Ready to use your skills to make money writing? Use these tips to learn how to start freelance writing articles, blogs, and content for businesses and brands. If you want to stop getting paid low rates for your work and start to land higher-paying clients, you need to develop a business mindset.
Whether you’re a new writer or seasoned freelancer, use these tips to market yourself so you can get noticed by the right clients and take your business to the next level.
In this guide, we’ll review:
- How to start your freelance writing career
- How to market yourself and pitch clients
- Places to look for freelancing jobs.
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Start Freelance Writing Today
There are several ways you can make money writing, including:
- Social media content
- Case Studies
- Writing descriptions for products
1) Find your niche.
Find a niche and become an expert in that field. When you write about something you enjoy, it’s easier to crunch out content. You don’t have to spend hours researching a topic that you’re already familiar with. Companies will start to notice that you’re an expert in a particular industry, and reach out to you for work.
It doesn’t make sense to start applying for writing jobs about real estate if you’re not interested in that topic. Stick to what you know.
2. Create a portfolio
If you want editors or companies to respond to your pitches and hire you to write, you need a strong portfolio. Create a website with an About Me page, a Contact page, and page to highlight your best writing samples.
Invest in Siteground self-hosting for your website. I use Siteground because they offer 24/7 support. Whether you have an issue with your site or have questions about any of the technical stuff, the Siteground team is always available to help.
If you’re just getting started with freelance writing and don’t have any stories or articles under your belt, start building your writing portfolio today!
- Guest post on someone else’s blog.
- Submit your content to Medium or Thrive Global.
- Start pitching.
Not sure what to add to your website? Take a peek at my writing portfolio.
3. Become An SEO Expert
If you want to work with high paying clients, learn Search Engine Optimization. Before you start writing, research long-tail keywords to help your clients rank on Google. Create a content marketing strategy and optimize your freelance writing business website so people can find you.
Focus on writing catchy headlines.
Nobody’s going to click on your link if the headlines suck. Whether I’m writing content for a client or creating a post for my blog, I make headlines and subheadings a top priority.
Be a great storyteller who provides value to your readers. Check out these sites for SEO hacks:
- Neil Patel’s Digital Marketing Blog
- The ultimate guide to content SEO – Yoast
- The exact template that helped my site earn $95,000 in affiliate income last year
4. Learn How to Match a Client’s Brand Voice
People love consistency, and branding helps build trust and loyalty with your audience. Here’s how to stay on brand when you’re creating content for a client.
This will give you a clear picture of what type of writing style and tone to use. In some cases, the client will even include phrases or words to avoid. Brilliant!
Check out the blog, IG posts, and pay attention to any words or phrases the client uses to describe their brand in the initial call or email. You’ll be able to tell if they prefer conversational, serious, or witty content.
If it’s a new brand that hasn’t launched its website yet, don’t be shy about asking questions to get to know them better.
Questions to ask:
- Who is your target audience?
- When it comes to brand voice, what’s the tone or style for content?
- What’s the purpose of the blog post?
- What problem do you want to solve with your content?
- Do you have any specific CTAs?
Save time and avoid revisions by getting to know the brand voice before you start writing.
5. Learn to Market Yourself
Treat your writing job as a business, not a hobby. Optimize your LinkedIn profile so you can connect with clients. Reach out to editors and PR contacts and start building relationships. Find a great mentor or accountability buddy to help you reach your goals.
How to Pitch
Before you send out that first email, spend time learning about the brand or business.
- Who do they serve?
- Why are you the best candidate for the job?
- Show them you’ve done your research.
Keep your email short, and include developed story pitches. Make it easy for the editor of your dream publication to say yes to your story by adding a unique angle and why this story needs to be told by you.
Do your research and don’t be one of those writers who pitches story ideas about articles the magazine just published a month ago. Keep a list of potential story ideas in a google doc so you always have fresh ideas. Once you have all the elements of a good story, send the pitch. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.
Where to pitch
Look for opportunities everywhere. Build your network on LinkedIn and follow industry trends to stay in the know.
- Make a list of topics and industries that you want to write about. Reach out to potential clients and pitch your writing services. They may be brainstorming a new content strategy and may be looking for a writer.
- If you notice a website needs fresh content or new blog posts, connect with the business owner, and develop a relationship.
- Make a list of your dream outlets or publications. Search for the editor’s contact info and start pitching. Some magazines include pitching guidelines that have very specific things to include in your email. Read the guidelines!
- Freelancing Sites like Fiverr, ProBlogger, and Upwork are great places to start building up your portfolio. Don’t sell yourself short. Consider your time. Think about how long it will take you to write, research, and edit an article before submitting a quote to the client.
6. Know your worth
When you first start working with new clients or brands, it’s easy to say yes to the first offer that comes your way. You’re excited about the opportunity, and the thought of asking for more seems terrifying. You start to wonder what if the clients say no? What if they hire someone else instead?
Building up the confidence to set your own terms takes time. Sooner or later, you’ll start to feel burnout if you keep accepting work without getting the payment you deserve.
What to charge? How to Negotiate a Better Deal?
- Do your research + share what value you can provide to the client or brand.
- Consider the amount of time it takes to produce the work and your expenses.
- Get ready to win some and lose some. Some clients or brands may respond, “I know freelancers who will do it for less.” Don’t sweat it; many clients will see your value and pay you more.
Create a memorable experience for your clients and the brands you’re writing for by exceeding expectations, submitting work ahead of deadlines, and providing value.
While a client may not always have more work for you, opportunities might pop up in a few months. Be a professional from start to finish.
Conclusion – How to be a Succesful Freelance Writer
If you want to start freelance writing, grow your skills, optimize your profile, and learn how to market yourself. Learn SEO, develop a business mindset, and create a memorable experience for brands and clients by being a great storyteller.