The idea of becoming a freelance writer, and being your own boss, is very tempting and exciting. You spend your days doing things you love (writing in this case), while also getting to explore a huge range of new ideas, and all of it – getting paid for the privilege.
I am sure starting and growing your career was not just a days work. From creating a professional biography to building your portfolio and marketing yourself, there’s a lot to consider besides creating your own brand name. You need to know a lot more than just knowing how to write compelling copies to have a successful freelance writing career. You must have already gone through all of that.
When you first start out as a freelance writer it’s easy to spend all of your time just focusing on securing your next job, and going from one assignment to the next.
While this is normal at the start of your career, there comes a point when it’s important to start thinking about taking your business to the next level. And there are many freelance writers like you who wanted to do that and finally succeeded in it as well. You too can be like one of them.
In this post, I have written about a few strategies you need to follow if you want to convert your freelance writing career into a full-time business.
#1. Master Your Niche
Many freelance writers dwell on the notion that the best way to boost your writing career is to write about anything and everything. But the fact remains that if you really want to grow your freelance writing career and make some serious money than it’s better to focus on a single niche.
Focusing on a single niche may not give you the expected monetary returns when you start off. But the more you start building yourself on a specific niche, the more expert you became on that particular topic. Building yourself up as an expert in one area makes it easier to establish yourself.
And soon you will find that clients are looking out for you, instead of you pitching out to them. Because – who doesn’t want to hire an expert writer for their projects?
It also makes it much easier to write, since you can focus on building up your knowledge and experience on that one subject.
To be honest, there are hundreds of niche topics out there and choosing a niche can be overwhelming if you are not focused. Don’t just choose a niche because it’s currently trending, or others are earning huge profits through it.
You can consider your past history to choose a niche. For example, if you had previously worked in a restaurant then you could choose a food specialty niche since you already have the expertise to back it up.
Once you are done with choosing your niche, dig deep into it. Learn as much as you can to further improve your expertise. Knowing the latest information about your niche will also come in handy for client work and they will see how passionately you are about writing in your chosen niche.
#2. Acquire Additional Skill
Yes, you are a writer but don’t just be a writer, if you want to convert your freelance writing career into a full-time business. Acquire new talents and expand your abilities.
To establish a successful business you will require many skills to complete the whole package – from content writing to designing, to internet marketing skills and so much more. So why not be the person who can do all of these? This will help you grow your business because you’ll now be able to offer service packages and earn much more.
Having different skills in you, also ensures that you have multiple streams of income and not rely completely on writing. This will also help you grow your business as you will be able to connect with clients from different professions.
You can consider the following online services that you can offer as a freelance writer –
- Web Designer
- Virtual Assistant
- Social Media Manager
- Blog Manager and so on.
#3. Hire Sub Contractors
One of the problems faced by most professional freelance writers is that sometimes the workload gets out of hand. Having too many clients than you can handle is sort of a “positive” downside.
In such a situation you can either keep writing for your existing clients, ignoring the new ones and finally losing them or accept the new clients, but work like a dog to stick to the deadline.
A third solution would be to hire a sub-contractor or a ghostwriter. Doing so will make sure that you don’t have to pass up new writing opportunities. It will also help to scale up your business, make more money and give you some free personal time.
Hiring a sub-contractor is not similar to hiring an employee. You are just sharing your workload with this person. And at the end, it is you who is responsible for maintaining client communication, collecting payments and looking over the work before passing it to the clients.
Having a sub-contractor is a win-win situation. You don’t lose your extra work and you are also helping someone else in earning a few extra bucks.
#4. Stick To Deadlines and Follow Up
Stick to your deadline! A few slippage of the deadline is all that it takes to mark a writer, as a bad writer. That can be a majo damage if you really want to convert your freelance writing career into a full-time business. Don’t accept a project if you are unable to finish it within the specified time limit.
Moreover, when you deliver projects on time it basically means that your pay per hour is healthy. This is essential if you seek to see your freelance writing career flourish in the near future.
Follow up to your clients.When a client emails you, try to respond in less than 24 hours. It tells your client that you’re reliable and dedicated. It’s something that not many freelance writers practice. A timely reply is always appreciated and expected. Not just by your clients, but by everyone.
