You’ve most likely already heard that you would be able to make six figures as a contract author, however this may sound like a fantasy if you happen to’re simply beginning your profession. 

Whether or not you’ve been rejected from just a few low-paying jobs on Upwork otherwise you’re struggling to make various hundred {dollars} per thirty days, the prospect of constructing six figures as a contract author can sound like a fantasy.

Whereas these setbacks are discouraging, the important thing to changing into a six-figure freelancer is implementing a confirmed course of, bettering your writing abilities, and persevering via any challenges.

Fortuitously, loads of full-time freelance writers have achieved this success.

Constructing a profitable freelance writing enterprise that pays six figures isn’t easy, however if you happen to observe a confirmed technique and are prepared to place within the work to degree up your writing abilities, it’s definitely potential.

So beneath, we’ll define a confirmed step-by-step information that actual six determine copywriters have used to construct profitable freelance writing careers.

Step 1: Choose a Area of interest

Many new freelance writers promote that they will write for any area of interest as a result of they concern deciding on a selected writing area of interest will restrict their listing of potential purchasers.

Nevertheless, employers need to rent consultants, and promoting your self as a generalist will truly repel potential purchasers. 

For instance, if an actual property firm is seeking to rent a weblog publish author, they’ll search for somebody specializing in writing for actual property. So between the 2 writers beneath, the one promoting himself as an actual property specialist will certainly stand out to the hiring supervisor:

A specialized writer
An unspecialized writer's profile

Whereas good writers can normally create high-quality content material for a number of niches, it’s nonetheless greatest to place your self as an professional in a selected area of interest. An added advantage of specializing in a selected area of interest is that you simply’ll develop a community of purchasers sooner.   

So what’s a distinct segment, and the way do you choose one?

There are three principal classes of niches: 

  • Content material Kind: Some examples of various kinds of content material embrace emails, weblog posts, ebooks, ghostwriting (for books), social media content material, touchdown/gross sales pages, and video scripts.
  • Enterprise Sort: Some examples of enterprise sorts embrace SaaS corporations, ecommerce corporations, on-line programs, bloggers, and native companies.
  • Trade: Some examples of industries embrace pets, cryptocurrency, finance, actual property, digital advertising, journey, and healthcare.

So choose one specialty from every of the three classes above. Listed here are just a few examples:

  • E-mail copywriter for on-line course creators within the finance business
  • Weblog publish copywriter for SaaS corporations within the healthcare business
  • Social media content material author for bloggers within the journey business 

Whereas niching down shrinks your goal market (listing of potential purchasers), it additionally shrinks the sector of competitors and means that you can cost extra as you may place your self as a specialised professional. 

For those who take a look at the examples above, the true property specialist fees double what the generalist fees.

Digital Commerce Partners

Step 2: Create a Few High quality Writing Samples

Most hiring managers don’t have time to take a look at greater than two to 3 items of content material, so that you solely want just a few items of top quality content material related to your area of interest to win your first freelance writing gig. 

For those who at the moment don’t have any writing samples that match the area of interest you chose, listed below are two wonderful strategies to create writing samples:

  • Write a free pattern for somebody in your preferrred goal market
  • Create your personal weblog/e-newsletter/social media web page

We’ll talk about the way to execute each of those beneath.

Write a free pattern for an influencer in your preferrred goal market.

Writing free samples for an influencer in your area of interest is a superb technique as a result of it helps you create optimistic relationships with potential purchasers whereas concurrently constructing your portfolio. 

The important thing to correctly executing this technique is to write down the content material free of charge after which ship the accomplished model to the potential shopper. 

Most newbie freelancers make the error of reaching out and asking if they will work free of charge with out offering a accomplished pattern. 

These emails are literally annoying for busy influencers which are well-established within the business. 

Nevertheless, if you happen to ship the potential shopper a accomplished piece of content material, they’ll most likely reply. Right here’s an awesome e-mail template you should utilize:

Outreach to provide free samples

Even when they don’t publish the content material, you may nonetheless add that pattern to your portfolio.

It’s additionally value noting that if you happen to’re going to do work free of charge, intention excessive and attain out to well-established manufacturers/influencers in that business. If the model does publish your content material, it’s going to considerably enhance your credibility!  

In truth, even when you have already got loads of pattern writing items, doing free work for high-profile purchasers is an effective way to construct business credibility and create relationships with well-connected people which may flip into wonderful referral sources.

Creating your personal content material

One other choice to construct your portfolio is to create your personal content material. 

For instance, if you wish to be a finance weblog author for SaaS corporations, you can begin your personal finance weblog. Whilst you won’t be promoting SaaS merchandise, you may nonetheless goal the identical key phrases {that a} SaaS firm may goal.

This technique is great for constructing your portfolio since you’ll learn to write nice weblog posts and the way to develop a finance weblog. As SaaS corporations need to rent a author that may produce outcomes – not simply phrases – this may make you stand out in opposition to different candidates. 

In truth, you may discover that writing your personal finance weblog is extra worthwhile than being a contract author for different finance corporations.

Sadly, this technique isn’t at all times possible. For instance, this technique won’t be lifelike if you wish to be a social media content material creator for native companies however don’t personal a neighborhood enterprise. Nevertheless, you would as an alternative use the primary technique and supply to create free content material for a neighborhood enterprise.

Be aware: I purposefully don’t talk about the way to construct a writing portfolio web site, as a result of within the subsequent step, you’ll see that the technique you’ll use to shut your first paying shopper doesn’t contain making use of to any job boards or submitting a portfolio. In truth, spending time designing a portfolio is commonly a distraction from doing the exhausting work of getting your first paying shopper. So as an alternative, we’ll focus completely on the way to create nice writing samples, and then you definitely’ll ship these samples as hyperlinks or Google Doc attachments in your e-mail pitch.

Step 3: Shut Your First Paying Consumer

For those who’re simply getting began and have minimal writing expertise, you may really feel uncomfortable pitching purchasers, however one of the best ways to turn out to be a greater freelance author is to only do the job. 

As well as, many consumers are completely satisfied to pay beneficiant costs for freelancers who produce respectable work, observe directions, and cling to deadlines. 

So after you have three to 5 respectable pattern items, hunt down your first paying shopper. You’ll additionally really feel extra motivated to persevere after you have your first paying shopper. We’ll talk about two strategies to get your first paying shopper:

  • Ask for referrals
  • Ship personalised chilly pitches (with a twist)

Asking For Referrals

To search out your first paying shopper, begin by asking for referrals from the purchasers you labored with free of charge whereas constructing your writing samples. 

Assuming you probably did a superb job, these purchasers will probably be more than pleased to refer you to mates.

For those who really feel awkward asking, right here’s an actual script you should utilize:

Script to ask your clients for referrals

You too can ask if that particular person would contemplate mentioning you in Slack teams and different communities they’re a member of to unfold the phrase.

Once more, this is the reason working free of charge for well-established business influencers with giant networks is far more helpful than working free of charge for any random firm.

Ship a Customized Chilly Pitch (With a Twist)

Chilly pitches can work, however most freelancers don’t know the way to make a compelling supply.

Potential purchasers typically obtain lots of of generic pitches from writers every month, so most emails are instantly deleted.

Listed here are two killer methods to make your chilly pitch stand out:

  1. Ship them a free piece of content material they will publish, and inform them you may create extra content material prefer it persistently if they’re prepared to rent you.
  1. Pitch the potential shopper that you simply’ll work with a selected content material advertising professional on a platform like Clarity or Intro and execute every part the professional recommends. It is a win-win technique since you turn out to be a greater author and may justify charging a excessive worth whereas the shopper will get a world-class professional to look over the execution of their advertising course of.      

It’s additionally crucial to ship your pitch to the fitting particular person on the appropriate e-mail tackle. For those who’re reaching out to a big SaaS or ecommerce firm, search for the content material advertising supervisor or (if there isn’t a content material supervisor) head/director of selling.

You possibly can simply search “advertising” or “content material” on the corporate’s LinkedIn profile to search out the fitting particular person, and and Verifalia are wonderful sources to search out e-mail addresses.

For those who can’t discover the particular person’s e-mail tackle, you may also contact them straight on a social media platform like LinkedIn or Twitter. 

Whereas it could appear easy, these two methods are usually the simplest for getting your first paid freelance writing job.

Many more recent (and even some extra established) freelance writers struggling to shut purchasers make the error of mass making use of to author positions on job boards. 

Mass making use of is rarely a good suggestion as a result of swamped hiring managers normally instantly delete any purposes that lack personalization. For instance, you may see that the job publish beneath has over 200 candidates.

As well as, making use of to jobs locations you in direct competitors with different purposes, and lots of hiring managers received’t even see your utility.

So as an alternative, refer again to your area of interest and attain out to corporations that aren’t promoting that they’re actively hiring for a contract writing place. Whereas this recommendation could seem counterintuitive, it’s extremely efficient since you aren’t competing with different candidates.  

In truth, many corporations are actively hiring new writers, however don’t actively promote the place exactly as a result of most job boards generate too many candidates.  

One other widespread subject that causes many writers to surrender earlier than getting their first shopper is spending an excessive amount of time creating a elaborate web site or enterprise playing cards. 

Most purchasers don’t care about this stuff – they simply need somebody that’s dependable and may do the job. So your time is healthier spent sending compelling emails with hyperlinks to wonderful writing samples.  

