Hello and welcome to what I hope will be the definitive article on how to become a freelance writer and finally being able to give up the rat race. In this article, I’m going to cover the following points:
01. The Top 5 Places to Find Freelance Writing Jobs
02. 6 Ways to Work Out How Much You Should Charge for Your Work?
03. 5 Ways to Overcome the Fear of Turning in Freelance Writing Work
04. 3 Strategies to Get Started as a Freelance Writer Without Experience
05. The 5 Fastest Ways to Your First $1,000 as a Freelance Writer
06. 3 Time-Management Tools for Busy Freelance Writers
07. 3 Ways Freelance Writers Can Be More Productive
08. 4 Ways to Escape Content Mills and Start Earning Big
09. 5 Freelance Writer Essentials to Creating a Solid Online Presence
10. The Little-Known Secret to Achieving High Earnings with Freelance Writing
How to Become a Freelance Writer
It is quite simple to find places that offer advice on how to become a freelance writer but that doesn’t mean that it is simple to find freelance writing jobs. Sadly, there seems to be a general trend that clients want to offer lower and lower rates and writers are prepared to accept less and less money.
There are a few reasons for this but the two main problems are that:
1. The market is flooded with people that think they can write.
2. There are millions of blogs owned by cheapskates needing content.
Most people seem to think that writers either write for love or because they love working for a few bucks an hour. Still, I’m not here to bitch about how rough being a successful freelance writer is. Whatever the drawbacks of the work are, it is still a thousand times better than working in some God-awful office for some God-awful boss.
1. The Top 5 Places to Find Freelance Writing Jobs
First of all, freelance writing opportunities are all around us. You can find freelance writing jobs virtually anywhere – through on Craigslist and bidding sites and on social media, such as Facebook and LinkedIn. You can even try old employers and colleagues.
The problem is it would take some time to work through all the above. And the other problem is that a lot of the jobs you’ll get offered are pretty crap. So, you can post your ‘looking for work’ ad all over the place but it’s going to take time and patience.
The fact is that even if you decide that looking for jobs on all the social media sites, craigslist, etc. is how to become a freelance writer you almost certainly won’t stick at it for long. So, you’d probably end up going onto one of the websites listed below. Especially when you realise how much time you are spending looking for jobs instead of working on them.
Si, how to become a freelance writer. Well, let’s have a look at some of the best places to find work. Below are some of the best sites for finding gigs. They may not be the best paying, and you will need to sign up for quite a few of them, but if you do, you will succeed at some point.
To quote the site itself Fiverr is “the world’s largest freelance services marketplace for lean entrepreneurs to focus on growth & create a successful business at affordable costs.” Plus, it is not a terrible place to start if you are new to freelancing.
The trick is to up your rates every time you get a couple more good reviews. I managed to raise my rate three times in as many months and continued to get orders. However, you need to be quite patient. It can take many months to get work, and you’ll need to learn how to promote yourself.
Wikipedia says, “Upwork, formerly Elance-oDesk, is a global freelancing platform where businesses and independent professionals connect and collaborate remotely. In 2015, Elance-oDesk was rebranded as Upwork. It is based in Mountain View and San Francisco, California. The full name is Upwork Global Inc.” Upwork has pros and cons as much as Fiverr does, and you’ll need to work Upwork as much as Fiverr but in a different way.
Also, the way it works has changed recently. In the past, writers used to get free connects each month. Now, you need to pay for these connects. This may turn out to be a good thing because when connects were free, every man and his dog used to bid for jobs. Time will tell if the new way of doing things is better or not.
The Morning Coffee Newsletter is put together by Freelance Writing, which has been publishing the “Morning Coffee” eNewsletter since 1998. It features new and updated freelance writing jobs and each weekly newsletter contains 8 of the best new writing jobs for freelancers. The jobs in the newsletter and all the jobs on the site itself are exclusive to freelancewriting.com.
Apart from the jobs, the site also contains writing resources including Articles, Writing Contests, Writer’s Guidelines, and free eBooks for writers and authors. A very nice site and well worth the visit. However, it might not be the best place if you are a complete newbie. Still, as the work is sent straight to your inbox, “Why not?” is what I say.
I’m just going to quote the blurb from now on instead of saying who it’s from. “The BloggingPro Job Board is updated daily with fresh paid blogging jobs, blog writing jobs, freelance writing jobs and more. For bloggers and freelance writers, we do the job searching to find you the best blogging jobs so you don’t have to!”
One of the best things about BloggingPro is that the people looking for jobs have to pay. “So what?” I hear you cry. Well, if they’re prepared to pay for job adverts, they’re not likely to be the same low calibre clients you find on Upwork. Put this one into your daily to-do list. Oh, and there are lots of resources to help if you want to set up a blog to publicise your writing portfolio.
You can’t spend five minutes online without tripping over some sort of scam and I’m afraid that writing gigs are just as plentiful. For example, you line up the perfect gig, start work, agreeing that you’ll get paid at the end of the month, like all the other writers. At the end of the month, you put your invoice in and of course, there is no reply. You have just been scammed.
So, you can join the content mills working for peanuts, fight other freelancers on sites such as Fiverr or Upwork, hoping to earn enough money to pay the bills, or you can look for jobs on places like Craigslist, hoping you won’t get scammed.
Or you could try the Freelance Profit Academy. It houses a daily job board that weeds out the scammers and can supply you with the highest-quality jobs sourced from around the web. Six-figure freelancer Maggie Linders and her team review every job to provide you with only the best ones. Find out more about the Freelance Profit Academy here.
6 Ways to Work Out How Much You Should Charge for Your Work
You probably won’t be surprised to learn that this is one of the most important questions every potentially successful freelance writer wants to know. In fact, you may have jumped straight to this section. Unfortunately, there are no black and white answers to this question. Still, let’s see what the choices are.
One thing that’s important to understand is that rates can change depending on many different factors. A successful freelance writer will change their rates on a case-by-case basis, while other writers will keep their rates pretty stable from job to job.
However, there are a few factors you should consider if you are trying to work out how much you should charge per job.
Of course, your experience is very subjective here. You may not have written many blog posts, eBooks or whatever but still, consider yourself an experienced writer because of your past work. Then again, you may be offered a job which you have little idea how to do, in which case you may want to lower your rate. The general rule of thumb is the more experience you can bring to a job, the more you should charge.
What type of client are you talking to? Are they a small business based in the middle of some developing country or are they a big business with plenty of money in the budget? Was the job on BloggingPro, where the ad costs money or on Craigslist, which is free to post a job? Those factors and many more need to be considered. Try and guess how much you think the client might be able to afford. You don’t want to sell yourself cheaply but you don’t want to miss out on work, especially if you are just starting out.
3. Time Required
Time is an important factor in any job. A lot of clients just look at the number of words they want and want to pay per word. However, this may mean that you are working for little money if the work takes a lot longer than normal. Think about how long the job will take, how long to edit your work, and extra time for revisions. Price per word is a very poor way of being paid, even though so many clients want to pay this way.
4. Your Objectives
What are you hoping to achieve and how quickly do you want to get there? Are you happy to work 40 hours a week for work that will allow you to pay the bills and pay for the little luxuries in life, or are you looking for substantially more money for substantially less work? The less you want to work, the more you will have to charge, depending on how much money you want to make. Whatever you aim is, work out your hourly rate to get to that goal. That is what you’ll need to charge clients.
5. Your Financial Situation
I’ve already touched on this briefly above. Part of the entire point of working is to pay your bills. If you set your rate so low that you can’t pay the bills, then you need to reassess your earnings. If you don’t mind working for less while you are gaining more experience, make sure that at the very least, you can pay all the bills.
6. Charging Clients
With freelance writing, you can charge by the project, word, or by the hour; it all depends on what you and your client are happiest with. I would go with a project-based payment whenever possible. This means that the client will agree on your price and will not start to complain when you invoice them.
If you work by the hour, then the client might be unhappy with the final price, even though the two prices would probably be around the same. Try not to work for payment by the word unless you can give a rate that you are sure you’ll be happy with. There are plenty of clients who will pay what you want, you just need to find them.
If you need some help working out your rates, Freelance Profit Academy can help you work everything out so that hopefully you and your clients will be happy. Learn more about this here.
5 Ways to Overcome the Fear of Turning in Freelance Writing Work
This is one of my favourite topics because I still remember the time I turned in my first gig. I was so worried that the client would think it was complete crap. It was on Fiverr and I got a five-star review. It was one of my best experiences ever.
Part of the problem was I had absolutely no help. No one to read my work, no one to check for mistakes, give me advice, find my typos and so on. Without help, it is indeed a very nerve-wracking business. So, what can you do to make turning in your work less horrifying?
Of course, it gets much easier as you gain more experience but if you would like to speed up the process, here are a few tips to help you.
1. Go Back To Your Assignment
Are you sure you have done what the client has asked? Are there any issues that you can see? Do you think that what you have done has met the client’s expectations? You need to be self-critical here but not too much. If you strive for perfection, you will never send a piece of work off and you will never make any money. If you think it could do with some tweaking, tweak away, but at some point, you will have to finish it.
2. Out Loud Read What You Have Written
Read your finished work out loud slowly, making sure you read every word that’s written, not every word that you think is written. Quite often, if you’re reading in your head, your brain will fool you into believing words you left out are present, wrongly spelt words are correctly spelt, and punctuation is as it should be. Take your time and really check. Don’t just skim and scan for errors, that’s not how an editor works.
3. Let Someone Else See Your Work First
By far the best thing you can do is let someone else read your work. You are unlikely to be writing some sort of War and Peace epic, so it shouldn’t take a friend or family member much time to read. You want to find someone who will be critical but not overly so. A teacher or an editor would be even better and may be less critical than a friend or family member, believe it or not. This way, you’ll be sending a second draft instead of a first, and a lot of the mistakes you made should have been corrected.
4. Turn Your Work In
You have finished it. You have checked you have got the assignment right, read it out loud to yourself, and got it checked by someone else. Now, you need to send it off. If you need to, give yourself some words of encouragement.
Say something about what a good writer you are, what a great job you did, and that anyone would be proud to receive your work. What you have written is original, and you need to be proud of that. You are unique; celebrate that fact.
As I have already mentioned, it will get easier, I promise. As you progress, you will become more confident, and you will be turning in work without any worries. This may take some time to achieve, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re still nervous after six months. And anyway, nerves aren’t necessarily a bad thing; use them to your advantage.
5. Get a Mentor
One final bit of advice. Get yourself a mentor who can help you when you are beginning your freelance writing journey. Maggie Linders, who is a successful freelance writer, is undoubtedly someone from whom you should consider getting help.
After becoming so successful herself, she decided to try helping other people, so that everyone had the opportunity to become a successful freelance writer because she remembered what it was like to be a shy newbie freelancer who always worried about turning in her own work. Learn more about the Freelance Profit Academy here. https://sskillz.com/fpa
3 Strategies to Get Started as a Freelancer Without Experience
Being a successful freelance writer is one of the most rewarding careers you can have. You can work where you want when you want, and you can do it at home. If you have kids, you can spend more time with them, which may be a negative to some so I won’t go on about that too much. There are so many advantages, but for me, not having to do a daily commute is worth it even before I start thinking about the money.
However, unless you have some sort of professional training or you’re a journalist, a real one not someone writing the ‘news’ on a blog, leaving the 9-to-5 is one of the bravest things you’ll ever do. This is especially true if you have a family, bills, and other responsibilities. In fact, I wished I’d started as a freelance writer much sooner than I did. Worrying about buying food is not conducive to creative thinking, or even thinking.
Fortunately for you, it is not nearly as hard as you think to get writing gigs and become a full-time successful freelance writer. And even more fortunately, you don’t even need to have experience to get started. If you want the freedom and flexibility that comes with being a successful freelance writer, even if you don’t have any experience, start with these three quick steps.
1. Put Together An Online Portfolio
First thing you need to sort out is an online portfolio. Here are six of the best. I’m not going to go into detail here. If you would like to read what each one of them does and how much each one cost, go over to the Write Life, who I thank for the list in the first place. They have all the details:
Include everything that the blog wants you to include. Don’t worry if you don’t have any articles, that’s why you’re doing this. Write some samples or, even better, create a free website and put them on there. Then you can link to it in your portfolio. The point of a portfolio is that it’s a place to point prospective clients to so you need one. Here’s mine which I keep meaning to update.
2. Get Active on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is an excellent platform for successful freelance writers, and it is often underused by freelancers, including me I might add. Once you’ve signed up, fill out as much of your profile as is humanly possible. Seek out a successful freelance writer and ‘borrow’ their profile ideas. Connect with them as well and tell them about yourself. They may suggest you for jobs they don’t want to do. Try and get some ex-employers or colleagues to give you some recommendations, as well.
3. Prepare to Work for Less
If you are patient and don’t need the money, keep hustling, stay patient, and you will start getting work. However, if you have no experience and would like to get some, think about joining sites like Fiverr, Upwork, and horror of horrors, content mills. Yes, the money is crap, but if you need experience, you may have to bite the bullet for a few months. And you’ll have some actual samples to show people.
Becoming a successful freelance writer is not as difficult as many people think, but if you are going up against writers with experience and a network, it can be tough to get things moving, even if you are a better writer than everyone else out there. Maggie is the sort of writer who has been there and done that, and that is why she can help a new writer not only get noticed but also experience much quicker results. Click this link for the Freelance Profit Academy to find out more.
The 5 Fastest Ways to Your First $1,000
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking how great it would be to earn your first $1000. But imagine if you were making that $1000 every week. How cool would that be? Well, it’s possible, and all it takes is the knowledge you need for the job, patience to keep going when things look grim; and the perseverance to keep going when every cell in your body is telling you to give up and go back to your 9-to-5 gig.
When you’re first starting out, you are going to want to give up. I’m not sure how often I thought, “Enough is enough. I’m going back to teaching.” This was especially true when I was working on bidding sites and content mills. I remember working for pennies, and you may well have to go through the same process. And you may have to go through that process for a few months.
Giving Up the Day Job
But it will all be worth it if you can see it through. At some point, you will get to the stage where you are earning enough that you don’t have to dip into your regular wages for nights out. Then, you will be earning enough that you no longer have to pay utility bills with your monthly income. Then, your rent will be paid as well.
And finally, maybe after just a few months or perhaps after a year or so, you will suddenly work out that you no longer need your regular income and you can be a successful freelance writer. Then it will be all worthwhile. No more bosses, commuting to work, or doing a job you hate. The freedom of freelancing will hit you, and for the first time in a long time, you will be happy.
Here are the steps you need to take to achieve your dreams of becoming a successful freelance writer.
1. Find a Few Clients in Need
You need to use your imagination here and scour every single site you are on. Maybe someone you know on LinkedIn has joined a new company. Ask them if they can introduce you to their marketing person. Check out the websites of your connections on LinkedIn. Do they have a blog? If not, that is an easy way to find work.
Speaking of blogs on websites, think about the niche you really want to work in. Or you could think of a niche that you don’t believe so many other people would be interested in. For example, local businesses are a great way to look for work. I’m going to write an article on how to get blogging work with local businesses soon. When I have finished it, you’ll find the link here.
Local businesses are great because you can tell them you are local too. Many local businesses complain that big, out-of-town stores do not keep the money they earn locally, and this is very true. Use that as a way to get work for yourself. Saying things about using local people for local businesses is an excellent way to market yourself.
2. Ask for a Per-Project Rate
We’ve already mentioned this above, but it is definitely worth repeating. You need to get yourself working on a per-project basis as quickly as possible. Try to get away from billing hourly or by the word. Per-project work is by far the best way to build up an excellent monthly income. Remember to factor in how much time the project will take you, as well as your experience and skills, and come up with a fee that’s fair (but profitable!)
3. Exceed Your Deadlines
Try to get the work done as quickly as possible, within reason. If your client has given you a week to do something, try to get it back to them a couple of days early. For example, I am writing a set of five 1000-word articles for a client at the moment. He has given me 15 days to do it, but I will get the pieces back to him after 10 days. This should make him happy and will mean I’ll get paid that much earlier.
