About the Episode
Do you feel the tension between wanting to work on your novel while also needing to pay the bills? Well, today’s guest, Ericka Andersen, has a solution for you: Freelance writing!
***Check out Ericka’s Course ✅CLICK HERE 👉http://bragworthybylines.com
Topics covered in this episode:
- The Pros and Cons of freelance writing for fiction writers
- How freelance writing can be a lucrative option for fiction writers
- Will freelance writing take time away from writing your novel?
- How freelance writing can support your novel publishing goals
- First steps to getting started as a freelance writer
About My Guest
Ericka Andersen is a freelance writer living in Indianapolis with her husband and two kids. She regularly contributes articles to places like the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and Christianity Today. She is most recently the author of “Reason to Return: Why Women Need the Church & the Church Needs Women.
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Click for Transcript
Ericka: [00:00:00] fiction can be about so many, so many things. What are the real world topics that sort of blend into this subject matter? Maybe your book is on somebody that has cancer and you write an op ed about, it’s breast cancer awareness month and then in that byline you can be Ericka Andersen is writing a book on X, Y, Z title of the book link to your website. I see that as a very good and powerful way to be promoting your work, your fiction work, while using a non fiction subject.
Rachel: Welcome back to The Business of Christian Fiction. I’m your host, Rachel Fahrenbach and joining me today is Ericka Andersen.
Ericka is a published author of two books, right? Two books, two books. Yeah. And she contributes freelance articles regularly to places like the Wall Street Journal, the New York, New York times and Christianity today. And so I wanted to ask Ericka, even though she’s not a fiction writer, you guys, I wanted to ask her about her journey [00:01:00] of freelance writing because as I have gotten to know her and been watching her grow in her business as a freelancer, I realized this could be a really good way for fiction writers to make money while waiting for their novels to get published. And so, Ericka, I am so glad that you’re joining us today. Thank you for being here.
Ericka: Oh, thank you for asking me. I’m so excited to be a part of the fiction world.
Rachel: It’s a little bit different of a world, but the same principles kind of, um, Are there as far as like it takes a bit to get a book published. So in the meantime, right? We need to be making money and for fiction writers. It’s a little hard harder, you know, nonfiction writers can take their topic and they can create like mini courses out of it.
They can do speaking gig. And so there’s some income that can come in while they’re waiting for a publisher to pick them up, but not so much with a fiction writer. Um, and so it’s a little bit difficult. And so there’s always this tension between I want to write [00:02:00] my novel, but I need to pay the bills at the same time.
And so I cannot wait for us to get into this conversation. But before we get too far down the road with all your expertise and wisdom and knowledge, I want you to just kind of share a little bit about yourself. Tell us where you’ve been, how you got here. Yeah. Yeah.
Ericka: Yeah. So, well, I live in Indiana and, uh, I’ve always been a writer since I was a little girl.
I definitely wrote some fiction when I was a kid. Uh, definitely had like a notebook filled of a book, a book that I wrote. Who knows what happened to it? Um, but that’s where I got my start. And so I’ve always loved writing and I majored in journalism in college. Um, but I really felt like I had very little direction after that.
Um, I didn’t really have internships or I didn’t really have a mentor. Uh, so many things I would have done different back in those days. However, it all worked out. Um, I ended up working in communications more generally, of course, using some of those writing skills, but, um. I had a variety of different, [00:03:00] um, like digital marketing and communications jobs over the years.
Um, and I was fortunate enough to work in one of those positions at a magazine called National Review. And at that magazine, I got opportunities to write a little bit. Um, and I also got to work with really amazing writers. Um, and so through some of that exposure and experience and just my own, you know, just always loving to write.
Um, I wrote, I ended up writing that first book, not really thinking that I would actually be able to get it published. Like, I really planned to do that pretty much just self published and it’s a long story, but, um, God opened some doors and next thing you know, I had a book deal and, uh, if you want that story, uh, you can find it probably somewhere on my Instagram, but, um, but it happened.
