I sure have felt what you are feeling right now.
Skills ready to use but no one willing to pay for your services.
You want to make money writing, but you have no idea where to begin.
You are on the verge of dumping every little faith you have had in yourself when it comes to being able to turn your passion for writing into profit. That’s the same way I was feeling last July.
I had just resigned from my banking job and relocated abroad to meet my husband, and I knew that I wanted to make my writing skill profitable to me but boy, did it happen immediately? No, it did not.
Like every other journey, freelancing requires patience and resilience so that was the only option for me.
If giving up is what you are settling for today, don’t do it.
You have to keep on making efforts that bring you closer to becoming what you want to be.
I would like to encourage you on this journey because I understand how frustrating it could get when you don’t know what else to do.
Let me share with you a few of the things that helped me so far.
Here are a few Important steps I took that landed me my $250 gig as a newbie freelancer
Identify the kind of content you enjoy creating
It’s easy to say you are a freelance writer but you can’t be a jack of all trade, last year and even recently a couple of companies reached out to me to join their team as a technical writer. As good as the offer sounded I knew I had no flare for techy writing, so I declined the offer. It was painful, but it had to be done, I focused on putting the word out there about the kind of content I love to create and soon I got offers from people within my niche. Finding your niche is very crucial as a freelancer
Work with start-ups or do free work to build your portfolio
It’s important to take as many jobs as possible to make your portfolio, some free and some paid. I worked with a few start-ups last year and although I didn’t get paid much. I used them to build my portfolio which in the end benefitted me because my $250 gig came as a result of evidence of past work. I did everything from writing marketing copies to rewriting business plans and lots more. So I think it’s a good strategy you should try. However, I won’t advise you to give free services when you know the client can afford to pay you.
Sign Up for Freelance Networks/ Websites and Promote your skill
Of these two networks, my absolute favourite is Freelancer; It appears to be a more organised system. I have made quite a lot of money from working on this platform this year so you should sign up here if you haven’t.
Another place I got writing jobs from is 5miles, yes 5miles I put up my service there, and I got about two jobs from there. One was for an essay writing for a busy student and the other to type a book manuscript.
It’s essential to have a blog or website for your business that lists your skills and the variety of services you render. That makes you more visible if you want to make money writing. My $250 writing gig came from a referral by a blog reader; it was to write a business plan for a new social enterprise that kicked up operation early this year.
Don’t be Afraid to name a profitable price tag
When this job came, I did not know what to charge. I had been doing free services for the longest time, so I had no idea what would be ideal. I looked it up on several websites, and I came up with a price. After discussing with my husband, he added $50 due to the shortness of the time frame. When the client called, I was a bit nervous to say it, but I did and guess what? They agreed based on the fact that they had seen samples of my previous free services and were impressed. My Paypal account was credited, and I immediately swung to action. Don’t be afraid to tell a client your conditions; everything must be handled professionally if you want to make money writing.
Pay before service
Another important advice I have for new freelancers is to ensure that you receive at least 50% of your total payment before embarking on a project. Freelancing might look like a hobby but if you want to make it profitable you have to be professional.
This year I worked with a client and after numerous back and forth emails and sharing ideas I couldn’t reach them again. However, they put all my thoughts to use, and until today they haven’t returned my calls or paid for my services. Don’t let that happen to you, as much as it is a side-hustle you have to earn something from it. I use Paypal to receive my payments, and that makes it easy.
Deliver Before Time
Try as much as you can to deliver before the stipulated time; it increases your value before your clients. It also gives room for them to make any adjustments within the time frame because you must also specify how many edits you are willing to do after the final job is submitted.
So the main points of my advice to newbie freelancers are these;
- Believe in yourself and your skill
- Ensure you do quality work
- Find your niche: don’t be a jack of all trade
- Build your portfolio with free or less paying gigs
- Market your expertise as much as you can, leverage on social media
- Sign up for freelance networks and get exposure
- Write for widely-read blogs, websites and magazines
- Write for your blog: I have a post on how to start a blog, read it here
- Work with Start-ups even if they can’t pay so much, they give referrals
The most important thing is to believe in yourself and continuously sharpen your skill.
A lot of successful freelancers today also made mistakes along the way so don’t give up because things appear not to work the way you want.
Every effort you make counts and moves you closer to being more successful and make money writing.
You are skilled! You can do it!
Don’t give up!
Wishing you all the very best!
Read my post on how to make money as a writer.