4. Get Deposits and Ask for Milestone Payments
If you’re working on a large project, it’s best to set up milestones and maybe even get a deposit. If you get a deposit, it frees up your time to do the work and will hopefully protect you from being stiffed. What you ask is up to you but try to go for a deposit that’s big enough that if the client starts being a dick, at least you have broken even.
5. Make Payment Easy
If you live in America, you may still experience old paper cheques. In the rest of the civilised world, paying online for everything is normal. No matter where you live, make sure your payments are online, even if that means you have to get an account with the God-awful PayPal. You can set up credit card payments using Stripe and, of course, bank transfers are more than acceptable. Just don’t do paper checks; it’s not the 1990s!
You may well be thinking about how you are going to do everything above when you already have so many other things to do. I sympathise, and all I can say is that I wish I had Maggie mentoring me when I first started out. I am absolutely convinced my first six months would have been a heck of a lot more straightforward. Fortunately, she is there for you. Check out Maggie Linder’s Freelance Profit Academy by clicking this link.
3 Time-Management Tools for Busy Freelance Writers
Time is money is one of the most important things you need to remember when you become a successful freelance writer. Every minute that you are not writing, you are not earning. When you are being paid $100 for a 500-word article, this won’t matter so much, but if you are being paid $5 for a 500-word piece, time will be your most valuable asset.
Every time you are looking for work, sorting out your invoices, speaking to clients, and listening in Facebook groups, you are not making any money. Of course, I am not saying that these activities are not necessary. In fact, they are an integral part of freelancing. However, you want them to take up as little time as possible, so you can concentrate your efforts on writing.
So, it’s not just crucial that freelancers are good at time management, it is absolutely vital to be good at it. When you’re not writing, you want to be able to relax and do the things that made you want to become a successful freelance writer in the first place. If all your free time is spent doing admin, then what’s the point of being a freelancer.
Below are several different tools to make your life easier. If I were you, I would start using them straight away so that when you get busier, they are already in your arsenal of world freelancing domination.
1. Use Google for Everything
By far your best friend is Google. You can use it for writing, of course, but you can use it for a whole host of other things. Google Calendar is like your own personal assistant. It reminds you of what you have to do when you have to do it by, online and offline meetings with a client.
You can also colour code your regular clients, so you know at a glance who you are working for. And you can set up notifications to make sure you never miss any deadlines. Even if you are out with friends or family, you can quickly write reminders if you have a brilliant idea. Plus, you can use it anywhere and everywhere, of course.
2. Find a Monitoring App
There are more and more of these types of apps coming on the market, and they all have the same primary function; to stop us wasting time catching up with friends on Facebook or watching cats fart on YouTube. Freelance writing is a lonely job, and it’s easy to get distracted when you don’t think you can write one more word on “15 Ways to Keep Your Man Satisfied Between the Sheets”.
Install one of these apps, and it will tell you what you are spending time on. If it’s for research or essential to your work, all well and good. However, if it isn’t, how much time you waste will inspire you not to get so distracted. If you’re not sure which one to try, check out “StayFocusd“, which is a Chrome extension.
3. Use Sticky Notes
Another program I like to use is Sticky Notes. Like the real Sticky Notes, but on your desktop, they allow you to see what you have to do quickly and easily. But another reason why I like Sticky Notes is that you can cross things off as you go along. I don’t know about you, but I’m the sort of person who is motivated by seeing tasks being crossed off a to-do list. If you’re the same, Sticky Notes may be for you.
The difference between proper time management and poor time management is the difference between earning hundreds of dollars a month and thousands a month; the problem is finding out the best time-management strategies that work for you. Maggie Linders teaches how with her time-management strategies that have proven to work.
She also teaches you how to start, build, and maintain a successful, long-term freelance writing career and provides personal coaching and support. If you want to learn more about the Freelance Profit Academy, click here.
3 Ways Freelance Writers Can Be More Productive
In the last section, we looked at how important time-management is for your business, and if you don’t mind, I would like to go a little deeper into this topic by looking at productivity. You can have the best time-management in the world, but if you take twice as long to do something, your time-management is never going to work.
