I’m often approached by readers who want to get into freelance writing, even though many have never even done anything remotely like it before.
They are attracted to the freelance lifestyle.
They long for the creative freedom, the flexible hours and the “yoga pants only” wardrobe that puts traditional 9-to-5 gigs to shame.
But as excited as most of these people are about the opportunity, they’re also a bit hesitant. They’re not sure how to get started, they’re uncertain they can make the amount of income they need to get by, and they’re just wary of the seeming instability freelancing provides.
Is it a scam?
Can they really pull in good income by just writing from the comfort of their own homes?
Is it really safe to quit their “cushy” 9-to-5 job?
I totally get it. It sounds too be good to true… even to a longtime freelancer like myself.
But while it might sound scary – maybe even impossible – to quit your day job and succeed at something you’ve never done before, I’m here to clear the air: It absolutely IS possible to make money writing blog posts, articles and other content … even if you’ve never been paid for writing in your entire life!
Whether you were an English major in college or you’ve simply written a few short stories in your free time, if you have an interest and a knack for writing, you CAN make money writing blog posts – and I’m here to show you how.
To start, let’s go over a little bit about what blogging is.
Years ago, blogging was more of a personal venture, but today, companies and businesses all over the world blog, hoping to inform, connect with and provide value to their customers.
As a writer, you could be asked to create blog posts on virtually any subject. It all depends on the client, their industry and their target audience.
If you decide to get involved with writing blog posts for clients, here are some tips to remember:
1. Acquire plenty of information from your client before writing their posts.
Ask things like…
What are you trying to achieve with your blog posts?
Are you trying to convert leads?
Build customer loyalty?
Inform your existing customers?
- Get info on style and tone.
In my experience, many blogging clients prefer a more casual tone of voice. After all, you’re trying to connect with your customers and make them feel a part of your client’s brand. If you’re writing for a B2B client however, they may want something more formal, so be sure to ask and get a clear picture of what they want before you dive in.
In the freelance writing world, you don’t really exist unless you’re on the web. While it’s still possible to find a new gig through in-person networking, the vast majority of your projects will come in via the Internet.
Clients will reach out to you via LinkedIn, they’ll contact you through your website, or they’ll email you directly based on recommendations from their friends and colleagues. As a result, you need to be prepared – long before you try to make money writing blog posts or other content.
What should you do? Here are a few tips:
- Optimize your Linkedin page – Change your headline to reflect your new job – something like “freelance writer,” “business writer” or “content strategist” are all great options. Go through your profile and add in any writing experience you may have, and if you have samples, upload those, too. These don’t have to be published works. They can be stories you’ve written, papers from college or any other examples of your writing skills you may have. You can even contact past bosses and colleagues to recommend you on the site. The more complete your profile is, the better!
- Create an online portfolio website – You don’t have to be a programmer to have your own website. Content management systems like WordPress or writing portfolio sites like me or Pressfolios make it super easy. Just create a bio, add info about your skills and set up a contact form, so clients can get in touch.
- Get on social media – Clients want to know they’re working with knowledgeable pros, so get on social media and start showing off your expertise. Set up a Twitter and Facebook account, and share your posts as you finish them. You can also use the accounts to share industry news, interesting blog posts and articles, and other info your clients can use and learn from in their
- Set up your email – It’s time to nix your old email address. Sassygirl48@hotmail.com may have been cool in high school, but it’s not going to win you any points with potential clients. In fact, it may turn them off entirely. Set up a professional email address instead. If you purchase your own domain, you can create a custom one like firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may be asking me…
How can I have a great online presence if I have NO experience?
How can I draw in clients without samples to my name?
Let’s cover that next.
Quick tip: If you want a step-by-step guide on how to become a freelance writer with no experience, check out my helpful guide here.
Once you optimize your online presence, it’s time to get some hands-on experience in the writing world. You can do this in a number of ways:
First, you can dive right in and get that first client.
If you don’t have any samples of your work yet, you may want to consider signing up for a content mill, which connects you with a lot of fairly easy (though not very high-paying) writing gigs without much of an entry barrier. You simply sign up, upload a bio, and the content mill gives you a project and a deadline.
You can also sign up for bidding sites like Upwork and Freelancer, which allow you to bid on jobs posted by clients across the world. Just comb through the job postings, look for ones that fit your skills, and send your pitch to the client. If they like your ideas and profile, you’re golden. The big advantage of using sites like these? They almost always guarantee payment, so you never have to worry about getting stiffed once you’re done.
Of course you can also find a client more directly, either through LinkedIn, a job board or a professional connection you already have. These relationships tend to pay more than bidding sites and content mills, and they usually result in more long-term work as well. Sometimes, locking down a direct client takes a little bit, so you may want to try content mills and bidding sites just to get you through financially, until you build up a more extensive portfolio.
If you want to learn more on where to find and win high-quality clients, before you finish reading this article, check out my free eBook, The Freelance Writer’s Complete Strategy Guide for Winning High-Quality Clients. Download it now and then head back here! 🙂
You can also simply start writing for fun. Find creative writing prompts online, and write a few short stories to post on your website. Create a personal blog, and start writing about industry news or life as a newbie freelance writer. The main goal is to just create more content – content your clients can use to judge your skills and your talents.
Choose a Specialty
If you really want to make good money writing blog posts, choosing a niche or specialty topic is definitely the thing to do.
Do you have a background in business, marketing or maybe the restaurant business?
Is your degree in art or history?
Consider focusing only on blogging on a topic you know and are well-versed in.
The benefits of doing so? First, it allows you to build a reputation for yourself. You can be known as the go-to expert in your arena, and clients will want to come to you – instead of the other way around.
This, coupled with your specialized knowledge and extensive experience, will also let you command a higher rate. If a client wants stellar content in his or her industry, they will want an expert to do it – and you can bet they’ll pay handsomely to get it.
There are many options for niches. Take me, for example. I had been a successful freelance writer for a few years, and after getting asked by fellow budding writers what to do and how to follow in my footsteps, I decided to share my knowledge by becoming a specialized writer. You can specialize in marketing, branding, food, website content, music, travel and just about any topic you can think of. Just make sure it’s one you enjoy and either know a lot about (or are willing to study up on!).
Do you want to make money writing blogs posts and other content, but don’t have any experience? Don’t worry. I’ve worked with hundreds of writers just like you, and it is possible to have the lucrative writing career you dream of. Just comb through my posts, check out my videos, and stay tuned to this site for more hands-on guidance. I’m here to help every step of the way!