I firmly believe that freelance writing is one of the best ways to make money online… even if you don’t have any experience.
From January 2018 to January 2019, I grew my freelance writing business from $650 to $6,500 per month — while only working part-time.
In September of 2019, I made over $20,000 in a single month as a freelance writer.
But less than two years ago, I was a broke blogger barely paying the bills after quitting my $120,000 job in 2017. I like to consider it my “millennial life crisis.”
Thanks to freelance writing, I’ve been able to never go back to a 9–5, build my brand, and pursue professional golf on the side.
If I can do it, you can too!
Here are ten strategies I used to 10X my income in 12 months that you can use to easily make more money writing.
Create an epic freelance writing website
If you’re only trying to make a few hundred bucks each month as a writer, you probably can get away without having a writing website. But if you’re committed to earning a few thousand dollars (or more), a freelance website is a no-brainer investment.
Your freelance writing website does a few things:
Imagine being a client that you send a cold email too. If you’re the client, would you be more inclined to hire…
A total stranger who has a friendly, professional website OR someone who is a ghost online?
The answer is pretty obvious. People work with people they know, like, and trust. The same goes for landing freelance writing clients.
Clients are much more receptive to even responding to your pitch if you have an established brand online. It shows that you are committed to being a writer and aren’t going to leave them mid-project.
Your writing website can establish credibility and increase trust in a few simple ways.
Show off your work and feature testimonials
Your freelance writing website allows you to control your brand online. You can show off your writing samples, portfolio, and, most importantly, testimonials.
Social proof is key!
If you look at my writing website, you can see how much I use social proof in all forms. I have testimonials from past and current clients.
I have pictures with millionaires, best-selling authors, and experts. And I have testimonials from students who have enrolled in my writing course.
All of these forms of social proof help potential clients/students want to work with me.
If you want to 10X your monthly income, invest the few hundred dollars, and get yourself a freelance writing website. I recommend using your full name as the domain name, buy paid hosting and a paid theme. Not only is this a business write-off, but if your website helps you land one client, it will also pay for itself instantly.
Pitch like crazy
Want to make more money as a writer?
Get more clients!
Pretty simple right?
Seriously though, if you are committed to 10X’ing your income, pitch like crazy. One lesson I learned from my past sales career is that getting clients is just a numbers game.
The more you pitch, the more likely you are to land clients. If you pitch ten people, you might not hear anything. But if you pitch 50 people, you are bound to get a few bites.
Once you get to 3–5 clients, you can easily make $3,000 — $7,000 per month if they need recurring content. Get over the fear of rejection and give yourself a chance to succeed.
I talk to so many new writers that are terrified of the rejection of potential clients. But remember, there is nothing to be scared about when pitching clients. I also refer them to my favorite quote from best-selling author Jack Canfield:
“Rejection is a myth, you never had it in the first place.” — Jack Canfield
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, so start pitching and applying to job boards!
Like anything, the more you pitch, the less scary it will feel. Remember, all it takes is one pitch or job board to land a client that can change your life.
Network, Network, Network
While pitching online and applying for job boards is a great way to land freelance writing clients, don’t discount in-person networking as well. Whether it’s personal development events, seminars, business conferences, or just talking to people at the coffee shop.
Meeting people in person helped me land some of my first clients. When I started my writing career, I was in the personal finance niche and found a local group (FINCON) where bloggers, financial advisors, and other financial gurus meet up.
After going to a few events, I mentioned that I started freelance writing alongside my blog. A few people in the group needed new content and decided to work together. In-person networking led to an extra $1,000+ per month.
If you aren’t leveraging referrals yet, make sure to give it a shot to clients you’ve worked with and have a strong relationship. There’s no downside on your end, and you can quickly get warm leads to grow your business.
“Networking is the number one unwritten rule of success in business.” — Sallie Krawcheck
Ask for referrals
Another great way to land new clients is to leverage your existing clients. As I mentioned in the previous point, one financial blogger referred to me to another writing client. I didn’t have to worry about cold pitching, doing a phone interview or applying on a crowded job board.
That is the power of referrals!
So once you get clients and build strong rapport, make it a quarterly occurrence to ask them if they know anyone else who could use your services. Referrals are great because clients already enjoying working with you and will give you a warm introduction. When they refer you to a friend or business partner, it’s a lot easier to close the deal.
Double your rates
One of the best things I did in 2018 was joining
Benjamin’s mastermind. While I learned a ton from him about success, habits, and the power of the subconscious mind, I also learned a ton about writing.
One week, I was lucky enough to get on a hot seat during a group coaching call and I told him about my situation. I was trying hard but only making $2,000-$3,500 per month and needed more.
He told me quite simply… “Double your rates.”
At the time, I was only charging .10 cents per word because I didn’t think I was “qualified” enough to charge more. But he told me to try to pitch .20 cents or more per word, pitch new clients, and see what happens.
I started getting new clients at .20-.25 cents per word very fast.
