Freelance Journalist Q&A: Sean Hargrave

This is the eighth in a series of interviews with freelancers, telling us their stories on how they went freelance. The aim is to help others who are thinking of becoming freelance learn more about what it takes, as well as get advice and inspiration so they can get the confidence and understanding to find out if freelancing is right for them.

If you want to take part in the series, simply head here to tell us your freelance story


  • Name: Sean Hargrave
  • Freelance Area: Freelance journalist, Business issues, Digital marketing, Tech
  • Freelance For: 14 years
  • Twitter: @seanhargrave

What made you decide to go freelance?

Ambition, the first time; redundancy, the second.

What steps did you put in place before you went freelance?

A good contact list was the main thing I had to prepare, including people I was pretty confident I could freelance for.

How did it feel before you went freelance?

First time, in the early nineties it was very exciting and very scary at the same time. I knew I didn’t want to always work as a deputy on magazines, doing all the rubbish for little reward.

The second time in the late 90s when I was made redundant from The Sunday Times it was similarly exciting and scary but I was confident that with the tech bubble inflating there would be homes for my stories.

How does it feel now you are freelance?

Great, most of the time. Good to be your own boss and not have to put up with office politics. Still scary, at the same time, during quiet spells. But the highs of being your own boss outweigh the lows.

What are the positives of freelance life?

Managing your own work load and working at your pace is great, as is always being around when a sofa or box of wine is delivered! It’s very hand for school pick ups and the like.

What are the negatives of freelance life?

When you’re quiet you can start to worry about the next client or commission. You also miss the banter of an office. Writing from home is quite a solitary pursuit.

Any advice for others looking to go freelance?

Try to line some work up but be aware that people generally only support you for a short amount of time and you need to develop new clients and contacts at speed. Put away a slice of your income for income tax from day one to avoid any nasty shocks down the line.

Thanks for taking part, Sean, and for sharing your tips and advice. Make sure to follow him on Twitter at @seanhargrave. 

If you want to take part in the series, simply head here to tell us your freelance story.


More from the How I Went Freelance series:

  • Ruth Walters, Let Her Eat Clean
  • Matt Collins, Charity Chap
  • Ross Wintle, Oikos
  • Sam Phillips, Freelance Digital Strategist
  • Damien Clarkson, Social Chic
  • Nick Nicolaou, Freelance Web Designer
  • Art Anthony, Freelance Copywriter
  • Sean Hargrave, Freelance Journalist


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