If you want to carve out an income in the six-figure freelancing club, it might seem like a long shot based on where you’re at right now.
Maybe your $20-per-blog-post client feels like a soul-sucking, dead-end gig. Maybe every query, pitch and LOI you send seems to fall on deaf ears.
Or maybe you’re doing all the right things. But that six-figure freelancing goal still seems impossible. It’s not.
Freelance success takes more than hard work and dedication. It also requires something too many writers overlook—a well-planned strategy for moving up.
Five years ago, rookie freelancer Nicole Dieker swam with the bottom feeders, churning out content mill pieces for a few pennies a word.
Now she’s a rockstar columnist, blogger, copywriter, and novelist. And she’s fast approaching six-figure freelancing status.
Want to know how she did it? Check out her proven methods for increasing your income, moving up and earning more.
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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:
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Are your kids driving you crazy? If you don’t have a productivity plan as a stay-at-home freelancer, getting work done can be hard.
It’s something I know a lot about.
I’m a stay-at-home mom. I have eight kids. I home-school. And I have a thriving freelance writing business.
It’s kind of crazy. And I struggled to figure out how to make it work.
When you’re trying to land client work or complete an assignment, with kids begging for your attention, you might think the last thing you want to spend time on is a productivity plan.
But you actually need that in place first.
Why? Let’s just say kids make the work-at-home experience more interesting.
I get more work done now in less time than I used to. And then there’s the added benefit of maintaining my sanity with such a busy household.
Want to know how I do it? Here’s my productivity plan for freelance writers with kids:
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Want to get paid to write personal essays?
It’s the romantic version of being a freelance writer.
Take a vacation, and write about your adventures. Survive your toddler’s terrible-twos and share your advice. Dabble in online dating and tell others the good, the bad, and the ugly about your experience.
Sounds pretty good, right?
If you have a unique perspective, experience, thoughts, or advice from your side of the fence, you can get paid to write personal essays…in just about any niche.
But you need to know where to look to find these gigs, and how to pitch an editor when you do. Note: There are still plenty of opportunities to write personal essays, but not all are well-paying assignments.
Have something to say? Check out these 16 markets for places to get paid to write personal essays:
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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. Then 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:
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If you think you’ve mastered all the grammar rules you need to know in English class to be a freelance writer, I’ve got news for you.
Rules were meant to be broken.
Not all the grammar rules you learned in school will help you catch an editor’s attention, write smart marketing copy, or move up and earn more as a freelancer.
And that was hard for me to accept.
I’ve been an English teacher for more than a decade. But to land freelance writing assignments, I had to ignore some of the very grammar rules I taught in school.
Wondering how to improve your writing and send Boring and Stuffy to detention?
I really started to take notice when I was grading formal research papers and thinking about a blog assignment for a client at the same time.
Two totally different worlds.
I’m sure your English teacher was a nice person. But there are some grammar rules you should break as a freelance writer:
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