My First Freelance Client: Lessons Learned

Nia On Air
5 min readDec 20, 2020
Photo by Dan Counsell on Unsplash

I finally received my first client as a freelance writer. The project is to write 5000 words, and the pay is $100. I know that you $0.02 a word, which is cheating yourself. However, I am a new writer as far as the freelance writing life. Now, I want to get the experience and more with more freelancing gigs.

Most people require you to have x amount of experience or x amount of writing samples. I am not new to writing by any means, just new to writing for others. I am not sure what my fail was, but I want to share what I learned from my first paid writing gig.


The project was writing 5000 words about ‘How to Sing.’ I guess it was a last-minute assignment. The client just wanted the project to be completed with 5000 words. The client only provided me a reference of what he expected the structure should look congeneric. However, the client didn’t give any other information. I asked if the project needs a particular font, font size, format, or anything else. The client again assured me they only wanted 5000 words, but other projects would come in with more time. After confirming the details of the project, my anxiety set in, then I got to work.

What I Thought I Knew About Freelance Writing

I have researched becoming a freelance writer for years. I watched some youtube videos, spoke with other freelancers, and reading comments in freelancer forms. They all had stories about “that client.” There were always comments about how clients attempt to short change them or not pay enough for the work they wanted to produce. I would think to myself, why didn’t you make boundaries at the beginning? It makes sense to me to also state your expectations from your client.

By researching, I took notes of what I should not do from others’ mistakes, again, what I should do from my view when I do step into freelancing life. Well, you can never really plan for all the ‘what if’ cases to happen. All clients and experiences will be different. My understanding was your client provides you with all the details of a project and the deadline. You write for them, turn in the assignment, and move on. Boy, was I wrong in this assumption! There is more to freelance writing than just writing.



Nia On Air

Mental Health Survivor, Poetry Lover, Thought Speaker — Twitter: @Forever_Kesha21 Podcast on Anchor: