57.3 million Americans currently freelance, that is 36% of the workforce- Source Edelman intelligence report.
Starting a freelance writing business is one of the easiest things you can do right now, as you read this piece.
You may ask me why?
Because the freelance economy currently termed the GIG economy is growing, with businesses going online, there is a huge demand for content.
According to this article, 90% of all organizations use content marketing as part of their marketing efforts to reach their consumers.
Before you begin to wonder, what has content marketing got to do with starting a freelance writing business.
Let me break it down for you.
Businesses need to reach their customers in a variety of ways.
Before, it was mainly focused on Television,Newspapers,Bill boards etc.
Today, the terrain has changed, they now use the traditional ones mentioned above but also use emails, blogs, social media posts, infographics, etc.
Now you get it, because each of these needs require the written word, there is a great demand for content.
This is where the freelance writing business person can come in.
Because most businesses want to focus on creating products, they outsource a lot of their content marketing needs.
Think of it, if you are a small business person who produces clothing designs for example.
You want to spend your time dreaming up and producing new designs, not writing about designs.
You can hire a freelance writer to do your writing for you while you concentrate on what you love most.
All the activities that help you to reach your target market via the written word are called content marketing.
Now, this is where a freelance writing business owner comes in, they can take over the content marketing needs of a small business owner.
That way they both benefit.
Now that I have explained how content marketing relates to your freelance writing business.
Are you ready to know the steps to take if you want to start a freelance writing business?
Before we get to the steps, what are the advantages of starting a freelance writing business?
Advantages of starting a freelance writing business.
✔Be your own boss: You are the captain of your own destiny, you are not subject to what your boss thinks or wants
✔Work when you want: You don’t have to get up at 5 am to clock in at a fixed time.
✔Work from anywhere: It could be from home, beach, coffee shop or even while you travel.
✔Be part of a rising Gig economy that is changing the workspace.
✔Define your own terms of work, you get to choose projects that you enjoy doing.
✔Determine what you want to earn and hustle to earn it, you have no caps on your earning.
Ready to know the steps to follow, I know you are,so lets get to it.
6 steps to starting a freelance writing business.
I titled this piece how to start your freelance writing business on a shoestring budget.
Because I do not want anyone who is reading this piece to use the usual excuse of I don’t have money to stop you from pursuing this business.
So here is what you need to do.
1-Pick a writing Niche:
The reason anyone can start a freelance writing business is that you are simply exchanging your knowledge or skills that you have learned in a written format for pay.
This means that it goes without saying that you already have some skills that you have learned.
Even if you are just a school leaver, you must have skills you have learned from home or school or simply research skills whcih you can use to write.
A writing niche will enable you to focus on what type of writing samples you will produce, hence you don’t waste your efforts pursuing after unlikely niches.
To know how to pick a niche, you need to do a personal assessment as to what types of topics you enjoy writing about or reading about.
From there, you can determine what niche you want to pitch your tent with.
To be able to pick a niche properly, I will advise that you first get my Printable Home business owner planner
It is a well-structured planner that I designed for anyone who wants to start a home business.
The home business owner planner will guide you in brainstorming and identifying your niche options.
It will also guide you from the point of a business idea to the point of delivery.
Are you ready to start your freelance writing business? grab this printable planner first.
2-Have an online presence:
One of the things I have noticed while looking for freelance writing opportunities is, they want to see samples of your work, published online.
This means that people want to know that you are serious enough to have a website where your work is published.
Of course, you can send a written sample via Google docs or Word.
But you make a better impression if you show that you are serious about your business.
By having your own website where you publish what you have written.
It’s like saying you can cook a good meal yet you never get to make a sample dish for tasting.
So, consider getting your own website as your shop where you show your delicacies sorry write up Lol.
Now that you have decided you want to a website, but you don’t know how to go about it, here are the steps to take.
Buy a domain name:
This is like staking your claim for the business name you want for your business.
Your business name should be easy to remember, have your business keyword in it and be availaible for purchase.
For example, you can name your business excelwritingservices, all spelled together.
You then go here to check if its availaible online to buy it.
After you have purchased your domain name, the next thing to do is
Buy your hosting plan.
Hosting companies are like online landlords that rent out their space to you for a price.
You get to display your goods in your online store after you have purchased the right to use the space.
The best online hosting company I will recommend for you is Bluehost
Bluehost is second to none when it comes to providing hosting plans for their customers.
Here are reasons why you should buy their hosting plan
👍They are cheap- Just $2.95 / month
👍They provide you with one email address, so yes, you get a free personalized email address which makes your writing business look professional.
No more pitching companies with your gmail address that goes straight to spam mail.
👍You also get top-notch support services when you are building your website, so you are not basically alone.
If you need help, just an email or chat services and they will be there to guide you.
You get free domain name registration, sometimes they offer you a free domain registration just to nudge you to buy their hosting plan.
Its not ususally stated in the package but they do.
To purchase a Bluehost plan now, click below
Now that you have bought your plan, you are wondering what is next? I don’t know how to build a website
Don’t worry I got your back, with this Video which I made, you can start from getting your domain credentials to having a proper website set up in just under an hour.
When I started this blog, I wanted just one video I could just watch and set it up.
I didn’t want to have to watch so many videos with confusing directives hence making my journey long.
But it’s not easy to get such a video online for free.
You will get it in bits and pieces which makes watching it a headache because each video will be saying a different thing.
That is why I want to help you by cutting out the crap and giving you the meat.
The wordpress installation guide will help you to install your website in little under an hour.
You will save time and energy of searching Youtube videos and getting confused all the way.
To get the wordpress installation guide, please go here.
