How to Become a Freelance Writer in 30 Days


Praise for How to Become a Freelance Writer in 30 Days:

“Shawndra, I have to tell you that I love your ebook. I’ve copied it off and am studying it in more detail in prep for my talk in Nebraska in April. Very good common sense ideas.” 

~Hope Clark, founder of

“Kudos to you – what a wonderful job you’ve done on this [How to Become a Freelance Writer in 30 Days]. I’ve just finished reading it in its entirety, and I’m sincere when I say it’s really terrific –full of great info, nicely organized, fun, and, most important, optimistic and encouraging.”

~I.J. Schecter, award-winning writer of fiction, articles, interviews and essays and a highly sought communications consultant serving clients across North America. He’s also the author of 102 Ways to Earn Money Writing 1,500 Words or Less and Slices: Observations from the Wrong Side of the FairwayFind out more at

“I’ve found it incredibly helpful…it’s a great read for anyone looking to break into freelance writing.”

~Joe Dyton, freelance writer at The Aspiring Freelancer

“Your ebook has been a great guide for mapping out my success. I have followed up on most of the assignments and feel that my freelance career will benefit from this action plan.”

~Diana Busby, Freelance writer and teacher

“I enjoyed the guide very much, and I think it could prove useful to anyone wanting to become a freelancer, especially those people already working full-time jobs, but longing to write for a living.”

~Lee Griffith, Writing professor at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)

“I really appreciate it. I have uncovered so many gems in your book.”

~George Barry, Communications Chair at Lake Redwine Plantation

“Thanks for your help. Great stuff by the way!”

~Nancy Rodriguez, writer

Table of Contents
Foreword by Anna Davies
Before We Begin
Warm Up: 5 Don’ts
Day 1: 10 Questions to Start
Day 2: Write at Your Day Job
Day 3: Your 5 Expert Topics
Day 4: Gmail
Day 5: Idea Grabbing
Day 6: Publish Your First Pieces
Day 7: Update That Resume
Day 8: Utilizing LinkedIn
Day 9: Your Website
Day 10: Get Your Friends and Family Involved
Day 11: Connecting on Twitter
Day 12: Find a Graphic Designer
Day 13: Join Your Chamber of Commerce
Day 14: Reach Out to Non-Profits
Day 15: Contact Your Local Newspaper
Day 16: Hit Up Your Favorite Local Businesses
Day 17: Introduce Yourself to Marketing and PR Firms
Day 18: Sign Up for Media Bistro
Day 19: Research Your Local and Regional Magazines
Day 20: Write Your Letter of Introduction/Query Combination Letter
Day 21: Order 102 Ways to Earn Money Writing 1,500 Words or Less
Day 22: Purchase Writer’s Market
Day 23: Up Your Twitter Game
Day 24: Set Up Google Alerts
Day 25: Network with Local Freelancers
Day 26: Attend a Conference
Day 27: Organize Your
Day 28: Start an Excel Spreadsheet
Day 29: Think Bigger
Day 30: Commit to Daily Diligence


Read the Full Foreword Here by Anna Davies, former senior editor of Cosmopolitan Magazine

“As a former Cosmo editor, I’m going to shamelessly steal our tagline and say, that Shawndra Russell is a fun and fearless writer, editor, and social media strategist par excellence—and by buying this book, you’re setting yourself up for a fun and fearless future. Will it be hard? Yes. Will you have days when you refresh your e-mail twenty times a minute, hoping a dream assignment will appear in your inbox from your editor? Will you sometimes wonder why no one told you to go to business school or marry a multi-millionaire? Yes.

How do I know? Because I still have those feelings, even after a decade in the business, where I now support myself wholly by freelance writing. My bylines have appeared in The New York Times, New York, Elle, Glamour, Fitness, SELF, and others, but I’m still hustling and working every day—and found Shawndra’s book to be an invaluable resource, even for myself.  At Cosmo (and formerly at Redbook and Family Circle) I’ve been on the other side of the desk, receiving dozens of pitches a day from freelance writers. That was when I had an Editor-in-Chief above me and assistants and interns below me, so I had the luxury to devote my entire day to figuring out which mix of articles in my sections would make the magazine the best it could be.

