The answer is yes, but unfortunately, most people will fail if they are not prepared to deal with the upward climb the freelance writing business carries. I want to help you prepare for that climb in this article by sharing my experiences in this business.
I don’t do freelance writing, but I do blogging for myself and I hired one person to write for me as a ghostwriter. Us doing business together really taught me a lot about the hardships for both the freelance writer and the person hiring that writer brings and I’m going to share that with you.
Before I do:
An important: Freelance writers rejoice! I have a training manual for you:
Since the last time I wrote this article, my knowledge on the subject of freelance writing has increased a lot. One of the BEST manuals I found to becoming a successful writer can be found here:
The hardships involved with freelance writing:
This business is not a simple one. You can’t just go on websites that hire people (scroll down to read about those sites) and expect to be hired immediately and be making money shortly after. It doesn’t work this way if you’re brand new, even if you’re a fantastic writer.
There’s so many obstacles in the way that you HAVE to know about them before you go in:
Here are the 4 most common hardships preventing people from making good money in freelance writing:
1) Saturated environment: It’s a very competitive place. But if you can land one client or just a few and impress them with your writing, you have a good chance at developing a long term relationship that pays.
2) Too many bad writers steal your employers: An inexperienced employer who seeks freelance writers is likely to buy the cheapest ones, and those cheapest ones typically offer horrendous content, which is often duplicated, copied, makes no sense and can really destroy a website.
When this happens (and it happens often), the employer becomes very frustrated and has a hard time hiring new freelance writers for fears this type of situation can happen again.
3) You have to write very well and fast. That takes talent and interest in what you’re writing.
4) Research, keywords, and actual content take a lot of time to come up with. Imagine having a few people interested in hiring you. That’s amazing, but what happens when each article you write takes several days to complete? You’re going to have to work faster and if that causes your work to lose it’s quality, you won’t have happy clients. Even the best of writers take a few hours to get work done, but those are probably the best.
5 ways to improve your chances at becoming a successful freelance writer:
- Be an expert in something specific.
- Be happy to write.
- Learn the no no ways of freelance writing (such as copying).
- Sign up with popular freelance sites and if you get a gig, let your employer see your work.
- If you’re having a hard time with getting gigs, start with places like Textbroker.com
Here is an explanation of how each option works:
1) Be an expert writer in one or just a FEW fields.
Don’t go around advertising that you can write about anything. People do that a lot and generally what they produce sucks. It’s either the quality is bad or they just copy it which is even worse.
You just can’t and expect good writing work to come out topics that you aren’t familiar with. If you know one or more topics very well and you can articulate yourself in writing, great! “All you need” to do is find a niche audience interested in hiring someone to write for them. Focus on the topics you excel at. That work will attract the quality clients.
2) Enjoy writing, or you’re going to hate this job, a lot.
It’s simple: If you like your topic, you write better and your client asks you to write about something concerning it, you’ll have a better chance at giving them something they will really like.
3) Never, ever re-use content from another source or re-copy your own.
This is going to make your job harder when you have to write different things about a similar topic, but it’s important you follow this rule or else your client may get into trouble with search engines and that is going affect your reputation with them.
4) Find the gig on a popular site, and if you get it, show your work to the employer.
If I know a writer well, their writing style and like it, I will make sure to keep hiring that person only. I believe a lot of people will too, but if they ever tell me, someone else is going to do it, I will not be happy about it. Different writers have different styles and if one person’s style is giving me results, I will not want to change that. If you client enjoys your work, make sure you are the person that continues to deliver it.
5) Start with places like Textbroker.com
Since most people will at first have issues finding a gig, a good starting place to get good reviews and build up your experience is Text Broker. It won’t make you a lot, but at least some money to begin in this business and help you become more experienced at it.
See more great tips for successfully being a freelance writer. That article will offer you more good advice.
Let’s go back to my freelance writer I spoke about:
I won’t say his name unless he allows me to, but I found him on Wealthy Affiliate. He’s a friendly gentlemen who helps members out and doesn’t even bother to directly offer his services. He just mentions that he’s a writer.
But he gets customers for 3 reasons:
1) He helps people a lot so they naturally go to him when they have questions and they also see that he writes, so they keep him in mind when they write. That’s how I approached him.
2) He knows a lot about different topics and writes very well. Thus those such as myself who go to him and see that he writes well, continue coming to him when assistance is needed. This means the same customer keeps coming back and paying again and again. This keeps the money going for him.
3) His reputation grows in time and people recommend him to other people. I do that when people ask me about a good writer and I’m sure others do as well. His popularity and client list grows.
So there is going to be a demand for his services and as long as that’s there, money will keep coming in. This is how you should do it too if you intend to be a full time freelance writer (and use those tips too).
If I were looking to do the same, I’d start with one client and just slowly build from there. I would never rush or pressure people to hiring me. There is also a good freelance writing program that teaches the key to making all this work for you, it’s called My Freelance Paycheck.
Freelance writing vs owning your own business where you write for yourself:
As I said before, I am not a freelance writer, but I am an online business owner and I believe when it comes to long term benefits, having an online business beats writing constantly for someone. But I do write a lot and rarely hire, but I am comparing both of these things because people should know that there is tremendous potential if they are good writers and have an interest in something.
If I possess a lot of knowledge on say smartphones, it is far more lucrative for me to start my own blog talking about this than having someone hire me to write about smartphones for them.
The only major con with online businesses is that it takes longer to start up. With freelance writing, you get paid faster, but potentially way less than if you had a personal blog/website.
Say I use the smartphone example, charge $30 per article, get hired to write 5 of them. I will have mad $150 and let’s say I also get the same clients asking me to write more. This has me making around $150 a month. Not bad, but:
What if I apply my knowledge, make my own blog, write my own articles and do affiliate marketing? Then in the future, one article can bring in way more than $150/month and can keep working for me, while I keep writing more for the site.
I’ve estimated that with some articles I’ve had written up, I’ve gotten several 1,000 visits (even 10,000’s) which has pulled in many different clients, several hundreds that has led to $1,000’s being made over several months. Had I not had my own website doing this and wrote for others, I would have only made a 1 time profit and that would be it.
I believe if you have some money, write well and have knowledge of even 1 topic, start a blog on it.
If you have multiple topics you know a lot about, start a blog on the one you like best and if you have little or no money, become a freelance writer and write for the other topics for people who want to have stuff written about that, then use that money to build your main business.
Freelance writing is huge and it will only get more and more big. You can build an entire business on that too if you can develop a great reputation with people and get them to hire you. If there are too many clients for you to write for, then you will be forced to hire other writers to complete the tasks, but if you do, make sure you hire writers you would trust to write for you, just as much as you would with your clients. If you can eventually get to that point, that can really be a great business itself.