Are you making money as a writer? If so, how much?
While it may sound obvious, this is a good question to ask yourself. Other good questions include:
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- Are you spending the majority of your days (or evenings) writing for content mills or pitching for individual jobs on freelancing sites like Elance and Freelancer?
- Do you rejoice when you get a writing gig on these sites, work hard on it and only realise when you finally get paid that there’s no way you can actually earn a full-time living like this?
Not even if you get a few good gigs every single day.
…And you’re not even getting a few good gigs every single day.
I’m not saying that finding work on freelancing sites is inherently bad for freelance writers. I’ve made some decent money this way myself.
In fact, freelancing sites are great for making a bit of cash, and even for finding a long-term client or two. In fact, I’d advise using freelancing and job sites for both of these things.
But if you want to start making money as a writer and earn a full-time living from it, you need a different strategy to simply pitching for the odd gig here and there.
So here’s what not to do regarding freelancing sites (and what to do instead).
Work for content mills for the long-term
Quit the content mills once you’ve built up a portfolio and practised your craft. This will free up your time to find well-paid work and complete it to a high standard.
Use freelancing sites as your first port of call for writing work
Only pitch for work on freelancing sites if you want to build your portfolio and reputation – particularly in a certain niche – or when you genuinely have a gap in your workload (and/or your bank balance).
Research clients who will likely have a healthy budget for content creation
Consider websites, companies and other publications you would enjoy working for, and who perhaps need a bit of help with creating quality content. Compile a list of these companies along with the right person to contact for each one.
Write solid pitches to these potential clients
You need to convince these clients that they need you and your writing services on a long-term basis. Pitch for regular, long-term work that you can bill for weekly or monthly – not for one-off gigs. There’s a section about how to pitch, who to pitch to and even an email template to use in my course, the Complete Freelance Writing Online Course: Beginner to Pro.
By pitching for writing clients instead of individual writing gigs, you’ll make the transition from poorly paid, struggling writer to the realms of making good money as a writer.
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If you take nothing else from this post, take this:
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If you want to earn a full-time living from your writing, you need to stop doing what every other writer is doing and get a bit creative about it.
That’s how you ditch the poorly paid writing gigs and start making money as a writer – and that’s what you need to do if you’re serious about earning a full-time income from your writing.
>> Get step-by step instructions on how to earn a living from freelance writing online, including pitching templates and proven strategies to attract writing clients, in the Complete Freelance Writing Online Course: Beginner to Pro.
Image courtesy of Images Money via Flickr.