And so, um, that really propelled me into, I want to be like a real writer now, you know, I mean, obviously it was, I w I wrote this book, which is, um, Really unique story about my [00:04:00] husband and his life growing up and and the things that God did for him But but essentially like that’s where I said, I I actually want to like write articles and like write freelance and so some of the topics in that book were what sort of pushed me to pitch some ideas about things like like addiction and and like family Life and things like that.
So that sort of, I, I started pitching and realizing, Oh my gosh, like I can actually like get stuff published and, uh, sort of getting into the business a little bit and recognizing how possible this was for a normal person that maybe didn’t really have any name ID. Um, and so long story short, I’ve been doing that now for five or about four or five years, um, published a second book.
And, um, now also teach people how to become freelance writers. Um, and there’s two sides to that, which is one, the, the side that I was just talking about, which is like, you know, publishing articles in magazines and newspapers. And then there’s also like another side of that, [00:05:00] which is content writing and, and copywriting and, and just other ways that you can use your skills.
And that side of it actually is the side that you’re gonna make more money at. So I teach both and, um, it really is cool to be able to know you are a good writer and use your writing skills to get paid.. Um, and so I think there’s a lot of opportunity out there that people don’t know about. Um, what else about me is that I’m a mom of two, uh, five and eight year old and, um, and yeah, that all of that keeps me pretty busy.
Rachel: Wow. What an interesting journey. So what was the first book that you published? What’s the name of that? Yeah. Yeah.
Ericka: Uh, it’s called leaving cloud nine the true story of a life resurrected from the ashes of poverty trauma and mental illness
Rachel: Whoa, that’s a mouthful.
Ericka: It’s a mouthful. It’s a lot going on there. Yeah, so it’s a memoir of my husband’s life, uh, growing up in poverty and trauma and all of these things, um, and all that he went through and then how God, you know, sort of redeemed his life in so many beautiful ways.
And so, um, it’s interesting, like you don’t normally have a [00:06:00] memoir that’s really written by someone else, but he’s not a writer and, you know, I had always wanted to write a book and he’s, you know, when he started telling me a story when we were dating and I first met him. I was like, man, your life sounds like a book or a movie and he’s like, well, you said he wanted to write a book.
And so he’s put the idea in my head and we, we went forward from there and ultimately I really think it was a God opening doors to make that happen because I certainly could have done it. I didn’t know what I was doing for the most part. Um, so that happened. Yeah.
Rachel: That’s, that’s really neat that you were able to capture his story down for him and, and kind of preserve it and also use it to, um, just men are minister to others.
And encourage others. And that’s so beautiful. And I know your second book is about the church, right? About, and what’s the title of that just in case anybody wants to go check it out.
Ericka: Yeah, I welcome you to check it out. It’s called, um, reason to return why women need the church and the church needs women.
And that really, um, [00:07:00] ultimately I got to that book from the first book because I started writing about addiction and all of these things and, you know, started to come upon research showing that those who are part of a local church community are less likely to Live in addiction or less likely to be a depressed and all of these positive things about the church community Um, and then at the same time finding out women were leaving at faster rates than ever before and I thought oh my gosh This is not good.
Let’s talk about it. And that’s how that book came to be.
Rachel: So did you start freelancing before you pitched that second book?
Ericka: I was freelancing before I pitched the book it’s like some of the freelance articles I was doing actually was It’s ultimately very inspiring to actually move forward with the book, which I tell people, um, that it’s such a great idea to use freelancing as a, as a launch point for books, because not only do you get sort of ingrained in the community and you become, you know, more learned in your subject matter, um, but it starts to build a name ID for you and platform in a different way, whereas because we know [00:08:00] that platform is tricky. We know also that publishers are no longer looking at Instagram and thinking that that’s going to sell all your books because it’s not that
Rachel: Numbers don’t equal sales and necessarily number of followers. I mean, so when you went to pitch where those I’m assuming those articles you listed those on your proposals and and whatnot. Am I correct in that like, almost like a portfolio of sorts. Yeah,
Ericka: yeah, you can do it like that. Like, I think book proposals can be done different ways depending on how like some people get super fancy and like they have Graphic elements. I don’t, I never had that. I don’t, you know, I, I just very straightforward, but I definitely included in my book proposal. Like I’ve been published here, here and here. And then also in the marketing side of my proposal, I talked about how, like, I would be looking to get published in X, Y, Z places to talk about this book, um, as another form of my platform.
