Wondering how you can jump-start your travel fund? This post goes into detail about an interesting option that you might want to consider: Starting a freelance writing business.
Freelance writing is a lucrative side business that just about anyone can do.
There’s very little startup cost involved. And you don’t need to have any prior experience or a fancy degree. All it really takes to get started is a little bit of time, effort, and a willingness to learn.
What is Freelance Writing?
The most lucrative form of freelance writing is called copywriting.
Copywriting is the art of using conversational and persuasive language to help businesses sell their products and services. Freelance writers can work on a variety of sales and content marketing projects. Here are some examples:
- Website Copy
- Blog Posts
- Social Media Content
- Customer Success Stories or “Case Studies”
- White Papers
- Technical Reports
- Emails and Newsletters
- Direct Response or Mailing Letters
How Much Can I Make as a Freelance Writer?
As a freelance writer, you get to set your own rates. In general, you can expect to make anywhere from $500 – $1,000 per month in your first year of freelance writing. If you’re willing to do the work.
It’s not uncommon to make more than that, either. In my first year as a freelance writer, I quickly grew to $3k – $5k per month, and that was while I was still working a full-time day job.
How Can I Get Started?
Here are the six steps you should follow to quickly start and grow your freelance writing business:
- Choose a niche
The first step is to choose a niche. A niche is a specialty that you focus on as a writer.
For example, you might specialize as a writer for the pet industry. In this case, you could write sales and marketing content for pet stores, veterinary clinics, pet insurance companies, and businesses that sell food, toys, or other pet-related products.
Choosing a niche makes it a lot easier to find clients and enables you to make more money.
- Build your website
The next step is to build a website.
This might sound intimidating at first. But it’s actually not too complicated. Especially if you go with a website provider like Squarespace or Wix. Both of these companies have drag-and-drop features, so you don’t have to know any special coding.
All you have to do is choose a website domain name (or URL) for your business, register with a website provider, and start putting it together.
Your website is really important because it helps potential clients find you. It’s also a great place to post samples of your work.
- Create your samples
You should have at least one or two relevant samples related to your niche. The reason for this, is because clients will often ask to see samples of your work before hiring you.
So how do you get samples if you’ve never been hired for a job?
One easy way is to just write a blog post relevant to your niche. For example, if you specialize as a financial writer, you could write a blog post called “The Top 3 Credit Cards of 2019.”
Your samples don’t have to be actual, paid assignments. Clients just want to see that you can write well.
- Look for Clients
Once you’ve chosen a niche, built your website, and created some samples, you can start looking for clients. So where do you find them? One of the best and easiest places is Google!
Let’s go back to the pet industry example.
All you have to do, is to run a google search for veterinary clinics in your home state or metro area. Click on their websites and see what kind of content they have online.
Do they have a blog? If so, reach out and offer to write more posts for them. If not, offer to start one for them!
Use this same search technique for other businesses in the pet industry, too. Remember, pet insurance companies, business who sell pet products, and pet stores could also be interested in your writing services.
- Pitch Your Services
After searching for clients, it’s time to pitch your services!
The most efficient way is to send “cold emails” to your prospects. Cold emailing involves sending a short message that introduces yourself and offers your writing services.
Here’s an example of a pitch you could send to potential clients:
“Hi there, my name is ____________. I’m a freelance writer who specializes in the (insert niche industry).
I was wondering if there was anything I could help you with?
I have experience writing blog posts, website copy, email newsletters, and more. Here’s a link to my website where you can learn more: ____________________
Should we schedule a time to chat over the phone sometime early next week?
So who do you send your emails to? For smaller businesses, you can reach out to the owner or CEO. But most of the time you’ll want to look for someone within the company who has a title of “marketing director” or “creative director.”
Find the right contact person by looking through their website and the company page on LinkedIn. Sometimes the names and contact information will be listed right there. Other times you’ll have to do some more digging.
You could also try to find freelance writing work by responding to job postings from sites like Indeed or Monster. But usually these postings are for permanent roles, and they aren’t always open to remote workers.
Try to stay away from bidding sites like Upwork, because the pay is going to be a lot less. It’s much better to find high-quality clients through Google and LinkedIn.
- Deliver High Quality Work
When you do land yourself some projects, be sure to deliver great content. You want to keep your clients happy so that they keep giving you work. They might also send you referrals and testimonials, which can lead to more clients.
As your skills progress, you can start to raise your rates and earn more money.
Why Freelance Writing is Great for Travelers
Freelance writing can be a great “side hustle” that pays for your vacations. Or, you can scale it enough to quit your job and travel full time while working remotely! The choice is yours.
For more tips about starting your own freelance writing business, check out my free course: The Successful Freelance Writer.
About the Author
Gina is a freelance writer and writing coach. She helps women create a successful freelance writing business that enables them to work from home, raise their children, and live their dream lifestyle. Check out her free email course for more information: www.buildyourwritingbiz.com/free-course.