Recently on our Facebook page we asked Freelancers and Employers who are interested in being featured to step forward. So far, we’ve listened to the stories of some truly captivating freelancers. We’re excited to start sharing these bits of knowledge and inspiration with all of you!
This week, we are featuring our first “Feature Me Friday” subject, Kathleen Krueger. Kathleen is a freelance writer who, in less than a year, was able to quit her accounting job to become a full-time freelance writer. Read on to learn how she broke into freelancing, how she works, and why she loves what she does.
GURU: How’d you get into freelance writing?
KATHLEEN: I had been writing online recreationally, and I noticed other writers were attempting to earn money from their online writing according to page views. I was wondering if there was enough money to be had in the industry to make a living. So I started researching, and came across Guru.com, which allowed me to connect with potential clients. I actually acquired my first client through Guru; it was a project to write a newsletter article, and I earned $75.
G: You got your first freelance writing job on Guru in April 2010, and by February 2011 you were able to quit your accounting job to freelance full-time! How’d you do it?
K: Persistence! It’s important to keep bidding on projects. Don’t be fazed by not winning every project you bid on. And, I was fortunate to gain repeat clients – one client in particular made it possible for me to quit my day job. The other thing would be meeting my deadlines. My clients tell me that many freelance writers are notorious for being late in submitting work.
G: What was the most challenging obstacle you faced in the beginning, and how’d you overcome it?
K: It was difficult at first not having any feedback. Getting some kind of feedback is absolutely critical, and so I took some low-paying jobs to build up my reputation. As I earned more positive feedback and gained more clients, I was able to raise my rates and found it easier to win bids.
G: What’s your favorite thing about Guru?
K: I like how there are numerous ways to communicate on Guru. And I know that clients are happy they are able to contact Freelancers before they post a project. I have also had clients tell me, when they are looking for quality writers, they go to Guru.
G: What’s one thing you’d change about Guru?
K: Profiles. Currently you have to create multiple profiles for each category, and I would rather have one profile for all. Also, the categories from which we can choose are not optimal. Take, for example, the press release and online writing category. I do write content for online placement, but I do not write many press releases. However I still receive invitations to projects for writing press releases, simply because my profile shows up in that category.
G: What other sites do you use to find and manage your freelance jobs?
K: I use Elance. Though I have found more quality clients through Guru.
G: What safeguards do you ask for before beginning work with a new client?
K: I always use SafePay! I sometimes create Project Agreements, but only if the client requires a more detailed plan.
G: You write on a number of different topics and in a variety of formats. Do you think it’s better to be a generalist or a specialist freelance writer?
K: I think it’s better to be a generalist, but you should have at least one specialty to stand out in the crowd. Often I am hired because of my construction industry knowledge.
G: You are currently the feature writer for several lifestyle magazines. What’s most rewarding about those gigs?
K: I get to interview fascinating people and tell their stories. I love being able to do that. I’ve gotten to interview internationally famous artists and young startup entrepreneurs that are fairly unknown; they are all making a difference in the world in some way. When my article subject reads my initial draft and says, “You captured me and my passions perfectly!” that’s worth more than any other payment I receive.
G: What’s been the most unique writing project you’ve taken on so far?
K: I was chosen to be one of the first four writers for a project called “The Creative Conspiracy” by Aplomb Clothing. I wrote a piece about a nonprofit that works with foster kids, teaching them the art of photography. A visual artist then created a piece of art based off my writing, and their artwork was then incorporated as a design on a t-shirt by Aplomb. It was cool being part of this unique process that will also raise awareness for the nonprofit and their work.
G: What’s ONE thing you’ve learned that you want others to know about freelancing?
K: Freelance is the wave of the future. It opens up such a broad system. Take, for example, a local newspaper near me that started issuing layoffs. I was able to encourage a few journalists in their pursuit of freelancing as a means of continuing their careers.
G: Thanks for taking the time to be interviewed! Where can people go to learn more about you?
K: You can check out some of my poems at patchworkpoetry.wordpress.com. I love to write poetry most of all! I am also active on Twitter @kacky222. And of course, you can browse my Guru Freelancer profile.