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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to chat about this article!
We’ll talk soon!