10 Ways to Make More Money as a Freelance Writer

Peter Bowerman and 9 other top authors share tips to help grow a freelance writing business

www.inkthinkerblog.com — Successful writers share one common trait: They market themselves using very easy-to-implement tactics. Yet even as demand for writers is skyrocketing, many freelancers would rather spend their time walking the dog or washing the dishes.

“What we’ve got here is a major disconnect. Never before in the history of words has the demand for freelance writers been so high. Yet I constantly hear from copywriters, journalists, technical writers and copyeditors that ‘marketing’ is a four-letter word,” says Michael A. Stelzner, one of America’s top-paid freelance writers.

There’s plenty of work for the taking. According to a recent Junta42 study, 6 in 10 businesses are spending more for content production. The need for case studies, ebooks, newsletters, articles, websites, white papers and press releases is growing at an unprecedented rate.

For the writer who applies a few simple techniques, work is plentiful and money is good.

To land more work from higher-paying clients, Stelzner and 9 other top-billing freelancers suggest the following easy-to-employ tactics.

How 10 of America’s Top Writers Keep the Money Flowing In

#1: Stop Billing by the Hour: “Pricing projects by a fixed fee, not by the hour, increases your chances of landing the job. Don’t say, ‘My fee to write your e-newsletter is $75 per hour.’ Say, ‘My fee to write your e-newsletter is $800.” — Steve Slaunwhite, author of Start & Run a Copywriting Business.

#2: Write About Your Target Industry: “Identify some of the biggest names in your target industry. Interview a few of them, create a great article and shop it to a few major online or offline publications. The free press will help you gain exposure and be read by an audience of prospective clients. Plus, the experts will be happy to help you again in the future.” — Michael A. Stelzner, author of Writing White Papers.

#3: Stay Top of Mind by Keeping in Touch With Clients: “It doesn’t matter how good a job you did for a client before. When even a little time has passed, if you’re out of sight, you’re out of mind. Pick a way to stay in touch-by phone, personal email, newsletters or social media. Doing so may even remind clients they need to get started on a project — and they’ll call you.” — Casey Hibbard, author of Stories That Sell.

#4: Leverage Social Media Marketing: “In this age of Google and social media, your prospects are even more distracted, cynical about sales messages and rightly motivated by their own self-interest. Make your promotional content brief, attractive and to the point. Always offer significant value before asking for anything. When making a request, frame the action as a way for the prospect to get even more benefits.” — Chris Garrett, content marketer and co-author of ProBlogger.

#5: Ask for Referrals From People You Know: “Whether or not you’re new to freelance copywriting, approaching people you already know about your freelance business, such as previous employers, is always the best place to start prospecting. These folks know and trust you. Even if they can’t hire you, they’re usually more than willing to introduce you to those who can.” — Ed Gandia, author of Stop Wishing and Start Earning.

Click here now to read writer marketing tips #6 – 10 from Peter Bowerman, Marcia Yudkin, Pete Savage, Chris Marlow and Nick Usborne.

Contents Copyright © 2006-2014 Kristen King

4 comments… add one
  • Phillip Sep 2, 2009

    Love the look of your site – are you having fun with it? Keep up the good work and good luck with your site!

  • Rebecca Sep 3, 2009

    Thanks for the tips. I’ve read other articles about charging by the project and not the hour. Unfortunately, people are used to paying and getting paid by the hour. It’s a mind set that has to change. Once you do that, the flood gates will open.

  • Coyote Feb 10, 2010

    I am actually going to say that I disagree with charging by the project (versus the hour).

    The companies that have decided to pay me by project have ….been disorganized, asked for a ridiculous number of revisions, etc. The revisions happened because they changed their mind after the project started, or did not consult the key people who would make a decision after draft 2 or 3 is complete (rather than before).

    By charging hourly, if someone changes their mind part way through –I’m covered. I may be having these problems because I am starting out (just finished year 1), but billing by hour is much less of a headache for me.

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