The more you can write, the more you can earn. It’s as simple as that. So, the more productive you are, the more writing you will do, the more money there will be in your bank account. Increasing your productivity will mean you do less but earn more. This will give you more time for the fun things in life like playing with the kids or going on well-deserved holidays.
Working from home can be a real struggle, to say the least. But the good news is that I have some tips and tricks that can help you stay productive and make more money – even in the face of all of the above distractions. So, if you want to be more efficient and productive in your career, here’s how you go about it:
1. Don’t Let Yourself Get Distracted
The problem is, as we mentioned above, there are so many distractions. Also, time-management and productivity are easy to ignore when Candy Crush, Texas Hold’Em, or just chatting with friends seem so much more fun than starting that next project. And friends can be a real distraction too. Because you are always at home, friends think you are always free to talk. You need to make sure they understand that you’re working, not on holiday.
2. Sort Out Your Working Hours
The best thing about freelancing and not working 9-to-5 is that you do not have to work 9-to-5. However, I think you do need to have some sort of routine if you want to become a successful freelance writer. If you are still working full time, you probably won’t have any choice when to work. However, if you are full-time freelance, make sure you set aside the hours you need to do the work required. You don’t need to work 8-hour days, but set out some blocks for writing each day.
3. Sort Out Your “Me” Time
Freelancing is all about having the time to enjoy yourself when you want. However, a lot of freelancers put off doing fun stuff when they are busy. If you do this, you have lost the advantages of being a freelancer in the first place. Make sure you have time to take a walk, meet friends and family, or even go on a short break. “You” time is just as valuable as “Client” time. Make sure you get it.
4. Use The Right Tools
We’ve talked about tools before, and I’d like to mention a couple more. The first one is the Hemingway Editor App. There is a free online version, but the better option is to buy the desktop app, which is only $20. The idea behind it is to keep your English simple, as the preferred reading level for the average adult on the internet is Grade 7. Yup, you read that right. Well, the Hemingway Editor App makes sure that you are writing at the correct level for your client.
The other tool I would strongly suggest you get is Grammarly, which is very cool indeed. It checks grammar, spelling, sentence syntax, etc. It’s not perfect, but it is still really good at finding all the mistakes I make. In a 1000-word essay, it may find about 80 errors. Granted, I reckon about 20% are not mistakes, but that is still 80% that are. It makes me look a much better writer than I am.
Worth the Price
However, Grammarly does cost $30 bucks a month, which many may consider a little expensive. Personally, I think it’s worth the money, but it’s up to you, of course. You can read my review here.
The general rule is the more efficient and streamlined your business is the more money for less work you will end up doing. In other words, never stop trying to make your business as efficient and productive as possible. If you want to learn more about productivity and time-management to help you become a successful freelance writer, take a look at the Freelance Profit Academy here.
4 Ways to Escape Content Mills and Start Earning Big
As I’ve probably mentioned a couple of times already, you may have to start writing by offering your services in content mills. While it is true that the money is pretty horrible, they are a great way of getting your feet wet. The other advantage is that clients don’t expect much since most writers on content mills are not exactly professionals.
Having said that, they are definitely not a good way to earn money long-term and should never be considered as a career option. Basically, you’re never going to earn much, and the writing is so dull, you’ll end up wanting to jack it all in. So, how can you take the next steps to find new and better-paid opportunities?
1. Use Job Boards
I’ve mentioned job boards before, but it’s worth continuing to bang on about them. Sites like ProBlogger and Freelance Writing Jobs are an excellent way to go. The work is not only better paid but more interesting. Just make sure that your portfolio is up to date and that your resume is looking good before you start applying.
2. Perfect Your Pitch
You need to perfect your pitch, or pitches I should say. You’ll want to have three or four different templates so you can test them out. One will probably rise to the top as the most successful for getting gigs. Also, have a cold pitch that you can send out to prospective clients if you come across a website that doesn’t have a blog. Plus, you’ll need another cold pitch for magazines and other publications. Whatever you do, make sure that you personalise each pitch, so the person you’re contacting feels that you are writing to them personally. If you send out the same standard pitch to everyone, you’ll probably fail miserably.
