How awesome would it be if you could earn a badass living as a writer?
You could take more vacations.
Splurge on that pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing for months.
Finally move into your dream home.
If you’re a newbie freelance writer (or a seasoned writer who’s underpaid), that probably sounds exciting but insane.
(Like, Donald Trump levels of insane.)
But it’s not. And I would know — within just a few months of becoming a full-time freelance writer, I was making over $5,000 per month.
And I’m not saying that to brag. I’m saying it because I want you to know it’s possible for you to make that much (and more!) too.
But not if you keep holding yourself back.
So, take a look at these 4 reasons your freelance writing pay sucks, and ask yourself which one(s) you’re guilty of. Once you figure it out, you can start improving your business in a way that’ll help you land more high-paying clients.
1. You’re spending too much time writing for shitty content farms, job bidding sites, etc.
Upwork. Fiverr. Content mills.
Those are the kinds of places you should avoid at all costs.
Now, I know that some of you have probably found decent-paying writing jobs on one of those sites, and you’re thinking “WTF” right now.
But think about all the time you spend creating a profile, bidding, and dealing with the clients (who usually suck) on those sites.
Wouldn’t it be better for you to spend that time building a personal brand for yourself, creating a badass freelance writing website that shows off your expertise, and letting your ideal clients come to you?
I vote HELL YES.
2. Your marketing sucks.
So, you’ve got a nice website that shows off your writing portfolio. What are you doing to market yourself and your site?
If your answer is “nothing,” well… you’re screwed. Why?
Because success as a freelance writer has a lot to do with being a good marketer. So, if you’re not naturally good at marketing, it’s time to learn.
Here are a few things you need to do to market yourself in a way that will allow you to get high-paying clients:
- Pick a niche and market yourself as an expert in that niche. When I started out, my niche was B2B/technology content. I only marketed myself to B2B companies, and I started filling my portfolio with B2B/tech pieces. As a result, it was pretty easy to land clients within that niche – everyone trusts a specialist more than a generalist.
- Write damn good copy on your freelance writing website. Your website shouldn’t read like a resume. Focus on your clients’ needs and write about what benefits they’ll get from working with you. Once you’ve worked on your SEO and built up an online presence, your website will become a client-generating machine!
- Make social media your bitch. I’m serious – if you don’t have LinkedIn and Twitter accounts for your business, create those right now and start using them. Make sure you fill out your bio too – you’ll want to mention your niche and that you’re a freelance writer. That way, people who are searching for a writer within your niche can easily find you.
If you’re new to the world of marketing, I seriously suggest you enroll in some online courses and/or pick up some books on how to market yourself as a freelance writer. Because even the best writers won’t land any high-paying gigs if their marketing sucks.
3. You don’t know how to sell your services.
Are you guilty of using “I don’t” statements when you pitch a client? I’m talking about statements like “I don’t have a lot of experience writing about this, but I’d love to work with you.”
If so… please stop. Not only are you setting yourself up to fail – you’re basically telling the client that you don’t deserve respect and/or a high rate.
Focus on what you can offer clients when you’re pitching instead of mentioned your perceived shortcomings. Trust me – good clients don’t give a damn about your shortcomings as long as you can deliver the work they’re looking for.
4. You have a self-confidence problem.
Ouch – this one might hurt a bit. But it’s true. Most freelance writers who aren’t making money are stopping themselves because they don’t feel like they deserve high pay. They make up excuses like:
- I don’t have that much experience, so I shouldn’t ask for high pay.
- How can I expect high rates when I have no college degree?
- I need to start out writing for a couple cents per word. When I’ve paid my dues, maybe I can start asking for more.
No, no, no.
None of that shit matters. What does matter is how you market yourself and how well you can do what the client is asking.
If you can deliver the level of quality your client is asking for, charge accordingly. If you can’t, then self-educate until you learn how.
But even if it’s your first time writing for a client, GET PAID WHAT YOU DESERVE, okay?!
By the way, I’m not trying to go all “Judge Judy” on your ass here — I’ve made every single one of these mistakes in the past, so I get it.
When you’re starting out, it’s tough to know exactly what you need to do to make money.
But avoiding the 4 mistakes here will definitely help.
What challenges will you plan to overcome to get paid more as a freelance writer? Let’s talk about it in the comments section!