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My Freelance Writer Life: Client Zero

When I tell people that I am a freelance writer, most immediately ask, “How did you get into that?” (especially those who know I previously ran a window cleaning/janitorial business for over a decade). So here is the story of my first ghostwriting client.

It was the winter of 2011/12, and I had recently decided that it was finally time to pursue my lifelong dream of being a writer. I started by setting up a Fiverr account, but that’s a story for another day because it would be months before that account started to bring in business. My brother, however, knew about my goal and had confidence in my writing ability. Suddenly, an opportunity arose.

...a writer had already promised this guy the world and then vanished without so much as a “Sorry, I can’t finish the job.”

A colleague had contacted him in regards to about 80 tech articles involving things like multiple monitor displays, controllers, graphics cards, and the like. All I had to do was complete a quarter of them in the first week and the rest within 30 days. That’s because a writer had already promised this guy the world and then vanished without so much as a, “Sorry, I can’t finish the job.”

I just want to take a moment to address that situation.

  • Writers: Communicate about deadlines and do not bite off more than you can chew. There are plenty of writers out there who can help you get a project finished on time.

  • Employers: Vet your writers with smaller projects first to make sure that they deliver high-quality work in a timely fashion.

I finally had my first project, but I was under the gun and writing about a topic that I knew little about despite having a degree in Computer Information Systems. That’s when I realized something. Being able to write in an articulate manner is only one part of the job. Strong researching skills are a must freelance writers. Plus, you have to be able to learn quickly about pretty much any topic in order to be able to write authoritatively on a subject that you knew little to nothing about just a few days prior.

In the end, I completed the job on time. When the money was delivered to my PayPal account, I was more certain than ever that this was the job for me. Since then, I’ve ghostwritten everything from articles for law journals and men’s health magazines to travel blogs for the world’s elite and automotive content in British English. Now I have plenty of writing clients so has become a personal blog for sharing writing tips, my personal experiences, and my photography.

Speaking of photography, I used the payment from my first writing gig to purchase my first DSLR. More on that story in the future.


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Hi, I'm Adam Kantrowitz

I am a freelance writer, photographer, and artist. I started writing in early 2012, and it became my primary source of income in 2015. This blog is all about freelance writing, content marketing, photography, travel, the freelancer lifestyle, art, NFTs, and anything else that pops into my head.

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I make money writing, taking pictures, and making art. I'm gluten-free by necessity, not choice. I'm based in New York and Sicily. If you enjoy the blog, subscribe below. Thanks for your support!


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