“What does It Take” or “What it Takes”,? take you pick between the soul Junior Walker or something a bit more on the hard side, if you go for the Aerosmith (second) variation.
Although Aerosmith was among the best at what they did and had quite a few moments as far as I’m concerned, I’d still go for Junior Walker. Hands down.
Still, I’m drifting from the point, and that is, as far as freelance writing goes, that question in a more precise version should be - how much does it take, what are all those supplementary actions, things you must do to get somewhere in the freelance writing world. Besides writing, of course.
Look at the plethora of “instructional” sites, among which those that don’t ask you for at least some kind of financial contribution there are a few. As many as there are sites, you can at least quadruple the advice you’ll get.
Sure, there are things in those bits of advice that overlap - branding, e-mails, newsletters, social media… And sure, all of those are right on the money. With the accent on the money. And yes, you should try quite a number of those ‘supplemental’ activities. And again, yes, it does depend on how much money you can invest into those activities.
But, what is more important, is the time you can devote to such activities. There, balance is the first word that comes to mind. You not only need those activities, but some of them can not only give you good leads, they can, more importantly, be inspirational to your work, if you give them a right approach.
Still, they can also be very distracting, lure you into them like a trap and make you lose your focus from the primary thing you got into them in the first place - and that is writing, So Junior Walker or Aerosmith (or both), be sure to ask yourself the right questions, the answers will come by themselves.