Rachel: Well, this is really interesting. So let’s go into a little bit [00:09:00] of how one even starts to get. You know, what is high level? I know this is what you teach and coach on. So obviously we won’t be able to get into the nitty gritty here, but just kind of like high level, how does one even go about freelancing? Like, how do you find the freelance opportunities? How do you pitch them? Like, what exactly is freelancing? I guess we could probably even just start there. Like, what exactly is freelance writing?
Ericka: So freelancing is just, Getting paid to write in some capacity, uh, and so sometimes when people talk about freelancing, they’re talking about beyond writing, like, like, a lot of my freelancing is like, I do social media stuff for people, but, but it’s all encompassed under freelancing, and freelance writing would just be anything you write for money, basically, and so, um, So, there are a couple different avenues, so, a lot of freelancers like myself, like, really like to, the balance of the two, like, we want to have magazines and newspaper articles, but we also want to have the more solid, consistent income that comes with the content writing type of position.
And so, you find those opportunities, [00:10:00] well, they’re sometimes in the same place and sometimes in different places. Um, For I’ll start with the magazines and the newspapers. So there are a lot of, um, there are a lot of listservs and sort of locations online where people actually collect on a weekly or even twice weekly basis calls for pitches, which is just editors that have put it out there in the world.
Hey, I’m taking pitches on X, Y, Z. And then a lot of times, usually they include their email because they want pitches. Um, so that is just like the perfect place to start if you just don’t even know where to begin. Um, but if you have like something you really want to write about, you don’t see a pitch call for it, then you would kind of just try to figure out, well, where do I want to publish this? And if so, you know, what, what part of the magazine would this go in? And who’s the editor of that? And then try to figure out how can I get in touch with the editor and send this pitch. Um, and I’ll, but I’ll, I’ll caveat that by saying, like, a pitch is a very [00:11:00] strategic thing and you can’t just, like, send your idea in an email and hope it works out.
Right. Um, you really have to write a pitch in the correct way, which is, you’ll find a lot of that on my Instagram account. Like, I have, like, tons of just, I will be posting those little tips all over my Instagram account. But of course, um, in my course, we go way in depth and all the things in that, but essentially that’s how you would do that side of things.
On the content and copywriting side, there are always like places out there that are looking for just any number of kinds of writing jobs, whether it’s, um, Uh, somebody that, like, sometimes you’ll see it, we need a breaking news person at this website, or we need a copywriter for our blog, or we need someone to write newsletters, or e books, or, social media copy.
And a lot of those job boards that I mentioned before will also include those kinds of positions that are available. Um, so that’s a great place to go. And then also LinkedIn is, is a really good place to find a lot of
Rachel: That’s true. Yeah, that would make sense. LinkedIn would be a [00:12:00] good It’s all about networking connections and things.
Ericka: Right, right. And you can set up alerts. So whatever you’re looking for or if it’s in a certain area, um, you can get an email that’s like, so there’s this job just came open for Content Writer, uh, do you want to go check it out? And you can apply there. Um, so that, those are a couple of things. Um, the other thing I would say is honestly, your current personal networks are probably more valuable than you think.
A lot of times if people don’t even know that you’re looking for work, right? And so if you put it out there in a specific way, hi, I’m a copywriter, hi, I’m doing content writing now, and I’m, you know, I’m looking for, um, new clients this quarter. If you have any needs, like reach out, putting that out on like your personal Facebook, even in things like that.
People that you wouldn’t even have any idea might have a need like that, may see that and reach out. So, um, That’s a good point. Yeah. And it’s also the fact that most people would rather hire someone they know than get them off of [00:13:00] Upwork. Yeah. It’s just such a gamble in that environment. And if they’re like, Oh, well, I need this and I know Ericka.
So she, yeah, I would much rather hire her.
Rachel: I totally hired my VA because I knew her like, I’m like, I would rather work with you than anybody else because I know you will
Ericka: Same like I had, I had been hiring a VAs and I had applications from people that I didn’t know and there was one girl that I didn’t really know but I kind of like we had kind of interacted online and I immediately was like, I’m going to go with her.
