Most freelance writers will tell you that writing isn’t the hardest part of their career. Finding clients is much more stressful and can be more time-consuming. Some writers spend 70% of their time finding new clients, which is a killer to their actual earnings per hour.
Fortunately, your freelance writing career will go much more smoothly if you streamline the way you find clients, while also implementing a few key steps to stand out from the crowd.
Here are some ways that you can get more freelance writing jobs.
Have a Website or Blog
Many freelance writers get all of their work by pitching clients on Problogger, Upwork, and other job boards. This is often a race to the bottom because their pitches don’t stand out among hundreds of other applicants. Even if they do get noticed, they often have to offer very low rates to compete.
You won’t run into this problem if you have your own website to generate leads. Here are some reasons you can’t get by without one:
- You build your brand. Since you stand out more, clients will be more likely to hire you and pay handsomely for your services.
- You rely on inbound marketing, so clients come to you. This is much better than sending dozens of emails pitching potential clients on job boards.
- You can showcase your expertise, testimonials and writing samples. This helps potential clients see whether you are a good match for their projects.
Your website will be the center of your online branding strategy, so it needs to be professionally designed. You also need to make sure your content is compelling and flows well, so potential clients know that you are worth their money. If you still are at a loss for how to start a website or blog, be sure to check out my step-by-step guide here. At the same time, if you are a struggling freelance writer who is working on a very tight budget, you can take a look at these low cost hosting alternatives. I know how important it is to save money when you are starting a new business, but passing up on a domain name and web site of your own is definitely not the way to get more business!
Have a Logo
I am still surprised how many freelance writers don’t have their own logo. Why do you need one?
Well, people remember images much more easily than words. If you have a compelling logo, it will stand out in their minds. They will be more likely to remember you and reach out the next time they need a freelance writer.
However, at the same time, I can see how freelance writers might not be sure where to start when it comes to logo design creation. I recommend taking a look at Designhill, as they have a seamless process of starting a logo design contest which allows you to pick a design from many different graphic artists.
Not only does it make the creation process easier for writers, it can also provide you with something pretty unique and amazing in the process!
I have been hiring freelance writers for years. Some of them are excellent at their jobs, while others don’t deliver the content I need. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to tell ahead of time, unless I know they have provided great value for previous clients.
I am always more confident about a writer if:
- They have been recommended by a colleague that used their services.
- They have testimonials from satisfied clients on their website or LinkedIn profile.
If your clients speak highly of your work, then you should always ask them for a testimonial. It is a good idea to have them place their testimonial on your LinkedIn page because it is more public and people know that it probably wasn’t fabricated. LinkedIn testimonials are especially helpful if they come from clients that are large brands and thought leaders. You can always use the same testimonials on your own blog.
You may be surprised to see how effective testimonials are. Ben Gran wrote a guest article on Make a Living Writing stating that he earned thousands of dollars in new writing projects by using testimonials. You can also read more about LinkedIn testimonials at liprofilewriter.com, which is where the example testimonial above is from.
Use Guest Blogging
Many freelance writers don’t like guest blogging because they don’t get paid. They would rather write content for content farms at two cents a word.
This is the wrong attitude! While you don’t get paid for most guest blogging gigs, writing guest articles can be a great way to bolster your brand and bring new clients to your door. Onibalusi Bamidele, Carol Tice and lots of other six-figure freelance writers have built their careers off guest blogging…. and for myself, I love guest blogging and the many opportunities and benefits that come along with it — which is why I continually provide new content to FWG.
Unfortunately, too many freelance writers give up on guest blogging, because they don’t do it properly and don’t get results. If you are discouraged from lack of results, you may need to make the following changes:
- Write for higher quality sites. There are lots of low-tier sites on the Internet that have little or no traffic. They won’t help you grow your brand or improve your SEO, so don’t waste your time writing for them.
- Write for more sites in your niche. Don’t just write for blogs about freelance writing like Make a Living Writing or Writers in Charge. If you specialize in writing financial content, then write guest posts for large financial websites. Your prospective clients are more likely to find them. Have a strong call to action in your author bio. If potential clients read your guest posts, you want them to visit your website and reach out.
- Write for your brand before SEO. Far too many people treat guest blogging as a link building strategy. This is a huge mistake for freelance writers that are trying to attract clients. You want to show off your knowledge and writing skills, so it’s vital that you write compelling content.
If you follow these guest blogging tips and best practices, you should start seeing a major improvement in results.
SEO is a very important skill that many freelance writers lack. According to an estimate from GoSquared, Google drives 40% of all Internet traffic.
If you don’t know SEO, there are two reasons that you need to learn:
- Freelance writers that understand how to tailor content to Google’s SERP algorithms will deliver much more value for their clients.
- Freelance writers with a background in SEO can tap Google to expand their own reach and draw targeted clients to their own website.
There are plenty of great sites out there to help you learn SEO. Moz, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, SEO by the Sea and SEOBook are great places to start.
If you are proficient in SEO, make sure you let clients know. Show them that you have successfully gotten other clients to the front page of Google for competitive keywords. They will be willing to pay a premium for your services. For more advice and methods to become a better SEO and freelance writer, be sure to read this FWG article.
Tips to Become an All-Star Freelance Writer!
As you can see, to become a successful freelance writer there is a lot more than just writing skills involved. With so much competition and demand out there for quality writers, you really need to put in the time and effort to stand out from the crowd. Follow each of the tips I’ve laid out for you above, and there is no reason why you shouldn’t see an increase in your writing and client earnings.