Interview with Successful Work at Home Mom, Rebecca Lake
Have you ever wondered if you can really pay the bills as a freelance writer?
If you’ve ever doubted that it’s possible, you’ll love this next interview in the successful work at home mom series. I was thrilled to connect with Rebecca Lake, a freelance writer and blogger specializing in finance.
Rebecca makes six figures a year working as a freelance writer. On top of that, she’s a single mom who homeschools her children (and she blogs too!). Talk about impressive!
I’ve always believed that freelance writing is one of the best jobs for moms, because it’s so flexible. There is a high-demand for good writers and the pay is also excellent. Work only when and how much you want, and you have the potential to bring in a very good income.
Read More: How to Get Started as a Freelance Writer
If you’ve ever questioned if it’s really possible to make good money as a work at home mom, I think Rebecca offers a lot of inspiration.
As her interview demonstrates, if you want to make this work, you can.
Work at Home Interview: How to Become a Freelance Writer
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got started as a freelance writer?
Sure! I’m a full-time freelance writer and homeschooling single mom of two. Last year, I added blogging into the mix and I now run three blogs.
I got started with freelance writing as a side hustle when I was a stay at home mom. Writing was something I was good at and I figured I could use those skills to make a little extra money. After my marriage ended, I decided to turn my hustle into a full-time gig and I’ve since grown it into a six-figure business.
What does a freelance writer do?
Money and finance have always been things I’ve been obsessed with because I spent a lot of my young adult life broke and in debt. So as a freelance writer, I write about ways to save money, make money, and manage money to help other people who are struggling get a better grip on their finances.
I mostly write for personal finance websites (like Forbes Advisor and U.S. News) but I also write for banks and insurance companies.
My blogs are a little different. My very first blog is a finance blog for moms, packed with tips and ideas on making money at home and saving money. My second blog is a resource site for freelance writers who want to grow their income to six figures. And my newest blog is all about managing time, staying organized and being productive as a busy mom!
How long does it take to become a freelance writer? Is there a big learning curve?
I’m not sure I could put a timeline on how long it takes to become a freelance writer. I’ve been doing this full-time since 2014 and I still learn things everyday.
I would say that it took me a good year and half to really find my footing. I was about 18 months in when I hit my first $10,000 month and felt like I’d made it. Once I got to that point, though, my business really started growing by leaps and bounds.
I think the amount of time it takes you to become a freelance writer really depends on what you can put into it. If you can only work on your business or writing a few hours a week it’ll take you longer to get there compared to someone who’s working on their writing or business a few hours a day. It’s the same with blogging.
Did you take any special courses or classes or receive any special training for this job?
Nope! I think one of the biggest misconceptions about becoming a freelance writer is that you need a writing degree or a business degree or fancy training. I started my writing side hustle with nothing but a laptop and a willingness to learn.
That doesn’t mean a freelance writing course isn’t a good investment; there are some really great ones out there that can help you build a solid foundation. But you shouldn’t assume you can’t make it without one or that you’re automatically counted out of being successful as a freelance writer because you didn’t go to j-school.
How do you find work/clients?
In the beginning, I found all of my clients through job boards, networking, and cold pitching. Freelance writing is a numbers game and the more jobs you apply for, the more people you connect with, the more pitches you send, the more chances you have of landing a gig.
I don’t look for work anymore because I don’t have to. I’ve established myself as an expert in my niche so now clients come looking for me. And that’s really a great place to be as a freelance writer because chasing down work is exhausting!
So if I had to offer one tip on how to be successful as a freelance writer, it’s become an expert in your niche. Make yourself the go-to, in-demand writer that everyone wants to work with and you’ll never have to look for work again.
How do you find time to work as a stay at home mom?
As a single mom who homeschools I have to be really careful with my time. So having a routine is how I make it all work.
That means having set office hours, set hours for school and planning out weeks or even months ahead if possible. It took a long time to get the system down and it’s been tweaked a lot over the years but having a routine and using to-do lists are vital for getting things done.
What does your typical work week look like?
So, for any given week I may have a dozen or so stories to write, sometimes more. I work Monday through Fridays, taking weekends off for blogging. During the week, I keep office hours from around 9 am to 1 pm and try to get all my writing for clients done during this time.
It helps that I can type over 100 words a minute and I know my niche inside and out so I don’t have to spend hours researching what I’m going to write about.
Afternoons are for homeschooling, then I cook dinner with my kids. Evenings I spend time with my kids one on one, then around 10 is when I might read or work on blogging stuff if I’m not too tired.
My mantra since starting my freelance writing business has always been “earn more, work less”. And I’ve been able to achieve that and keep my working hours at around 25 per week max.
How much do you make per month and/or what is the earning potential for this job?
Right now I’m making around $23,000 per month freelance writing.
I was making over $30,000 but I had some clients cut their budgets due to COVID so that affected my earnings. My blogs are starting to make money though and they’re earning around $1,500 a month at the moment.
I think the earning potential for freelance writing is essentially unlimited. But whether you can move into the six-figure range really depends on how committed you are to the hustle, how hard you work at improving your skills, whether you choose a profitable niche and how much effort you put into becoming an expert in that niche.
I’m aware that my income is not the norm for most freelance writers but I think if you really want to make it to six figures as a freelancer, you can do it with the right mindset and plan.
How much does it cost to get started? Are there any long-term costs associated with this job?
$0, for me at least. I started with a laptop and internet, nothing else. And my costs now are still very low. I spend money on internet service and Microsoft Office but that’s it. Oh, and of course I have to pay taxes.
But it actually costs me more money to maintain my blogs each month than it ever has to run my freelance writing business.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a freelance writer?
Hmm, a few things:
- Choose a profitable niche from day one. You’ll make way more money with a profitable niche than you ever would as a generalist.
- Make yourself an expert in that niche. Become the writer who knows that topic inside and out because that’s key to charging higher rates.
- Build your network. Editors and other writers can be your best allies. An editor who loves your work once is more likely to hire you again and again. And writer friends can help connect you with editors or clients who may want to hire you.
- Don’t undercut yourself. Asking people to pay you as a new freelance writer is scary but don’t know be afraid to charge rates that reflect what you’re worth. You’re running a business and you deserve to be paid for your skills and time.
Anything else to add?
Freelance writing can be a great way to make money online, especially for a stay at home mom.
If you’re interested in freelance writing then definitely explore what the possibilities are. Don’t let not having a degree or only being able to work a few hours a week because you’re raising kids stop you from pursuing what could be a lucrative career if writing is what you’re passionate about.
I love Rebecca’s story because it really shows that with some determination, working from home is totally possible. If you want to learn more about how to make money writing online, she offers lots of tips on her blog, Write to Six Figures.
Don’t think freelance writing is the job for you? Look here for some other work at home options: