10 Ways to Make More Money As A Freelance Writer

bullhornWe’re all looking for ways to improve the revenue streams from our writing business.  Who better to learn from than writers who’ve made it in the business?  This article highlights success tips from top authors like Peter Bowerman, Michael A. Stelzner, and Steve Slaunwhite.

These successful writers share one common trait — they market themselves using very easy-to-implement tactics.  They all say demand for writers is skyrocketing.

Here’s how Mike Stelzner, one of America’s top-paid freelance writers, puts it:

“Never before in the history of words has the demand for freelance writers been so high.  Yet I constantly hear from copywriters, journalists, technical writers and copyeditors that ‘marketing’ is a four-letter word.”

According to a recent Junta42 study, 6 in 10 businesses are spending more for content production.  The need for case studies, ebooks, newsletters, articles, websites, white papers and press releases is growing at an unprecedented rate.

To land more work from higher-paying clients, Stelzner and nine other top-billing freelancers suggest the following easy-to-employ tactics:

Success Tip #1:  Stop Billing by the Hour:

“Pricing projects by a fixed fee, not by the hour, increases your chances of landing the job.  Don’t say, ‘My fee to write your e-newsletter is $75 per hour.  ‘Say, ‘My fee to write your e-newsletter is $800”. – Steve Slaunwhite, author of Start & Run a Copywriting Business.

Success Tip #2:  Write About Your Target Industry:

“Identify some of the biggest names in your target industry.  Interview a few of them, create a great article and shop it to a few major online or offline publications.  The free press will help you gain exposure and be read by an audience of prospective clients.  Plus, the experts will be happy to help you again in the future”. – Michael A. Stelzner, author of Writing White Papers.

Success Tip #3:  Stay Top of Mind by Keeping in Touch With Clients:

“It doesn’t matter how good a job you did for a client before.  When even a little time has passed, if you’re out of sight, you’re out of mind.  Pick a way to stay in touch-by phone, personal email, newsletters or social media.  Doing so may even remind clients they need to get started on a project–and they’ll call you”. – Casey Hibbard, author of Stories That Sell.

Success Tip #4:  Leverage Social Media Marketing:

“In this age of Google and social media, your prospects are even more distracted, cynical about sales messages and rightly motivated by their own self-interest. Make your promotional content brief, attractive and to the point.  Always offer significant value before asking for anything.  When making a request, frame the action as a way for the prospect to get even more benefits”. – Chris Garrett, content marketer and co-author of ProBlogger.

Success Tip #5: Ask for Referrals From People You Know:

“Whether or not you’re new to freelance copywriting, approaching people you already know about your freelance business, such as previous employers, is always the best place to start prospecting.  These folks know and trust you.  Even if they can’t hire you, they’re usually more than willing to introduce you to those who can”. – Ed Gandia, author of Stop Wishing and Start Earning.


 Wishing you much success!

Mentors, Coaches, and the Freelancer

Workspace From different origination points and paths, we arrive at the door marked “Entrepreneur”. Some entrepreneurs have the knack for handling business decisions seamlessly.  No deadline is too short or issue too intimidating for these lucky few.

I arrived at my white paper writing business after many years of wishing and stalling.  Finally, I knew I had to re-define my professional focus and recapture the joy of using my knowledge and skills.  In short, I needed to begin a new journey  — one that gave me the flexibility I desired.

Making that decision was the easy part.  I didn’t expect to feel such relief and euphoria, but I did.  Of course, there was also the kill-joy fear and doubt, but overall, I felt liberated.  I created a timeline, which I hoped would keep me on a clear path.  For the most part the plan worked and I stayed the course.  However, there were detours and distractions — periods when it seemed I was aimless.  Granted much of what I was doing fell under the category of research, but the truth was it could also be classified as feeding inertia.  Stalling.

It was time for serious  structure.  For me it meant finding a mentor or a coach, someone to hold me accountable for my plan.  Looking back now, I know I made the right choice in Nick Usborne.  He is just the kind of business coach who knows how to help you turn on the switches, process your fears, and move on with realizing your business goals.  I teased him by calling him the “king of subtle” — Nick’s mentoring/coaching style is effective without being burdensome.  The business plan is yours; he provides the insightful prompts.  He lets you savor your AHA moments.

Well, I am now convinced of the benefits of having a mentor or business coach regardless of where you are in your status as an entrepreneur — doing so early in the process might save you some anguish, but better late than not. A good mentor or coach will help you channel your energies productively.

So if you find yourself stalled or unsure where next to take your business ideas, it might be time to consider getting the input of a mentor or a coach.  Here are a few options you might want to explore:

  1. Get the names of two or three reputable business coaches and contact them.  If you are a freelance copywriter, I wholeheartedly recommend  Nick Usborne.  You can reach Nick at www.asknickusborne.com.
  2. If you are a member of the American Writers and Artists Institute (AWAI),  I understand AWAI is starting a new mentoring program for members.  Check with Katie Yeakle at www.awaionline.com.
  3. If you are a member of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP), check with member services about the mentoring program (www.aiip.org).
  4. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) sponsors a type of mentoring program for small business owners.  It is called SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives).  Many local SBAs have SCORE chapters.  While not directly targeting writers, SCORE  counselors might be able to help you with general business management issues.  The service is free.  Check www.sba.gov for what’s available in your area.

One last tip:  It is important to keep reminding yourself why you started out as an entrepreneur.  Running your own business is a  journey, not a destination.  Embrace the experience.

© Copyright Rachel Agheyisi and Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2009.