Note: If you’ve been looking for freelance writing jobs on content-mill sites and job boards, you’re probably frustrated. Most pay bottom feeder rates. It’s something I’ve been hearing from writers for a long time. But great freelance writing jobs are out there, you just need to know how to find them. Check out this post from the past to learn how. —Carol.
Do you feel like it’s a pipe dream to find freelance writing jobs that pay pro rates?
I hear a lot of comments like this from writers who are about ready to give up on their writing dreams.
They write me to say:
“It just seems like there aren’t any good-paying clients out there.”
Have to say, I disagree. But whether you think freelance writing is a land of unlimited opportunity or a field no one can earn a living at seems to depend on your personal experience.
If you want to start landing well-paying freelance writing jobs, you probably need to do two things. Here’s what you need to know:
Are you stuck trying to figure out how to attract customers to build your freelance writing career?
If you’re taking any old gig, it’s hard to get any real traction. You have to constantly market yourself, and never acquire expertise that helps you raise your rates and grow your income.
The solution: Learn how to attract customers who give you clips that will impress the best clients in your chosen industry niches, like I teach my Den 2X students.
Sit down right now and make a list of your 10-20 top prospects. What great-paying markets would you write for? Think big! For me, this list includes Vanity Fair, Costco, and American Express (wrote for the latter two in the past, but would love to get back in!).
Once you have that list, you need to figure out who you could write for now. Do it right, and those great clients will be contacting you. Wouldn’t that be sweet?
It’s one of many strategies I teach in my Freelance Writers Den 2X Income Accelerator mastermind program to help students identify who to pitch now to land dream clients, often in 6 months or less.
Here are 15 different approaches I’ve never shared outside of Den 2X before, to help you build the portfolio your ideal clients will love:
Years ago, when I was finding it hard to get out of bed, much less write, I started making a daily gratitude list. To celebrate Thanksgiving, I’d like to collaborate with you today and make a writer’s ultimate gratitude list. You game?
If you haven’t done this before, writing a gratitude list is a great way to start the day, or to end it. Our human brains are programmed to focus on the negative. We needed to remember where the saber-toothed tigers were, so we’d avoid that valley.
In our modern lives full of negative news headlines and fears for the future, dwelling on the bad stuff can really sap your writing creativity. Focusing on the positive is a powerful tool to remind us of the simple joys of being alive.
Ready to join in?
Maybe it’s your first client meeting ever, and you’re petrified that you don’t know what to say. And you’ll come across like a dummy.
Or maybe you’ve taken scores of client meetings as a freelance writer — but you keep shooting blanks, and walking away without an assignment.
If you’re an experienced freelance writer, perhaps you’ve left too many first client meetings with the sneaky feeling that you’ve just been milked for an hour of free consulting. You could have charged hundreds for the advice, but you just gave it away, in hopes of impressing your prospect — and still didn’t get the gig.
If you’re any of these writers, I’ve got a piece of advice that’s going to save you time and help you land more clients.
You see, there’s a balance you need to strike in first client meetings between impressing the prospect that you’re smart, and being too helpful. So helpful that they get all the info they need in the meeting, and don’t have to hire you.
How can you impress clients fast, without giving away all your secrets? Here’s my approach:
If you’re feeling stuck, thinking, “Maybe I’ll screw this up and ruin my writing career,” read this post from a couple of years ago. Face your fears, learn from your mistakes, and keep going. –Carol
When I asked readers recently what’s holding you back from breaking in and earning big as a freelance writer, I got many different answers. But one I heard a lot:
Melissa: “I am terrified. Of succeeding, of failing, of just simply doing!”
Kifayat: “Fear of getting things wrong and also selling myself short.”
Cindy: “I fear looking like a fool.”
DeAnn: “I just don’t want to start out on the wrong foot and jeopardize my career before it really gets going.”
Jane: “The idea of succeeding (or even testing myself) too quickly just scares the living hell out of me. Without faithful cheerleaders freelancing success is just too scary (because the bigger success the bigger the failure that might follow).”
To sum up: Many of you are afraid of doing something so awful that it will ruin your freelance writing career.
So today, we will confront these fears. I’m going to tell you something shattering:
There’s a basic freelancing question that mystifies many writers: “How do I get paid, exactly?”
When you’re used to an employer handing you a paycheck every week or two, it can be intimidating to realize that as a freelancer, you’ll only get paid if you figure out a method — and make it happen.
That’s probably why many writers gravitate to content mills and mass platforms that act as intermediary. Then, you know your payment will come from the platform.
Of course, once you see how tiny that payment is after the platform takes its cut, you’ll likely be looking to cut out the middleman.
Fortunately, there are several reliable ways to get paid directly by your freelance clients.
First, I’ll go over payment methods — and then, I’ve got a few quick tips on how to structure your contract to ensure you don’t get stiffed.