#5. Promoting Your Content (Marketing)
You are confident about your writing skills but is that all you need to step up to the next level? The answer sadly is NO!
Of course, quality writing is essential for the growth of your freelance writing career. But what about selling your content? Without proper marketing, you are definitely losing on potential clients.
Familiarising yourself with business and marketing concepts not only helps you to sell yourself, but it will also help you to get more clients.
Nowadays even clients are looking for content writers who are not only able to write strong pieces of content but also understands how to promote it.
It’s important that you build an online presence and use social media to promote your work and your services. Networking with other writers, getting active in blog comments and writing updates on your social media profiles is a great way of boosting your writing career
#6. Write A Book
To directly boost your professional status, write an e-book with your prospective clients as the audience. Having a self-written book at your disposal is always impressive to potential clients.
Writing a book doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to write hundreds of pages, wrapped up in a beautiful hardcover. It can be as simple as a pdf document with a few pages.
You can also build a few income streams from e-books: sell your own on sites like Amazon for royalties, offer e-book writing services to your clients, or help other writers publish and format their e-books.
#7. Build A Strong Network
When you sense an opportunity, just try to Network! This is one very important step that you loyally need to follow if you want to convert your freelance writing career into a full-time business.
Networking does not really need to be through exchange of personal emails. You can build a relationship by sending a simple email or a tweet. As long as you’re not trying to sell something in it it’s going to become a genuine connection.
Let’s say you’re a copywriter and you noticed a lot of errors on a small business website. What can you do? Just shoot an email and highlight all the errors. They may end up hiring you when they notice that you’re a copywriter or you can make an offer eventually after exchanging few emails.
Or, if their blog is inactive (or if they don’t have a blog) then you can send your pitch as a freelance blogger.
It’s also a good idea to join few Facebook Groups or LinkedIn Groups or Quora or niche Internet forums where you can participate in various discussions related to your industry
You can join these networks to enhance your knowledge, to help, and to get help. Once again, don’t try to market your services on these platforms directly. Instead, help others and be part of discussions.
#8. Don’t Settle For Low Paying Projects
If you are just starting out as a freelance writer, then you should probably skip this step. But since you are reading about taking your blog to the next level, I will assume you are well past the initial state.
Now while low paying gigs are great for gaining experience and laying the foundation of your profile, this is only as far as it can take you.
You need to change your mindset if you want to increase your income. You may start with a low rate, but that doesn’t mean that you have to work at that low rate for 3-4 years. As you progress in your writing abilities, your rate should increase too. Moreover, each writing task is unique and the more clients you take on, the more valuable your time is.
Gone are the days where you could spend three hours on social media. Each hour is a billable hour, so it only makes sense to increase your rates as you land new clients.
Also as your high paying clients increase, it is better to cut off some of the low paying gigs to balance your work pressure. But don’t be too quick to drop such clients because sometimes the lower paying ones are the most consistent in giving you content and the easiest to write for.
So find your worth and don’t settle for less.
Here are a few more tips that should consider converting your freelance writing career into a full-time business.
- Own a blog because not only it will help you land better-paying clients but also build your credibility.
- Start a newsletter without any delay. Having an email subscription form your writer website is a big factor in growing your business.
- If you have been a professional freelance writer for a while, then you should be a little bit more selective over the brands and publications you write for.
- Leverage your experience. Cite your previous experience and use it as leverage even if you may not have seen it as a big deal at the time. You never know when that bit of experience can come in handy and be used to win over a potential client.
- Have a “Hire Me Page” on your writer website. If your reader is a potential client, then he/she will definitely check your Hire Me page to see what services you’re offering and to know more about your expertise.
- Learn Content marketing. It is the new SEO. It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to attract customers. So you got to learn content marketing if you want to expand your portfolio of services and its quality.
So now you know what you should do to convert your freelance writing career into a full-time business. So don’t wait. Give your head a shake and get started. Ignore the fact that there are tons of freelance writers who are already doing good. Because the good thing is – Not all of them are experts.
Start thinking of your freelance writing career as your business. And instead of focusing on one assignment at a time, think about the bigger picture and how every project you undertake affect your business.
It surely will take some more of your time, but it will be worth it in the long run.