NOTE: Feel like you’re stuck with low-paying clients that will never pay higher freelance writing rates? This post is for you. Enjoy! —Carol.
Want to make money from home as a freelance writer? I’ve got a question for you today, writers. How do you feel about your freelance writing rates and your book of clients?
I ask because today’s topic is just that — the feelings we have for our clients. Because business isn’t all dollars and cents. It’s also relationships. Our clients are people, too.
Some of the feelings we have for them are appropriate and useful feelings, such as enjoying a client’s easygoing personality or the feeling of satisfaction that comes from successfully completing a complex writing assignment.
But some feelings freelance writers have are sadly misplaced, and really hurt your ability to earn higher freelance writing rates. Check out what a couple of writers said to me recently, and I think you’ll start to see why I’ve put that big-eyed dog up as the photo for this post:
Has your writing income dwindled in recent years? If so, it’s a good bet you’ve been earning much of your money through article writing.
You may have noticed many local newspapers and magazines are shrinking their article wordcounts–and their pay. I meet a lot of sad former staff journalists who’re worried about how they’ll earn in the future.
That’s not an irrational fear, either. A recent study I did of about 250 established freelance writers showed 70 percent of them were article writers. And that article writing was one of their best-paid gigs.
What did that pencil out to, in dollars, this great article-writing pay? Nearly half said they earn under $20,000 a year from writing. Another 20 percent earned $20,000-$30,000. In all, most of these article writers weren’t earning much.
Gah! This makes me hopping mad.
That’s because article writing can be seriously lucrative — it’s the bulk of the work I’ve done as a freelance writer, including years where I earned six figures. But you have to know where to look for better pay.
Ever had a client who was a total nightmare? If you do even a handful of freelance writing jobs, it’s bound to happen.
They don’t know what they want. Their deadline is yesterday. You’re getting gang-edited by a team of five.
Since I’ve been at this a long time, I’ve pretty much had every flavor.
But what’s your worst story? I’ve decided to collect them all here on the blog comments (yes, they’re open again for this post!), so other writers can learn the red flags to watch out for.
What’s in it for you? You could win a free year in my freelance writer community, among other goodies.
How do you win? Here are the rules:
Keep your essay to 100 words or less
Describe your worst client experience
Post in the comments below, or on Facebook or LinkedIn (look for the post graphic from this post on both social-media platforms and comment on that thread). Rules and prizes…
It’s been said that great writing isn’t about the writing — the magic is in the rewriting. None of us write a perfect first draft, so the buffing-and-polishing stage is where your piece goes from ‘yawn’ to fascinating. Over my 12 years as a staff writer, I learned some basic editing steps to take with my writing that reliably improve my work. Applying these to my articles over and over is really how I built my writing skills.
When you correct a writing error over and over in the rewrite phase, you get tired of having to make that effort, right? So you start incorporating the fix into your first draft. Soon, your work needs less rewriting. You get faster at knocking out your draft — and your hourly rate goes up.
Recently, one of my mastermind graduates asked to use her coaching time for a writing critique. Going over her draft with her reminded me of how many simple rewrite tricks I’ve picked up over the years.
It’s actually easy to spot and fix common writing errors in your own work, once you know how.
So, here’s a guide to seven ways to improve your writing with second-draft fixes:
Freelance marketing might feel like a chore. But it’s kind of important. If you don’t do it, you don’t eat. The good news, you can learn to love freelance marketing like I did. Enjoy!–Carol
When I first got back into freelancing after years of being a staff writer, I didn’t have to do much freelance marketing.
I called many sources at companies I’d covered at writing for a local business journal, let them know I was freelancing, and it kind of rolled from there.
I called a couple local magazines, pitched them, and got assignments. I answered an ad and found myself writing Web content for a $1 billion corporation.
Looking back, it was a golden time. My career ran easy, like water flowing downhill.
But if you’ve ever sat back and done little to no freelance marketing, you know it’s not a sustainable way to stay fully booked.
It’s a lesson I had to learn the hard way. And I don’t want you to end up in the same situation. Here’s how I learned to love freelance marketing to move up and earn more:
Are you tired of working teeny, one-off writing jobs for small publications and one-horse businesses? To get the best freelance clients, you’ll have to stop wasting time on the small fry and target a whole different category of prospect.
These terrific clients aren’t in one particular industry, but spread through every type of business and organization. These are clients where the amount you earn from them tends to grow effortlessly over time. Unlike most of the solopreneur types, who tend to sputter out and go bust. Right?
The best freelance clients all have a single trait in common. Target only organizations that have this trait, and it will help you find ongoing work at great rates.
Let me introduce you to one of the best client types out there, no matter what type of freelance writing you do.