Writing is a hobby. Writers are broke. You can’t make money writing. Has anyone in your life ever said these things to you? Writing is a misunderstood field, even by writers themselves. Overwhelmingly, people don’t view writing as a “real” job, and there’s this misconception that because it’s an artistic field, which is half true, it doesn’t pay. Wrong. All wrong. If the 9-5 life isn’t for you, for whatever reason, and you want to build a freelance writing business, here are some helpful hints for how you can make that happen.
Psst! Is video more your style? Check this out!
How to Build a Freelance Writing Business
So, what can you do to make your freelance writing business a success?
Tip #1: Let’s Start with Mindset Shifts
If you’re rolling your eyes at this suggestion, I can already tell you that your freelance writing business will fail. Everything starts in your mind.
First, any preconceived notions you have about how much money you can or cannot make, get them out of your head. You can make as much money as you want.
Any self-limiting beliefs or toxic thoughts you have about money, bye-bye. Eliminate them.
If having an attitude of positivity and abundance is something you struggle with, you’re not alone. Check out the video below. I recorded some of my favorite affirmations for entrepreneurs, and you can follow along.
Secondly, you’re no longer writing as a hobby. You’re not writing merely as a passion.
You’re writing for a paycheck.
You are a business owner. And because you’re a business owner, there are going to be quite a few hats you’re going to have to wear, especially salesperson and marketer.
I see too many writers go into this telling potential clients that they should hire them because they’re “passionate” about what they do.
You have to keep in mind, though, that while passion is important for you, it’s not important to your clients. What they care about is results.
Which means that YOU need to be obsessed with results.
That brings us to…
Tip #2: Become a Student of the Data
I mentioned earlier that writing is only half art. The other half is science.
We don’t write just for the sake of churning out content. That’s not what clients are paying us for. They’re really paying us for results.
So, how can you deliver results?
You need to know how to create content that ranks higher in Google and gets more organic traffic. The content is the input.
And as you’re refining your approach, you need to be closely monitoring your content’s insights and analytics: bounce rate, time spent on a page, rankings, sessions, and users. This is the output.
Your job involves both.
If you can deliver results, you will make a lot of money.
(By the way, I have a free writing course and a free guide that’ll help you better understand how to create content that ranks high on Google.)
This is one of the reasons why I don’t often lose clients. They don’t want to lose me. They know that my content delivers. My blogs are getting on page one of Google. They’re bringing in tons of traffic.
If you want to learn exactly how I create blog content to get these results, you can learn the whole process in my course, How to Blog Like a Pro. Use the code 33off, and you’ll get 33% off at checkout.
Tip #3: Client Acquisition Should Take Priority
This is especially the case in the beginning, when you have no clients, or you maybe have some, but you’re still making very little money.
If you want to be a full-time freelance writer, and this is your livelihood, client acquisition should be at the forefront of your business. You should designate time every single day to source leads, reach out to brands, and start conversations with people you want to work with.
Maybe you start every morning by spending 30 minutes sourcing leads.
And then 30 minutes qualifying those leads and connecting with them on LinkedIn.
If you chip away at this, consistently, every day, you should be landing clients within a couple of weeks. But you have to commit to it. If you put it on the back burner, then your results are going to reflect it.
As you build up your clientele and your income stabilizes, you can ease up on client acquisition a bit.
If you need help with lead generation, watch this video.
To learn how you can combine LinkedIn and email outreach to land clients for your freelance writing business, watch this video.
And to steal the exact email templates I use to land clients, head to Gumroad, and you’ll find them there.
I really can’t stress enough how important this is. And unfortunately, too many writers tell me that the data “isn’t their responsibility.” Oh yes, it is. How can you know that you’re doing a good job if you’re not measuring the results of your work?
Joke’s on you! You can’t!
Tip #4: Have a Consistent Method for Sourcing and Landing New Clients
Not job boards.
Not bidding sites.
Job boards and bidding sites are a zit on the face of freelance writing.
The competition is too high, and the pay is too low. If you want to know more about why you should avoid job boards and bidding sites like the plague, watch the video below.
When you rely on job boards and bidding sites (and this includes Fiverr) to bring you freelance writing jobs, you are not in control. They are.
So, we need to put the control back in your hands.
What I do to land clients, and what I teach my students in my program, Revenue Spark, is to start the relationship with them on LinkedIn and then take the conversation to email.
You control it. You decide who you work with. And importantly, you set your own rates, instead of taking whatever they’ll give you.
Your Freelance Writing Business is Under Your Control
If you want to learn my exact process for landing clients, you can book a call to discuss enrolling in Revenue Spark, or you can go enroll in my mini-course, The 7-Day Secret. It’s like a bite-sized version of Revenue Spark meant to start getting you results in a week.
Please don’t work for free. Don’t work for cheap. You’re neither free nor cheap. Don’t work for free in exchange for experience, or for exposure, and do not work for people who say they’re going to pay you based on how your content performs.
Red flags! Red flags everywhere!
You control the client acquisition process.
When you have this method of landing clients as a freelance writer, you can control how much money you make since you know that you can get consistent results. If you want to make more money, all you have to do is go out and get the next client.
At this point, growing your income actually becomes quite manageable. The tricky part is figuring out how to manage the workload and when you should hire someone to help you, but that’s for another blog.
If you want to write full-time, you’re not alone. You’re never alone. My blog and YouTube channel are full of free information. If you want something more advanced and the opportunity to work with me directly, you can enroll in any one of my courses.
Again, they’re How to Blog Like a Pro, The 7-Day Secret, and Revenue Spark.
Instead of having to figure everything out on your own, you can copy exactly what I’ve done to grow my business to five figures a month in revenue.
The time to take action is now!