Are you making enough money freelance writing?
I know many writers aren’t, because they contact me for advice. Here’s what I suggest: do what works, do it fast, and do more of it.
Freelance writing: do what works
When you’re trying to get writing gigs, here’s what works:
- Letters of introduction (LOIs.) People must know about you and what you do: they can’t hire you if they don’t know you exist;
- Referrals. Companies and agencies NEED writers. However, they want a writer they can trust. Get testimonials.
- Action. The more you do, the better your chances of success.
Are you new to freelance writing? You may be wondering how much money you “should” be making each year.
Talent.com suggests $58,000 per year. Other sites suggest higher amounts. Please take this to heart: how much you earn depends on you, no one else.
There’s no ceiling on your income. Earnings aren’t related to talent, either. Your earnings depend on how much consistent effort you put in: you need to fight for it.
Let’s look at some tips which will boost your freelance writing income fast.
1. Who are you? Your freelance writing clients want information
- Do it now. Update your bio, your website (you need a website) and your brag-ables.
- Write a short bio. Keep it under 50 words, and focus on your strengths.
- Next, compile your “brag-ables”—your writing samples—into a “book” (portfolio.)
Give yourself an hour for these activities.
2. Who uses your services? You may be missing out on profitable gigs
Like everyone else, writers can get stuck in a rut.
Brainstorm: WHO can use your services?
Please don’t say “everyone.” That’s not so… I’ve written for real estate developers, heavy equipment companies, and health services companies. If I needed gigs fast, I’d target businesses in those areas. Alternatively, I’d target tech companies, because I wrote for tech magazines for years.
If you’re just starting out, and have written for no one, ever, you can make a selling point of this. What are you interested in? Let’s say that you love animals. OK; make a list. What kinds of companies create animal-related stuff? Google it.
Then, in your LOI, mention that you’re just starting out, but you love animals, and you’re a great researcher. Writers are always getting gigs where they need to find info fast: be confident that you will do a good job, and you will.
New writers believe that they need to hide their newbie status. No, you don’t. Be straightforward. Every writer starts somewhere. More to the point, your clients will love it. (I kid you not. Everyone loves a struggling beginner. If you can write, you’re golden.)
3. Script it: create a letter of introduction (LOI)
Write an email message which you’ll use as a template, and use it. Customize your template to suit each prospect.
- Make it all about your prospect, rather than about you. Let your portfolio and testimonials brag about you. Clients are only interested in what you can do for them.
- Keep it short, under 100 words; preferably, under 50. No one has time to read long emails. Your goal is to get a response.
4. Speed matters: win with the numbers game
Today, large businesses and agencies (web development, graphic design etc.) need writers. However, successful writers get booked up, and take on long projects. This means that there’s room for you, the hustling newcomer, or established writer who wants to get more clients.
Contact enough people, and you’ll get hired.
One more email, always: fight for freelance writing success
I read Mary Kay Ash’s autobiography years ago.
This stuck with me: in her early years Mary Kay Ash stayed late, making “one more phone call.”
Fight for it. You can do it. Contact enough people by email and/ or phone and you WILL boost your freelance writing income. And you can do it fast… ⏰
Start now. Have fun.
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Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.