How I reached my first $1k month freelance writing

When I landed my first gig on Upwork three years ago, I was incredibly surprised someone was going to pay me for articles about being a parent! In my mind, it was the easiest $200 I ever made and didn’t take that long to get done.

As I started to focus on my freelance writing career I picked up various paying gigs that paid in the $5-$10 range. My big break came when I started writing for an SEO Agency, which really allowed me to take on ghostwriting in a major capacity.

At the start of this year (while juggling three different writing clients) I realized I wanted to turn it into a full-time gig. Seeing others have different levels of success, including friends that I recommended get into freelancing was all the push I needed.

It wasn’t a push out of jealousy, because I am genuinely happy for everything that my friends have been able to accomplish, which currently includes both of them traveling through Europe!

After ten years in the hotel business, I can see in my mind that the clock is ticking on it being my full-time career and writing full-time is a goal by the end of 2019.

My first step in achieving this goal was increasing my monthly revenue. I hit my first goal of making $1k for the month of March and it all came down to a few key things that I am going to share with you today!

Constantly look for leads

When you are starting out as a freelancer you will want to take whatever you can get to bring in income. That is a good rule to follow at first but if you want to increase your rates you have to find quality leads to pitch your services to.

If you want to make more money writing you will eventually have to reach out to people on your own. Cold-pitching can be nerve-wracking, as you are selling your services to potential customers but it can be extremely lucrative.

My highest paying assignment came from a cold pitch on a topic that was completely out of my niche. However, the client liked my work and it made me want to continue to write articles pertaining to that topic and is something I still seek out this day.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a tool I have used throughout my career and it led to a major breakthrough in my writing business.

If you have a LinkedIn page be sure to update it regularly! This has a number of benefits, mainly sending notifications to everyone you are connected with that you made an update to your page.

Be sure to include specific keywords in your headline to pop up in specific searches.

When someone looks for a freelance writer over 355,000 profiles pop up! Most editors and companies won’t want to sift through all of those profiles.

When you narrow it down and look for freelance psychology writer as an example, that number shrinks all the way down to over 600!

It’s still a big number but if you are a first or second connection to someone, the odds could be in your favor.

Another key tip is to make your connections personal. When you send someone a connection be sure to introduce yourself.

That’s what the notes option is for! This will help your connection rate increase substantially and could be the start of a great relationship.

My profile stood out to a recruiter for a ghostwriting company in need of a writer for a special sports project. She liked the fact that my profile focused on sports and felt I would be a great fit for the project.

After understanding what the assignment was I quickly realized not only were the articles easy to write, I received tons of praise from the editor for my work!

So don’t slack on LinkedIn, you could be one connection away from an amazing gig!

What I did to get to $1K

So as I started work on this special project I realized there was a considerable amount of paid work the client needed and not just in the sports section of their website. I calculated how long it took me to do each article assignment and rigorously stuck to a set schedule.

I also used a dictation app whenever I could, to help speed up the typing process. Some writers will either love or hate dictation apps, I personally love them and they help me take care of content when I am multitasking.

I also took extra work the client through at me. If he needed an assignment done in a hurry I was his guy. Having that availability opened up access to more work for him and I took it and ran with it.

It wasn’t easy. Waking up before everyone else to get an article or two done and staying up until 11 pm to do the same thing has become the norm. My next goal? Reach the $5k milestone which can hopefully happen by the beginning of summer!

What are some of your goals over the next couple of months? Leave a comment below and don’t forget to email me at darrelle@workingfromhomedads.com if you want to chat about this article!

We’ll talk soon!

D

Quick update to get things in gear!

So the last month has been a whirlwind! I’ve picked up work on a new writing platform, and I am very excited to announce I will be achieving my first $1K month for the month of March!

I’ll post about that when the month is officially over but my writing is doing great. I’ve also made a lot of progress on my digital products and finally figured out a way to edit my monthly planner, so it will become all digital in a matter of days. (Grab a copy of it’s printable form here if you don’t want to wait!).

I’ve also written five chapters in my E-book, which has a yet to be determined title.

Sometimes it’s hard juggling a business, a full time job, a side business, and a family of 9, but if it was easy everyone would do it right?!

Stay tuned for my post next week!

We’ll talk soon!

