficult! 
  • Network and Promote: Self promotion can feel a little awkward and it's something I've experienced and had to try and overcome as a blogger and freelance writer. Creating social media accounts, a blog and a media kit or freelance portfolio of your work and sharing with potential clients can be a great way of drawing interest and work. Don't be shy to promote your hard work or ask for your worth. 
  • Gain Relevant Experience or Skills: Online learning courses, an internship or part time job in the area you want to freelance in might be a good opportunity to gain the new skills and experience you'll need. Skills such as being able to use photoshop, proofreading and writing can all be improved with online courses, time and practice. 
  • Taxes: There are many aspects of freelancing and blogging that aren't as glamorous as events and PR mail - those aspects include taxes. The self assessment tax form is something I dread to fill out each year and that is solely because it can be quite (ermmm...very) confusing but if you earn any money from blogging or freelancing (even if it is a tiny amount over the year), you need to let the government know. 

Are you a freelancer? Have you participated in any online learning courses? 

11 comments

  1. This is super helpful! Freelance life is definitely an adjustment xx

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  2. Definitely agree self-promotion is important and being able to do it online, now going to events / mixers isn't possible!

    Jasmine xx

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  3. This is fantastic Heather, and well done! J x

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  4. This is such a helpful post. I’d love to go freelance at some point.

    https://littlemissmelanie.com/

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  5. I think it is amazing how many courses you can do from home these days x

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  6. Great tips for those that want to go freelance. It’s a great career for so many people x

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  7. These are all fab tips! I've never really known how to go freelance but I'd like to one day I think xx

    Tiffany x www.foodandotherloves.co.uk

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  8. This is such a helpful post. I'd love to learn new skills whilst I have the time to do it.

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  9. I'm not a freelancer but think that it's great that so many people can turn their hobby into a job x

    Beautylymin

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  10. These are some really great tips! Thanks for sharing

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  11. This is interesting as I have never been freelance xx

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