Posts Tagged ‘earn more from writing’

How to Land International Freelance Clients for 2015 — Now

Posted in Blog on July 23rd, 2014 by Carol Tice – 24 Comments

Young successful woman looking at worldmap with profile photos oBy Amy Dunn Moscoso

Are you losing out on local freelance clients because they don’t have the budget for freelancers or because other writers work for less?

You don’t have to limit yourself to local clients. Start thinking globally.

You can build a rocking list of international freelance clients — and secure work for 2015 — with a few simple steps.

Generate leads with global trade shows

Want to break into a new industry? Beef up your client roster? Targeting global trade shows can help you land awesome clients.

My past experience as an agency trade show publicist taught me that companies have:

  • robust trade show marketing budgets
  • urgent need for written marketing materials and press kits
  • time-starved employees who can’t write and work

Recently, I generated red hot leads by pitching global trade shows. I found a Siemens site listing energy tradeshows, selected three and pitched blog articles, brochures, LinkedIn profiles, and media kits to:

  • show managers (the person who knows everyone)
  • sponsors (with juicy budgets)
  • exhibitors (who want to get the best return on their investment)

How I’m getting gigs for 2015: Tradeshows often run a fall and spring version. I offered to handle both. Two leads have emailed their fall and spring requirements, and one even asked if I’m able to write up an industry awards submission in February.

Act as a Local Contact

Does your city, region, or country dominate an industry?

Here’s your chance to activate your PR knowledge. Pitch yourself to international companies attending events, meetings, or conferences as a local contact who writes appropriate:

  • press kits
  • social media campaigns
  • marketing materials

I recently landed a CEO speaker package with a CEO in France, who is presenting in Toronto. I also provided cultural dos and don’ts and Canadian references to help him connect with the audience.

How I’m driving work for 2015: I pitched myself as a Canadian Special Projects Writer. This company has work for year end in March and needs to communicate “in Canadian.”

Position Yourself as a Cultural Consultant

Are overseas companies setting up offices in your town? Here’s your chance to grab work before the local competition descends. Send an LOI that pitches:

  • city guides
  • a package on business etiquette
  • a family resources kit

I’ve landed this kind of work through an agency. During the research, I interviewed local business and government experts which resulting in landing these contacts as clients.

Lining up work for 2015: My family is moving to China, so I’m researching how to settle small children and import Ziggy, our mini-poodle, sans quarantine. I pitched an ongoing ex-pat life blog to five Fortune 500 companies in my new city that recruit North Americans. So far, I have one hot lead.

Secure your 2015 Income

Put an end to the freelancer feast-and-famine cycle and fill in your fall and spring schedule by going global. You may find that once you’ve added international clients to your portfolio, local contacts start banging down your door, too.

How do you target far-flung companies? Share your top tips in the comments below.

Amy Dunn Moscoso is a Canadian B2B writer who works with IT, SaaS, and small business-focused companies, publications, and entrepreneurs around the world. Drop by her blog to talk content marketing.

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140 Websites That Pay Writers in 2014

Posted in Blog on July 20th, 2014 by Carol Tice – 25 Comments

Online markets that pay freelance writersBy Jennifer Roland

Way back in 2010, Carol decided to bust a move here on the blog.

As an advocate for writers seeking out good-paying work rather than writing for “exposure” or pennies, she decided it was time to start paying the writers who guest posted here.

Then, something really cool happened. Other bloggers started paying their guest posters, too. Some were inspired directly by Carol, and some blog owners just decided on their own that great content was worth paying for. So Carol gathered a list of those blogs as a resource for her readers.

But things on the Internet change fast. Fourteen months later, it’s time to post an updated list.