3. Beef Up Your Portfolio Site
As I said, make sure your portfolio site looks good. Try and have a diverse set of samples to show people. If you’re concentrating on one niche, try to show articles with different tones and styles. If you’re happy to write in different niches, make sure you show that too. Look at your bio and skills and make sure they’re both showing off your full potential. You may also want to add a video so you can present yourself to prospective clients. It’ll also show them the level of your English, so don’t do a video if you’re writing is, but you can’t speak in English very well.
4. Become An Expert
Talking about specialisation, it may pay you to become an expert in one particular niche. While it may take a little more time to gain some traction, in the long run, you will probably get more work as you’ll be seen as the go-to person for all matters related to that niche. This also means that you’ll be able to command bigger bucks as companies and publications will be coming to you rather than the other way round.
You may well end up cursing the day that you joined a content mill, but they do have their advantages. However, escaping them can take time and requires a well thought out strategy. If you’re stuck in a content mill at the moment, you may well want to check out Freelance Profit Academy’s step-by-step plan to escape content mills and land high-paying clients.
5 Freelance Writer Essentials to Creating a Solid Online Presence
I know that many of you reading this, especially if you’re of a certain age, recoil in horror whenever online promoting is mentioned, but the fact is that if you do not have an online portfolio, a social media presence, and (maybe) a blog, you are going to struggle against those that do.
I’m not saying you won’t get clients from old-fashioned real-world networking, but you will have to work long and hard to get them. And then what? Even if they love your work and want to help you if you don’t have links to share, how are they going to help? Everyone shares everything these days, and you need to be sharing with them.
So, whether you are just starting out or you have been freelancing a while, but it’s going slowly, it’s time to get your online presence game-face on and start building your rep online. In my opinion, there are five essentials to creating your presence. Here they are:
1. A Portfolio Site
This is a must-have as it is the easiest to share with prospective clients. Even if you have no other presence, you can have your portfolio link on your business card, and you can say to people to look you up on whatever portfolio site you use. Re-reading that, it sounds a bit pathetic, but if you do nothing else, this is the one you must do. One other advantage is that you will pop up on Google as well, although that will take time.
LinkedIn is another vital piece of the puzzle. If you want to present yourself as a professional writer, you want to be on this platform. Notice I’ve include LinkedIn but not Facebook. Basically, Facebook is full of scammers who claim they can write but don’t do anything except cut and run. Using Facebook to promote yourself as a writer will not enhance your reputation, so just say no.
Twitter is an excellent tool for establishing yourself as an expert in a particular niche. It’s great for sharing news and insights and for showing off your work. Make sure you optimise your profile, as you should with all your social media accounts. If you don’t know how just google it; there are thousands of sites giving advice on this stuff.
Pinterest is a seriously good way to generate traffic, but you really need to have a blog of some sort (see below). I have to confess though that although I have a Pinterest account, I do not use it nearly enough, and that’s why it is so important to follow my advice below about using each site to its full potential before starting another one.
5. A Blog
If you are new, you should really consider a blog. The reason for this is simple. If you don’t have much experience, your portfolio will be small. With a blog, you get the freedom to write on whatever subjects you want. Even though you’re not getting paid for this, potential clients can still see what you can do and decide if they like it or not.
Okay, here is my #1 bit of advice for the above. Become an expert in one before you move onto the next. Do not set up lots of different social media accounts and then ignore them completely. Start with your portfolio and make it look great. Even if you don’t have any content, you can still spend time on your profile and bio to make it stand out as much as possible.
Then move onto LinkedIn and do the same. However, you need to learn how to use LinkedIn effectively, so do some research on marketing. You know when you have become a skilled LinkedIn marketer when you are doing everything you want to do in as little time as possible. If you’re spending two or three hours a day on LinkedIn, then you need to improve your skills before you move on.
Move Forward Slowly
Once you have mastered LinkedIn and everyone knows your a successful freelance writer, move on to Twitter and so on. Trust me when I say that you need to know what you’re doing. Why? Because I am still not fully satisfied with the way I do my own social media marketing, and that’s because I never spent the time learning how to do each one properly before moving onto the next one. Don’t make the same mistake.
