On Being a Public Person: How a Freelance Writer Makes a Living

When you have a public voice, what you say becomes crucial. I have a responsibility not only to the other people I write about, but also to the larger community.

‘The president brought you a rose on your birthday’: 1st Jobs, Starring Nicole & Parents

The Billfold is proud to present an ongoing feature about First Jobs, primarily focused on what they paid then and for comparison’s sake what they pay now, but also everything about them from the hilarious to the terrible. Today’s subject: our very own Nicole Dieker and her parents.

Nicole Dieker: I did all kinds of babysitting, church organist-ing, and retail working jobs in high school and college, but my first “real” job as an adult was working as a telemarketer. I’ve told this story on The Billfold before. When I got the job in 2004, it paid $9 an hour plus commission, which averaged out to about $11 an hour. I suspect it pays much the same today. (Editor’s note: The average median income of a telemarketer in 2014 is $34,000/year, or just over $16/hour.)

It’s Time to Discuss ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’

Welcome to the Billfold Book Club’s discussion of Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That The Poor And Middle Class Do Not! You don’t need to have read the book to chime in on the discussion. I am also going to spoil the book’s ending. Here we go.

Every Job I’ve Ever Had: Piano Teacher, Dog Walker, Booth Babe, Executive Assistant, Writer, and More

As should become immediately obvious, many of these jobs were held concurrently.

Trying to Define “Enough:” How a Freelance Writer Makes a Living

I’m starting to get twitchy about the amount of work I have to do and the amount of time in which I have to complete it. I’m good at calendaring and timeblocking when I need to work on each piece, but there’s not a lot of breathing room in my schedule. On the other hand, I’m doing extremely well for cash.

Getting Paid to Write as Myself: How a Freelance Writer Makes a Living

June 2014 stats:

Total earnings: $3,901.74

Completed pieces (all types): 98

Essays/articles published: 45

In January 2014, I wrote 150 pieces and only three of them were bylined essays. This was the start of the “How a Freelance Writer Makes a Living” series, the entry in which I fantasized about moving past the low-paid copy and content jobs and “eventually becoming Nicole Dieker.”

To my absolute astonishment, that actually happened.

“Why Don’t You Just Get Another Job?” How A Freelance Writer Makes A Living

I promised I would answer the question "why don’t I just get another job?" this month, so now I have to sit down and hash it out. First: any discussion of you need to get another job has to start with the idea that you don’t get jobs. Instead, you are given jobs. You can pitch for jobs, or you can apply for jobs, but in the end, the decision about which job you get is rarely yours to make.

Income Vs. Expenses: How a Freelance Writer Makes a Living

So now that you have an idea of my monthly income, let’s look at expenses.

Sustainability and Compromise: How a Freelance Writer Makes a Living

Here are a few more statistics for all of you, because they’re interesting to me: my year-to-date gross earnings as of August 6, 2014 are $25,576.22. I expect to beat $40K by the end of the year; now I’m curious if I’ll beat $50,000.

Advice to New Freelance Writers: How a Freelance Writer Makes a Living

“I’d really like advice for pitching to publications when you have very little published work on your resume/CV. How do you get started?” The word “publications” in this case is very vague.

The Billfold Book Club: Rich Dad Poor Dad

Be prepared to discuss the book on Wednesday, May 28.