Since you’re interested in freelance writing, I’m assuming that you’ve figured out that you can get paid to write online. Writers are in high demand and many writers easily take home six figures a year. And they make that money from their own home, the beach, the coffee shop – anywhere they can take their laptop.
The writer’s life is a good one, which is why my whole blog focuses on it! Here are a few tips and suggestions to help you generate mad money writing.
1. Choose a Profitable Niche
If you’ve spent any time on my blog, then you’ve seen this topic come up over and over again. I’m not the only writer drilling it into your head that you need to find a PROFITABLE niche. Profitable is key. You’ll have to do a little market research to see what topics are the most popular or here is a list of current popular niches to get you started. It may help spark some ideas.
Some writing opportunities pay more than others. For example, copywriting pays more than blogging in general because you’re selling a product or a service. Ghostwriting books pays more than article writing. Business to business (B2B) writing is in high demand simply because there aren’t enough writers providing the service. Many business owners simply don’t have time to write content.
2. Hone Your Writing Skills
The great thing about writing today is that you can always easily improve your skills. There are tons of online courses to help improve your copywriting skills. The internet provides just about any information you need if you know how to research. Writing is an art, and like most crafts, there is always room for improvement.
Be a constant student. Sign up for writing workshops, read books from expert writers, and learn your trade inside and out. There’s a lot of free information out there, but eventually, you’ll need to spend some money on paid classes.
If you’re constantly evolving your skills, you’ll only become a better writer and be even more valuable to your clients. When you’re in demand, you’ll have a steady stream of clients and make more money.
Also, make sure to invest in tools that polish your work and make it more professional. Grammarly is a fantastic editing tool for writers. I would be lost without it. I can’t rave enough about it since it finds even the most obscure grammar mistakes. There is a paid plan and a free plan. The paid plan is a little expensive, but you can pay yearly or monthly. I would advise you to invest in Grammarly if you’re serious about being a writer.
The Hemingway App is another incredible writing tool. It provides color coding for different grammatical errors, tips, and a readability score. The readability score for a personal blog should be lower than a B2B article. Hemingway helps make your writing clear and concise.
These are just a couple of the many tools available to writers. Make sure you take advantage of them.
3. Specialize or Niche Down
Many people feel like being a generalist because they think they’ll get more clients. However, it much more lucrative to specialize or niche down. When you identify your ideal customer avatar, you know their pain points and how to help them solve their problems. You get paid more when you specialize like any other career.
To present yourself as an expert, it helps to have a specialization. Specialization provides you the opportunity to fine-tune your craft and offer a better service.
You can specialize in a topic or field of interest, or you can specialize in a format. You can also specialize in both, for example, “software sales copy” or blog posts for businesses that help women over 50 years old with depression. I mostly write blogs for companies in the security and law enforcement industries.
I know what you’re thinking. Doesn’t that limit me or keep me from making more money? Quite the opposite. When you specialize, and niche down people see you as an expert, and you get paid more money.
Think about it this way. You’re a client, and you’re looking to hire one of two different writers to write blog articles for your computer business. One writer is a generalist who writes case studies, white papers, and magazine articles on a variety of topics. The other writer writes blogs for businesses in the technology industry. Which one would you hire? The specialist, right?
As a specialist, you’ll be able to charge more money over time as you gain experience. The more expertise you have, the more money you make.
You also connect with the right people instead of writing on topics that you’re not passionate about. When you write about something you love, it’s much easier to complete projects for clients. As with every job, there will be days when it’s harder to get started on your work. When you write about something you love or that energizes you it makes it much easier.
4. Be a Professional to Get Paid to Write Online
While there are many writers out there selling their services, many don’t take their businesses seriously. I’ll admit that I was one of them. I thought I could just write for a few clients and not implement a business plan or start creating a professional business. However, the reality is that you must continually market your services to bring in new clients. Yes, you’ll have long-term clients, but eventually, they too may change their focus or no longer need your services.
