Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Maybe you grew up conjuring up fairy tales and in-depth stories in hopes of one day making it as an author.
Maybe that dream still lives in you or you’ve moved on, but you’ve always had the passion to write.
That’s me. I’m not a fiction author by any means (I cant even imagine how to start a novel, let alone a series), but I’ve always loved to read and growing up I took an affinity to poetry writing (angst teen growing up here!)
In today’s world however, self-publishing is becoming easier than ever before to have your words in print, but it’s not any easier to profit from your writing.
Or so you heard.
Non-fiction writers — online content writers like you — can totally make a living from writing.
I’ve been a part-time freelance writer for five years now and it took me six months to make a living from this.
Content is Still King and Here’s Why
There’s a big opportunity to make a living as an online freelance writer. In fact, the entire gig economy is projected to grow up to 80% by 2030.
This means the demand for gig workers like writers puts you — the online freelance writer — in a good position.
You can earn significantly more when you go freelance because you control how much work you want to have and at the rate you want to do it.
Let’s look at three areas to see how content rules the internet and how you can profit from it.
1. Businesses Need Content
More and more small business are opening shop online. And with the need to be online, businesses are scrambling to fill their websites with content.
Many entrepreneurs try to do this themselves but often fail. They either don’t have the time to consistently pump out content or they just don’t know how to write for an online audience.
This is where you can swoop in and show them why they need a freelance writer.
My ideal clients are small businesses. I love working with a small business and provide content for their content marketing strategy.
2. Businesses Need Blogs
By now you should have an idea that businesses need blogs. There’s a huge demand for content marketing and blogs are a primary driving force for many content marketing strategies.
Freelance writers can position themselves to be the go-to writer for blog content and marketing content for their clients.
When you do this, you’ll have no shortage of projects since blogging is a recurring plan.
3. Online Writing is Profitable
Did you know that there are entrepreneurs and businesses that will spend hundreds — even thousands — of dollars for content?
They exist and I know them.
In my third year as a freelance writer I landed a $1200 writing project!
And in my fifth year? A $2,000 writing project!
To let you know — both were blog posts!
I typically receive emails asking for my blog writing services weekly. Since I don’t show my rates online, I get a mix of prospects who can afford me.
I’m always open to the possibility of working with someone so I welcome emails that ask for my rates.
And, there are brands out there that don’t bat an eye at a thousand dollar writing project.
But, maybe you’re thinking, you can’t ever land a gig like this. You pitch and pitch and all you get in return are low ball offers or businesses wanting to pay next to nothing for content, right?
Let’s get two things straight here –
1. There are two types of freelance writers — those that undervalue their writing and those that know the value of their writing and charge a premium for it.
2. There are two types of business online — those that don’t value content and those that don’t care what type of content they have.
Where do you fit?
That’s why there’s a big rate discrepancy between freelance writers and with businesses.
A business can go out and find a $.06/word writer for their content rather than use a credible writer for $.18/word (hint: this client isn’t your ideal client) for their content needs.
Similarly, there are freelance writers that will gladly take a $25 writing gig while others will scoff at the idea and not even respond to this query.
When I first started freelance writing, I had no clue what my rate should be. I didn’t want to scare off prospects with my rate. So, I did what naturally every new writer does — I set a low bar.
And this is a big mistake.
You Are Not a Cheap Commodity
Before you can think about raising your rates or finding the right rate to attract your ideal client, you need to first avoid thinking of yourself as a cheap commodity.
This just means you provide a service — writing — that just about anyone can provide.
You need to stop thinking of yourself as a cheap commodity.
You’re not. You’re a freelance writer with a lot of value and skills to add to the table (and you need to position yourself in that light).
And, more importantly, don’t let the market set your freelancing rate.
If you position yourself as a highly valuable writer on your writer website, with the testimonials you have, with a shining portfolio and some cred on LinkedIN, will increase your freelance writing rate allowing you to make a living from online writing.
What You Need to Do
One of the first things to do to make a living as a freelance writer is to decide on a rate you want to charge for your freelance writing services. This could be your end rate or your starting rate. I suggest you have a range of rates. For example, your rate is between $.10-.20/word.
Your rate should be a number that you are comfortable with and that will generate viable income.
Next, you need to project online that you are one heck of a valuable writer. There are many ways to do this, but your #1 marketing tool is your writer website.
Finally, you need to get out there and be in front of your ideal client. You can do this easily with guest posting, or posting on Medium.
So, take the first step and be on your way to making a living from your words.