I recommend you do the same! Quit waiting for permission and start asking for higher rates.
Always do it when you feel like you aren’t ready yet. Besides, only a few things will happen:
- You will get a higher rate. I’ve found that once you land a client at double your average rate, your confidence soars. I also found that I stepped up my writing game and over-delivered.
- You won’t get a higher rate. But since you pitched a higher rate, you have a lot more room for negotiation. You can still easily get 1.5x your normal rate, which is always better than staying at your current price!
- You hear no. Who cares!? No’s will eventually lead to yes!
Drop loser clients
If you want to scale your income, don’t be afraid to raise your rates, but also, don’t be scared to fire clients as well.
At the beginning of my freelance writing journey, I was so grateful that anyone would pay me to write words online. The thought of firing them was the last thing I would ever think about.
But back then, I was operating from a scarcity mindset instead of realizing there are endless amounts of people who will pay you to write for them.
If you keep clients at low rates, just because you want to be kind, it’s challenging to scale your business. You only have so much time in the day, so spend time working with clients who value your work and time!
Every month, I recommend doing an audit of your clients, not just based on pay either.
Because sometimes, clients might pay you a lot but are also a pain to work with regularly. If someone doesn’t pay on time, is never satisfied with your work, or doesn’t communicate, it might be time to drop them.
Remember, your time is valuable. Start acting like it!
One of the best skills to learn in 2019 and beyond is SEO (search engine optimization). If you know how to rank client’s posts high in Google search results, they will gladly retain your services.
Remember, the best place to bury a body is on page two of Google search. Most people click to results on the first page, specifically the top three results. If those posts are for your clients, this will translate to more email subscribers, sales, and ad revenue.
Plus, you can also display your SEO skills on your profile and when you cold pitch new clients. Don’t discount SEO; this skill will help you become a highly paid freelancer.
Write about stuff you love
After a few years of freelance writing, I think it’s vital to like what you’re writing about consistently.
I used to write just about personal finance but hated it after writing endless articles about Roth IRA’s. Eventually, I dropped all of my finance clients and started attracting new clients in these niches. I kept raising my rates, learning new skills, and eventually fell in love with writing all over again.
I’ve found if you hate your writing topics and are only doing it for the money, it’s kind of like working at a job you hate just for the paycheck.
To avoid burnout, try to find a niche writing about something you care about! Focusing on topics you love will make writing more manageable, and I bet you will also make more money each month as well.
Avoid complacency like the plague
It will be challenging to scale your income if you’re not actively trying to grow your freelance writing business.
Here’s what I mean:
From May — September of 2018, I found my revenue plateaued between $4,000 to $5,000 per month.
I got complacent with my income as I was no longer struggling to stay afloat (thankfully).
“Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.” — Andy Grove
So I got back to goal setting regularly. I started setting income goals, pitch goals, client goals, and daily goals.
Once I got back to setting goals, it Ied to my highest income months ever! If you don’t keep setting new revenue goals, it’s so easy to get comfortable.
While it’s easy to get complacent, please don’t fall into this trap. I promise you can do so much more than you even realize.
Even when you love your clients and income, always stay a little paranoid they might not require your services soon. Keep pushing yourself to do even better and continuously level up your skills.
Write in a second niche
My final tip to help you scale your income is to get a second niche.
While most writers recommend having one niche, I don’t see any problem having several different writing niches. You can easily show this on your freelance writing website and create an entirely new income stream.
My main niche is entrepreneurship, but I’ve used a secondary niche with golf writing. Having this secondary niche has provided me 20–35% of my monthly income.
Plus, it doesn’t feel like work as I LOVE writing about golf. One client’s work led me to 2–3 other golf clients that have found me from my freelance writing website as I feature that I’m also a golf writer.
So if you’re a little bored with your niche and have a passion like golf, try to use it to find some new gigs: whether it’s music, movies, cooking, or something else.
Share your passion with potential clients, and you never know what might happen. It might lead to more opportunities than you ever even though about.
If you use these ten tips, I’m confident you can scale your freelance writing business.
Writing for clients has provided consistent income and allowed me to grow my blog, start a podcast, and work toward professional golf. Needless to say, I’m very grateful for freelance writing.
But remember, not even two years ago I didn’t even have a freelance writing business. I was just a struggling blogger trying to make ends meet. The main lesson…
If I can do it…you can too.
Plus, I think freelance writing is the easiest and best online business to get started. You can …
- Work remotely
- Scale your income easily
- Get started with only a few hundred dollars
- Don’t have to learn a bunch of new skills (like e-commerce, blogging, podcasting, etc.)
So if you’re looking to add a new income stream to your life, I recommend giving freelance writing a shot. If you are a writer already, use these tips to scale your income.
If you’re struggling in any aspect of your writing business, please leave me a comment below and I’ll do my best to help you speed up success.
Photo by Wavebreakmedia on Deposit Photos