do-you-want-to-get-paid-for-your-writing-services-heres-what-you-need-to-know

Do You Want To Get Paid For Your Writing Services? Here’s What You Need To Know

Business owners still need writers for their marketing

The first step in getting paid for your writing services is understanding that people will pay you. There are clients out there who want to save time and hire a professional writer to create content and sales copy. Video creators, graphic designers, and other freelancers certainly have it easier when starting out because their work does require the use of more tools and seems more difficult than simply writing.

 

Some business owners do believe that they don’t need to hire a professional writer—that they can just do it themselves. Just remember that these business owners are never going to be your clients.

 

The clients you are searching for have already acknowledged that they need to hire a professional if they want their marketing to be optimized and effective. The real challenge that you will have is figuring out where to find them. Once you do that, then all you need to do is sell yourself.

 

I suggest using these places to find your first set of clients:

  • Facebook Groups
  • Craigslist
  • AngelList
  • LinkedIn job search (and hashtag search)
  • Monster
  • Ziprecruiter
  • And good ol’ Google

 

There are a ton of websites and platforms online that provide job postings for freelance writers. You may need to do some spec work in the beginning, either working for free or taking on writing gigs that pay $0.03 per word just to start building a portfolio. However, after four to five assignments you can definitely start charging by the project or by the hour.

 

What you don’t want to do is start searching in the wrong places. You definitely don’t want to focus your efforts on finding work through platforms like UpWork, Fiverr, or Guru. Although these platforms make the search for clients faster, they incentive that you price your services as low as possible. They also take a cut from what you make. The better approach is to do the hard work yourself and create a dedicated time in your schedule to manually search for clients.

“But what if I just can’t seem to get clients? I have no experience.”

 

The best way to showcase your writing style, even without a portfolio, is to create a blog. By creating a blog, and ideally an entire website, you are not only showcasing your ability to write clearly and persuasively—you are also showcasing your ability to promote your ideas. Clients want to see that you can provide more than copy or content writing, your competition definitely has more to offer than that.

 

It’s important to write as much as possible, as websites that publish 16 posts a month get more traffic than those that post weekly. Writing every day is a great strategy as it pushes you to explore more topics and creates a set schedule for you to practice your craft. Your prospective clients can use your blog as an alternative to a portfolio, especially if the client doesn’t need you to have years of writing experience.

There are ways to get exposure

What if you want your clients to come to you? The best way to start getting projects coming into your email inbox or LinkedIn messages is to collaborate. Guest posting is a sure-fire way to get people’s attention. If you have publications that you’ve written for on your website, it validates you as a professional and it makes you more attractive to clients.

 

It is difficult to start guest posting for websites like Forbes, FastCompany, Wired, or Mashable but, it is not impossible. I’m personally going through this stage of my freelance writing journey myself.

 

I have to note that it is best to start with guest posting on small publications that can be found on Medium. At the very least, even if you don’t immediately get incoming leads for your services by guest posting, it will increase the overall traffic that you get on your website.

Save yourself time by learning how to structure your business

As a freelancer, you run a business. You will have to be responsible for every aspect of that business, from how to get your clients to how you charge them. One thing I definitely recommend you do is to create a client questionnaire to ensure you understand the scope of work before taking on any project—especially your first project.

 

A client questionnaire can help you understand what is required of you and it can help you know if:

  1. You’re qualified to take on the work,
  2. How much time you’ll need to dedicate to the project,
  3. If this client is worth your time,
  4. And if you will benefit from the experience.

 

I put a list of questions I ask my prospective clients below. I don’t ask them all of these questions during the first interaction but, I make sure that all of them get answered before I begin tackling any project.

Questions to ask before submitting a bid or proposal

  • What are the specifications of this project and when do you want it to begin?
  • What is your preferred method of communication?
  • What is your payment method?
  • What are the hard deadlines for this project? Do you need me to set up the specific dates for each deliverable?
  • Have you worked with freelance copywriters before?

