My Freelance Writing Adventure

Photo: I wrote 157 issues of this newsletter

By Mike Johnson

Writing for money is the pinnacle of creating income from thin air.
You open a screen and nothing is there. A few hours later, itís filled with salable value.
Once you master this, you can manifest anything.

Basically, youíre just rearranging the same 26 letters over and over.
But youíre doing so in a way that informs, inspires, entertains or enlightens.
To make it sizzle, add emotion.

At its core, youíre asking questions.
Who, what, when, where, why and how.
If you have passion for the topic, youíll dig deep for the best answers.
These answers may come from your own experience or othersí experience.
They may come from your imagination or observations.

Now, like carpentry, there are ways to frame, fasten and finish the words.
Youíre building mental rooms that are functional, comfortable and beautiful.
Your unique combination of various materials becomes your voice.

Writing is a popular craft. There is no shortage of how-to books.

Creating content is the easy part. Selling it gets tricky.

Ten percent of all writers earn 90% of the income.
And 1% of those, earn 90% of that 90%.

The secret to success in freelance writing is finding clients who will buy, and gaining the skills to sell.
Ideally, you find and sell to high-paying clients who need your work on a regular basis.

It takes too many unpaid hours to find, romance and secure clients.
The less time you spend on unpaid prospecting, the more time you spend earning.

Twenty-five years ago, in my best groove, I was earning $50,000 a year ($95,000 in todayís money) for writing several titles for a business newsletter publisher.
I was punching out an 8-page issue once a week for six years.

On my own schedule.
In my own costume.
From home.
Everything was by phone or mail.

The only real stress of that gig was arranging the main article interview.
I had to find an expert, convince them to speak to me for publication, hold the recorded phone interview and write the two-page cover story.
I could write the remaining six pages of articles without speaking to others.

So each week, I only had one hard appointment on my calendar.
As long as I met the editorís deadline, I could work anytime.
It took about 20 hours to complete an issue.

I also kept a less-regular ad agency client and picked up other jobs by word-of-mouth and happenstance.
I had plenty of money. Plenty of time. Plenty of freedom.
Life was good.

But life is also funny.

What starts as good, soon becomes normal, and eventually unacceptable, as we dream of ways to better our situation.

Hence, my journey to passive income.
Which, thanks to my ability to write, prospect and sell, was also created out of that magic place that holds all manifestations.

Thin air.



One Good Client Can Rock Your World


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