Freelance writing is one of the best professions in the world. You can sit in the comfort of your home in front of your PC or travel the world being a digital Nomad with your laptop and get paid to write what you're interested in.
Freelance writing or freelancing, in general, is such a versatile and also potentially lucrative profession.
I personally know some of the freelancers who travel a lot and get paid good paychecks for writing their travel experiences.
If you are an expert in a particular field, then it will be a huge advantage for you as there will be people who are looking for experienced freelancers in a particular field. Rather than being a generic freelancer, being a niche-specific writer gives you many advantages.
This post is for beginners, who are looking forward to getting high paying freelance writing jobs online. In this post, I'll discuss some of the field-tested strategies that you can implement to land on high-paying freelance writing jobs.
Cut the noise down with this strategy
Well, you have decided to be a freelancer. What’s the next step? The freelancing world is so competitive.
There’s no shortage of freelancers. Why would anyone hire me?
Well, the fact is that there is a shortage of quality content writers and the demand for quality content is growing exponentially as more and more companies need to dive online to survive.
It’s the right connection that matters.
Let me ask you a question. “Being a freelancer, what content can you write about?” If your answer is any topic, you may need to rethink.
You are looking for clients who can pay you hundreds of dollars. Aren’t you? Now, wear the shoes of those clients. Are they looking for expert-written content or generic content at that rate? Obviously, they are looking for top-notch expert-written content. So to get good gigs, you need to be an expert in a specific niche.
You can’t be an expert on every topic imaginable. If you write on any topic imaginable, you are likely to land on clients who also require generic content and pay peanuts.
Choose a topic you are passionate about to be a freelance writer. Are you passionate about traveling, fishing, golfing, finance, marketing, WordPress, programming, hiking, etc? Well, it’s time to become a writer in your field.
You can demand good paycheck as you are experienced and passionate about these fields. You are not a $5 freelancer who is clueless about hiking and rewriting the content.
That’s the beauty of having your passion as a freelancing niche.
I know it hurts a lot to be a niche freelancer. You get that “fear-of-missing-out” kind of feeling, but resist it for your success.
The concept of niche freelancing is less tapped. Leverage it, and become an authoritarian freelancer in your passionate niche.
Start a blog
Starting your own blog is very important for getting a kickstart in your freelancing career. I’m not asking you to thrive to make money out of your blog (if that’s the case, it’s good). The main purpose is to showcase your online presence and maintain your portfolio.
As a freelancer, the majority of your clients would be bloggers and Saas companies. When they notice that you have your own website, and are writing great content according to the modern web standards, it would be a great first impression.
The moment your prospect client notices that you are running a website and putting actual content on it, the slim chances of them hiring you will become wide.
Elna Cain, she is a great example of blogger, freelancer and a mom of two!
On her blog, she offers courses for guiding thriving freelancers, offers freelancing tips on her blog, and also she is a high paid freelancer.
The moment someone in need of high-quality content comes to her site, they’ll surely hire her if she falls in their budget.
You can’t get a better writer than one who also teaches other freelancers how to grow their business and how to write. If she teaches other people how to succeed in freelancing, you can bet that she knows her stuff well.
When people have something to see about you on the internet, their decision will be easy.
Start Guest Blogging
People think that guest blogging is only meant for building backlinks and only meant for people who have their own site. It’s untrue.
It can help you tremendously grow your freelance portfolio and acts as a social proof.
Let me put this way.
Suppose, if you want to be a high paid “Fitness” writer, you can approach some top well-known blogs in the fitness space that accept guest posts.
You can find such blogs by using the following search queries.
Now you need to reach out these bloggers for publishing guest posts on their site. Many of these sites will be of high authority, so, they will be very strict when it comes to content quality. To begin with, I suggest you reach out small to medium authority sites, and then climb up the ladder.
When you reach out those sites for guest blogging, you need to be clear about your motives. If you don’t mention any of your motives, they will assume that you are interested in the guest post for SEO purposes, which clearly is not the case.
Below is the template, you can use to reach out to the guest blogs.
SUBJECT: Contribution to [THEIR SITE]
Hi [NAME] what's up?
I'm [YOUR NAME] a freelance writer from [LOCATION].
I recently came across your site. Great work! I liked your blog post on [THEIR AWESOME WORK], good tips.
I came to know that you accept guest posts on your site, so I’m reaching out to pitch a topic that I think would resonate with your audience. I myself is a [FITNESS] blogger.
The article will be insightful and above the 1k word count.
Waiting for your reply.
PS: I’m not writing the guest post for SEO purposes. I’m genuinely interested in getting my content published on your awesome site so that I can add it to my website’s portfolio, being a freelancer.
This thing works well.
After sending the initial email, the key is to follow up. You need to follow them up until they reply you and give up after 3rd attempt. According to my experience, the majority of replies I got are from the 2nd attempt (the one after the initial attempt).
To make the follow-up process easier, you can make use of tools like Mailshake or simply use the snooze option offered by Streak CRM or your mail client ( I use AirMail for Mac).
In the blog post, make sure to mention that you are a freelance writer for hire and if possible include a link to your site. Make sure that the article is written with your name on it or else it will be useless.
Join FB groups
This is a must-do thing.
Before this, you need to make sure that your FB profile reflects that you are an amazing freelancer.