D

How I grew my Pinterest page to 25K monthly viewers in only a few months

DISCLAIMER: THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS AND I MAY RECEIVE COMMISSION FROM ANY SALES MADE THROUGH THIS POST
 When I created my Pinterest profile for my website back in July I envisioned working on the social media aspect of the website through all of the major outlets (Facebook, Twitter, etc).
I was going to get hundreds of likes on Facebook and retweets every day and see my social media presence grow rapidly. However, I quickly learned that I didn’t want to put my eggs in a bunch of baskets and be just okay at all of them.
I decided to find one social media platform to bring organic traffic to this website.  Choosing Pinterest wasn’t a hard option for me for two main reasons: 1) I knew that there was an untapped market to grow my website and target dad’s needing help managing their time better while they worked from home, and 2) I wanted to learn something new that was going to take some time to figure out and add another skill to my social media repertoire.
Now that I decided on Pinterest I had zero ideas on how to effectively use the website. I simply viewed it as of another Facebook or Twitter when in reality it’s really another search engine similar to Google.
I needed to find a way to get better at using Pinterest and use it effectively so I searched far and wide to find the best free books and courses about gaining organic traffic to Pinterest.
This eventually led me Laura Rike’s website.  I didn’t know it at the time but she would quickly become one of the most influential people in the growth of my business.
I signed up for her Pintastic Rockstars course and used a lot of the strategies she provided to get my Pinterest profile organized. A lot of the strategies her course provided have helped me get to over 25,000 monthly views in roughly 4 months (my page has been available since July, but I didn’t really focus on Pinterest content until October).
What are some of the things you can do when creating your profile that will quickly get you organic traffic? Keep reading to find out how I grew my page.

Keyword optimization

As I mentioned earlier Pinterest is a lot like Google when it comes to rankings and how easily your profile will be found when someone is searching for a specific topic. You should have all of the keywords that you want to rank for in your headline and profile sections.

Create your pins

You should always use keywords that will help attract your target customers to your profile and website.
I’m not saying you should simply pepper your pin description with keywords with only commas separating them, but you should be able to organically sprinkle the keywords you want to use to describe them.

Create boards

Creating your boards will be the most important part of your Pinterest profile. These boards will be the difference between you getting two or three website visits a day compared to  20 or 30.
Before I switched servers (a horrible and utterly shocking day) I was getting between 8 to 10 visits to my website each day based on Pinterest pins that directed back to my website.
When you create your boards you again want to use specific keywords that you would like to rank for. Your boards should be an extension of your overall marketing strategy for your website, and this should hit home specific points of interest that your target customers can relate to.
Since changing the direction of my website, I have focused on time management and helping dads become more organized. (A blessing in disguise for losing my content).
Once you create the boards you should focus on finding content that will relate to your customers.
You don’t simply want to click suggestive pins without doing your proper research because you could get a warning from Pinterest about a pin being deemed potentially harmful to your customer’s devices.
So make sure you optimize your words to keep the content lined up with the overall brand message.

Create great looking pins

I’m not very creative. Chances are a lot of you might not be either, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create pins that will stand out to your target customer.
The image on your pin can make a huge difference in how many saves and followers you gain.
Here’s a look at one of the pins on my profile.
Here’s one from Laura Rike’s Pinterest template file.
Do you see the difference? This was one of the most popular pins on my page and Laura’s creativity shines throughout the template pack (grab a copy here).
There are a number of ways you can get quality Pinterest pins if you are not creative in that way. You can purchase some, you can offer services in exchange for Pinterest pin images, or you can hire someone to create the images for you.
Until you are making the big bucks I would recommend trying to barter with someone or purchasing a template at a good price if possible.

80/20 rule

The goal of your Pinterest profile is to get traffic back to your website and you can only do that by growing your monthly viewer’s and followers.
The 80/20 rule comes into effect because you want to promote other content on Pinterest 80% of the time while also promoting your own content 20% of the time.
You may ask yourself how can I promote 20% of my content if I barely have anything on the website? This is when you get creative and repurpose your content in a number of ways.
If you have created videos for your website you can transcribe the videos and turned it into a blog post. You can also flip that around and turn your blog post into a video.
You can also use your content to create landing pages for various products and services on your website, or by utilizing affiliate links.
Once you have the 80/20 rule figured out followers will realize that your content is much more valuable to them.

Join group boards

Joining group boards should be one of the first things you try to do when establishing your Pinterest profile. This can be an excellent way to not only gain more monthly viewers but also bring large amounts of traffic to your site.
I would recommend trying to join between 15 and 20 group boards to start out with a few boards pertaining to different categories of the overall message of your brand.
There may be specific rules for each group board so make sure you follow them closely and avoid getting kicked out for not following the rules.

Grow your monthly views with these tips

So now that you have looked at a few of the ways I grew my Pinterest profile from zero monthly viewers to 25,000, which ones will you work on first?
Leave me a comment below and if you’re interested in taking your Pinterest game to the next level check out Laura Rike’s Pinterest Boot Camp that is happening Monday 2/25/19!
We’ll talk soon!
D
Links in this post