Our 2014 list of blogs that pay

Here is Carol’s fresh, new list of websites that pay at least $50 for guest posts. They’re listed alphabetically:

  1. Be a Freelance Blogger — Sophie Lizard hosts a contest six times a year for one guest blogger to win $100 for their post. The contest is judged on outlines, so you don’t have to write the post on spec.
  2. HouseLogic — This site operated by the National Association of Realtors pays $1 a word — Carol had an opportunity to interview their editor for an article for The 2013 Writer’s Market. If you’ve got a good twist on a shelter story and strong reporting skills, this could be a great place for you.
  3. Make a Living Writing — Carol pays $50 a post. Due to overwhelming response, though, she now only takes guest posts from students or grads of Freelance Writers Den or Jon Morrow’s Guest Blogging course.
  4. Patch  — AOL’s Patch.com, as of this writing, often pays $50 and up for short blog post–like articles. Patch closed many of its hyperlocal news sites at the end of 2013, so do a little research to see if there’s still a Patch near you.
  5. Read.Learn.Write. — Paying $50 a post after seeing Carol’s Problogger post about paid guesting in Feb. 2012. (We just got word that Read. Learn. Write. is not accepting guest posts.)
  6. David Worrell’s blog, Rock Solid Finance was the first niche blogger to jump on the bandwagon and start paying $50 for guests posts back in late 2010.
  7. SlickWP — Are you a WordPress pro? Then this might be a great place for you to write. They pay $50 per post plus a link back to your site.
  8. Social Alexis — This is actually a group of sites, including The Penny Hoarder and Brazen Careerist. Some of the sites pay $50+ or a link, so make sure you’re pitching a paid post and that the editor agrees on the fee BEFORE you submit your final work.
  9. Strong Whispers — This multi-topic site is paying $50 a post.
  10. Tuts+ — Tuts+ is owned by Envato, which used to run Freelance Switch. Carol guest blogged for Freelance Switch for quite a while. They pay around $75 for shorter posts, and can pay $150 or so for longer ones.
  11. The Work Online Blog — This site is all about how to run an online business, serve clients, and other topics related to the gig economy. They also pay $50.
  12. Your Online Biz — Darnell Jackson is paying $100 a post, so this is another great market to look at if you’re a pro at building your business online.

Not enough for you?

Other bloggers in Carol’s network have created lists of paying blogs — between this list and the ones linked below, that’s 140 potential guest post markets for you.

Even more paying markets

Two are by Bamidele Onibalusi of Writers in Charge, and one is by the above-mentioned Sophie Lizard of Be a Freelance Blogger. One is part of a larger market listing on Jennifer Mattern’s site, All Indie Writers. The final one is from the freelance-training site Matador — it’s a little older, but it lists a wide range of online sites and blogs that pay at least a bit.

Here are the links to grab those lists:

I compared these lists to make sure I didn’t overstate how many blogs out there are paying. And even when you ignore the duplicates, there are still 140 unique paying websites and blogs here.

Not too shabby. Hope these resources help you find more paying online markets!

Have you gotten paid to guest post? Tell us about your guest-blogging experience in the comments below.

Jennifer Roland is a freelance writer, and the guest-blog editor here at Make a Living Writing. She focuses on edtech, lifestyle topics, marketing and public relations, and content creation. Her latest book, 10 Takes on Writing, will be out in late 2014.

Why Freelance Writers Earn More by Tracking 2 Key Things

Posted in Blog on May 14th, 2014 by Carol Tice – 40 Comments

Business ChartsBy Nicole Dieker

What’s the last thing you do before you end your freelance writing work week?

If you’re like most of us, you’re probably eager to get up from your laptop and do something else — anything else! — for a change.

Instead, it’s worthwhile to do a tiny bit of math before you go.

So stay where you are and tally up two numbers:

  • Money earned this week

  • Pieces written this week

For money earned, calculate everything you were able to bill this week. Don’t worry about whether the client has paid you yet — that’s not important for this calculation. If you completed a $50 blog post, add $50 to your tally even if you won’t get paid until next month.

Adding up pieces written is pretty straightforward. Count each individual assignment as a “piece,” whether it’s a 1,500-word long-form essay or a 200-word content mill article.

Got it? Now we’re going to use those two numbers to grow your writing income.

Track the trends

My goal as a freelance writer is to do two things, every week:

  • Bring the amount of money I earn UP
  • Bring the number of pieces I write DOWN

It should be pretty obvious why I want to increase my income. But why do I want to decrease the number of pieces I write?

Not because I want to do less work, but because I want to do better work.

When I write fewer, better-paying pieces, I get to spend more time on those pieces. I’m also more likely to be working with clients and editors who value my worth.

About a year ago, I was earning $500–$750 a week for anywhere between 25 and 50 individual pieces. I was literally writing 5,000 words per day.