Questions to ask before the work begins

  • Can you describe your business in 50 words or less?
  • Who is your target customer (age, gender, location, job role, etc.)?
  • What do you want people to do when they visit your site? What is the #1 thing?
  • What are the key features of your product or service?
  • Describe your current process for making a sale?
  • What are your current content assets?
  • Do you have direct competitors?
  • Can you list any pieces of content, websites, or profiles that are similar to what you are hoping to achieve from this project?
  • How many people from your team will be involved in the feedback process for my copywriting?
  • If the copy/content is published online, may I get a live link to my site?
  • Will I be allowed to use this piece as a sample in my portfolio?

 

And let’s not forget the documents that you will need to make to make sure you get paid without any hassles. Most contracts, invoices, and other freelancer necessities can be found online as templates. You do not need to (nor should you) make anything from scratch. Just Google “Freelancer contract/Freelance invoice/Freelance proposal/etc. template” and there will be a ton of sites that provide them for free!

There will be a learning curve

If you feel like you aren’t confident enough to write content or create sales copy for a business, there are many resources available so that you can start learning. Youtube is my favorite resource, as there are hundreds of copywriting and content writing professionals who are promoting their expertise by teaching other writers.

 

There are obviously books that can also help you too, my favorite being On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King.

 

Whichever resource you use, just know that you shouldn’t use the fear of being too inexperienced as an excuse to not get started. I blogged for five years before ever getting paid for a word I wrote. Yet, those years of not getting paid taught me and I am certain your learning curve will be much faster than mine.

 

If there is anything that you take from this article just know that you can get paid for the words you write—you just have to use the tools and advice from other successful freelance writers and take action.

 

If you simply start by setting up a blog (you can start writing for free both on LinkedIn and Medium), you’ll be well on your way to becoming a professional writer.

 

To give you some extra help, here’s a list of resources I use to keep my skills up-to-date and to help me grow as a freelancer:

 


Image Credit: Unsplash

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Creating-Content-Every-Day-Dont-Overthink-It

Creating Content Every Day, Don’t Overthink It

Here Is A Challenge For Call Creators

Quality is large in part an end product of creating. If you are judging the work before or mid-process, you are setting yourself up for failure. Judging your work should only begin after your audience has judged it. Then you can insert your ego.

 

Some of your best work will also be the work you hesitated the most to publish. You will surprise yourself more often if you give your content a chance to see the light of day. Yes, your work should be edited to achieve maximum results. However, there comes a time when you need to pull the trigger.

 

Finding a reason to start creating content is easy, learning how to create content consistently is hard. I recently decided to take up a challenge that author Seth Godin proposes to all aspiring writers: we should write every single day. I propose that this practice is important to adopt for any kind of creator, whether your photographer, painter, graphic designer, or filmmaker.

 

Even if you don’t publish your work, the simple act of creating something every day will create a foundational process. This process can then be refined over time, helping you to create better work. Incremental improvements are often unnoticeable yet, if you trust that they will happen you will see results. These results may reveal themselves within a year’s time or in ten years. Your audience will let you know when the results are visible.

 

Creating content on a daily basis will also let you see if you like doing it! It will also reveal whether or not you need working with the best format. Maybe you would be a better podcaster rather than a filmmaker, or perhaps writing is a better option for your voice. If you create something every day, you will certainly learn more about what works best.

 

Don’t overthink the process. Don’t overthink your content. Trust that you can create something special and useful and it will eventually happen. Even if you have a gift, without a practice of creating that is built upon hard work you will give up when the going gets tough. Talent is only a part of the equation.

 

Make it so that all excuses are non-existent, that all barriers to entry are gone, and you will see that you can create. It can be done, every single day. Stop getting in your own way and your audience will thank you.

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How-To-Get-Remote-Work-As-A-Writer-An-Opportunity-To-Make-Money-While-Traveling

How To Get Remote Work As A Writer (An Opportunity To Make Money While Traveling Or At Home)

Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance

There is an opportunity right now for anyone who wants to work from home. This opportunity is also for anyone who wants to travel the world and get paid at the same time. Before I begin explaining how this can be done, I want to start off with what this post is not about.