Yeah. And she’s been amazing. So, um, so that’s, that’s, that’s the other thing, um, that you can do. There’s so much I could say, but I’ll just, I’ll leave it there for now.
Rachel: I didn’t even know about a lot of that. So that’s amazing. Cause in my head, I’m thinking it’s going to be really time consuming to find those opportunities.
Like you’re going to have to be like crawling the web constantly to find. So it seems like there’s already kind of a central place where that information has been brought together for you. Yeah. That’s so [00:14:00] helpful, because then, because one of the things I was going to ask you about was, um, you know, as fiction writers, most of the time you have a full time gig and you’re doing this novel thing on the side. And so you don’t have a ton of time and that time needs to go to actually writing the novel.
Because, and we’re talking like 90, 000 words, 80, 000 words, you know, you’re putting a lot of time and energy into this. So. For somebody who is listening to you and going, okay, well, that sounds like a good thing. How much time is actually involved on a weekly basis? Um, I’m sure it’s a range. I’m sure it has to do with how much time you want to invest in it.
But for somebody who maybe is already, needing to kind of find time in the cracks for it, is it going to put a lot more burden on them? Or is it something that they could put a couple hours to a week and still be successful with it?
Ericka: Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, for this person, probably is, is more looking for the content, consistent income type of thing.
And I think that is the great thing about [00:15:00] freelance is that there is a lot of flexibility. You’re not expected to be anywhere at any certain time. Usually it’s, it’s on your own time whenever you can get it done and however you work that out with whoever is hiring you to do the project. Um, and sometimes it’s on a project by project basis.
So. You know, I think it, it’s just making sure that you, you’re really judging the kinds of positions that you’re applying for, um, to see if it would work for you and your schedule or not, because I think some of them are much lighter than others. Um, you know, I, I call it. What I call my big clients are called anchor clients and they like bring in the, um, bulk of my income and that, you know, I consider like a big part of my day and if you want to get, um, if you want to get that higher consistent income, you kind of have to commit to a lot more, but you can find these ones where it’s like, okay, so like I have one client, for example, that I do something for them every month and I get paid 750.
But I just do it [00:16:00] whenever on my own time and so that’s like
Rachel: you probably just have a deadline for it, right? They’re like you need it by this time, right? Whenever you get it done is when you get it done.
Ericka: Exactly So 750, I mean if that’s all you brought in extra like that could be great on top of a full time job, right? For sure So, um, and, and the other thing I would say is sometimes you can even like, I actually sort of created this thing that I do for this company. I was writing blog posts for them and they’re like, we need video content. And I was like, well, I could do some interviews for you. So basically every month I do, I seek out a person that fits for their sort of business and I do a video interview with that person.
And then they use that for all their networks. Um, so I’m just sort of like, I’m a host of like a little kind of like a show. Yeah. And that was sort of my idea. I sort of made that up. And I’ve been doing it now for like almost three years. So
Rachel: that’s cool. Like just kind of the side little, and it’s neat because it’s not like, you don’t have to worry about anything. [00:17:00] With like branding or socials, cause you know, like I have a podcast, but I have to worry about all the, like putting clips to go on social and putting, you know, like what things are, how am I going to monetize this podcast?
Like, what are the things that are going to go along with it? And how do I stay on brand and all that? So it’s the fun of the interviewing, but without all the logistical stress of the brand. And it’s not pulling away from your brand, your personal brand that you’re trying to maintain and build. So you mentioned a number, you mentioned a number of how much you got paid.
So I remember being in college and when I heard about freelancing, it sounded so pitiful. Like it was like five cents a word, you know, it was like really, like really, like you could be putting three hours worth of work into something and get paid five bucks, you know? And so. What would you say is the actual likelihood of making decent money from freelancing?
Obviously, you’re a proponent for it. So I’m assuming [00:18:00] that there’s a possibility of making actual decent money. But can you share a little bit more about that?
Ericka: Yeah, so, I mean, a lot of people will start on a place like Upwork or Fiverr looking for content jobs. Unfortunately, like, those kinds of places are where you’re going to find those very pitiful, terrible, low, terribly low rates.