Step 4: Search Suggestions and Actively Make investments In Enhancing Your Ability Set

As you’re employed with extra purchasers, you’ll discover that every one has barely completely different requests, so a key facet of an awesome author is searching for preliminary suggestions and adjusting to your shopper’s needs (inside cause).  

It’s essential to be decisive and personal your work (you don’t need to continuously trouble purchasers and ask them in case your work is suitable), however purchasers admire communicative freelance writers who take motion on suggestions. 

Along with gathering shopper suggestions, essentially the most profitable writers additionally search mentorship to degree up their freelance writing abilities. For instance, many freelance writers be part of content material writing programs, rent coaches, and take part in peer teams to enhance their abilities. 

For those who’re considering becoming a member of a membership group that offers you direct entry to content material advertising coaches, dwell interviews with business consultants, content material advertising programs, and a neighborhood of high-earning freelance writers, contemplate becoming a member of the Copyblogger Academy.  

You too can use a platform like Clarity or Intro to schedule one-on-one teaching calls with world-class consultants.  

Lastly, contemplate making a aspect hustle the place you create your personal content material. For instance, if you happen to specialise in writing emails for ecommerce websites, you would begin your personal dropshipping web site and write emails to promote these merchandise. 

We really useful this in step two as a way to construct your portfolio, however it’s value mentioning once more right here, as constructing your personal content material platform is an effective way to grasp the ache factors your purchasers face with the intention to learn to ship higher outcomes

As purchasers are paying you to assist them develop their enterprise, having your personal undertaking is advantageous, as you should utilize it to run experiments and learn to enhance your abilities to drive extra gross sales. It will finally make you a greater marketer and enable you to perceive how your companies match into the bigger progress technique.

Step 5: Scale Your Profession

Getting your first few purchasers is one problem, however {most professional} writers will inform you that retaining your purchasers and producing regular earnings over a number of months is the most important problem.

If you wish to remodel your freelance writing enterprise from a aspect hustle to a full-time job, listed below are just a few methods to enhance earnings stability. 

Be Dependable And Constant To Earn Referrals

First, at all times produce high-quality work, reply to purchasers inside 24 hours, and submit your initiatives on time. Abiding by these three guidelines is crucial to each retaining purchasers and making a community of referrals.

In truth, essentially the most profitable freelance writers take a look at every new shopper as a brand new potential referral accomplice quite than a one-time income. 

After you have a number of purchasers and a few case research demonstrating your work, create a easy web site with shopper testimonials, case research, and your writing service packages.

You’ll quickly attain a ceiling the place you may now not tackle extra writing purchasers, however there are just a few alternative ways you may proceed to scale your earnings with out overextending your self.

Enhance Pricing

Growing pricing is the best progress lever, and most purchasers received’t even bat an eye fixed if you happen to enhance your costs. 

You too can kind referral partnerships with lower-level companies/freelance writers and ship them purchasers that may’t afford to proceed working with you.

It is a win-win scenario as you may earn a referral accomplice payment and hold a high-quality shopper base.

If most of your purchasers can’t afford to pay a better worth, you may need to contemplate shifting upmarket and focusing on bigger companies that may afford to pay extra. 

Require Lengthy-Time period Contracts

The following choice to scale your earnings is to require long-term partnership contracts. 

As churn is among the crucial challenges that many freelancers face, retaining your current purchasers is an effective way to extend your annual earnings.

Supply Productized Providers With Distinctive, Confirmed Processes

Lastly, essentially the most profitable freelancers spend a whole lot of time studying extra about their shopper’s ache factors after which create distinctive techniques and processes to persistently resolve these ache factors. 

For those who can present your purchasers that you’ve a selected, documented technique to resolve the precise ache level they’ve extra effectively than the common freelancer, you’ll have the ability to cost extra and generate extra constant demand.

For instance, if you recognize that the majority of your purchasers wrestle with “content material mill” or “me-too” fashion content material, incorporate professional interviews into your writing course of and use that to show the way you’ll create distinctive content material. This alone is commonly greater than sufficient to make you stand out from the group and command increased costs. 

For those who’re unsure what your shopper’s ache factors are, spend a while speaking to them or ask in Slack channels devoted to your audience.

Take Motion At present

One of many largest errors aspiring freelancers make is spending an excessive amount of time studying about the way to construct a contract enterprise quite than simply getting began. 

This publish has all the knowledge you should get began, so take motion right now, as expertise is one of the best trainer.

After you get began, search suggestions and degree up your abilities. You possibly can be part of the Copyblogger e-newsletter for extra freelance writing suggestions or be part of the Copyblogger Academy to be taught from different like-minded freelance writers.


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