How To Start A Blog With No Experience – In this week’s Digital Writing Compass Deep Dive, we want to talk about the leap into freelance writing.
The reason many people start here is because it is easy and cheap to start. All you need is a computer and an internet connection, and you have access to millions of potential customers. Not to mention, there are almost no startup costs required.
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But what exactly is freelance writing? How do you become a freelance writer? And how much can you expect to earn?
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You can decide how much or how little time you want to spend on each project, and when it comes to money, you get 100% of the profits. And as long as there is a need for someone to express ideas and words, there will be a need for freelance writers.
There are a ton of different types (and needs) on the market to help other people write their own words:
You might find yourself writing ads for a company that makes sushi-flavored toothpaste. You could write an article for a dog trainer website about why dogs are better than cats, or how dogs and cats are both great but also terrible depending on who they are.
Your writing may not be good when you start, but if you practice and work you will get better soon. It’s like lifting weights. If you don’t lift weights for two months and then try to lift four times your body weight, you’re going to struggle. But if you take the weight consistently and build to that point over time, it will feel comfortable.
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In fact, it’s actually quite easy – as long as you know what to do. And the best way to learn how to get started as a freelance writer is to not do it!
If you focus on each of these areas, you will be well ahead of the competition.
I have made a lot of money doing this. But the thing is, there is only so much time in a day. But if you don’t manage your (or your client’s) time wisely, you may find yourself spending more time on administrative tasks and reference switching than actually getting paid to write.
The only way to increase your income is to add more clients or charge more for your services. Both have their limits.
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To feel confident, experienced and know how to start freelancing, you need a plan.
But if you can implement these five steps within a few months, your chances of starting to make money freelancing will increase exponentially.
When you’re just starting out in the world of freelancing, it’s tempting to try to do all of the following:
That is not effective. And that’s why so many writers burn out so quickly—because they’re overwhelmed with everything to do.
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Say you want to market as a freelance content writer, and you want to write on Twitter.
Start by searching Twitter topics for “marketing.” Follow a topic and then browse the top tweets and find high performing content. Twitter makes it easy by showing you the most recent and popular tweets at the top.
Curate the top performing content you find in your social feed. Find common themes and organize threads, such as the best marketing tweets for the week of November 1st. Content that stands out for others to see is valuable. Be sure to add your thoughts and reasons for choosing the piece. Talk about what it means to create interesting content.
Contact immediately. DM them on Twitter or find their email with a tool like Hunter.io and send a message back.
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But writers who make a lot of money don’t get paid for their hard work. They don’t even get paid for their time. They are paid for the results they can deliver to the reader, customer or client. Which means, before you start worrying about how to make money, you must first prove that you can:
(Note: While you’re working for free, keep writing, organizing, and building public. Turn your digital writing cycle around by showing you’re in the game and actively participating. Be persistent, and you’ll be. One of your subjects. recognized authority.).
Once you’ve passed the free trial, offer to do more work with them (and make sure they know it’s not free!) This is where many new freelancers go wrong. They ask another logical question: “How much should I charge?” But this is the wrong question.
Charging on an “hourly” basis emphasizes TIME and not the VALUE of your skills. Customers then question how long a task takes as opposed to how easy or how specialized the task is. This leads to a race to the bottom: “Hire the cheapest person.”
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Here’s how to measure the value you provide. Know who you’re selling to and how they value time and money. Your time is not important.
Taking the hours out of the equation makes it easier to build trust. “I’m less concerned with how long it takes me, and more concerned with driving the end result for you.” This 1 sentence makes it 10 times easier for clients to say yes because they trust you won’t run up the bill.
Pro tip: If your client offers consulting services, look at hourly rates. It’s worth their time. Multiply the rates by the number of hours it will take you to complete the project. This is your brother.
And the easiest way to get new customers is through referrals. Don’t be afraid to ask your first client for an introduction.
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If you do a good job for a customer, they will be happy to give you a voucher. And even if they don’t know anyone who needs a writer like you, they’ll likely want to connect you with someone who does. Being introduced by someone you know and trust is a huge advantage for any freelancer.
DM the people you want to work with, cold email them, tap your network and get busy selling! Even if that means offering to do the first thing you do for free!
Pro tip: Fossé sells stoves. People don’t buy your freelance writing services, they buy conversions. As a freelance writer, you shoulder the burden of writing for your clients. You will save them valuable time, and you will create an advantage for them that they can leverage for more sales in their business.
In fact, having too many customers can be detrimental to your business in the long run. You will work long hours for less money, which means you will have to work harder to grow your business.
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If you want to go from the freelance hustle to a real independent business that has passive income potential and can support you financially, here are four systems you need to help you scale:
One of the first challenges you will face as a freelancer is mastering the art of personal time management.
You may no longer show up at the office 9-5, but you should always be mindful of when you “start work” in the morning and when your day ends.
Your ability to optimize revenue is a result of how productive you are. You must master your working methods. Don’t overcomplicate things, stick to the basics.
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When you have a routine of when, where and how to do things, you’ll be able to navigate the ups and downs of freelance life more easily.
Your marketing system is the backbone of your business, and it can be the difference between success and failure.
And to develop your freelance clients, you need to have a plan for how you will find them. This does not mean “post on Twitter every day”. It requires a structured strategy that repeatedly puts you in front of your ideal clients in a way that gets you hired for your next writing project.
Make it very clear that writing is what you do, day in and day out and you will have a steady stream of clients knocking on your door.
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Adding more clients means you need more writers. More writers means more overhead. More upside means more sales, and so on. The bigger you get, the more stress and effort you must put in to maintain growth.
Without technology or non-human production, there is nothing (zero) exponential about service companies. 1 new customer = 2+ new writers. It doesn’t take long for your head to balloon, your risk to go through the roof, and your profits to steadily improve.
Instead of adding more writers and clients, here are four jobs that can earn you 10x more money:
Stick to the basics of digital writing and start ramping up your marketing, and within months you’ll be getting paid for your writing. Home » Latest on the Blog » Home Directory Jobs » Writing Jobs » How Can I Do It?
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