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.
Being a full-time or even a part-time freelance writer or blogger can suck up a lot of your time. Not only is it something that can be time-consuming, it’s also very tedious after a while as well. Just the thought of continuously writing for hours upon hours per day is enough to make a person cry!
However, as someone who has personally written and published well over 3,000 articles over the past several years, I know what it takes to keep at it strong! In this reference guide, I will provide you with a few useful tips and tricks for getting the job done, while also making some money in the process.
1 – Launch a Blog or Side Project of Your Own
Most freelance writers will only write for clients and look at making money on a project by project basis. The option is also there to create a website of your own, while also putting your time, work and effort it’s a long-term business model as well. If you are already a great writer, why not build something amazing with the skills you currently possess?
Starting a new website or blog is easy and there are plenty of low cost hosting solutions out there for you to choose from. This means you can start a new website or blog, while also having a great domain name for just a few dollars per month. With a site of your own you can also write about whatever topics you like, while also adding content on your own schedule.
In this beginning, this will likely be a slow process, as it takes a lot of time to create a big site that ranks in the search results and receives traffic, but it will also make you a much better writer in the process. This can also help you learn more about SEO, which is a much-desired skill from companies when hiring freelance writers.
To learn more about creating a blog and how to pick a niche topic and even make money with your site, I recommend you take a look at this blog monetization guide.
2 – Eliminate Distraction and Keep Your Mind Active
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, it can be very tough to simply write, write and then write some more. When it comes time for you to start writing, I highly recommend that you try and remove as many distractions as possible. This includes turning off the television, not going on social media and shutting off all notifications on your phone. Just a few interruptions during the course of writing one 500 article, could quickly turn a simple 15-minute project into more than an hour!
It’s also important to free your mind and bring a relaxed environment around you when writing. Some people like to listen to music, but I prefer classical or any type of music that doesn’t include words. This simply makes it easier to write while not hearing someone else’s voice to distract me.
Another quick tip is to find ways to break apart your day and simply get away from the computer and writing. This will also give your eyes a much-needed rest as well. Something as simple as walking your dog every couple ours or getting offline and doing some coloring can make a huge impact on your productivity and how your brain works. You can actually view this infographic on the benefits of coloring, which has some surprising data on how a few minutes of coloring per day can help relieve stress and improve creativity — all big contributors to how well you write content.
3 – Turn Your Best Clients into Longterm Clients
Lastly, my third tip for getting the most out of your content writing is to try and turn your existing clients into long term clients. While you might be looking at your freelance business on a project by project basis and how much you can make per article… there is a lot of wasted time and effort in between each new client. It’s much more beneficial to secure long term clients and have recurring income coming in month after month. This will also help with your writing productivity and structure as well, as you will know exactly what the client wants.
I pointed out earlier that freelance writers are in great demand, and that there are also plenty of them to go around. The better you can portray yourself, your skills and professionalism, the more likely you are to secure more profitable and longer term deals. When possible, try to negotiate with your client on a monthly bulk order at a discounted rate. This will allow you to keep more focus on your best writing, while also having guaranteed money coming in month after month. You can follow each of the steps laid out in this freelance writing infographic to give yourself an edge against the competition.
Make 2017 Your Best Freelance Writing Year Yet!
With over a billion active websites on the internet today, content is something all of them need. However, just because content is being created and pushed out to the masses, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s that good or provides value. Just like there is a massive amount of websites that need content, there are also plenty of freelance writers out there to provide it for them. That’s why it’s extremely important to make sure you are not only delivering the best work possible but to also standing out from the crowd.
The world of freelance writing is growing every day and the opportunities are more lucrative than ever before. For example… did you know that there are currently over a billion active websites on the internet today? Not only is it true, it also means there is a massive demand for new content to be created across these sites every single day.
With only around ten pages rankings organically on the main page of Google, it’s more important than ever for small, mid-sized and Fortune 500 brands to come out with great new content on a daily basis. For the most part, a great majority of this content is being outsourced — whether through agencies, writing networks of hiring new in-house or freelance writers.
In short, if you’ve ever wanted to find success with freelance writing, now is the best time to get started. To help with this process, I’m going to provide you with three actionable tips to not only help you get started but also to help you earn more in the process.
1 – Create Your Own Freelance Writer Site
In a world full of freelance writers, one of the best things you can do to stand out from the crowd is to have a professional website and portfolio of your own. With literally millions of writers to choose from, the odds will quickly swing in your favor just for having a simple website with a bio section, writing examples, past clients, testimonials and anything else of value you can offer.
Best of all, setting up something like this is now easier than ever. There is no need to set up your own hosting account, registering a domain name and messing with all the frustrations of setting up a real site. Solutions like WiseIntro make it easy for anyone to create a personal profile site in just minutes, and at a fraction of the cost a web hosting service and professional designer could charge you. Or, you can start with fully managed WordPress hosting which is prefect choice for lean startups & medium sized businesses with a limited budget.