But in 2012, I made the decision to shift to full-time freelancing—and quickly found myself overwhelmed keeping up the business part of the gig. As a freelancer, you’re your own editor, assistant, taskmaster, social media strategist, and publicist. And I’m so thankful that right when I began working on my freelance career was when I surreptitiously (on Twitter!) met Shawndra in my new hometown of Savannah, Georgia.

Shawndra had initially contacted me to pick my brain about certain aspects of writing for glossies, but I soon found myself picking her brain, amazed at the wealth of information she’d acquired since going fulltime freelance in 2010. Over craft beers , I learned how to maximize my Twitter presence, turn my blogging into a business, and supercharge my social media presence. Funny, upbeat, and passionate, the wisdom I gained from Shawndra in real life can be found in these pages. And since Shawndra also lives the freelance life, she knows implicitly that time is money. That’s why she’s divided the book into 30 easy-to-digest chapters, which include one actionable goal for the day. From identifying your market to crafting a pitch to managing the day to day workload freelancers face, Shawndra breaks down the business into bite size pieces, with links to longer pieces, advice, and writer resources to follow throughout the book.

By the end of the month, you’ll have a solid handle on your business. But more than that, you won’t feel the overwhelming what am I doing anxiety that plagues anyone—even veterans—starting a writing business from the ground up. My copy of How To Become a Freelance Writer in 30 Days is well-highlighted on my Kindle, and I love having it as a resource to turn to whenever I hit a bump in the road or need some savvy strategies to bring my social media presence to the next level, and I know it will be the same for you.

Finally, one last word about embarking on your new writing career: While it’s competitive, the freelance writing world thrives on cooperation. Sharing editor contacts, sources, and strategies doesn’t hurt you; it helps all of us. So pass your own hard earned advice along as you find your way on your freelance career to other writers you meet, or follow and Tweet Shawndra and let her know what you’ve learned (she is an amazing Tweeter!) Can’t wait to hear what you’ve learned—and see your byline!

All the best,

Anna Davies



You can also view a sample lesson of How to Become a Freelance Writer in 30 Days here.

Why I created How to Become a Freelance Writer in 30 Days:

This ecourse will help you get on the fast track to becoming a full-time freelance writer. I’ve distilled down two years of experience writing into one actionable ecourse that will help you reach your writing dreams. I am the Savannah correspondent for Forbes Travel Guide, travel writer for Society South and Visit Savannah, and have contributed to Travel+Leisure, BeerAdvocate, Cigar Aficionado, Business in Savannah, South, Savannah Morning News, and Snooth among others. My first novel was also published last year and I have three more books slated to be released in 2013.

For 30 days, you’ll be given daily assignments (with the whys and benefits explained), plus some motivational extras that will help you define the type of freelance writing career you want to create. Perfect for the aspiring freelance writer that has little to no clips but has dreams of writing for global publications and maybe even has hopes of writing a novel or their own eguides and courses. Also tailored for those that want to get out of their day jobs and into a new career freelancing.

The demand for quality content is higher than ever, and those that want to be entrepreneurial writers will be able to do so after taking this self-guided course. The earning potential is huge, and I’ve been able to build a six-figure business based on writing in just two years using these tactics. You can too and will earn back your investment of only $1 per day when you land your first assignment. If you’re ready to start a new career and want a location independent career where you set your schedule and your earning potential, this ecourse will get you on the right path.


Join our Affiliate Program!

Affiliates will receive payment at month’s end through a PayPal mass payment file, and keep in mind we will not pay in certain cases such as the affiliate buying the product him or herself. Affiliates must also agree to either (a) read and write a review on their website (b) allow author to write a guest post on their website (c) interview the author.