When I say people that you must join FB groups, what they’ll do is they just search for groups like “Freelancing group” and join them. Before doing this, you need to remember that you need to join groups where your prospect clients are there and not other freelancers. Stop being predictably irrational. You need to join groups where Saas founders, niche marketers, bloggers, hangout.
Now you need to deeply involve in the conversations and add value to the group. When you add massive value to the group by publishing in-depth useful posts, people will definitely check your profile and you also get friend requests from those people. And, there she goes.
This works crazy if done to the right people with the right format. Or else, your email address will be in Gmail’s graveyard.
How to get people to outreach to?
Facebook: Once you have joined plenty of groups where you find people who need content on their site, this job is simple. Go to Facebook and search for “Content writers needed” or “[NICHE] content writers needed”. Dig in deep. Go to the profile of the poster, and get their website address and contact them somehow using the template I’ll describe below.
Also, your prospect clients include bloggers, Amazon affiliate site owners, Saas website owners, etc.
Before outreaching the people, you need to gather as much data as possible about those people through their FB profile, their website, etc.
Some crucial data includes:
You need to use your spidey sense to determine what will be the ideal price they’ll be happy to pay you according to the collected data.
Before starting cold outreach, you need to know the reasons that lead to get your outreach ignored 80% of the time.
You won’t be hired if:
You need to have all the essential skills that the client will be expecting from you. For example, if I’m looking to hire someone for my Amazon niche content, I expect him/her to have basic knowledge of SEO, copywriting, Google Docs, and Trello. If not, it means I need to train the freelancer a lot - which I won’t prefer as it’s just an outsourcing of work.
Once you have all the essential data, you need to outreach your clients one by one and tailor content according to their probable needs to more conversion. You should not make use of any automated tools for this unless they offer complete control over individual emails.
Here’s a template that will work.
SUBJECT: Need a content writer?
I’m sorry for the cold outreach, but this seems to be a perfect fit.
I’m [YOUR NAME], a [FITNESS] freelance writer
I noticed that you are in need of a good content writer, for your [PROJECT].
I think I will be an ideal for it, as I’m well versed in basic to advanced SEO and can collaborate well using Google Docs, Trello or Slack. If you wish I can also write posts directly in WordPress contributor account so that publishing will be a button ahead.
I’ve published on many big [FITNESS] sites like A, B, and C on similar content.
Sample link #1
Sample link #2
Sample link #3.
I also run my own blog at [YOUR BLOG].
Will it be worth a quick chat?
(+1 PHONENUMBER, Skype: HANDLE)
Network, network, and network more
Your network is your net-worth. I can’t emphasize this enough. When it comes to landing on highly paid freelance writing jobs, networking is the key.
You need to network with fellow freelancers and also people who are in need of content.
You may ask me why - “Akshay, why I need to network with fellow freelancers?”. The answer is that, you’ll get some field-tested tips from your fellow freelancers and also help you fix ideal rate for the quality of content you offer. Without knowing what other freelancers are charging, you may be getting ripped off by your client.
And also, busy freelancers get flooded content requests; so much that they can’t bother to open them. When freelancers get more gigs than they could handle, they tend to refer you (if you are their friend) to their prospects. After all, we are all social animals.
So, networking matters a lot.
How to start networking? Well, it’s intimidating for a beginner. But now, it is the time to take massive action.
- Get some names of freelancers by searching on Google, digging in FB groups, and so on.
- Search their blog and involve in a conversation
- Get their email and outreach them
- Feature them on your blog via expert roundups, interviews or podcasts
- Search them on FB and send a friend request
- Get involved with their status updates (select them as “see first” in newsfeed), comment on their posts and like them.
- Start a chat with any of your doubts or questions. Build a connection on a common ground.
- If possible, get a chance to meet them in conferences.
The network is also very essential to get to know about the new things in the industry. Don’t be an one-man army. The collective experience and knowledge sharing makes you reach highs.
Proven Upwork strategies
I usually won’t prefer Upwork for freelancing, because they keep 30% - 20% of what you earn as a commission.
But the platform has its own pros. You need not to market yourself that aggressively as people search for writers regularly. It’s a go to place for content outsourcers.
Mention your niche expertise accurately in your Upwork profile: The more specific, the better. People who are willing to pay high for writers also look for expert-written content.
Generally, people with good budget and in need of quality content search for “[fitness] writers” before hiring one. They seldom search for “article writers”. Having keywords related to your expertise in Upwork profile description works well to land good gigs.
This is the only way to cut through the saturated freelancing world.
Focus on reputation management: You can offer content at low cost, or you can exceed customer’s expectations initially when you are new to Upwork. By this, you’ll attract good reviews and track records. Once you build a solid track record, you can increase your rates.
Remember that, once you ruin your profile, you won’t have much control over it.
So, play smart and only accept gigs from people who have good reputation ratings. By this, your Job success score will be always above 90% or even 100% (yes there are plenty of them!)
With the right strategies in place, you can speed up your success time. When it comes to freelancing, it is the right strategy that matters.
It’s always great to be an independent freelancer rather than being on platforms like Upwork because the former gives you more control and freedom.
However, you can also consider growing your Upwork profile too side-by-side, so that you’ll ensure that you’ll get a steady stream of gigs even if you don’t do that hard-lifting promotion part.
These are some of the best strategies to get freelance writing jobs for beginners.
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