money making

How To Make A Consistent Income From Freelance Writing

How to make a consistent income from freelance writing

One thing that I’m sure puts many off freelance work is the thought of not making a consistent income month to month. I used to be one of those people!

Two years ago, I was unemployed, my confidence was at all time low, and I was struggling with depression and anxiety. I had two choices; I had the opportunity to undertake work experience in a local retail store (which was unpaid) or I could follow my ambitions and take a leap of faith into becoming a freelance writer.

Luckily, I chose the latter!

Yes, it was a jump into the unknown, but it really wasn’t as scary as I first imagined.

It doesn’t have to be scary for you either!

Maintaining a consistent income each month via freelance writing is totally doable. In two years, I’ve built up a freelance writing business that makes a steady income and I get to work with incredible clients from around the world, doing a job that I’m proud of!

If this sounds like something you’ve been dreaming of, you might like to know how I continually build my business.

Become a pro pitcher!

Pitching is the ultimate task you need to be doing daily to attract freelance clients (unless you’re already attracting clients via your website, in which case you’re already fucking awesome!).

Unless I’m fully booked out, I spend around an hour in the morning checking job boards to find projects to apply for. I save the ones I’m interested in to the bookmarks on my web browser and then I’ll go back and send a pitch for those jobs.

Pitching doesn’t need to be a complicated process, in fact, if you’re following a warm lead, its pretty easy.

The perfect pitch

  • Keep your pitch concise and direct. No-one wants to hear the details of your ten year work history. Personalise your pitch and tailor it to the company you’re applying for.
  • Use your best samples of work in your pitch. Ideally, the examples you include should be related to the genre of work the project requires.
  • Demonstrate your skills. For instance, show confidence that you can write for an online audience, that you can create engaging content etc.
  • Offer to go the extra mile. Maybe you can offer suggestions for topics or headlines, optimise your content for search engines, research key words – impress the client by showing that you’re willing do more than the minimum asked.
  • Always read the job advert. Having hired others for projects, you’d be surprised at how many people dont read the job advert correctly. Read an ad thoroughly to check for the application procedure and any information you may need to supply.

Don’t sell yourself short

In other words, don’t undervalue your work. No good writer should be working for $1 per article.

When you’re starting out, it’s easy to set your pricing low to attract more clients, but the truth is, you’ll be burnt out quicker than you can say freelance writer – more work + less pay = zapped!!

Setting your pricing;

There’s no guide to setting your pricing when it comes to freelance writing. There are writers charging $10 for a 500 word blog post and some who charge $100.

When you’re considering your fees, think about the following;

  • How much experience you have
  • Your skills
  • The type of writing work you can provide
  • How long it will take you to complete the project

In my experience, copywriting for e-commerce and web pages has boosted my income, rather than writing blog posts or articles. I’m sure there are clients out there who are willing to pay more for articles and there are certainly some niches which are potentially more profitable than others.

Ultimately, it comes down to value! Quoting a fee of $300 for 500 words when you have little experience is likely to put potential clients off. But, you don’t want to quote too low either.

If you’re struggling to quote for a project, always price higher.

If you quote low, no client is going to say ‘well actually, I’ll pay you more than that’.

By quoting high, you’re allowing yourself room for some negotiation.

Don’t be afraid to raise your prices

As your experience grows, raise your prices higher. It may seem like you’ll be scaring off potential clients.

Trust me, you won’t!

When I raised my prices, I actually started getting more clients, which made me realise just how little I’d been undervaluing myself.

Knowing the right time to raise your prices;

  • You get booked up quickly
  • You’ve built your experience in a specific niche
  • You’re getting amazing results from your work – testimonials, conversions, shares etc
  • Your personal website/blog is growing

How to do it;

If you have your own website, consider making an announcement that as of X date, your prices will be increasing.

Use a pricing strategy to inform your current clients of your pricing increase.

Market yourself!

I’ve mentioned before the power of self promotion and in the world of a freelance writer, marketing is something you need to be doing on a regular basis.

5 great marketing tactics;

  • Linked in
  • Social media
  • Guest posting
  • Your own blog
  • Cold pitching

Linked in, Twitter and Facebook are all great places to set up a profile and connect with businesses and other freelancers. Why not share your work on social media (Pinterest is great if you have a blog), strike up conversations with potential clients, promote your services and establish relationships with other writers.

Guest posting is an amazing marketing strategy. You could guest post on bloggers websites or you could guest post on sites that pay for your work – grab the free download below for a comprehensive list of sites that pay!

If you have your own site, make sure you have a services page that lists your experience, skills and what you offer, as well as a call to action.

Cold pitching can be highly effective in promoting your services and winning clients.

A cold pitch is essentially the same as a warm lead, except that the person you’re emailing hasn’t asked for freelancers.

How to cold pitch;

  • Research companies in your specific niche or genres
  • Find the best person to contact – this may be the owner or someone in a high authority position. If you cant find this, tweet the company and ask for a contact email
  • Personalise your pitch
  • State what the company is lacking (for instance, they might not have a blog)
  • State how you can help them – how is the client going to benefit from your services (perhaps you can increase product conversion rates)
  • Show examples of your work and results
  • State where the potential client can find you – your website, social media links etc.

Get organised

A chaotic workspace is going to lead to an unproductive routine. Trust me, I’ve been there!

Organise your working space, so you have an area to work where you can be motivated and produce your best work.

You might also need a few tools to help you get shit done!

A few things that help my writing routine/business;

  • Notebooks/notepads for keeping track of projects and finances – these are awesome!
  • Asana for online notes
  • Grammarly for checking spelling, grammar etc
  • Google Docs for sharing work with clients
  • Quickbooks for invoicing

Use your website to make a consistent income

If you’re not a blogger, it’s a good idea to set up your own freelance writing website – you can use this as your portfolio and to sell your services.

Your website should highlight your experience, skills and highlight testimonials from previous clients.

One thing you need to think about!

Your copy!

The difference between a good freelance writers website and a bad one is the copy!

Good copy will help to convert potential clients into sales.

Consider;

  • Writing copy with your ideal client in mind
  • Specifying what your chosen niche or genres are
  • Using personality to present your brand
  • Showing enthusiasm – boring copy will lead to a snooze rather than a sale!
  • Demonstrating how your services can benefit your client
  • Letting clients know where they can find you – your social media links etc.

What steps do you take to making a consistent income from freelancing? Do you supplement your work from other income? Let me know!

Make Money Blogging – The Ultimate Guide!

How to make money blogging

It’s easy to assume that to make money blogging, you need to be a blog superstar! Not true! In fact, you don’t even need a large audience to make money from your blog. Yes, it’s much easier to make money with lots of blog traffic, however, if you’re fairly new to the scene, there are still ways of making profit from your blog.

Pssst. If you haven’t yet started blogging, check out my post on how to create a WordPress blog.

You absolutely don’t need to be blogging full time to start making a profit. You may love blogging because it’s your passion, but it’s also a great way to supplement your current income. If you’re searching for ways of how you can monetise your website, then here is the ultimate guide on how to make money blogging.

Affiliates

One of the most popular ways to make money via your blog is through affiliate links. An affiliate link is when you place a link on your blog via a third party, such as an affiliate network or retailer. This link contains your personalised referral code, so that when someone clicks on that link and makes a purchase, you’ll receive a small percentage of the retail price.

The amount you make via affiliate links will depend on your traffic and audience. For example, you may have a luxury lifestyle blog with a small audience, however, if you’re linking to expensive products, you could make quite a large profit with only a few sales. If someone clicked your link and purchased a handbag for £2000, you may make a commission of 10% (depending on your affiliate network), which is £200.

Affiliate links are super easy to use and you can choose which products to link to and which brands to work with.

Any type of blog can use affiliate links and the best way to use them is to add them naturally within a blog post, rather than stuffing a post full of links. The best affiliate networks that I’ve personally used are Amazon Affiliates, ShopStyle, Skimlinks and LinkShare. Make sure you grab the free make money blogging resource sheet for more networks to join.

Ad networks

Ad networks, such as Google Adsense allow you to place adverts on your blog (which may be placed on your sidebar, in the footer or below the header) and you get paid for each click you receive on an ad. Google Adsense is undoubtedly the biggest ad network around. I personally made very little from Adsense on my lifestyle blog, despite gaining around 100,000 views per month at its peak. However, Adsense is ideal if you want a small passive income stream, achieving a little money from essentially doing nothing. Adsense isn’t the only network around and there are plenty of alternatives, such as Chitika and Infolinks.

Sponsored content

Sponsored blog posts, giveaways, social media posts and brand work are all high income streams. Sponsored content normally involves promoting a brand or product in exchange for money. You need to declare this content as sponsored on your blog. Sponsored content can also involve Instagram posts, sponsored tweets, paid press trips or working exclusively with a brand in some form. Generally, those with a large audience can make more money via sponsored content. However, even those with a small audience may be offered the opportunity for sponsored posts. When I’ve written paid for content, I’ve mainly been approached directly via email, although, I have found opportunities on Facebook. If you’re in the UK, I highly recommend joining the UK Bloggers Facebook group. If you’re based elsewhere, Blogger Opportunities is a good place to start.

You can also find sponsored content opportunities via Bloglovin Activate and Izea. There are also lots more sites to consider in the free blog resource list!

How much to charge for sponsored posts?

This is a tricky one as there’s no standard fee. I’ve made £50 to £70 (around $70 to $100) for a sponsored blog post, however, the amount you charge will depend on your blog views, unique users and number of subscribers.

