Disclaimer: This article isn’t going to teach you how to write well – you probably know how to do it if you’re reading this – it’s about how to sell yourself as a freelance writer.
Freelance websites are probably the first place that any person starting to explore the possibilities for making an income on the Internet goes to. Now, if you’re fed up with demanding clients who want to get a researched article in perfect English for less than $15 per article that requires several hours to write – if you’re not willing to be a starving artist kind of freelancer, it’s time to take it to the next level. Sure, freelance sites are a good start, but by now you have some experience and know what kind of articles people want to read. It’s time to become a superstar.
You need your own blog
Start a blog about writing. Write tips for writers, tips for business blogs, tips on how to hire a writer; write about your personal experience, or about social movements or events – write about anything you like to write about. The purpose of this is to show off your writing skills, your voice and tone.
If you don’t know the basics already, learn everything you can about the technical side of managing a blog, and SEO; the majority of people on the Internet need a blog writer, and you need to show them that you know the ropes.
Your About page is where you will sell. Get in touch with your previous clients and ask them to give you a testimonial, something that you could use on your blog. The response will probably be good, and your future clients will love to see that other people enjoyed working with you. And not to forget, getting in touch with the clients you formerly worked with will remind them why they loved working with you, and possibly make them hire you again. You’re on your own now, so it’s important to deepen the relationships with people.
Promote your blog
Go to Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. Fill in your profiles with all the important keywords, don’t forget to put a pretty image; find and follow the influential people in your niche – many of them will automatically follow you back, and you’ll have your chance to present your work and your offer to them.
You have already connected with your former clients, so it’s a good start. Now it’s time to find some high traffic websites and try to get on as their paid blogger. It’s great if you can manage to publish under your own name, but being a ghost writer for these websites pays well also. Use your blog as your portfolio – if you’re truly good, your blog will speak for you.
In the meantime, optimize your blog for keywords like “copywriter”, “business blogging”, “freelance writer” etc., Or even go with a specific niche if you have sufficient knowledge.
One more tip
Always use one name. If you’re not comfortable with using your own, it’s OK to go with a pen name, but it has to be one for all assignments, so choose carefully and stick to it. Over time people will get to know you by that name, and Google will get to know you too. Also, don’t neglect to claim the content you write by adding a rel=author tag to all of your posts and by linking them to your Google+ profile.
There are writers out there who don’t take any assignments that pay less than $50 or $100. Are you as good as they are? If you think you are, then start your blog, get your own piece of the Internet and start making a name for yourself. It’s hard work, but you’re doing it already, right?