In case you are wondering what WordPress is, its the online open-source platform which 90% of websites online are built on.
It’s very easy to use, its usually for do it yourself type. So its quite easy to master and use.
P.s: If you would want me to build a one-page writers website for you, go to my work with me page and send me an email.
I will respond with a quote and you can have your website up in less than 3 days.
Now that we have settled building your website, what other online presence do you need, I am sure you can already guess
Social media pages: This includes Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.
Linkedin is special in this case because a freelance writing business has to do with writing for businesses.
Most business owners have online profiles on LinkedIn.
So you cannot afford not to be there
Later in this post,I will show you how to use Linkedin to source for clients.
Now that you have your website ready,the next thing to do is to write.
3 Write Sample Posts
You want to showcase your writing skills so you need to write articles that are familiar to your niche and publish it.
Remember we said that customers want to see what your write up is like before they will hire you.
Write about 10 articles that have to do with your niche and publish it online for your customers to see.
I will advise that if you want to showcase different types of content, you should have different articles showcasing your content.
For example, a small business may need contents such as
Autoresponder newsletter series for nurturing new sign-ups to their email list.
You can showcase your ability by writing such samples and publishing them.
So let’s say you want to segment your business into different types, you can segment it as follows.
Theese could be the basic arms of your freelance writing business.
When someone lands on your website, they can easily click on your samples and see what it looks like hence helping them to make a choice.
Now that you have your samples ready to go, lets get to step 4.
4 Search For Clients
Now that your whole freelance writing business is ready for clients viewing, the next thing to do is to go in search of your clients.
This is where many people miss it, when they finish setting up their business, they begin the wait, thinking that people will come looking for them.
That strategy always fails because, you may be waiting forever.
You may be wondering, where do I find my clients?
This is what you need to do.
1 Cold pitch to businesses in your niche
This is how you do it, use your niche keyword and type it into Google.
Look for businesses that are in your niche and send them emails offering to write for them.
This method is often looked down upon, people are scared to cold pitch because they imagine they will not be answered.
But my dear, its the best way to find writing gigs that pay well.
Especially if its a need that they are aware of but have been struggling with it.
One of the ways to know if a business is struggling with its blog is when the posting is inconsistent or the blog posts are outdated.
You can easily point it out to them and offer to be updating their blogs weekly.
This will usually work if they already have a blog but do not have an in-house writer to update it.
You can then secure a client that is willing to work with you for a long time.
2 Job boards:
In the first instance, you were cold pitching but in this case, you go to Job boards to apply for already advertised jobs.
There are a lot of Job boards where you can apply to write for them.
The good thing about job boards is that they are already looking for writers so all you need to do is to apply.
Some Job boards you can apply to
I have gotten jobs from Problogger, in fact, one of the articles I am currently working on came from Problogger.
A free job board where you can apply to get writing jobs.
You pay a fee to get the access to flexjobs but it is worth it because it has verified job adverts.
Blogging pros Job board.
Junk free board is an excellent resource for looking for high paying jobs, Carol the owner does not only make available jobs but you also get training and mentorship through the community.
It costs 25 dollars per month.
Clearvoice lets you publish your sample posts and you get to bid for jobs or jobs are sent to you.
I have been contacted for ecommerce project consulting from this platform.
I was recently featured by Clearvoice on the Freelancers list as one of their Top retail writers.
You can click the picture below to see it
If they like your samples they will hire you.
I know a lot of people will like to start off with content mills like Upwork and co, but I will not advise you to start there if you want a real business.
You already spent some money on building your website, why go to content mills where they pay peanuts to spend your marketing efforts.
Content mills don’t usually pay well but if you will like to leave a profile there just in case, you can grab a client, you are welcome.
Most people that run small businesses have profiles on LinkedIn, so it’s a huge resource for sourcing for clients.
You can type in your niche keyword and filter to find out who is there that suits you.
You then click on their business website to find their business, if their business needs a writer, you can approach them via LinkedIn messages.
Linkedin has a restricted number of people you can send messages to, except you buy a subscription so beware of how you use it so you don’t get banned.
Another more subtle way is to ask to be their friend and then message them.
4 Buy Subscription to Limeleads
Limeleads is a lead generation software that contains up to 20 million contacts of businesses.
You can source for business types and get the direct emails of business owners or their marketing head.
The only snag is that you have to pay to access those contacts.
But what is a couple of dollars when you have to invest in your business?
if Limeleads will cut the chase out of your client sourcing and get you to the place where you want to go faster, then I say go for it.
If you have used all the following steps and you are still looking for places to apply, read this article, it provides you with 70 options where you can get the paid to write.
I have made this post in such a way that you would get all the resources you need to start this business today as you read this post.
How Often Should I be Looking for Clients?
When you are just starting out, you may just be a new person so you have to do all the reaching out.
You can set goals to send out 30 emails per day using all the methods that have been outlined above.
As you get more steady clientele you will probably reduce your emails because you will be too busy fulfilling your orders.
I started this post by saying you could start this freelance writing business on a shoestring budget, now let’s calculate how much this shoestring budget is
Hosting- starting from 2.95 USD/month( You will need to buy more than a year hosting to get it at this amount if you want to buy just a year hosting, the price will be slightly higher)
If you want a strictly per month billing, then purchase hosting from Jvzoohost, at 8dollars per month.
Home business owner binder: 17.99
WordPress installation guide: 20 dollars
Total: 40.95-50 dollars
For just about 40.94-50 dollars you can start a freelance writing business
Starting a freelance writing business may not be a walk in the park, but it’s one of those businesses you can set up within a week especially if you have a passion for writing.
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