My freelance career was off to a dismal start. It was nothing but low-paying gigs, flaky clients, and race-to-the-bottom bidding on content mill sites. Then I discovered an unusual business writing niche that changed everything.
Two small business start-up clients asked me to write content designed to attract investors to help fund their business ideas.
But these entrepreneurs weren’t looking for angel investors with millions of dollars. They were going to get funding in a different way. And they needed someone who could blend copywriting and business writing to ramp up.
It didn’t take long to discover that I liked this unusual business writing niche. Write copy to promote a business idea, help entrepreneurs, and see an idea turn into a physical product or service.
And the pay? It’s been two years since I discovered this unusual business writing niche. It took a little work to understand it, but now I regularly earn $500 per hour.
Curious? I’ve carved out a niche writing crowdfunding campaigns. And so can you. Here’s what you need to know.
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Are you looking to find some great-paying blogging clients? Join the club! Business blogging is one of the best entry-level types of writing to get you started as a freelancer. When I got back into freelancing in late 2005, paid blog writing caught my eye right away.
As someone coming off 12 years as a staff-writing journalist, I was fascinated by the breezy, casual, short blog-post format. So I dove in.
Soon I was earning quite a lot blogging for clients. I documented what I was doing, and the post How I Make $5,000 a Month as a Paid Blogger became one of the all-time most popular posts here at Make a Living Writing.
Recently, I got to wondering what I’d do if I wanted that level of monthly income from blog writing clients now.
My approach would be completely different, because the world of blogging has changed so much. Also, the way I did it a decade ago was a recipe for burnout. I had to churn out nearly 60 blog posts per month to make that money! That’s not sustainable.
Here are the strategies I recommend now, for becoming a well-paid freelance blogger:
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Are you a writer in search of an article idea? These days, the big-earning article writers have loads of ideas for editors.
But if you’re someone who really finds idea generation tough, there’s another way to earn well. You can do it by getting more mileage out of your short stack of ideas.
Get out of the habit of coming up with one article idea, landing an assignment, and then moving on.
Instead, think in terms of spinning that one little idea straw into a big pile of gold.
How? Here are ten different ways:
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If I had a copywriting tips guide to follow when I landed my first job, it would have saved me a lot of suffering.
Mum, dad… please look away now.
I’m afraid that my expensive university education and a degree in English didn’t prepare me to write words that sell.
When I finished school in 2001, I was lucky enough to land a copywriting job at a huge media company. And to be perfectly honest, I thought I’d find the job pretty straightforward.
But it wasn’t. Making the transition from writing academic papers to crafting commercial copy was really hard.
The truth: I used to be quite a horrible copywriter. And I don’t mind admitting it now.
I had to learn to write differently. I studied pro writers, copywriting tips, and the best ad copy. I tested and evaluated copywriting strategies to see what worked and what didn’t. I learned how to write words that sell.
Now, I’m keen on helping others make a living writing. These three copywriting tips will help you create better content:
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When I got a random phone call from a prospect about a proposal writing gig, I was curious.
“I need help writing an RFP [request for proposal] for a multi-year, multi-million dollar cyber security contract for a government agency,” the person said. “The deadline is in 30 days. Can you help me?”
You can make a lot of money doing this kind of work, right? That’s what I thought. But I had my doubts.
Months before this unexpected phone call, I did a lot of leg work to try and land proposal writing gigs and government contract work. And nothing happened.
I navigated clunky government websites and studied the jargon. I registered my writing business on sites like the System for Award Management and FedBizOpps where you can find contracts. I tried to land big contracts, then smaller ones without success.
It seemed like a lost cause. And then this prospect found me on one of those government sites for contractors.
I bid $12,000 for the work, and the client accepted. Here’s what the proposal writing process looked like:
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Do you ever wonder where the better-paying freelance writing gigs are hiding? It can be hard to believe a good income is even possible, especially if you’re trapped in low-pay assignments that don’t even earn you the minimum wage.
The good news is, there are plenty of niches that pay better than writing, say, a 300-word blog post or a 50-word online product description — to name just two classic bottom-of-the-barrel niches where pay is often miniscule.
The problem is, many writers aren’t aware of all the different types of freelance writing gigs that offer better pay.
Below is a list of writing niches that I can report writers are seeing strong rates for. I’ve noted rate ranges as I’m aware of them, from talking to thousands of writers through Freelance Writers Den and my coaching. I’ve also included tips on industries and approaches for connecting with these clients.
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