To market your services, you need a professional business with effective systems that support it. You need a polished website that helps sell your writing services.
If you haven’t started a website yet, I recommend that you get Bluehost for your web hosting. (BLUE HOST IS HAVING AN AWESOME BLACK FRIDAY SALE NOW!) I recently switched to them and am completely happy. They have excellent customer service, and the platform is easy to use.
Truthfully, I wish I had started with them, but I didn’t know better. That’s why I’m recommending that you start with Bluehost. You even get a free domain name and the service costs under $4 a month. You can seriously launch your website for under $4 a month. You can’t beat that!
Beyond that, be respectful and kind. There really is something to the saying, “You catch more flies with honey.” I’ll leave it at that.
Beware of deadlines. They are critical to any business. If you miss deadlines, your clients won’t find you reliable, and they’ll take their business elsewhere.
Make sure you communicate with your clients and work hard for them. I treat my clients’ businesses as if they were my own. I work as hard for them as I do for my own business. In fact, I’ve helped run their businesses when they’re on vacation. Dedication and loyalty show your client’s that they are essential to you and not just another number. That will get you everywhere.
Customer service is critical as well as illustrating that you’re a professional that takes your business seriously. It’s even a good idea to hire an editor to help polish your writing. We all make mistakes, and having an extra set up eyes brings clarity and conciseness to your writing. It’s also another way to show just how invested in your business you are as well as your client’s company. People see how you treat your business and that speaks words to how you’ll treat theirs.
5. Expand Your Services
Don’t think that you can’t offer other services. You can also provide other writing services and create package deals. Upsell blog writing to a package with a case study.
You should also consider being a consultant. You’re an expert, right? Provide a consulting service where you help people with their questions and problems. When clients can rely on you as a consultant and partner, they’re more willing to drop more cash for your services.
Start a mastermind or develop a course to sell as an additional revenue stream. There are endless opportunities when you own a business.
6. Networking is Vital
It’s hard to gain traction when your business is new, so networking is critical. Networking is an excellent way to build a business. It allows you to connect with clients and ask for referrals and testimonials.
Try to keep in touch with all of your clients and even past clients by sending them useful information or just dropping in their email to say hello. Nielson reports that 92 percent of people buy based on recommendations from family and friends versus other types of advertising. Many businesses hire people based on referrals and testimonials so network as much as you can.
It’s also a good idea to network with other writers or businesses that complement yours. Go to conferences and events to network and create a support system. Sometimes other writers have too much work, and they outsource projects, or someone contacts them with a project that’s not in their niche or wheelhouse. If it’s your expertise they may refer the client to you.
Writers help other writers if they’re ethical and professional. Some may be your competition, but when everyone has different niches and services, it’s not like every writer fights for the same clients and projects. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing device, and it’s an effective way to build a writing business.
7. Be Confident
I know that this is easier said than done. But if you want to get paid to write online, you need to be confident. You must be confident in your skills and confident that you can get the job done in a timely and professional manner.
So, here’s the elephant in the room. Charge what you’re worth! There are so many writers charging less than they’re worth. Don’t be one of them. Now, of course, when you first start, you can’t expect to get $500 an article, but don’t undercut a healthy charge that the market can support.
Many factors affect pricing such as the time it takes to finish the project, expenses, and how much you need to make each day/week/month. Invest in yourself when you can so that you can increase your prices over time.
Also, target clients that can pay you money. For me, I try to target larger companies that don’t flinch at the prices I quote because they know I’m an expert. I’m good at what I do, and that will take you anywhere you want to go!
It’s totally possible to get paid to write online and eventually make incredible amounts of money when you’re an expert and can name your price confidently. Don’t believe the myth that writers don’t make any money.
Yes, you may take lower-paying jobs in the beginning, but you still don’t have to be a starving writer living on Ramen noodles. Writers, even blog writers make money! Specialize, hone your skills, network, and be confident in what you have to offer, and you’ll build a business that lets you buy more than Ramen noodles.