While there’s certainly money to be made as a freelance writer, not every freelance writer is making good money. In fact, many have been stuck at the same pay rate for years. They’re stuck. They want to stop accepting low-paying gigs and make decent money doing what they love to do.
Sound familiar? But how do you break free from the bidding sites that pay pennies for quality writing to land private clients that pay $50, $100 or more for rock-solid articles?
It’s time to move past your “stuckness,” and start earning what you’re really worth. Here’s your game plan to leveling up in your business.
1. Use bidding sites as a starting point, then move on
Sure, Elance and Guru are great freelance portals, but if you’re relying on bidding sites to help you nab your high salary, you’re probably going to stay stuck. You might score a job that pays well here or there, but most of the time you’re up against writers who are willing to write for pennies, and we’ve already established that you want more.
Make a decision to break out of your comfort zone and create a plan to approach other writing avenues like magazines and companies.
2. Become an expert
What do you love to write about? What is your expertise? Do you have a target subject area? Take some time to think about what you’d like to specialize in and begin marketing yourself in that niche.
Do you excel in personal development writing? and write killer articles for your portfolio. Then target self-help blogs and other publications.
Do resumes excite you? Master them. Use your creativity and mad skills to create resumes that “wow.” Once you do, you’ll find clients willing to pay you top dollar to help them craft this crucial document.
3. Build your writing skills
We can all become better writers. If you’re feeling stuck because your writing is just so-so or you think you’ve reached your potential, take a leap of faith and sign up for a writing course that stretches you.
From cultivating your creativity to becoming an epic editor, you have hundreds of writing classes to choose from. Check out free classes on or this list of . If you’d rather learn in person, investigate options at your local university or community college. Investing in your career will pay off!
4. Dig deep and recognize your worth
Can you feel good about telling a potential client that you want $200 for an article? Or does it feel safer to say $40? What do your rates say about your self-worth and your confidence in your writing?
Dig deep and ask yourself such questions when you are deciding how much money you’d like to make per article or gig. Sure, a $200 article needs to be extraordinarily well-written and original, but if you’ve got the skills, you ought to be able to confidently ask for the amount that your work is worth.
5. Revamp your website
As a freelance writer, you want to showcase your best work to potential clients, and one way to do this is to have an excellent website.
You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a site for it to look professional. In fact, the WordPress platform is easy enough to manage on your own, should you have a little bit of tech blood in you. If that’s not the case, consider using a portfolio site that does the technical work for you, or hiring a freelancer to help you set up your website.
Consider what you need on your site to showcase your work. You’ll definitely want to include some kind of portfolio to highlight your skills, but consider what else you need — will you want to update a blog? Do you need to integrate your social media feeds? Think about what makes sense for you and your target audience.
6. Put in the hours and effort
How much time are you really putting into your freelance writing business? It’s hard to face, but one reason you could be feeling stuck is that you’re not putting in as much time as you think you are.
As with any business, growing a freelance writing venture requires a solid work ethic, discipline and time. How many hours are you dedicating to your writing each day? Do you have any sort of marketing plan? To get to the next level, you will have to take inventory of your time and make adjustments where necessary.
[bctt tweet=”Growing a freelance writing venture requires a solid work ethic, discipline and time.”]
However, if you’re putting in a crazy number of hours and not getting anywhere, perhaps it’s time to hire a writing or business mentor who can help you move past these hurdles. Sometimes, just having someone else’s perspective is enough to help us realize we can delegate certain tasks or drop a demanding, underpaying client.
Ready to get past your “stuckness” and move toward making more money as a freelance writer? Remember, writing is a business, and you’ll need to focus on both the writing end and the business end. Here’s to you building that business — and making more money.
What’s your biggest tip for new freelance writers? How do you step up your game when you’re feeling stuck?