30 Things That Will Make You A Successful Freelancer

become a successful freelancer

Are you wondering how successful freelancers work?

They do stuff over and over again. It shows that it’s a process and every process takes time. However, there are certain things that I’ve learned over the past few years that might help you in getting off the ground.

Believe me.

I have been there where a lot of new freelancers stand now.

I used to be desperate for clients.

Most of the clients I worked with between 2012 to 2014 were short-term. So this means I had to continuously look for new clients. But all that struggle paid off well. After February 2015, I stopped marketing my content writing service and removed the hire me CTA button from my blog. In fact, since the beginning of the year 2016, I’m forwarding a lot of clients to other freelance writers because I didn’t have time to manage all of them.

That being said.

Now, I’m going to share what I learned along the way.

Here are 30 things that will make you a successful freelancer:

  1. Do not let the fear of failure stop you from starting it.
  2. You won’t get a client for ages—but then things will change—and they will start coming.
  3. Rejection is part of the game — don’t be afraid of being rejected. Face it.
  4. There is only one thing that keeps you going, and that’s the belief that you can do it.
  5. Don’t follow a strategy because it’s working for a friend, instead, follow it if it makes sense.
  6. Just be prepared for a couple of tough years in terms of response, earning, and reputation.
  7. Don’t let the unpaid invoices haunt you.
  8. Some clients will not like your work; they won’t pay you either. Back off and find the new ones.
  9. Always try to deliver more than expected. Over-delivering makes you special.
  10. Hard work makes you irreplaceable. So be that freelancer who can’t be replaced.
  11. Don’t dwell on others’ success because you don’t know what they have gone through.
  12. People will judge you no matter what. Don’t let them ruin your journey.
  13. Use your passion in freelancing because that’s the only way to sticking to it.
  14. Be patient because it takes the time to kick-off.
  15. Don’t settle. Be the learner who learns something new every day.
  16. Don’t be limited to a specific freelance platform.
  17. Open yourself to testing unique strategies and setting new examples.
  18. Build a strong relationship with your regular clients.
  19. Schedule a Skype meeting, at least, once a month to analyze, share, and discuss work progress.
  20. Take freelancing as a business. That’s the only way to grow and move further.
  21. Be thankful on whatever you learn, achieve, and get paid.
  22. Use your expertise, knowledge, and experience to help out your clients.
  23. Always renegotiate your pricing every 6 months or 1 year.
  24. Keep on working on your skill set and authenticity.
  25. Be a keen learner of your industry’s standards and trends.
  26. Writing a blog does help in freelancing in lots of ways.
  27. Have multiple (verified) payment methods ready to receive payments.
  28. Give your energy and sweat in the first few years; skip parties; cancel road trips.
  29. Don’t ever ask for a freelance job. Just put your work in front of the audience.
  30. Occasionally take feedback from existing clients; it shows you care about your clients.


A lot of freelancers don’t make their way up to the ladder because they don’t take freelancing seriously.

It’s a serious business. Adopt it as a lifestyle, if you want to succeed in freelancing.

I shared 30 things that I’ve learned over the course of five years.

The first three years were the sheer struggle.

I kept on going.

I figured out that consistency is the key. In fact, I learned so much along the way just because I never left the race track and kept on running.

If you go off the trail, you’d probably look to start over (with something new) and you come back to the initial stage.

Choose to freelance wisely; perhaps it’s not for everyone.

A lot of people I’ve met are made for jobs.

They can’t take risks, they can’t be their own boss, and more importantly, they’re not patient.

I made this far because I have learned that patience is the key to business success

I take freelancing as a serious business, which is why I’m moving forward successfully.

Has this blog post made any difference in your freelancing approach?

Let me know about your freelance career struggles, and we’ll continue the discussion below.

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  1. Hi Hassaan

    Very useful tips you’ve shared to help people become successful freelancer.

    One should not play down anything in freelancing business. I remember once I very casually posted my freelancing services on Olx and within a few days I got so many writing orders that I eventually had to down that ad.

    Many thanks for sharing these wonderful tips.
    Have a super nice day

    1. Hi, Mi Sir!

      Thank you so much for stopping by. I’m glad you liked the tips I shared over there.
      I can vouch for the ads site you just mentioned that the response does come.

      Moreover, I tried to share my learning as a freelance writer. I thought I shouldn’t give a spiel every time I write about freelancing. Therefore, I went for a list post this time around.

      Thanks so much for liking the blog post.

  2. Some great tips, Hassaan! I loved writing a blog helps in freelancing in many ways. So, this is something I’ve learned from experience and saw a significant growth in my freelance writing career.

    Thanks for writing this out.


    1. Arfa,

      Thank you so much for stopping by.
      Writing a blog is important for a freelance writer. Not only does it make you better, but you also market yourself on the internet. I tried to share the lessons that I learned over the past few years.
      I’m glad you liked the blog post.

      THANK YOU!

  3. Hi Hassaan,

    Good tips!

    #1 is the freelance career killer. I knew for years I could write. I knew I could make money writing. But I felt terrified to dive into freelancing. I knew I’d be criticized. I’d fail. So much negativity. Eventually I dove in and rocked it out but only by feeling the fear of diving in, and doing it anyway. Starting the gig.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂


    1. Ryan,

      You’re motivation to many. Love the spirit and talent.

      A few years ago, I realized that blog should be helping someone out there, trying to find the answers. It made a huge difference along the way.

      As far as these tips are concerned, I tried to share the best tips on freelancing that I could.

      Thank you so much for stopping by.

  4. Hassan, this list is huge and I love each points you raised. Number one seemed to me the most important and it is also a killer factor in that it reduces many a person and makes them think they are incapable.

    Like Ryan, I always felt I wasn’t good enough a writer that i was scared, scared out of my wit to start and write my own blog, let alone publish guest posts or even make money from it.

    Today, I am that freelance writer, that freelance web designer and that freelance everything who makes money from consulting and tackling many of my clients’ projects and that’s pretty awesome if you know what I am saying.

    The secret lies in actually taking the guts to start….and yes, all of the points you rightly mentioned would definitely help in become a successful freelancer.

    Thanks for sharing your lessons throughout your five years journey man! 🙂


    1. Hello, Theo!

      Thank you so much for stopping by. I appreciate it.

      You’re right. Perhaps, we mentally incapacitate ourselves. I’m glad I shared a bunch of things running through my mind, and above of all, it could help a lot of freelancers out there.

      The reason behind writing this blog post was to give the community a nudge as they are keen to know about freelancing but they never take action, at least, the majority of them are afraid to take action.

      I’m glad you shared your story, though.

      Thanks so much for your comment.

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