How One Freelance Writer Turned Her Side Hustle into a 6-Figure Business — in Just 18 Months

The following is a guest post by Laura Pennington of Six Figure Writing Secrets.

Whether you’re a parent pretty booked with clients at the moment, or working a day job, you probably have the same excuse about why you’re not out there more, marketing your freelance services: lack of time.

I get it.

But at the same time, you’ve got to step it up a notch if this is important to you. No freelance writing empire was built overnight. Instead, it’s usually those who take steady action (and yes, even small actions build up over time) who see the most results.

Case in point: I launched my freelance writing business in 2012 with one ebook, three nights a week of grad school class, and a full-time job. Sounds like the worst schedule to add “one more thing” to, right?


I was in that schedule and I was miserable. My day job was going nowhere. Three years into a PhD program, I knew I never wanted to be a traditional academic. And get this — I was living paycheck to paycheck. Time to make a change … even if it felt like I didn’t have any time.

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How to Make Your Freelance Writing Business Your FT Career

So here are my tips for you on how to make your freelance writing business your full-time career – even when it feels like you can’t possibly add one more thing to your already packed schedule.  

Work in “the Fringes”

There’s a great concept that goes — many things can happen in the 10-30 minute increments you find throughout the day, eg, waiting for the kids to get out of school, or on your lunch break after you’ve finished your meal.

It’s not really enough time to start an entirely new project, but it’s the perfect amount of time to carve out to market your business — especially on Upwork.

If you’re marketing in other ways, those small bits of free time might not seem like enough to search a company’s earnings, craft a compelling email, or write a blog post for a current client.

But even in thirty minutes, you could have 3-5 Upwork pitches sent off. If you’re on your phone, flag the links of a few choice jobs you find to bid on later. Respond to any client messages you received in the last 24 hours.

Pro Upwork Marketing Tip: I got to work an hour early everyday so I had no excuse to avoid marketing my freelance biz. Before  my “day job” even started, I was submitting proposals (at 7 A.M.).

Carve Out a Half Hour Each Day — No Excuses

Whether it’s getting up early, taking some of your lunch break, or while your kids are napping, grab that half hour and make it work. Make it into a game to see how many hot jobs you can flag on Upwork or how many proposals you can send.

Are you going to get hired on every job? Probably not; but, the key here is forward momentum. Keep bidding a little every day and you will start to see a difference.

Store a Template and Work Samples with Easy Access

Make a Dropbox folder with your work samples in it so the client only has to click once to open them. Keep a template of an Upwork pitch on your Desktop or in Google Docs so you can quickly open and edit before sending it out.

Having these materials easily accessible will speed up your pitching time. That means more pitches when you do have a minute. You can also bid straight from your phone if you’re on the go and only have ten minutes!

Yuwanda calls this kind of marketing, “success by the numbers.” And let me tell ya, it works!

Set a Daily or Weekly Pitch Goal

Have you ever tried telling yourself “I cannot quit work for the day until I do XYZ.” I used to not allow myself to stop working for the day until I sent five pitches — no matter what method I used. This meant I got out 25 pitches per week! Five per day seemed much more doable, and at the end of the week, I’d have requests for work, contracts, and phone calls set up!

Even when you’re busy, there are ways to make things happen. Upwork is a platform that helps you stack all your wins on top of one another, so slow and steady can win the race when you’ve committed to making things happen.

How to Start Landing Freelance Writing Jobs on Upwork

Haven’t made Upwork part of your pitching plan yet? Not sure how to get started with your SEO writing career?

The Road Map to Freelance Writing Success

This is all you need to launch a six-figure freelance writing business.

Once you’re inside, you’ll get full access to my highly-rated course on how to make a killing on Upwork and my favorite go-to course for SEO copywriting. This freelance writing course bundle will give you what you need to kickstart those dreams and make things happen.

You DO have the time for this and you’ve got all the tools to help you get there in this bundle.

Plus you’ll get access to a Facebook group where you can ask questions directly to me and Yuwanda — that’s like getting more than two decades worth of freelance marketing and SEO writing knowledge in your back pocket.

Where Will You Be This Time Next Year?

Just think – where will you be this time next year if you start now? Like this freelancer? Or perhaps a better question is, where will you be if you don’t start now?

See you on the inside!

Laura Pennington

Author Bio: Laura is a former inner city teacher and corporate employee who fled the grind in 2012 to work at home. She specializes in SEO content for law firms and insurance agencies, writing everything from ebooks to blogs to video scripts. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, and blogs at SixFigureWritingSecrets.com.

P.S.: Get Trained to Start a High-Paying Online Writing Career.

Online writing opportunities are everywhere these days. And, the right training can provide you with a bullet-proof plan for getting started — PT or FT. Get trained and get started.

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