Sponsors/selling advertising space

Selling advertising space to other bloggers or small brands was hugely popular a few years ago and it’s still a great way for those with a smaller audience to make a bit of extra cash. Creating a media kit and a page to sell your adverts on is a good way to get started. Price your adverts reasonably as it’s highly unlikely people will pay ££/$$ unless you’re getting a crazy amount of traffic. Alos, ensure that you have a PayPal account so you can get paid. I’d also recommend handling the scheduling of adverts and payment yourself, instead of paying for a third party website like passionfruit.

In your advertising packages, you may want to include a sidebar advert on your blog, links on social media, Instagram mentions or a dedicated blog post to your main advertiser.

Try to incorporate tiering into your packages. For example, you could have a bronze, silver and gold package, each with a different price, with the top package offering more incentives.

Selling your own products

Selling your own products is something that even those with a small audience can be successful in doing.

Examples of things to sell;

  • Digital products – ebooks, courses, prints, designs, logos, planners etc.
  • Physical items – stationery, jewellery, homeware etc.

Digital items are great for creating a passive income stream. With physical items, you’ll need to factor in storage, shipping materials, costs, stock checks etc.

Where you can sell your items

The great thing about selling your own products is that you can decide exactly what you want to sell and the pricing. I’d highly suggest selling items relevant to your niche, in order to maximise your sales potential and to promote your products on social media platforms.

Freelancing/selling services

Another epic way to make money blogging is by freelancing or selling a service. If you want to know how to make the transition from blogger to paid freelancer, then grab my free e-course here.

The money you can make via freelancing or selling services is unlimited. Here are a few ideas of what services you can provide;

  • Freelance writing/editing/proofreading
  • Design based services – web and branding
  • Blog coaching
  • Speaking engagements
  • Paid webinars
  • Virtual workshops

If you want to get started freelancing then try People Per Hour or Upwork to find jobs to apply for. I’ve used both of these sites and found several well paid projects, as well as long-term clients.

If you’re freelancing or selling a service, then its highly important to create a services page for your blog. Your services should be on a separate page, linked to your navigation. Your page should include;

  • What services you are offering
  • Who your services are tailored for
  • Your prices
  • Testimonials from previous clients
  • Your contact information

Finally, how you should make money blogging…

If you want to build a blog to make a regular income stream, then it’s essential to maintain quality content, and not just rely on your links being clicked or your products selling. You still need to put effort and hard work into your blog for results to show. Remember, hustle isn’t a dirty word!

A few things to consider;

  • Create high value content on your blog
  • Build an email list – this is great for promoting products and services
  • Consider using more than one income stream
  • Cater towards your niche
  • Use the shit out of social media – Pinterest and Twitter are my favourite platforms
  • Up your image game – you don’t need to be a great photographer as using stock photos and an editing platform like Canva can really work. Good images are better for more shares on social media

 

Want to know which sites to use to make money from your blog? Get the make money blogging resource list for a complete overview of sites you can use to make a profit!

 

5 Real Ways To Earn Money Online

5 real ways to earn money online

Many people want to earn money online. Making money online is becoming more and more the norm these days. There are so many ways to make a bit of extra cash – some are well known (for example, eBay and Gumtree) and others less so. This post is focusing on those sites in which you don’t need to sell anything or pay anything upfront.

Personally, I’m not a fan of schemes in which you have to pay something upfront. I know some people do gain success via those methods, such as direct selling and props to you if it works for you. However, I’m just going to be looking at sites that are free to sign up to or join.

Ways to earn money

1. Completing surveys

Surveys are a great way to make a bit of extra money. OK, you’re not going to become rich overnight or at all with this method but a little bit each month adds up. I’ve done a few surveys in the past, though I don’t do as many these days as I just don’t have time. A few that I would recommend are:

* Pinecone – possibly the best survey site as you earn £3 per survey. On the flip side, its very difficult to get become a member and you dont seem to get many surveys (at least from my personal experience). Try this link to sign up.

*Global Test Market – I’ve only recently signed up to this site but I’ve read quite a few good reviews on it. You can sign up here.

*Opinion Outpost – Get paid cash for completing surveys with a low minimum cash out. You can sign up here.

*Onepoll – you need to earn £40 before you can cash out but it soon adds up. You can find out more here.

2. Freelancing sites

If you’re good at writing, admin, web design, selling then consider selling your services via a freelancing site. The mains ones I use are:

*Odesk

*People per hour

*Elance

*Freelancer

I’ll be writing a post on these soon with lots more information about how you can get started!

3. Web evaluation

You can check out my post here on the best companies for applying to be a web evaluator. Though the job is quite difficult, its decent pay and part time hours.

4. Utest

Get paid to test websites and earn £££. Utest is a crowdsourcing platform and you need to be approved before you can start earning money. I’m yet to sign up, so I’ll let you all know how I get on.

5. What users do

What users do is where you review websites for cash. You need an up to date browser and a microphone in order to do the work. You also need a paypal account to be paid. It’s around £8 per website review depending on the task. You can sign up here.