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Do you have a spare 1 hour a day?
Would you call yourself a decent writer?
Would you like an extra $500 a week?
If the answer to all those questions is a yes, you’ve come to the right place.
If you are looking for something simple yet a reliable way to make some money on the side, a freelance writing job should be your dream.
In this article, I’ll show you my exact strategy on how to make money as a freelance writer. (Step-by-step)
But before we get started, here’s some payment stats from my PayPal account from the past week.
It’s not much as compared to what other freelance writers earn, but it surely helps me to pay my bills and take my family out for dinner.
If that sounds interesting, let’s get started.
Step 1: Choose A Niche
The best tip I can ever give you to make money as a freelance writer would be to work in your own zone.
By this, I mean find your comfort, expertise, and interests.
Also read: 5 Creative Ways To Make Money On Instagram
Just don’t go after the money. If you aren’t good at a niche but try to work in it because of the high pay, your career could come to a standstill.
Being good at the job, gaining experience and earning credibility comes first and then the money comes in.
Moreover, also understand that every niche does not pay the same nor do they have the same work frequency.
I could be working in a niche like “Weddings” for 5 years and you could go for something like “Digital Marketing” for a year to earn more money than I ever did.
So, make sure you go for a niche that is both profitable and interesting.
To make your task a whole lot easier, here’s a FREE massive list of 200+ freelance writing niches (and sub-niches) that you can choose from.
Step 2: Prepare Your Portfolio
There is one good news and a bad news.
Bad news: Whatever advice I give you, it won’t work without a very important aspect of any job, a Portfolio.
Considering you’re totally new to this and haven’t worked with a client yet, you surely don’t have any past work samples to show to your prospect clients.
Which means, it’ll be tough to get clients without showing your past works.
Good news: You can start a blog and have some content written on your blog to get the word out about your service.
In fact, I did the same thing when I started freelance writing and guess what?
I landed my first client after sharing my blog link with a client!!
All you need to do is – start a blog and write 5-10 articles related to your niche. That’s enough to be called as your portfolio.
A blog becomes a powerful little property of yours that can attract clients like CRAZY.
On top of that, you can monetize your blog and take it to 6 figures/year or more to make a living out of it.
Step 3: Find Clients
Now that you have a portfolio ready, the next thing you need to do is – FIND CLIENTS.
Finding clients is often labeled as the toughest task of freelance writing, but I tell you what, It’s not.
Considering that 380 new websites are created every single minute, it should not be very difficult.
There is a huge demand for writers and it’s not vanishing anytime soon. Instead, it’s growing stronger.
So, you can be assured there is plenty of opportunities for you.
There are a lot of ways that you can go about finding your clients. Here are 5 of my favorite ways that has worked for me:
1. Freelance Job Sites
Freelance jobs sites is a great source to start hunting for clients mainly because it is dedicated to make ends meet between the client and the freelancer.
There are literally hundreds of jobs posted on these sites every single day so you know there is something for everybody.
Here are some of the well-known freelance job sites:
Upwork is one global platform based in California that I would highly recommend.
With over 3 million jobs posted each year, they’re one of the biggest, baddest and best platforms to land your first writing client.
The only concern is – it’s not a child’s play to get accepted into the platform.
They have a very strict approval process, and you might have to keep trying multiple times till you can get in.
Also, I’ve heard many people losing their accounts just because they’ve not been getting projects.
That’s surely not what you would want after that tiring approval process.
Another great platform I’ve used and got a few clients from. They too have quite a lot of jobs posted each day.
Unlike Upwork, they have a pretty straightforward approval system. You just sign up and you’re in immediately.
Which is both a good thing and a bad thing.
Good thing because if you’re a beginner, you don’t need to stress much about getting approved. You can start bidding on projects straightaway.
Bad thing because it is slowly becoming a spammers’ breeding ground.
Instead of legit and genuine job offers, I’ve been lately seeing people indirectly promoting their own website within the job offer.
So, you need to have a great eye to differentiate between whats genuine and whats not.
This one is a bit different from the above two platforms. Instead of applying to job offers, you post your own gig.
Something like this:
I don’t really see anything bad in this platform, but just the competition.
There are a lot of gigs already on top of the list and people would prefer the ones already doing well.
The only drawback I see in these job sites is that it’s WAYYY too crowded. Which means you’ll be competing with experienced freelancers who already have raving reviews and those shiny 5 stars with their name.