This April, I was able to bill nearly $1,000 for 19 pieces, or about 3,000 words per day. Every week my income fluctuates slightly (my most recent billing as of this writing was $877), but I have been able to show a significant upward trend.

Use the stats to grow your income

Once you start tracking income versus pieces, you’ll notice a few things.

First, you’ll notice just how hard you work for those dang content mills, and how much easier it is when you have higher-value clients.

Second, you’ll be able to pick out which clients are the true keepers, and which ones you want to use as stepping-stones for better opportunities.

These numbers will also give you the most important metric re: growing your writing income: they’ll tell you when it’s time to hustle.

Here’s the secret: the time to hustle for clients isn’t the week when you’re writing 50 content mill pieces for $500. By then, you’re in crisis mode, and you just need to get the job done.

The time to hustle for bigger and better clients is when you’re earning $1,000 for 19 pieces.

Or, if you prefer, the very first week your income starts to drop from its highest point. If you try to bring in one new client or job every time your income dips — even just a little — you’ll set yourself up for continued, sustainable income growth.

How do I hustle for new work? I check the writing job boards for good-paying gigs. I send out pitches to online publications with which I have established relationships. I send out cold pitches to new publications that I know pay well. I also remind my social media followers and my network about my Hire Me page — you’d be surprised at how well that tactic works!

By the end of summer, I hope to only be writing 12-15 pieces per week while billing around $1,000. We’ll see if I can use my own advice to make it happen.

What numbers help you grow your freelance writing income? Tell us in the comments below.

Nicole Dieker is a freelance copywriter and essayist. She writes regularly for The Billfold on the intersection of freelance writing and personal finance. You can hire her, follow her weekly income tracking, or read her published essays at her Tumblr.

How One Freelance Writer Got $3,000 From a Simple Request

Posted in Blog on April 23rd, 2014 by Editor – 33 Comments

Freelance writer makes a simple requestBy Angie Mansfield

I was a frustrated freelance writer.

Late last year, I was finally starting to gain traction in my freelance writing business, but I still wasn’t as busy as I wanted to be. I was doing okay. But I wanted to take that next step to being able to tell my lowest-paying clients, “Sorry, I’m fully booked right now.”

As it was, I felt like I had to take their cheap gigs in order to fill in the gaps. I needed to replace them with higher-paying gigs to do more than break even every month.

The Rave Review

My chance came when I asked one of my freelance writing clients for a testimonial. I was fresh off of my initial project for her, an article and blog post based on her CEO’s book.

In her opinion, I’d knocked it out of the park, and the testimonial she wrote for me was nothing short of glowing.

Instead of just thanking her and going on my merry way, I thanked her — and then told her I had a little time in my schedule coming up. Would she mind sharing my contact information with colleagues who might need my services?

The Referral

Turns out, she wouldn’t mind. In fact, she was thrilled to send an email introducing me to one of her clients.

And what a client: A small marketing firm that has run direct mail campaigns for a few little companies you might have heard of — Lowe’s, Petco, and RiteAid, among others.

Here’s the first thing I learned about referrals: They make the process of closing a deal extremely easy.

My new client didn’t ask for clips. She didn’t ask what experience I had. She just responded to the introductory email to ask if I was available for an immediate assignment!

After getting over my initial shock at how easy that was, I took the gig — to the tune of $1,000 extra for January.

The Hidden Bonus

If the story ended there, I’d have counted it a solid success. A new, lucrative client always is.

But it didn’t end there. When I told my first client that I had some time available in my schedule, it also prompted her to send me more projects herself.

Not only do I credit her with helping me land that extra $1,000 from her referral, but she sent me another $2,000 in projects of her own.

All from one simple request in response to a positive testimonial.

The Moral of the Story

I haven’t stopped marketing. I know that, eventually, these current projects will be finished and my clients’ editorial calendars may slow. I’m continuing to send out LOIs, telling prospective clients that I’ll be available in after this current workload is finished.

But now I know that referral requests should be a part of my marketing plan, too. Which reminds me, I need to ask that new client for a testimonial … and a referral.

Angie Mansfield is a freelance blogger who’s thrilled that “Freelance Blogger” is a real title. By day, she helps businesses create blogs and marketing materials. By night, she helps fellow geeks (and freelancers) de-stress on her blog, TranquiliGeek.