Yeah. Um, I don’t think it’s a bad place to start because if you’re just trying to dip your toe in the water and you want to get a little bit of experience doing it, um, I think it’s fine to start there. Um, But in general, I, I literally never look on those places because I just know how pitiful the pay is. So in terms of like per word, that is not as typical as it used to be. I don’t find a ton of like per word payment types of things. Um, you will find that sometimes at magazines and things like that, but even those, I’ve gotten more flat rates for.
I think your best bet for making good money is to go into it looking for like these package deals, like a monthly [00:19:00] rate, like I will do a blog post for you a month at this rate. Okay. So a lot of times you’re kind of having to put the rate out there, which is tricky. Um, that’s a tricky conversation because you’re like, Oh, what’s your budget?
I don’t know. Like, I don’t want to undersell myself. And so that’s part of the, kind of part of the experience. Also something that we talk about in my course and kind of get into the nitty gritty of the logistics of like how much should you get paid and so much of it is dependent on your experience all the many things like what exactly are you doing?
What are the goals? How are you going to accomplish them? So there’s a lot of questions to ask and make sure you have clarity with the person that you’re working with. But, um, but if you can get a thing where you’re like, I’m filling this. Filling in this hole that they like you guys need blog posts. I’m a writer.
How about I’ll do this many a per month? And then that’s how you sort of get you do something that they need consistently.
Rachel: Okay, that’s really that’s really helpful because I have never really heard it put that way [00:20:00] and like you can pitch this idea of monthly that Honestly, I thought that was more something a VA did that not necessarily a freelance writer just straight up writer.
So, um, that’s really helpful. And I feel like that opens up like a whole world of things that you could be doing and a whole way of approaching it. And so that’s really intriguing to me. So I’m thinking about this as a fiction writer. Um, When you are thinking through the articles you’re going to pitch, do they tend to be in a certain wheelhouse of yours, like, that have to do with your books and the topics that your books cover, or even the next book that you’re pitching?
Are they, are you thinking topical, like, in order to support yourself to pitch to a book publisher, or are you, like, covering a wide range? It really, you don’t limit yourself. How do you personally approach it? And then what would you suggest a fiction writer do?
Ericka: Yeah, I mean, I tend to sort of write about a lot of the same things because I’m just familiar with those topics, I’m passionate about [00:21:00] those things, and a lot of times they do overlap with the subjects of my books, which just sort of, you know, just kind of goes with my interest area.
And I think it’s good to have a bit of a niche, um, in writing in general, uh, because Because if you’re like, again, you’re just in the know, you know, people, you have connections, you have the information, like, it’s so quick, you’re, it’s so much quicker for me to be able to be able to be like, oh, I should ask so and so about this, like an expert that I already know, it just becomes organic to you when you stay in the same subject matter.
Um, I actually have someone that just signed up for my course, which is, um, going live again soon. Um, that is a fiction writer, and so that’s exciting. Um, she had asked me some questions in the free class about it, and, and essentially, I think there is a lot of opportunity there. I mean, I think Of course, fiction can be about so many, so many things.
So, I guess, depending on where you land on subject matter, there’s always real world issues that intersect with those things. And so, you [00:22:00] know, I think pulling out maybe a list, or just brainstorming like, what are the real world topics that sort of, um, blend into this subject matter? Because if you are to say, write a, a, maybe you publish an essay on Huffington Post about this, It’s subject matter.
Maybe your book is on somebody that has cancer or something and you write an op ed about, um, you know, it’s cancer awareness, breast cancer awareness month and XYZ, I don’t know, something personal. Um, and then in that byline you can be Ericka Andersen is writing a book on X, Y, Z title of the book link to your website.
So that’s like. You know, I see that as a very good and powerful way to be promoting your work, your fiction work, while using a non fiction subject. You know, in a magazine or newspaper, right?
Rachel: I can even imagine that gives you, you know, because sometimes fiction writers will ask me, they’re like, what do I post about?