The only way you can topple these big players is by preparing a killer proposal, strong portfolio and competitive price.
Like I mentioned before, the importance of this one is undeniable.
In order to make money as a freelance writer, you need to build your space, your portfolio, and your ideas.
Your blog should be the first place for prospective clients to discover your talent.
Customize it, make it attractive and give every other edge you can to ensure that you are just you.
Don’t shy away from being real and pull off the best content on your blog.
That’s how you’re gonna make it big as a freelance writer.
3. Facebook Groups
We all know that it exists, but only some of us know that it really works!
There are innumerable writers who got their first assignment from Facebook groups and now successfully drawing thousands of dollars a month.
All you have to do is, look for some groups with the keywords “writer, content writers, freelance writer” etc.
Join them or if it’s private, drop a request > You are halfway there.
Once you’re approved, scroll through various posts that the clients drop in calling for the requirement with the necessary specifications.
Then post a pitch which is neither too salesy nor too formal. And you are sure to be on board with one or another.
Another way to find clients on Facebook groups is by joining groups dedicated for online business owners.
Those can be bloggers, freelancers, digital marketers etc.
You’ll see these people regularly need content written, because well, content is KING right!
Without content there is no business that can sustain.
Once you find those Facebook groups, make sure to use the search filter to only show posts that contain specific keywords.
Here’s what I found after searching for the keyword “Writer” in one of the Facebook groups I am part of.
4. ProBlogger Job-board
ProBlogger job-board is a phenomenal source to find freelance writing clients.
At least 5-10 writing jobs are posted daily and you can apply without even signing up.
All you have to do is click on a job offer and fill the form on the next page after reading their instructions.
Best of all? It’s totally FREE!
5. Cold Emailing
Cold emails are another effective way out. It is a method of sending out emails to potential clients without any prior communication.
You can literally start doing this straightaway with ZERO experience.
And I tell you what, cold emailing can fetch you the highest paying clients.
All you really need is an email account and a nice persuasive pitch/proposal that will convince the client.
To find potential clients to cold email, you can simply use Google.
Here’s what I get after searching for travel agencies in California:
Obviously, your search terms will differ as per your niche. Also, don’t limit your search to what I just typed. This is just for an example.
You can open each of their websites and look for the “Contact” option. You shall see their email address mentioned there.
However, you need to be careful with the construction of these emails so that they do not end up in their SPAM folders.
You should avoid advertising too much and not use spam words. Stick to a short write-up, one attachment or a link to your blog.
All of it with a personal to-the-point attitude.
Remember the reader scrolls through these emails for a few seconds and that is your time to leave an impact on their minds.
Clients need to know you and not your desire to just earn money from these emails.
6. Reach Out To Blogs In Your Niche
I’ve tried this technique the least number of times but still managed to get 2 clients from it.
You do a quick search on Google for blogs in your niche. So, if you were in the parenting niche, you would type something like “Parenting Blogs”
The first result is pretty much all you need.
Now, open the article and contact each and every blog listed on the post.
Pro Tip: Don’t copy-paste the exact same thing to every potential client. Everyone can differentiate between an email that is personalized and copy-pasted. It’s totally worth doing 10 minutes of research before reaching out.
Not enough? Discover 11 unusual ways to find freelance writing jobs today
Step 4: Take The 30 Days Or Less To Freelance Writing Success Course
If you’re really serious about making money through freelance writing and want to take it as a full-time income, then I strongly recommend taking the 30 Days Or Less To Freelance Writing Success Course by Gina Horkey.
Gina Horkey is the founder of HorkeyHandBook, a blog that helps new freelancers succeed.
She started freelance writing back in May 2014 and within six months she was earning $4,000/month.
Even better, she quit her 9-5 job in the first eight months and took freelance writing full-time to earn a living out of it. All by using the strategies taught in this course.
Within 30 days or less, you’ll be up and running to start making money from your freelance writing business. You can’t afford to miss this one!
That’s a wrap!
Pretty much a simple 4-step process to make money as a freelance writer.
Remember: In order to really start seeing results and get those payments coming in your bank account, you gotta take action and put in the work.
Nobody’s going to do the work for you. It’s only YOU who needs to hustle for yourself.
Also, we all start from somewhere so it’s important to note that you won’t be making $1,000s overnight.
It’ll take a little bit of time to even land your first client. But once you get hold of the first one, it’ll be a smoother ride from that point.
And I promise, all the struggle will be worth it.
Got any questions? Let me know in the comments. 🙂