I still have to pinch myself sometimes when I look at my monthly freelance writing income.
Less than a year ago, I was making $2500 per month working as a full-time copywriter at a job that stressed me out so much that it gave me an eye twitch.
Now, I’m making double that. And I don’t have to worry about barf-inducing stuff like office politics, a micromanaging boss, or being punished for clocking in 30 seconds late.
Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t easy to grow my freelance writing business at first. But it is doable.
And today, I want to share exactly what I did to grow my freelance writing income to the point where I consistently make $5,000+ per month.
Let’s get started.
Use the right Marketing strategies
I never did content mill work when I was growing my business because it only would have slowed me down.
Instead, I focused on building my freelance writer website and marketing myself as a niche expert, and that approach is what helped me land high-paying clients early in my career.
But let’s talk specifics. Here are 3 marketing methods I used to quickly grow my income:
Lots of writers hate marketing themselves.
If that’s you, then sending a cold email probably sounds about as appealing as laying down in a casket full of cockroaches.
And it is scary at first.
But guess what’s scarier?
The regret you’ll feel if you never get your freelance writing business off the ground because you were too afraid to take action.
So, look around on Google and social networks to find businesses that need a writer like you, and start pitching. Or, you can use a database like LimeLeads to find clients. That’s what I did, and it helped me earn over $800 in my first month as a full-time freelance writer.
2) LinkedIn Networking
If you’re not on LinkedIn, you should be. It’s a great place to connect with editors, content marketing managers, and other professionals who can give you work.
Just make sure you clearly state your niche in your headline and post a link to your freelance writer website in your profile. Then, you can start connecting with people you’d like to work with.
[alert-note]A word of warning: Don’t be too sales-y and bombard your target clients with InMail. Focus on building relationships and sharing content you’ve written that’ll make clients want to reach out and work with you.[/alert-note]
3) Guest Posting
Chances are, your ideal clients read several blogs. It’s your job to find out which blogs they read and get something published there.
Doing this will put you in front of your ideal clients – they’ll see your byline there and begin to view you as a subject matter expert. Then, some of them could end up reaching out to you for work.
If you’re not using any of these marketing methods now, why not start today?
While marketing may not help you find work as quickly as working in a content mill, it will help you find better work and grow your income faster.
Take On A Lot Of Freelance Blogging Work
Think about it. Would you rather hustle every day to find new jobs or feel secure knowing you have a stable source of income every month?
Unless you’re some kind of masochist, you’d want the stable source of income.
As a writer, consistent work can be hard to come by – unless you take on regular freelance blogging work.
Right now, about 95% of my income comes from freelance blogging work. I love it because my clients all want a specific number of blog posts every month, which means I always have steady, high-paying work.
Now, you’re probably thinking:
That sounds great, but how can I actually find freelance blogging work?
Both of my highest-paying freelance blogging clients came from the ProBlogger Job Board.
So check it out, and start sending pitches.
When you pitch, always remember that clients want to hire specialists, not generalists.
That means your best bet is to define a niche and mostly apply to blog about the topics you specialize in.
Follow Up With Clients
Your clients aren’t magicians, but they will do a disappearing act if you don’t make an effort to keep in touch with them. And that means no more work for you.
Don’t overthink it – if you haven’t heard back from a client in a while, just write a short email to check in with them.
More often than not, when I do this, the client responds quickly and apologizes for taking so long to get back to me. Then, they send more work my way.
Keep in mind that you should also follow up with potential clients you’ve pitched but haven’t heard back from.
Because clients are busy folks. Just because they didn’t answer the first time doesn’t mean they won’t hire you – they may have just forgotten about or overlooked your email.
I get it – as a freelance writing business owner, you’re a perfectionist. That means you’d probably rather step on a Lego every day for the rest of your life than outsource something.
But I know from experience that outsourcing, when done correctly, is a good thing.
Let me explain.
Because I’m such a perfectionist, I used to spend hours obsessing over whether or not my work was ready to send to a client.
Eventually, I realized that something needed to change – I was wasting time overanalyzing, which was stopping me from making my freelance business more profitable.
So, I hired an editor to look over all my work before I submit it to clients.
Now, I don’t stress over editing – I simply send my work to my editor and let him handle it for me. By doing that, I free up more time to work on profitable tasks, like writing and marketing.
The lesson here?
Get rid of the tasks that are slowing you down by outsourcing them to an expert. Not only will you free up time so you can make more money – you’ll be happier with the way you spend your work day.
Have The Right Systems In Place
I have a few confessions to make.
I lose my car keys on a daily basis. My workspace looks like an episode of Hoarders. When I go to the grocery store, I forget to buy something important… every. damn. time.
So, how does someone as scatterbrained and disorganized as me successfully run a freelance writing business?
Simple – I set up systems that help me stay on track. Here are a few of my favorite tools:
- Basecamp – This project management system is the only reason I never miss deadlines. I use it to plan ahead and keep track of when tasks are due.
- Freshbooks – Doing your taxes as a freelancer can be scary at first if you don’t keep track of your invoices and expenses, but Freshbooks accounting software makes it much easier.
- Evernote – I love using this free notebook app to keep track of blog posts ideas and take notes on client calls.
Freshbooks (try it free for 30 days) and Basecamp each cost me about $20 per month, but I happily pay for both because I know those investments in my business are well worth it.
If I didn’t have systems in place, I’d miss deadlines, forget blog post ideas and details of client calls, and completely lose track of my invoices and expenses. And I can guarantee you that those things would all translate to lower freelance writing income.
So, figure out your weaknesses and find systems you can use to combat them. And don’t be afraid of a price tag if it’s something you need.
What do you think – will you start using these strategies to increase your freelance income? Let’s talk about it in the comments section!
Jorden Roper is a fuchsia-haired freelance writer for hire and founder of the Writing Revolt blog, where she writes no-BS advice for freelance writers and bloggers. Get your free copy of How to Turn Your Freelance Writer Website Into a Client-generating Machine today!
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