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I had no time to spend with family
I had no time to travel
I wanted to work from home, but had no idea how (was that even possible?).
One day, I landed on a blog post that talked about work from home options and one of them was freelance writing.
As a law student, I always loved writing articles so I quickly was drawn to it. I read everything there was to read on freelance writing and brainstormed an action plan. It took me a lot of time to come up with this (because I couldn’t afford to invest in a course right away and read every single article on Google, on the first 10 pages at least) and I did make a lot of mistakes (which you don’t have to!).
Using this action plan (the one I will share pretty soon), I made well over $500+ in the first month of freelancing. This gave me the confidence that I needed to grow a home business and quit my 9-5.
If you want to work from home as a freelance writer, for whatever reason, this post is for YOU. I will share a tried and tested 5-step action plan that helped me launch a profitable freelance writing business and earn a full-time income consistently.
You can also create your own plan on the same lines and if you do it right, you will definitely be earning a full-time income working from home soon.
Let’s get started!
Relevant Read: Make Money From Home As a Freelance Writer
WHAT IS FREELANCE WRITING AND WHAT DO FREELANCE WRITERS DO?
Many people have asked me what freelance writing is, and what freelance writers do. So, I am going to start by clearing the air.
A freelance writer is an independent business owner (not an employee) who provides writing services to multiple clients (businesses) at the same time. For example, writing a blog post, white paper, case study, website copy, media release etc.
Freelance writers get paid via PayPal and their rates are calculated as follows:
- Per word (popular with beginners)
- Per hour
- Per article
Considering you are not an employee, you are not entitled to any benefits that come with 9-5 employment – insurance, sick leaves, holidays etc. You are required to factor this in your pricing model – do not ever forget this!
Now that you understand what freelance writing is all about, let’s go ahead and discuss the 5 step action plan that worked for me (almost instantaneously)
5 STEP ACTION PLAN TO LAUNCH A PROFITABLE FREELANCE WRITING BUSINESS
STEP 1 – Find a profitable niche that you like
A freelance writing niche is nothing but your specialization. It can be anything under the sun (the narrower, the better) – Technology, Parenting, Marketing (industry type niche) or whitepaper, blog, email sequence etc (content type niche).
So, how do you find yours?
Jot down what you presently do at work (or have done in the past). This will consist of all your roles, responsibilities etc that you have (or had).
Now, jot down all your interest and narrow down a few niches you will love to write in
Compare, analyze (based on experience, interest, and profitability) and decide what is best suited for you.
Note: Having a niche does not mean you have to turn down work (outside of this niche) that comes your way. Take it. By doing this, you will get a chance to explore your interests and understanding that one niche that best suits you. I recommend having a niche from the beginning because you can then streamline your efforts to land clients.
STEP 2 – Find who you want to write for and create a portfolio
Once you have selected a freelance writing niche, narrow down your target clients.
Let’s look at my example. When I started out, I decided my niche to be technology. But, there are so many categories under technology. So, I decided to pitch to IT services management companies and after a few months, I focused on SaaS.
Similarly, you will need to work on narrowing your target clients.
Once you have done this, create a freelance writing portfolio. Basically, take a few topics that your clients would be interested in and write. You can use LinkedIn Publisher or Medium for this.
Relevant Read: Get Paid to Write: 70 Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners
STEP 3 – Set up a services website
You have just completed three of the most time-consuming steps.
Now is the time to set up a services website that promote you and what you have to offer. Remember, your website copy should be able to convince the target client to get in touch with you. For this purpose, you will need to
- Showcase exactly what you can do for clients (for example, if you can drive traffic or generate quality leads etc)
- What your expertise is (niche)
- Show that you are credible and reliable (testimonials or results you have gotten in the past)
Your services website can be simple but it should have these pages
- Home (where you clearly state what you can do and what services you provide)
- About (where you talk about yourself a bit and then focus on how you can help your clients)
- Portfolio (Add in some of your best work. This has to be related to your target client business)
- Services (what all services you can provide)
- Contact (this is important to make it easy for the reader to get in touch with you without having any trouble)
STEP 4 – Set rates
Setting rates can be tricky. While it is best to quote rates per article, there will be clients wanting a per word rate.
Do the math and set an income goal for yourself. Let’s say, $1000.
10 cents a word is a decent rate to start with. That means $100 for a 1000 word article. At this rate, you will have to get 10 articles to make $1000 a month. If one client wants 5 blog posts from you, you will have to find 2 of such clients.
Sounds possible to me! Do this exercise to understand that your goals are achievable.
Also, keep increasing your rates gradually.
Step 5 – Make yourself visible EVERYWHERE
Considering you will be working virtually, it only makes sense to put yourself out there everywhere. So, update all your social media accounts and put it in your bio section. Tell the world what services you offer and how they can find more about you (your website link).
I am going to share one tip for each social media channel I have used to land clients in the past –
- Linkedin – This is a gift for freelancers! Add in a bunch of target clients and engage with them. Comment on their posts and add value to it. Once they start responding to you or recognize you, say a month after, send them an email pitch asking them if they would like to hire a freelance writer. This works like a charm!
- Twitter – This hasn’t been a very fruitful channel for me. For a lot of writers, doing the above for Twitter as well has yielded great results.
- Facebook Groups – This is one of the best ways to land clients as a beginner. Join groups where entrepreneurs, bloggers etc hang out. They post requirements regularly and if you are one of the first ones, you are most likely to get it.
STEP 6 – Find clients
It is time to take a LOT of action. The two things that worked really well for me –
- Stalk Job Boards and Facebook groups
We already touched upon Facebook groups.
You need to stalk job boards in the beginning. Look, there are a lot of freelance writers trying to get hands on these jobs. If you are quick and early to send in your pitch, you will almost always get a reply (if you are fulfilling their requirements).
A few job boards you should check out are
I landed some great gigs using these job boards. One of them paid me $500 for a single article, but unfortunately, that was a one-off job.
But, you get it. You can find high-paying and quality clients using job boards like these.
- Send email pitches (lots of them)
While you are doing everything we discussed above, start sending direct email pitches to your target clients. I recommend sending at least 10 every day for you to land clients quickly.
Your pitch should include –
- A subject line that tells the reader it is not a generic email
- A few lines about
- Your work
- Clients you worked with
- Results you can drive
- A strong call to action. You can ask for a call if you are comfortable with it.
Whatever you do, keep it short and sweet. No one has the time to read essays anymore!
I recently wrote an ebook detailing the entire process of landing clients with emails along with sharing my most converting pitches. You can check it out here.
After a few months, analyze everything from the top and see what is working for you (as well as what is not). Strategize again and go for it.
There you go.
If you follow these steps to create an action plan to launch your own freelance writing business, I can guarantee you success.
Have questions? Comment below and let’s talk.
Chhavi Agarwal is a freelance marketing writer and a blogger at Mrs. Daaku Studio. On the blog, she along with her husband (Daaku), talk about how to work from home and work from home options that can replace your 9-5 income easily. You can take her free course on growing your income as a freelance writer.