You can see an example of a personal site designed through their platform below. As you can see, it includes everything a freelancer would need to provide enough information (picture, bio, social profiles, portfolio, contact info) and value to their potential clients to further convince them to move forward with a writing deal. The premium version of WiseIntro also includes access to their WiseStamp service, which allows you to create a custom signature within your emails — which can also result in additional freelance writing work. To put this into perspective, just think about how many emails you are sending out on a daily basis!
Should your potential client have the decision between a freelance writer without a site and one that has everything professional laid out for them like the in the example above — the choice is clear. Adding a personal website and portfolio to your freelance writing business is a complete no-brainer.
2 – Utilize Freelance Writing Networks
One of the hardest parts to being a freelance writer is actually finding a constant supply of work. More often than not, new clients will come and go based on the actual amount of writing work they need completed. The horrible thing about this, is that your incoming revenue can simply dry up overnight.
A great way to combat against this is to simply take advantage of other high-end writing job sites already out there. Upwork is a great site for getting your name out there and occasionally bringing in new work, but it’s also extremely saturated. Better alternatives may come through sites like TextBroker and iWriter. These two sites are perfect for freelance writers of all sizes and skills, as writers are paid based off the quality of their work and their writing skills. (based off client ratings)
While freelance writing job sites mostly offer work on an ‘individual’ order/article basis, this can definitely add up over time, and it’s also a great way to bring in new clients that send a continual flow of new articles. TextBroker also has “Groups” set up within their system, that allows for clients to upload a large amount of articles to a select group (based on quality/expertise), which can result in many writing opportunities at any given time. Both of these sites also cater to writers who specialize in SEO — as most of the jobs coming through these sites will be for content sites that are looking to improve their existing search rankings.
Another benefit to using these sites is that payment isn’t collected or managed directly between the writer and the client. Instead, the actual writing site charges a transaction fee to the individual placing the order and will issue payment to the writer once the client is happy with the work. The benefit here is on both sides, as the writer will always get paid for their work, and the client will always be happy with their completed writing job.
3 – Secure Longterm Writing Deals vs. Single Jobs
The ultimate accomplishment for any freelance writer is to secure enough clients on a recurring basis. Once this goal has been met, it leaves more time for you to focus on the quality of your work and not worry about where your next paying job is coming from. More often than not, these opportunities will come out of nowhere but are definitely based off the skills and professionalism you present as a freelance writer.
To improve your chances to securing a long-term client, here are a few tips to implement right away.
- Offer Bulk Discounts – Yes, your writing time and skills are valuable, but if you can secure a client for long term work by offering them a discount, this is definitely something you should consider. This can also play a huge factor if you are writing outside of a micro-job site where the client might already be paying a transaction fee.
- Create Client Packages – Not all freelance writing work will come from job sites. This is especially true if you have a social media following, are well-represented on other sites and also have a bio/portfolio site of your own. If this is the case, be sure to offer writing packages through your site, and not just a blanket rate of “cents per word“.
- Simply Ask for More Work – Freelance writers shouldn’t be afraid to ask for more work from their clients, especially if they are a good one. Something as simple as asking, “How can we schedule in new content to make this easier for both sides?” could result in new monthly recurring clients.
- Use Invoices and Contracts to Close Deals – When working outside of a writing job site, it’s important to protect yourself and your writing in the process. Always have a contract or signed invoice in place to make sure you are paid for your work. To learn more about how to set this up, see these contract writing tips.
In addition to each of the bullet points above, the most impactful ways to bring in long-term clients is simply by delivering amazing work. Remember, there is a whole world of competition out there, and if you can make the writing process that much easier for your client… there is no reason why they wouldn’t want to stick with you for the long haul.
Take Action Right Now and Improve Your Freelance Writing Business
As you likely already know, the world of freelance writing is quite competitive. If you follow through and implement each of these three methods into your business, you will quickly stand out from the competition and earn more business in the process. Clients want long term writers that provide high-quality work. Make this process as easy and seamless as possible, and the writing jobs will just continue to keep pouring in.
Freelance writing is one of the most talked about ways to make money online. Why? Simply because everyone is in need of content, and there are no pre-requisites for getting started. The world of freelance writing does have it’s ups and downs. While it can be quite frustrating and time-consuming, it can also be quite rewarding once you have everything in place.
In fact, if you are a decent writer, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to start making an extra $500-$1,000 per month on the side as you grow your writing business. Some freelance writers are currently earning upwards of $500+ just to write one article. However, this isn’t something new writers should expect to see anytime soon. [Read more…]