Like, what do I put [00:23:00] on my social? Like, I don’t know. Like, I’m on the I’m working on the thing, but it’s not like I can really give too many updates. Um, And so that would be, I, I would suppose would give them something to talk about to like, Hey, guys, you know, still working on my novel. It’s in the stage, but while you’re waiting for it to come out, go check out my article in, you know, this magazine over here about the topic that shows up in my novel.
And the more you’re saying that the more you become like an expert about that topic so that when your novel does come out, it’s both created some buzz in the people that are following you, but also kind of created some, um, way for people to know that you’re going to approach the topic in a, in a way that either aligns with their beliefs or maybe aligns with, um, they’re willing to explore with you, you know, so it gives them a chance to feel like they’re going to, they kind of know where you’re coming from before they invest their time reading your novel,
Ericka: right? And I also think, um, something that came to mind is. [00:24:00] Writing about, um, sort of, maybe the industry or the, the niche that, niche that you’re in, so, um, maybe, maybe you could write about, like, what’s, like, something in the publishing, in the fiction publishing industry, like, an opinion that you have about, like, what’s happening with books right now, or, This particular genre of books or, you know, a particular author is like trilogy came out and you have something to say about it.
And so what can you be saying about other people and other figures in the fiction world? Um, because opinions are, you know, always people love to read people’s opinions and there, you know, there are magazines, there are publications that are focused specifically on things like that. And so just thinking about how can you say more, um, about your subject or sort of this area. Um, that’s not inside your book, but still contributes to the conversation. The larger conversation.
Rachel: Yeah, that’s good. So for somebody who is wanting to get into this world of freelancing what [00:25:00] would be their 1st step
Ericka: 1st step? Follow me on Instagram.
Rachel: I was gonna say, if you don’t say, come, come follow me.
Ericka: Follow me on Pitch and Publish. I mean, I do think, I do say that jokingly, but I do say it for real, because I do really put good stuff on there. Sometimes I’m like, do I put too much? Too much. I’m like giving it away too much. Um, so that is a good place to start. Um, but, uh, you know, also, I would say not to be like so self pitchy, but my email list is really a great place, because every week I’m sending out Um, like whatever I’m learning, I’m like sending it out.
I, I do send out a few job opportunities in my email that I sort of curate for my audience. And then, um, just like tips all the time. Like I, I live to serve, you know, it’s all about education, um, on that email list. And then also, um, There are several different email lists that you could subscribe to, to get some of those opportunities.
I can send you the links, but, um, they are, one of them is called Opportunities of the Week, and the other one is [00:26:00] just called Freelance Opportunities. Very boring. Um, however, those are the two that I look at the most, and they are very updated every week, and they have both kinds of freelance jobs listed there.
Um, of course, LinkedIn, great place to start. Um, and the other thing is like, you know, Position yourself to be hired. So on LinkedIn, update your LinkedIn profile and make it known like that you are a content writer and that you’re available for content writing jobs. Like at least make that part easy. If somebody’s looking for you, they find you that kind of a thing.
Um, so those are a few things I would do. And I’m not saying, you know, that it’s going to. You know, the first thing that you look for is going to work out. It might take some time because it’s new to you. Um, but I think there’s no shortage of opportunities. In fact, there are so many opportunities that like I can’t even look at them all every day because they’re like, I could never have too much.
Yeah, there’s so many. Um, and so that’s the problem is not lack of jobs.
Rachel: That’s good to know. That’s good to know. Do [00:27:00] you consider yourself a freelance writer first and then you have these books that you publish or are you like, how do you reference like refer to yourself? Are you like an author that has books and does freelance and or like, how do you consider
Ericka: I just call myself a freelance writer because um, I think the books kind of fall under that as well. And then, um, you know, I, I really should, I’m told I should really say that I’m a business owner and I’m an entrepreneur because I own my own business and I’m like a solopreneur or whatever, but. Um, that just never feels right.
So I just say freelance writer and that kind of covers it all. Yep. Yep.
Rachel: So, okay. We’ve talked about some really positive things about freelancing. Namely you have, um, flexibility with timeframe. There’s some lucrative jobs out there. There’s no lack of jobs. Um, so, and there’s, there’s. Um, lists that have already been cultivated for you of job opportunities.
