Original Title: 4 Ways to Increase Your Freelance Writing Income in 2008
I’ve been freelancing since 1993, and have been in the publishing industry since 1987. As such, I’m often asked for advice from other freelance writers.
As the New Year is a great time to re-evaluate, re-invent and re-assess goals, I want to add to the advice I gave in this article about landing more freelance writing jobs, based on some of the queries I’ve received over the past year from readers.
All of the following is from my personal experience.
4 Things You Can Do To Make More Money as a Freelance Writer in 2008
1. Broaden Your Skill Set: This is possibly the best thing you can do to make more money as a freelance writer.
My personal experience: This year, I started to write SEO content (aka article writing, seo content provider, web writer). And boy am I glad I did!
As I detail in this article, I went from 0 clients to making $250/day with just a couple of weeks of marketing. This past December was the busiest one I’ve had in years. Practically all of the projects were from SEO clients. I even picked up a new client on Christmas Eve.
I’m excited about 2008 because I have several clients lined up who want me to start on projects for them in January.
If I’d never taken the time to find out what SEO writing was all about, I would have missed out on what is rapidly becoming one of my biggest money making streams.
2. Don’t Listen to Other Freelance Writers: The internet is all about the ready sharing of information. BUT, this is a sword that can cut two ways.
Take my SEO writing experience. Once I started looking into it, I found a lot of info that didn’t make it sound too good. In fact, I’d say 95% of what I read about SEO writing wasn’t good.
Many freelancers told stories of how clients didn’t want to pay a decent article rate (eg, 500 words for $4). I also read accounts of freelance writers not being paid at all for the work they turned in. Then there were the stories of burnout (eg, writing 100 articles in 3 days time).
In spite of all of this, my gut told me that I could make a go of it in this niche. I brought all of my business experience to the forefront as I was investigating this niche.
And I said to myself, “this type of writing is new enough, there is a vast enough need and there are not that many professional writers doing it that I can make a successful go of it.” My gut just told me so.
And, I was right. But, if I’d believed almost everything I read about SEO writing, I would have dismissed it – and closed the door on a great opportunity.
I guess the point I’m trying to get across is, don’t be so quick to dismiss an opportunity because of what everyone else says. If an opportunity appeals to you, take some time to look into it.
Which brings me to my next point . . .
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3. Develop Multiple Income Streams: When you start to investigate different opportunities, you’re going to run across some amazing ways to make money as a freelance writer.
Select two or three complementary ways to make money. Developing complementary income streams will make it easier. Your secondary income streams should take less time and effort than your primary income stream.
For example, I write ebooks, and produce freelance writing and teleseminars. This goes hand-in-hand with my primary way of making a living – writing/editing for clients.
Passive Income Tip: Try to develop secondary passive income streams. For example, I set up an Inkwell Editorial Amazon Store featuring books on how to make money as a freelance writer. It took me about 20 minutes to set up. I don’t have to do anything to maintain it – passive income at its best.
4. Listen to Clients for Chances to Expand Your Service Offerings: Sometimes, opportunity knocks on your door so often, that you’d be crazy not to take advantage of it.
My personal experience: I’ve been asked by three different clients in the last month if I do blog writing (eg, update blogs). I don’t, but, starting the New Year, I’m going to.
Blog posting goes hand-in-hand with SEO writing. Hence, I’d be missing out on numerous opportunities to increase my income.
So, listen to your clients. Have they been consistently asking for a service you don’t provide? Do you find yourself referring customers to other service providers to a service you can easily provide? Is there a service you don’t want to actually do, but can outsource to others and still make a fee off of it?
Extra Service Tip: When you are seeking to expand your service offerings, look for opportunities that compliment services you’re already providing. This provides three distinct advantages:
3 Advantages to Expanding Your Freelance Writing Service Offerings
(i) Save Time: Take my blog posting example. As I already provide SEO content, adding blog posting to my service offerings is seamless.
Most blog postings are 250-350 words. The SEO article writing I do consists of articles that range from 500-1,000 words. It’s just a different variation of a service I already provide (one that takes less time, no less). How easy is that!
(ii) Save Money: As you’re targeting the same group of clients, you don’t have to spend money to target a different demographic.
Also, there should be nothing to train for, set up, educate yourself on, etc. And, in cases where there is, it should be very nominal.
(iii) Create Client Loyalty: Service offerings that compliment your existing services increases your clients’ loyalty. I think of it as the WalMart marketing approach. Eg, why would you go anyplace else when you can get all of your writing needs met here?
Furthermore, new service offerings give you a reason to contact existing clients again – eg, “XYZ Writing now offers the following service for your convenience.” Having a legitimate reason to stay top of your clients’ mind is never a bad idea.
Freelance writing is not a static profession. Every year brings new opportunities to make more money. Knowing how, when and where to take advantage of these will ensure that you get a “raise” every year – and it can be greater than any raise you get from a 9-5 job – if you are smart enough to capitalize on the opportunities.
Here’s to a successful financial year in 2008.
Happy New Year!
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