True or False?
You work and work, and then work some more…but you just can’t seem to reach your financial goals as a freelance writer and break through that seemingly impenetrable ceiling.
If this statement rings true for you, then you may be among the many who believe the lie that freelance writers need to settle for pennies, and there is no way they can earn high income as a freelance writer.
Do you ever wonder why you work so hard, but you never feel like you are financially gaining any ground?
Are you sick and tired of writing for pennies, but you can’t see a way out?
Do you dream of becoming a successful freelance writer, but you feel there’s something inside of you holding you back?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are in the right place! You are not alone.
And yes, it is possible to command the rates you deserve and reach your desired income. How?
By realizing that you are more than capable of breaking away from low-paying gigs and content mills, and following in my footsteps to earn six figures a year as a freelance writer.
What is holding you back?
Let’s uncover common hindrances that may be keeping you from reaching out to direct clients who will pay you the big bucks in the freelance writing industry.
1. You’ve become comfortable working for content mills and you don’t want to break away from your comfort zone.
2. You’re too busy or afraid to take on the responsibilities that come with working directly with clients.
3. Your negative mindset is creating the fear that you’re not worth higher rates.
Do any of these sound familiar?
Read on to find out how you can stop these crippling feelings in their tracks and start earning what you’re truly worth.
But first, if you aren’t earning what you are worth and you haven’t downloaded my free report, Freelance Writing Fear Smashers, go ahead and do that now. Then, come back here because this is a great post! 😉
First things first…
Content Mills – goldmine or landmine?
To work for content mills or to steer clear?
This is a never-ending debate in the freelance writing industry. While many seasoned writers will tell you to steer clear, and for good reason, there are definitely some reasons why content mills can be a blessing in disguise.
Content mills, or broker websites, can be a great way to “get your feet wet” when you’re just starting out as a freelance writer for a several reasons:
- They handle all communication with the client so you are left to focus entirely on your writing.
- They provide you with the opportunity to improve your writing through constant critiques from editors. Remember, every critique is a stepping stone!
- They give you a platform to explore many different subjects so you can get a gauge on what types of writing you enjoy or are naturally good at. This will come in handy when choosing your specialty.
- They provide upfront and timely payment so they can supplement your income when times are slow or when you’re short on your bills.
- They provide a way to build your portfolio of writing samples for future clients to review when hiring you.
For these reasons I encourage new writers, or even seasoned writers who are in need of some quick cash, to give content mills a chance, but DON’T GET TOO COMFORTABLE!
The key is knowing when to say goodbye!
The problem that arises, time and time again, is when writers become too comfortable working in content mills, they can’t break free.
Content mills will never pay you what you’re worth and you’ll never reach your income goals if you let yourself get stuck working for them.
So, when do you know it’s time to move on?
When you have a good amount of samples in your portfolio…
When you feel comfortable with your grammar and writing skills…
When you’re ready to make more money for less work…
At this point, it’s time to start contacting clients directly!
A great place to start the process of finding freelance writing jobs is on Craigslist or LinkedIn. Start by replying to a few job ads while still working inside the content mills. This will make the transition less intimidating. With each gig, your confidence and skills will grow and before you know it, you will be able to close the doors of content mills and throw away the key!
With great success comes great responsibility
It’s true. When you start to work with direct clients, more responsibilities arise such as:
- More communication between you and the clients
- More paperwork
- Setting your own rates
- Strict deadlines – it doesn’t matter if you’re sick or tired!
- More time and effort to find the clients
- Bigger commitment
Because of this, many writers will become fearful of the writing world outside of content mills and stay in their cozy comfort zone, writing for pennies.
Maybe you have a day job and you don’t feel you have time for the added responsibilities.
Or maybe you’re simply afraid to speak to clients directly and set your own rates.
Whatever is holding you back, just remember, if I can do it you can do it.
Take it one step at a time and know that each gig will lead to the next. You just have to take that first step towards working with direct clients and each step will be easier than the last.
A negative mindset = A negative bank account!
Two of my five pillars to success are: The Right Mindset and The Right Rates.
Interestingly enough, having the right mindset can directly affect the rates you earn as a writer.
Why? Because the freelance writing industry is full of uncharted territory. You’re maneuvering outside your comfort zone and with that will come fear; fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear that you’re not worth your rates.
When you have a negative mindset, a simple critique from an editor can provoke thoughts like “I’m not good enough,” “My writing must be terrible,” or “I should just give up.”
On the other hand, if you have a positive mindset, that very same critique could bring about thoughts like “what a great opportunity to improve my writing,” or “I’m glad I learned that today.”
You see what I’m getting at? Perception is reality.
In the freelance writing world it’s all about how you look at each obstacle. With that said, make a conscious decision right now to look at each setback as a stepping stone to get you to your ultimate goals.
Another big fear that comes with a negative mindset is the fear that raising your rates or commanding higher rates will result in losing a client. For this reason, many writers continue to work for rates they know are too low.
Well, let me clear something up for you right now:
Quality clients want quality content and they are willing to pay top dollar for it!
If you want to play in the big leagues you have to price yourself accordingly.
Be fair and flexible of course, but don’t be afraid to negotiate! You are worth it. If you lose a client over a rate increase, it will be because they don’t value your expertise. As a result, you will make room for a high quality client who knows your worth. And that’s a win-win if you ask me!
Also, keep in mind that demanding the rates you deserve is like jumping in the deep end. The first time you do it will be scary, but after that it will just get easier and easier until you forget why it was scary in the first place. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to earning six figures. So get out of your comfort zone, jump in, and meet me at the top where you belong! I’ll see you there!
Want more advice? You can keep going! Check out my other posts on how to become a good writer.