Based in Chicago, Illinois, The Freelance Beat is a blog exploring the triumphs and challenges that freelance journalists encounter in their early and mid-careers.

How to freelance while working full-time

How to freelance while working full-time

Some people think that the move from employment to entrepreneurship is like jumping off a cliff. For many freelancers, that isn’t the case. Freelancers often get started little by little until they rack up enough gigs to kiss their stable jobs goodbye.

In fact, it’s better to slowly start freelancing. Keep your day job… until you get enough money to strike out on your own. I started to think about this recently after starting a contract, full-time writing gig. I picked up the gig in order to beef up my savings and return to freelancing, but pitching and writing articles after a long, tiring day are difficult.

So if you’re busy working a full-time job, how do you make time for your freelance reporting? It’s tough but doable. Try this to ease the transition…

Do high-value, low-stress stories.

You can’t run around during the day chasing sources. Look for short profile pieces or brief stories you can do with one or two interviews. Give yourself plenty of time to meet deadlines.

Keep your workload manageable.

Start with one or two stories a month. After you ease yourself into it, you can work your way up to one piece a week.

Nights and weekends are for strategizing.

You don’t appreciate time until you realize how little of it you have. Squeeze in time to send out pitches in the morning, during your lunch breaks or in the evening when you get home from work. Organize your pitches for the following week in the evening and the weekends.

Consider a part-time job.

For me, working part-time while freelancing helped to maintain the balance of a steady paycheck while dedicating time to my reporting. Once you’ve built up a savings from your full-time job, a part-time job eases the transition of working full-time.

Converting to full-time freelance is tough. Having a cash reserve and a steady flow of income makes the change go a lot easier. Start slow. Build your clientele. Go get your money!

What are your strategies for working full-time while freelancing? Drop those tips in the comments or email me at

Freelancers, the customer is not always right.

Freelancers, the customer is not always right.

Freelancer payment pet peeves

Freelancer payment pet peeves