When you’re first starting out as a freelancer, it can be a little surprising to discover there are actual steps and guidelines to follow to get paid for your work. Nowadays, you might expect to just jump in and start pitching projects, and perhaps you’d get lucky and land some lucrative work. But while there’s no harm in wanting to produce perfect work, you’ll soon discover how difficult this can be, especially if you want to make money writing online. Getting paid for your writing might not be as straightforward as you’d think. Here’s a quick guide to help you figure out how to get paid for your writing, including some tips on how to land your first few clients.
Find Your Niche
The first step to getting paid to write is to identify a niche. This is akin to identifying a target audience and tailoring your content to appeal to them. There are many niches to choose from when it comes to writing, and you can generally pick your favorite topic, whether it’s business, technology, or something else entirely. Remember, you’re ultimately looking for clients who are interested in your area of expertise.
In order to locate potential clients, you’ll need to find the right platforms to pitch your work to. The most popular ones are LinkedIn, Twitter, and Medium, but the choice is completely up to you. Having a digital footprint is certainly beneficial, but you don’t necessarily have to limit yourself to just those three outlets. When you’ve found your niche, begin researching and forming a clear picture of the type of content your ideal customer wants to read.
Once you’ve located a few potential customers, it’s time to take your research and turn it into a well-crafted pitch. A pitch is essentially a short document, usually no more than one or two pages, that entices the reader to want your product or service. When crafting your pitch, make sure that you’ve done your research on the company or individual who you’re pitching to. Doing your research means that you’ll know exactly what they’re interested in, and you’ll be able to pitch your idea with the perfect amount of flair. Remember: they’re reading your pitch, so make sure that you’ve considered everything – including the ending!
Creating a pitch that’s perfect is extremely difficult, and it takes a good deal of preparation. If you’re looking to create a perfect pitch, you might want to break down the process into smaller steps:
- Know your audience
- Create a clear understanding of what the customer wants
- Find the right words
- Make a compelling case for why the customer should choose you
- Close the deal
- Follow up
- Referral Bonus!
The perfect pitch is not always easy to achieve, but with some effort, you can certainly come close. When you do finally nail that elusive perfect pitch, you’ll find that it not only brings in cash, but it also garners you some extremely valuable clients.
WORD OF MOUTH
Now that you’ve got some experience under your belt, it’s time to spread the word about your services. Word of mouth is still the best way to get potential clients to notice you, and it’s a strategy that hasn’t changed over the years. If you’re looking to gain some credibility as a freelancer, begin researching the best ways to make your name known. You might want to look into doing some social media marketing, referring other freelancers to potential customers, or creating and curating content for other websites. However, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. In order to keep growing, you’ll need to keep learning and expanding your horizons. Above all else, remember to be authentic.
If you want to get paid for your writing, it might be a good idea to pick up a copy of Creative Commons’ Make Money Online series. The guide teaches you the ins and outs of making money online, from becoming a freelancer to making a passive income stream to supplementing your income. Additionally, you’ll discover the various ways you can make money online, from selling your photos to making online tutoring sessions to promoting products to blogging. No matter what stage you’re at in your writing career, this guide promises to help you find a way to make money online.
TAILOR YOUR PRODUCT
As your business grows, you’ll discover that not all of your work will be suitable for everybody. This is where your tailoring of your product comes in. Rather than creating content that’s one-size-fits-all, you’ll want to find ways to tailor your content to suit your target audience’s needs. You can also use the information you’ve gathered to further refine your product or service in order to make it more appealing to your target audience.
When writing for a business, you’ll typically need to approach the subject from a business standpoint. This usually means developing a business case for your product or service, and ensuring that your readers understand what you’re talking about. When writing for a business, it’s important to develop a business case for your product or service. A good business case might include things like:
- An introduction to your product or service
- The features of your product or service
- The purpose of your product or service
- The market share of your product or service
- The pricing of your product or service
- How you intend to get customers
- The competition
- The importance of the subject matter (i.e. whether it’s finance, business, or something else entirely)
As a freelance writer, you’ll have to approach every project independently. However, even then, there are certain steps and guidelines you can follow to make sure each project is as easy and enjoyable as possible. Some of the things you might want to consider include creating a pitch for the project, editing the content, and preparing for the technical aspects of the project. While you might not want to put too much thought into every project you work on, taking the time to think through these steps will certainly make a difference.