 

This post is not about:

  • Creating a popular travel vlog,
  • Creating an e-commerce site,
  • Being a remote coder,
  • Doing graphic design as a side hustle,
  • Or becoming an influencer

This post is about how to use a universal skill, the ability to write, to make a living. And yet, just because everyone can write, that doesn’t mean everyone is good at writing. I would also add that anyone can become a decent enough writer to get paid, given enough practice and time.

 

The First Step In Becoming A DECENT Writer: Defeating Writer’s Block

One of the most prolific writers in the world, Seth Godin, doesn’t believe in writer’s block. He explains that what writer’s block really is, is a fear the writer has of not being perfect. If you want to be a professional writer, you are going to eventually write bad work. This is why most writers, whether you’re a content writer or copywriter, have editors. It is the editor’s job to fix any bad work you make, it is your job to write. It is as simple as that.

 

Writer’s block is the most accessible excuse to use when you don’t want to fully commit to the craft of writing. What I have done to get rid of my own writer’s block is to write every single day. This is a practice that Seth Godin suggests to anyone struggling, whether they are an amateur or a seasoned veteran.

 

The famous author Ernest Hemingway purposefully stopped writing mid-sentence so that during the next day, he knows how to continue. I could badger you with a whole slew of techniques and practices on how to tackle writer’s block but, to keep things short and sweet: writer’s block goes away by writing. Don’t be afraid to write badly. Just plow through and write each sentence knowing fully well that you can always go back and edit them or have someone edit your work for you.

 

If you are considering how to start gaining experience, know that you can write about anything. The best way to start is by creating a blog. The easiest topics to write about tend to be your obsessions, so that’s where I suggest you begin. Once you get a handle on what your topic is, the next step will be figuring out whether or not you want to write for the sake of entertainment, to educate your audience, or to sell something.

Do You Want To Write Content Or Create Copy: Content Writers VS Copywriters

Content writers and copywriters serve two different needs. Content writers write for publications to drive traffic to a website and gather readers. Copywriters sell products or services in order to convert people — to have them spend their money. The best way to know which type of writer you want to be (and you can be both) is by trying each role out.

 

Try experimenting with writing articles and blog posts that try to entertain your audience, educate them, and sell them on an idea. You’ll get a feel for what you’re best at based on your audience’s responses. Even if you don’t an audience, the simple act of writing these pieces will give you a sign on what you like to write about.

 

You can also find inspiration by reading! The best writers are great readers and they read regularly. Make sure that throughout your writing journey, you always take the time to read. Read books, read blog posts, read the newsletters that are in your email inbox. See what you like and dislike, and why. This will also help you figure out what you want to write about and how you want to write.

Here’s a list of resources I’m currently using to help me become a better writer:

How To Get The Gig: Don’t Pitch, Ask Questions

After you have created a large body of work, showcasing your ability to write consistently with your own unique voice, the next step is getting hired. Finding remote work as a writer isn’t as hard as it may seem. It took me three months to find my first job. And in the grand scheme of things, three months isn’t a long period of time.

 

Note that before you even begin searching online for your remote content writer or copywriter job, know that you’ll be searching for clients — not a boss. It is important to make this shift in thinking if you’ve never worked as a remote worker before. You work for your boss. You work with your client. That is the key difference to consider when sending your CV/resume to businesses that are hiring.

 

I mention this key difference between bosses and clients because the interview process you’ll experience will be different from a typical in-person interview. In any remote job interview, especially ones for remote writing positions, you’ll stand out more if you don’t sell yourself and your skills. I’ve found that clients tend to hire writers who understand them: their expectations, their needs, their concerns,  and the needs of their customers.

