Since the past 7 or 8 years I’ve been doing freelance writing on and off for several clients.
As such, I know more about this industry than the average bystander.
It began during college as a means of earning something extra but later turned into full-fledged business.
Note I say business and this will be the key revelation throughout the post.
Even though I began the Seekdefo blog over six years ago, freelancing kept me busy throughout the years and I was never able to fully dedicate myself to the blog.
The blog always remained at the backburner with an occasional post here or there.
But today let’s talk about freelancing and freelancers.
The problem with freelancing
The biggest roadblock for freelancers is freelancers themselves.
No, this isn’t another self-help talk on removing mental barriers and shunning old ideas. I’m more practical.
I’m talking about the others guys who do anything all day but undercut you.
You quote 15 cents a word and there they are ready to do the entire work, complete with images links and research at 2 cents a word. They’ll even offer additional discount for bulk work.
And while some of them spin and weave and plagiarize a lot of these underquoters do provide exceptional work. They not only remain poor themselves but drag everyone else together to their little hell.
Freelancing especially writing is highly competitive.
Not to mention clients who are never happy with the work. Thus you not have to write for them but then spend inordinate time editing it.
How to rise out of the hell-hole
Hadn’t I received better advice, I’d have been forever stuck in the gloomy pits without hope for redemption.
Thanks to several freelance writers who run their own blogs and provide astute advice on writing better and earning even better, I was able to identify markets, opportunities and gigs that not only paid well but also helped me attract clients that weren’t monsters.
The underpayers often like to eke out the living soul from you and they do this by ensuring that they get every dollar’s worth from your writing.
Move up the ladder and you find clients who not only respect you but also appreciate you for what you are. And above all value and pay for your time. They’re reasonable which is the only thing we as freelance writers demand and respect.
Steer clear out of Upwork: Though upwork seems to teeming with writing gigs, I’ve always avoided the place like the plague.
Because for every job listing there’d be hundreds of applications each trying to topple you over with their bids.
No self-respecting person can make a living online with the bids they quote. And neither should you.
Instead move to markets that are high paying.
The job board is one such place.
A lot of job posters wouldn’t mind paying starting at 5 cents a word which is still low but higher than most other places.
Again, a select few won’t mind paying 10 cents per word or above.
But how do you get these clients.
For over 6 months I tried applying to every job listing on Problogger and didn’t land a single job.
That was back in 2010-11.
What was I doing wrong?
Even though I wrote a nice little letter and appeared confident I lacked any relevant credentials. It’s a chicken vs egg vs who came first game.
They don’t give you jobs without experience and to gain experience you need to have been successfully been accepted at something.
Now I am talking about relevant experience.
A job poster seeking experience with AI won’t be appreciative of examples citing health and fitness.
To build relevant experience the first thing you need to do is sit down and write the niches you’re interested in.
It could be anything. Now find if those markets are high-paying. Let me cite a few examples.
Cyrptocurrency is relatively high paying
AI is high paying
Digital marketing gigs like writing about SEO, about internet marketing are relatively high paying in most cases.
What do you need to stay away from?
News: always the lowest paying tier.
People who want native speakers only and have plenty of work. They want the cheapest writers and don’t have time to sort the gems from non-natives who’re good writers.
Most non-mass writing companies are happy with non-natives as long as they produce capable work.
People who explicitly mention that the rates would be 1 or cents a word.
Again, avoid personal blogs which have a cap on income. Instead focus on companies, good agencies and startups.
What to do to gain relevant experience?
Remember the chicken and the egg.
But it isn’t necessary that you must do paid work to gain experience.
Enter the greatest invention for freelancers- guest posting.
Most blogs with sizeable audience are always in need of content and most of them channel out the need to guest bloggers.
Write a good piece of content and use it on your portfolio and when applying to jobs.
If you zeroed in on AI, find AI blogs, pitch and submit posts and wait for them to go live.
Once the posts are live include those links as part of your cover letter.
You’ll get responses. I ASSURE you.
Second present your skills as a business
Your business isn’t B2C. It’s b2b. Your business is helping another business gain traffic, links and ranking.
You need to position yourselves as a content marketer and not as a mere writer.
Writers don’t get paid enough and that isn’t going to change.
But content marketers— they can command rates they like and are comfortable with.
Content marketers don’t sit on their asses after submitting the posts to clients.
They work to attract shares and links to that post as you should. Not for free. Offer these services as complimentary bits or upsell them later on.
If someone’s paying for content alone, seeing the stagnant ROI, they’re going cut ties with writers.
There’s a starving writer on every street corner. Anyone can become one with an email id and little to no experience.
What differentiates you are the extra menu items that you bring to the table.
You increase their traffic, their revenue goes up.
Suddenly, you’ve become an asset and the business wants to keep you.
If you up your rates or want to provide more content they’re happy to have it. They’ll adore you for the same.
Making money with freelance writing’s is easy once you treat it as a business and not just an art form.
You’re here to provide for yourself and your family.
What do you think of the post?