If you have the above five essentials working well, you’ll be on the right road to online marketing success. Make sure you update them frequently so that they look fresh and you appear active in each one. You won’t get many clients if you ignore your sites once you’ve set them up.
If you are a bit challenged when it comes to creating and managing an online presence, don’t worry; many people are. The best thing to do may be to get help, and you could do a lot worse than sign up for Maggie Linders’ Freelance Profit Academy. Maggie is a successful freelance writer who teaches writers exactly how to build full-fledged, successful online freelance writing businesses while offering personal coaching and support as well as daily scam-free job opportunities. Check it out here.
The Little-Known Secret to Achieving High Earnings
And so we come to the last part of our journey to freelance writing global domination. To round things off, I’d like to talk about something that I genuinely believe will help you succeed when others fail miserably. It’s not having a fabulous online presence (although you need one), it’s not having lots of experience (although that certainly helps), and it’s not being popular on social media (although that doesn’t hurt much either). What will separate you from all the others is your attitude and mindset.
Many writers are content staying at a certain level earning a certain amount. Others are continually hustling, looking for new clients, more work, and better money. If you’re content just paying the bills, you will never have a lucrative career writing. And without a lucrative career, you’ll never be working in a beach bar, sipping a cocktail in Bali.
If you want to earn the big bucks, you need to have a big bucks mindset. Here’s what I mean:
1. Don’t Settle
If you settle at where you are, how will you ever improve your lot in life and become a successful freelance writer? At some point, you’re going to have to give up your low-paying clients, even if you like them. Look for new, better-paying clients consistently, and don’t give up.
2. Raise Your Rates
Make sure you raise your rates regularly. Don’t worry that you won’t get as many clients because you don’t want as many clients. I am going to give you the bad example of being paid by the word, but that will probably be the case anyway. The trick here is simple:
20 500-word articles @ $5 each = 20 hours = $100
10 500-word articles @ $10 each = 10 hours = $100
05 500-word articles @ $20 each = 05 hours = $100
In the example above, you’re earning the same amount of money in a quarter of the amount of time. Looks good but the next example looks a lot better.
1. 20 500-word articles @ $5 each = 20 hours = $100
2. 20 500-word articles @ $10 each = 20 hours = $200
3. 20 500-word articles @ $20 each = 20 hours = $400
As you can see, as you raise your prices, your income will go up dramatically, as long as your article rate stays the same. The amount of work you do may drop but don’t let that worry you. If you double your rates and your workload drops by half, you’re still making the same amount of money. And you will start getting more work, don’t worry. And please note, those prices are still pretty feeble.
3. New Opportunities
As your rep increases, so will the number of people who come knocking on your door. Just because you are becoming a successful freelance writer doesn’t mean you should turn anyone down. Even if you can’t fit them in when they come knocking, you can always refuse politely and put them in the files to contact again when you have more free time. Don’t ever shut the door on possible work; there may come a day when you need it.
4. Know Your Value
Successful people in life know their worth and writers are no different. Do not settle for rates that do not meet your expectations, even if you’re short of work or they are a friend of a friend. No other professional would lower their rates, and no client should expect a professional to do that. Stick to your guns and except only the price that you’re happy with.
A positive growth mindset is the foundation of a successful freelance career. No matter how well your job is going, there is always room to improve, room to make more, and room to do and achieve more.
To achieve your full potential, you need to have a growth mindset, but that’s easier to say than to acquire. If you’re someone who needs help to reach your goals in life and to get the positive mindset you need to succeed, then I would like to suggest the Freelance Profit Academy, where you can learn precisely how to change your mindset to one that will allow you to expand and earn more.
Wrapping Everything Up
And there you have it. Being a successful freelance writer is one of the best jobs in the world, but it takes a lot of patience and hard work to become successful. If you have not worked it out yet, I am recommending Maggie Lindens’ Freelance Profit Academy. I honestly believe it is the best program for learning how to be a successful freelance writer, and at a price of just $1 for a 7-day trial, what’s not to love?
If you enjoyed the above, leave a comment. And if you think I’ve left anything out, please feel free to add that below too. Thanks and speak again soon.