PTM 009 – Making Extra Money as a Freelance Writer and Work At Home Mom with Stephanie Christensen of WellnessOnLess.com

Part Time Money PodcastIn this episode of the Part-Time Money podcast, we talk with Stephanie Taylor Christensen. Stephanie is a work at home mom who runs her own freelance writing business. Stephanie left a corporate career when her son was born and has since been pursuing a freelance writing career in her spare time. She also teaches yoga once a week, which pays for her gym membership and child care. In the podcast, she spends some time taking about how to become a freelance writer, even when you have a child at home. Here's more from Stephanie:

I am a home-based freelance writer and yoga instructor–all conducted on the side while raising my son! I also founded Wellness On Less, a site dedicated to inspiring people to discover their best lives when they prioritize both how they spend their money and time. It is quite a juggling act, but proving quite lucrative. I'd love to share my tips and experiences with your listeners.

Stephanie's Story: Wanting to Work from Home

Stephanie Christensen hadn’t really planned to quit her day job and stay at home with her child. But once she actually had her son and experienced life with both parents working full-time, never seeing each other, and never seeing her child, she realized she wanted something different for her life.

After 9 months of trying to have it all, she found her marketing career unfulfilling and set out to see if she really could have the best of both worlds: stay at home with her child and try to earn not only additional income but build a viable, flexible, and nontraditional part-time career. For 18 more work from home ideas read this post.

Stephanie’s career as a freelancer started off slowly. She had written for a children’s magazine in the past, as well as some catalog copywriting, but all of her samples were outdated and none were online. She learned as she went.

Starting Small and Building a Clientele

The first thing she had to grow accustomed to was the salary difference. Since her career in marketing had paid well, Stephanie found herself being humbled by agreeing to write pieces for as little as $15 each. But it was a way to get some live, published work on the web to show people what she could do. Consequently, when she pitched her work to other websites, she had something to show her writing talent.

Stephanie advises other aspiring freelance writers to do their research and do it well. She likens it to putting a puzzle together—going to websites, finding editors, what writers are working on what sites and where they have worked previously. It’s studying that kind of information that helps determine which publications hire freelancers.

Being relentless is key, according to Stephanie. Sending 200 emails and hearing back from only a couple of people is not unusual. Those few might offer small amounts of money to write for them, but if it’s a stepping-stone to get to the next level, then might be worth it. Evaluating the ROI of your time doesn’t always equal dollar signs; sometimes it means opportunity.

For a part-time job, Stephanie finds herself sneaking in 6-8 hours of work a day, during the various times her child is sleeping. Now that she has a solid client base, depending on how much she wants to take on, her monthly salary can range anywhere from $1,000 a month to beyond $3,500. Read about other Freelancers and their success in this post.

Stephanie's Advice

Stephanie has 3 pieces of advice for anyone seeking a side gig as a freelancer:

1.Find the balance between knowing your worth and not having a chip on your shoulder. Sometimes it’s tempting to pass on a good assignment because it doesn’t pay as well.

2.It’s important to celebrate the little wins, as well as the big. You may not be writing the cover story for Money magazine, but you were featured on Yahoo! Finance. That’s worth celebrating.

3.Do not freak out and assume that just because things are not moving quickly it means things are not going to pan out. Don’t get discouraged.

Listen to the Podcast

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Here are some of the questions I asked Stephanie:

Stephanie Taylor Christensen - WAHM and Freelance Writer

  • What made you want to start making part-time money?
  • What was your employment situation before you started?
  • Financially, how were you able to make the transition so quickly?
  • Was having a child your catalyst for making the move home?
  • How did you decide on freelance writing?
  • What was it about freelance writing that was appealing?
  • How do you make time to write?
  • Tell me about your yoga instructing income?
  • How do you move from small writing gigs to big?
  • How much are you bringing in from your writing?
  • What's next for your freelance writing career?
  • What mistakes have you made along the way?

View the full transcript by clicking show