So there’s all these lovely, wonderful things that are pros [00:28:00] for freelancing. Are there any cons that we should be aware of? Or like any negative things that we should be aware of?
Ericka: I don’t think there’s any cons if you’re doing it as a side hustle because you’re not relying on that to, like, bring in your living wage.
Yeah. Um, so as a side hustle, it’s kind of a low risk situation. When you are doing it for your full time living, it can be I do think it could take a certain personality type, like you have to be, um, a person that can hustle a little bit, at least, um, and be willing to be very proactive. You got to kind of think ahead, like, um, you, you do have to hold sort of at, you know, several different clients at the same time, or you’re not going to make enough money.
Um, and so for me, I, I love having different clients. I love doing different things. Like, I can’t stand being in one job, which is what I realized when I started freelancing. I was like, oh. This is it. This is why I have not liked my jobs all this time. Um, and so You need the vari variety? Yeah, variety. And [00:29:00] so I think just being, you know, you have to be willing to network.
Put yourself out there, like, you know, tell people that you’re looking for work. Um, it’s definitely, like, not the same thing as just having a steady job and being like, Oh, I made a paycheck. Um, so not, it’s not for everyone necessarily, but I think definitely as a side hustle, it is worth trying. Um, I, I did it for several years, um, on the side and I, it was just so great because it was just like extra money. I mean, it was, it was awesome. Um, and so that’s, that’s the con. I mean, occasionally you’ll run into people that are, you know. Like, oh, you have to chase down payments. Sometimes, sometimes payments are late.
That sucks. Um, so you have to deal with some of that stuff. Keeping track and make sure you’re getting paid and everything. But I personally have never had anyone try not to pay me. Some people have had that experience. I’ve never had that experience.
Rachel: I have. I had, I did one. I, so I, I, it’s like all sudden flooding back to me.
It’s like [00:30:00] a repressed memory. Like, I’m like, wait a second. I did some of this. I had started trying to do some freelance stuff and I had one really great experience writing some content for a devotional for, um, a company actually, they wanted to have like this devotional for their people, their customers.
And, um, yeah. So it wasn’t like a publisher. It was like a company. And then I had this other one that wanted content for their website. And I had done a couple of websites by that point. So I worked really hard, but I had, and it was using one of those websites, like Fiverr or Upwork or something. And, um, I didn’t do, later on, a friend told me that I hadn’t set it up correctly, so, um, they weren’t gonna pay me until the job was completed, and I did all the work, and then they claimed that it wasn’t good enough and up to their standards, and so they refused to pay me.
And I was like, And so they’re like, we had to change so much of your stuff. And I like looked at their site and they hadn’t changed a word. And I was like, so, and that was the last time I tried to do anything working for anybody. [00:31:00]
Ericka: Well, what I will say about that, and I have never used Fiverr for a job myself, but that is the key in when you do start doing this is having a contract. It doesn’t have to be this like 25 page long contract. I actually just sort of write my own. And I just make stipulations like, this cost covers one revision. Or, you know, you have to make it so if they do go outside of the scope of the work, that you, like, if I do this, it’s an extra cost.
Just make that very clear in the paperwork. Because then you have a legal right to Get paid.
Rachel: Yeah, that’s really smart. And I’m sure that you kind of teach about that in your course.
Ericka: Yes. Yeah. Okay. It’s very comprehensive. Honestly, it covers a lot. Um, but it’s hard to break it out into like smaller pieces because I’m like, I feel like you need to know all of this.
If you’re going to do it.
Rachel: I know it’s so hard. Like when you’re trying to teach somebody a new skill and you don’t want to overwhelm them with all the information, but it’s all [00:32:00] vital, right? It’s all vital information.
Ericka: I’m like, Oh, this is like, Way more steps than I even realized because I just do it, right?
Rachel: Like, so how do you, um, well, I just, it just happens.
Ericka: Yeah. No, it’s like, it’s like my phone number.
Rachel: Yep. So, okay. One last question for you, because you, as you were talking, I was like, Oh, I just know my listeners. There are these novel writers who like to like, hold themselves up and they just like to write their words and they’re a lot of them are introverts. So you mentioned about like going, like putting it out there, you know, what would you say to the person who’s like, I’m more introverted, I’m more shy. I’m not really sure I can like put myself out there. What would you say to that person?
