Freelance writer interview with Bonnie McConaughy

Ever wanted to know how successful freelance writers kicked off their career, and be let-in on the biggest mistakes and successes they made? Well, in this new series, I’m partnering with many successful freelancers to give you the know-how on kicking of your biz.

This weeks’ interview is with Bonnie McConaughy who started her career beginning of the year and is having more success than she thought she would, without the use of sites like Upwork. Hooray!

1. Introduce yourself! (Your name, how long you’ve been writing for, where people can find you, etc).

My name is Bonnie, and I have been writing for as long as I can remember. It has always been a dream of mine to become a novelist and more recently to become a freelance writer. I have been writing professionally in this capacity for two months now. You can find me on Facebook on my writer’s page and on my blog, Inspire the Best You.

2. How did you get into freelance writing?

I stumbled upon Elna Cain’s blog post “20 Ways to Find Freelance Writing Jobs (As a Beginner)” on Pinterest, while searching for writing related topics, I don’t even remember what I was doing exactly. I read it and was so inspired that there were so many ways to get started, not just on sites like Upwork and Scripted. One of the biggest things that stuck out to me was posting to Craigslist and then searching Craigslist writing jobs on a regular basis.

3. What method did you use to land your first client? Are you still using this method now?

Craigslist is the main way I was able to get started and my first client is someone who responded to my ad on there. I am still using this method but am being more diligent to apply for writing positions and gigs on my own than I was in the beginning. As I got the hang of it, it has become a real asset to my writing career. Besides Craigslist, I regularly advertise my services on Facebook groups on days where they allow us to promote ourselves and I’ve gotten a client, as well as a couple of potential clients that way.

4. What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made throughout your freelance career so far?

I can’t really think of a “big” mistake that I’ve made in my freelance career. I know I’ve made small mistakes, like for example when I’ve made cold pitches, I messed up in the email message itself. However, I’ve only sent a handful of cold pitches. It is a challenging thing to do because you are putting yourself out there in a new way, and you also have to be careful to tailor the message specifically to the business so it takes a lot of work even if you have a template to use!

5. What is the best tip that you could give to a budding freelance writer?

The biggest tip I can give to a budding freelance writer is to step outside of your comfort zone, but also pursue this job in the way that works for you, especially in the beginning. You can work your way up and build up whatever skills you feel are a challenge right now. It is a learning curve.