Hi! I’m Kait and I am the author of The Archives of Cool. Beyond existing in the beautiful world of blogging and social media, I work as a freelance lifestyle writer in Calgary, Alberta. Thanks for popping by my little corner of the internet!


November 7, 2020 / By / Post a Comment

I recently celebrated by third year of freelance writing this summer. Not once have I looked back. While things are going pretty great now in my writing career, there were many things that would have made my life a lot easier at the beginning.


When I first started freelancing I was also working a full-time job in marketing. Since my writing cheques were few and far between back then, I wasn’t relying on that freelance income as much as I do now. I often thought that sending out invoices was embarrassing or an inconvenience to my client - as if I was doing them a disservice by first, writing an article for them, and secondly, asking for money in exchange. It probably had to do with self-confidence in my writing (and technically, my ability to run a business).

Anyways, since I thought I was being such an inconvenience to my clients, I always invoiced on the last day of the month. Even if I finished writing my piece on the 2nd or 7th or 19th. After being mentored by some very wise writers early on, I learned that once you are done the work, you can invoice immediately. That way you aren’t waiting days, weeks or months at a time for your payment, which is what I ended up doing early on in my career. I wish I had done that since the beginning - so I am passing that advice on to you: As soon as you complete the job and the client has confirmed receiving it, go forth and invoice.

Cloud Accounting

Speaking of invoicing, I wish Freshbooks had existed when I first starting freelancing. There is nothing wrong with old fashioned Excel spreadsheets at all but as someone who isn’t great at math or formulas, there is nothing better than an intuitive, easy to use accounting program. I have nothing but good things to say about Freshbooks - it has everything from invoicing to tax reports. It also has this handy-dandy tool that let’s you know when your client has opened your invoice. You’ll never have to deal with the old “I never got your invoice” excuse again!


Ah yes, tax time. The bane of every freelancer’s existence. Make things a lot easier by taking care of your expenses and invoices every single month. I know it can be easy to forget to balance your books every single month - believe me, I wish I was more organized. But it really can make a difference come tax time. Especially since being self-employed always means that you owe money. Experts recommend that you stow away 35% of your monthly income as savings so that you have enough money saved when you’e got to pay up. And that doesn’t include your GST payments - so make sure that you keep records of how much you owe. Again, Freshbooks is a great help for that.

Media/Industry Events

As everyone says, and has always said, time is money. One thing I wish I had realized in my early days as a freelancer is that you don’t need to accept every single invitation that is sent your way. While many events are great for networking or they allow you socializing opportunities that you might not have access to on your own, there are definitely some that are okay to turn down. When you receive an invitation, you should really analyze whether it is something that a. provides networking opportunities, b. is something you’d love to do even if you weren’t invited or c. actually will bring you income. If it doesn’t fall into one of these categories, I would recommend declining the invitation.

Other Freelancers

Getting together with other freelancers can be a really great way to get some of that work/life balance that you might be craving. When I first went freelance, one of the main things that I found hard to adjust to was the lack of brainstorming with others going on. Suddenly, I was in my home office, all alone, with no one to balance ideas off of. I know, poor me, right? But when I found my network of other writers, photographers and designers, it truly made a difference to be able to talk to people who knew exactly what I was going through. Not only that but we are able to have an open dialogue about ethical practices, big dreams and day-to-day freelance talk. As the bloggers say, find your tribe.

Working with PR Agencies

Starting out from working in marketing for several years, I did know a fair about PR agencies and how to talk to them. But I didn’t really know how to work with them from the writing side of things until I had been freelancing for about six months to a year. They can be a great resource to you, especially if you are a writer. I meet with several PR folks in Calgary on a regular basis to get fresh ideas about their clients, craft stories together or try out new products.


The number one thing that freelancers need to know is that you need to pitch non-stop. Even when you are busy working on articles or projects, you need to constantly be forming your next pitch. I like to keep a notebook on me all of the time to write down new ideas. At the end of the week I will formulate all of my ideas in to coherent pitches. The next week I will reach out to my editors with my new ideas and go from there.

Hope these tips help you as much as they would have helped me back in 2012. Let me know if you have any other questions about freelancing or writing - I’d be happy to share my insight.

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