I’ve always loved writing. Naturally, as soon as I found out that I could make money through writing, I started to learn about the industry. I read a ton of publications but none of them told me how I could build a freelance writing career from scratch. As a result, I worked for content mills and low-paying clients.
This frustrating chapter of my freelance writing career finally stopped when I discovered Bamidele Onibalusi’s “Writers in Charge” blog and Jorden Roper’s “Writing Revolt” blog. Both of these writers offered advice on how others could replicate their success.
Building My Authority in the Industry
The first thing that I learned was that a professional website is a MUST! I bought my own domain, and created a professional website.
Afterwards, I tried to build my portfolio and authority in the industry by guest blogging. At that time, the Huffington Post accepted contributors through their Athena platform. I pitched Arianna Huffington an article and immediately became a contributor. I also attempted to get published in other publications by emailing editors. I used tools such as Email Hunter and Viola Norbert to find editor emails. I then contacted these editors and submitted pitches.
It was through this method that I found my first client. I submitted an article for an online publication and the editor liked it so much that he wanted me on board. Afterwards, I became a regular contributor, and occasionally took ghostwriting assignments.
Building My Business
Once I got published on a few websites, I contacted potential clients by email. This process is otherwise known as cold emailing. I used LinkedIn to find potential clients in my niche– marketing. Once I found companies that interested me, I would look for their Head of Content or Head of Marketing. Again, I used Viola Norbert and Email Hunter to determine my prospect’s emails.
In the emails I sent, I briefly introduced myself, my services, and my business. I sent each one two to three clips and a link to my website. For every 100 emails I sent, I found 1 or 2 interested clients.
I also used Problogger, BloggingPro and FreelanceWritingGigs to find jobs. After a month of applying to niches that interested me, I found my second client.
After two months of applying to job boards and cold emailing potential clients I earned my first $1,000.
Where I am Now
For the past year, I’ve lost clients and I’ve gained clients.
As a busy senior college student, I don’t always reach my $1,000 per month goal. But, I can confidently say that my freelance business is steadily growing.
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- Hunting For Non-listed Publishers Helped Me Land A Traditional Publishing Contract! By Barb Adams
- “Passive” Marketing Through Strategic Guest Posting! How I Landed More Clients With Less Effort By Jennifer Brown Banks
Monique Danao is a writer and content creator with an expertise in marketing and SEO. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her enjoying funky food and listening to music. Check out her website or follow her @monique_pd.
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