Ericka: I don’t think you have to put yourself out there, like in person necessarily.
Okay. Um, I think you can do it all behind screens. Um, I think you can be prolific on LinkedIn or, um, you know, an email list or so even other social media, um, just to be. You know, out there saying this is what I’m looking [00:33:00] for and then also, um, like there’s a group that I’m a part of on Facebook called, um, freelance.
Content marketing, freelance content marketing writers or something like that. And, um, that’s a place where, um, you can network with people. You can ask people questions. You can find job opportunities through some of these Facebook groups. So literally just sort of digitally being out there, I think is enough for this.
Um, I think it’s always better if you can show up to things in person, but honestly, like everything is remote because like, you know, jobs are all over the country. So most of the time it’s not digital. But that actually does make me think of something I wanted to mention, which is, um, there is something about being local to someone where they have an, uh, an increased affinity for you.
Like, oh, they’re here. So it feels Better like they’re a friend, even though they’re not so so it doesn’t hurt to look locally. Um, because you may have a better chance just for the fact that they can meet you in person and feel like they really trust what they’re [00:34:00] doing.
Rachel: That makes sense because I was even just the other day looking for a print shop locally because I was like, if I don’t have to like use some obscure printer on the web, you know, on the internet, maybe. I don’t know. I just felt like it would be feels better to be with somebody that I can go to their shop and I could walk in the doors and know they’re going to take care of it, you know,
Ericka: And you can sell yourself like that to local people. Like just, you know, say you saw an organization or business, you’re like, I wonder if they could use some work. You know, I, I live local, I, you know, I know this town, I know the people in this town. So like, there’s so many things that you can turn into selling points about what you do. And that’s definitely one of them for geographically close.
Rachel: Everything you have shared today has been so helpful. Like I have had my eyes open.
I thought I’ve been following you for quite some time now and you know, like as on your author site, but also on your pitch and publish, um, Instagram. And, um, I learned some new things today, so that’s really helpful. I hope everyone does. I [00:35:00] think they will. And so for those who are like, all right, this woman knows what she’s talking about.
This sounds like a good opportunity for me. Um, where would they go to check out your course?
Ericka: So my signature course is called Brag. Brag Worthy Bylines, get Paid and Published. And um, you can find that at bragworthybylines.com, or you can check out my website pitchandpublish.co. Um, brag bylines is available like as a solo course if you wanna do it.
Just start now and do your own thing, and it doesn’t have any group calls. Um, but I also do live rounds, um, and so I’m doing one for February. The next one after February will probably be May, and the live round will probably be in May, and that is where we have live coaching calls, and there’s a lot more personal coaching and interaction, and Probably you get more out of that one, um, might be a little more expensive, but I think worth it for the personal guidance.
So either way though, feel free to send me a message if you have any questions. I’m happy to answer questions.
Rachel: Thank you so much, Ericka. Before we go, just remind us [00:36:00] where we can find you on Instagram.
Ericka: Yeah, so Pitch and Publish is my writing business, and, um, that’s where I share all the tips. And then my, um, Christian, um, Lady, author, Christian mom brand is Ericka, E R I C K A underscore Andersen, A N D E R S E N. So, yeah. It’s like maintaining two is rough, but It is I know.
Maintaining two of everything. I have two TikToks for the love of God.
Rachel: thank you so much, Ericka. I really have appreciated getting to talk to you today and learning from you. And, um, I will definitely make sure to put all the links in the show notes that people can check out your Instagram and your course.
I Just want to thank you again for being here. I really do appreciate it.
Ericka: Thank you so much. It was awesome.
Rachel: And for those of you who are listening, join us back here next week as we continue the conversation on the business of Christian fiction.
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Hey! I'm Rachel and I'm so glad you're here today!
I help Christian fiction writers figure out how they can make an impact and an income from their storytelling while keeping rest a priority.
You can learn more about how I’m in your corner here.
And you can learn more about my personal journey here.
One last thing, if you’re looking for a bit more rest in your life, be sure to check out the Rest & Reflect guided journal.