 

The only way to understand your potential client is if you don’t sell yourself and instead, focus on asking them questions. If you got the interview, the selling part is already over. Some jobs will require that you take a written-skills test or a writing assignment. This may be the hardest part of the interview process. However, if you write regularly you will have a higher chance of successfully passing these tests, as they usually are used to access your ability to write grammatically. They were sold on your skills when they saw your CV/resume. Now what they want to see is that you are professional and that you understand what is expected of you. The best way to do that is to show an earnest curiosity in their business and asking questions helps you with that.

 

Some example questions I have used include:

  • Have you ever hired someone for this position before? Were they also working remotely?
  • What communication problems have you had in the past with previous writers?
  • Do you use a writing manual?
  • Do you examples of past posts or copy that showcases the brand’s voice? What are the best examples?
  • How often do you need to be on a call with me and what times work best for you?
  • What are your monthly, quarterly, and annual goals for website traffic, sales, etc.?
  • What calendar and task management tools do you use?

Where I Found My Remote Writing Jobs

I found all of my copywriting jobs on both AngelList and Craigslist.

AngelList is another great platform I’ve used to find writing jobs. I prefer to use AngelList over LinkedIn because remote writing jobs posted on LinkedIn require years of experience. AngelList is a platform where start-ups are posting open jobs, so the opportunity to find a gig where you don’t need actual professional experience is much higher! If you want a specific recommendation, I suggest searching for the unpaid internship positions first. Once you’ve done two to three of them successfully, you can then use your past experience to get paid positions and ask your previous clients for referrals.

 

Using Craigslist surprised me because I wasn’t expecting that much when I first started searching for opportunities. Then I realized that there are a bunch of businesses outside of the United States that need native English speakers to create content and sell for them. As of writing this, that is where the low-hanging fruit is, any country that doesn’t have English as its first language. If you’re looking for specific recommendations, search for writing jobs within Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong. I have had great luck with these three countries.

 

Becoming a remote copywriter or content writer is only difficult if you are searching for an easy way to start. The difficulty tends to go down the more you write and build your body of work. I have been blogging for five years so, even though I didn’t have any professional experience, I still stood out whenever I applied for a position.

 

Perhaps becoming a remote writer is something you want to do. If so, know that I am not the only resource out there. I learned from resources available on the internet and so can you. I hope this post becomes a starting point for your journey to becoming a remote writer.

 

“The key to preparation is to strike a balance between knowing what’s out there and being optimistically ignorant.”Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts, Page 50


If you’ve read up to this point, I want to thank you for your time. Please share this article with someone you know who might like it too. If you have any questions, you can send me a tweet or a message on Instagram. I hope this article helped you in some way! Thanks again for your time and attention.

 

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Kenny Soto Purpose of Blog

The Purpose of This Blog: Shared Learning

In 2015, my mentor Maurice Bretzfield had given me a simple task. He told me to start a blog.

When I created my own digital marketer for hire” website, my singular focus was to use it to get a job. While I was still in college, I was looking for any way to make my resume appear more impressive.

I thought that the best topics for me to write about was anything that made me sound smart. This approach didn’t give me fulfillment in my writing (nor did it actually help me in my job search). Additionally, no one would read what I was writing. Over time, writing and managing my blog became a chore. I lost my enthusiasm and could not see any reason to continue sharing my thoughts online.

After almost five years I’ve decided to archive my old posts from 2015 to 2019 on Medium and LinkedIn. I going to try writing again and do it better this time.

I want my blog and the time I spend sharing my thoughts to be valuable, not only to myself but, also to anyone who may stumble upon my writing.

I used to write about random topics. Although these topics were important to me, they weren’t portrayed in the right light.

I shared ideas I liked within the frame of, “look at how much I know about idea X.” Moving forward, my future blog posts will be written within the frame of, “look at how idea X can be useful in your life. Here are examples of how it has been useful in my life and the lives of those I’m learning from.

I want to use my writing as a vehicle for shared learning and I hope that the words I publish will be of use to you as well. I will share lessons that come from books I’m reading, people I encounter, or through my pondering. Hopefully, after reading any post I write, you gain a new idea, question, or perspective.

Let’s see if this time the writing can be more fun and the ideas shared more helpful.


 

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