When you’re a mom, finding ways to make money from home can be a total life-saver. Not only do you get to stay home with your kids, but you also get to bring in some much-needed income. Freelance writing is the ultimate way to make money while still having plenty of flexibility. Plus, if you play your cards right, it can even lead to a six-figure career!
I’m proud to say I’ve built a six-figure freelance writing business…while working part-time hours so I can be there for my family. Want to know how I did it? Here are my top 5 tips, in 5 minutes or less!
Pick an In-Demand Niche
When it comes to freelance writing, specialization is key. Trying to be a jack-of-all-trades will only result in low rates and fewer clients.
Think about it this way: if you had a heart problem, would you rather see a doctor who specializes in heart health, or a general practitioner? The specialist is going to have way more experience and expertise, and will therefore be able to help you in a much more effective way. And that heart specialist will also be able to charge more for their services.
The same goes for freelance writing. If you want to make good money as a freelance writer, you need to focus on a specific niche.
Pick a niche that you’re passionate about and that has plenty of demand. This generally means focusing on an industry in one of the following categories:
- Health: helping people to improve their physical or mental health
- Wealth: helping people to make or save money
- Relationships: helping people to find love or improve their existing relationships
There are, of course, many other in-demand niches out there. But these will always be popular because they address some of the most basic human needs.
Niching down will not only make you more in-demand, but it will also make you more knowledgeable and credible. And that means you can charge more for your services. It also makes your work easier, because you’re addressing the same audience and writing the same topics over and over again. So with each project, you get faster and better at what you do.
Join a Writers Community
Being a successful freelancer doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. When you’re just starting out, one of the best ways to accelerate your freelance writing career is to join a community of like-minded writers.
There are tons of online communities full of other writers who can offer support, advice, and even leads on potential clients. Plus, networking with other writers can help you stay up-to-date on industry trends and help you land better paying gigs.
I’m a member of The Freelance Writers Den and it is SO much more than just a community. The Den is a super low-cost, members-only site for freelance writers that includes:
- Courses and training in dozens of topics from developing your writing skills to running your business
- Live Q&As with industry experts
- Bootcamps for all levels
- A private forum with more than 80,000 posts
- An active community with
- Writing critiques from experienced editors
And so much more! As a member of The Freelance Writers Den, you get access to an ever-growing library of resources to help you take your freelance writing business to the next level. If you’re serious about freelance writing, I highly recommend that you join a community like this.
Like I mentioned, The Den is super affordable, and the cost of membership definitely pays for itself – but that said, there are great groups over on Facebook that are free to join. So if you’re on a tight budget, start there.
One of the best things you can do to improve your freelance writing career is to learn copywriting. Copywriting is a specific type of writing that is used for marketing and sales purposes.
Copywriting is all about persuasion. It’s about using words to convince people to take a specific action, whether that’s buying a product, signing up for a service, or anything else.
It’s a skill that freelance writers can use to write better headlines, make more compelling arguments, and close more sales. And it can help you make A LOT more money as a freelance writer. The highest paid freelance writers in the world are copywriters, because busineses are willing to pay top dollar for words that turn leads into customers.
So if you’re serious about making good money as a freelance writer, I highly recommend that you learn copywriting. It’s a skill that will serve you well throughout your freelance writing career.
Run Your Business Like a Professional
Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat your freelance business like a real business. That means:
- Setting regular hours
- Creating systems and processes
- Tracking your expenses
- Investing in your business
- Marketing yourself consistently (more on that in a minute!)
By running your business like a professional, you’ll not only land better clients, but you’ll also be able to command higher rates. Treating your freelance business like a real business will help you be more successful faster. People will take you seriously. They’ll feel more confident hiring you because you don’t come across like some flaky freelancer (believe me, there are a ton of them!).
And when it comes to freelance writing, perception is a big part of the game. If you want to be successful, you need to look and act like a professional freelance writer – even if you’re just starting out.
If you’re running your freelance business on the fly, it’s time to sit down and create a plan. Decide what you want your business to look like and then take the steps necessary to make it happen.
Market Your Services Consistently
One of the biggest mistakes freelancers make is not marketing themselves consistently. It’s the reason so many freelancers struggle to pay the bills. But it does NOT have to be like that. If you are consistently promoting yourself and networking with people who need writers, there’s no reason you can’t have a waiting list of clients.
But here’s the honest truth (that most people don’t like or want to admit to):
A business has to make sales if it’s going to stay in business. That means you’re in the business of selling your services. And like any good salesperson, you need to be selling yourself consistently if you want to close more sales. In order to do that, you have to be constantly marketing yourself.
You can’t just sit back and hope that people will find you and hire you. Or, what I see happen a lot, is that freelance writers will market themselves hard for a few weeks or months and then they’ll get busy with clients and stop promoting themselves. And then when their client work dries up, they wonder why.
The answer is simple: because you stopped marketing and selling yourself!
This has to be an absolute priority. You need to have time blocked out in your schedule every, single week that is dedicated to generating leads.
Even if you have projects in your pipeline, you should still be marketing yourself. That way, when those projects are finished, you already have new clients lined up and ready to go. Believe me, being in demand is a much better position to be in than having to beg for work.
And don’t worry – marketing doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. If you’re not sure how to market yourself, here are a few ideas:
- Grow you network on LinkedIn: connect with your ideal clietns, join groups, participate in discussions, and offer your services when it makes sense.
- Start a blog: this is a great way to showcase your expertise and attract new clients by driving organic traffic to your website.
- Write guest posts for other blogs in your industry: this is a great way to get exposure to a new audience. Find adjacent industries to your own (for example, if you’re a freelance copywriter, guest post business blogs in your niche) and offer to write a guest post for them.
- Attend industry events: this is a great way to network with potential clients, virtually or in-person, and get your name out there.
- Be active in the writing community: a lot of veteran freelance writers pass on work to their network of fellow writers. If you’re active in these communities, you’re more likely to get referrals from other writers.
But if you want to know the most important thing you can do to market your freelance writing services, it’s this:
Have a follow-up plan.
When you reach out to a potential client, follow up with them. More than once.
Most people give up too soon when they don’t hear back from a lead right away. They assume that if the client doesn’t respond to their initial email or message, then the client isn’t interested. But the truth is, most people are busy and they don’t have time to respond to every email or message they get.
So if you reach out and don’t hear back, follow up again a few days later. And then again a few days after that. You might have to reach out 4-5 times before you get a response. But if you’re persistent, eventually you’ll get ahold of the right person at the right time and they’ll be interested in your services.
Again, people don’t like to hear this, but my not-so-secret advice is to follow up until they say “no!” It might be uncomfortable, but it works.
Okay, mama! With these five tips, you can absolutely turn freelance writing into a six figure career. It takes time, dedication, and consistency – but it’s so worth it when you can make a great living doing something you love. And your kids can have their mama home with them, too!