Back in 2008, I started making good money online as a freelance writer. I blogged at the time as well, but it was a personal blog that I was not earning money from. So, writing for others is where I made my first $1000 online.
So, what is a freelance writer exactly?
A freelance writer is someone who provides content for other websites owners and online business people. This can be by writing blog posts or articles, ebooks, short reports, or emails.
Freelance writers may specialize in one or two subjects, as they can command higher rates that way. Others choose to write about more topics so they can land more gigs. It really depends on the model you want to adapt for your own business.
Your next question will likely be, how do you get started earning income online as a freelance writer?
The following are 4 steps I recommend to those that are looking to get started as a freelance writer!
4 Steps to Making your First $1000 as a Freelance Writer
1. Get a writer website ASAP!
If you want to write for others, you are going to need a way to present your service and have others contact you. A blog works best for this! Why a blog? Because you can continually update it with new content, showing your expertise in the topics you wish to write in.
A blog is basically a writer’s portfolio that you can keep fresh and updated. You can direct traffic to the blog and engage with your audience by replying to comments. This shows your clients you are proficient in writing for the internet. It can also land you more gigs!
2. Create some samples for clients.
As I already mentioned, your blog will help you showcase your skills as a freelance writer. You can publish a new blog post each week that displays your knowledge in the topics you want to write about. If you have any work that’s been published on other websites, be sure to link to these too!
NOTE: Sometimes, potential clients will ask you to write a free sample for them before giving you paid work. I do not recommend you agree to this! Your samples should be enough to let the client see what you can do. I choose not to work with clients that insist on a free article or blog post, as they are likely just looking to get free work rather than ever pay for it.
3. Decide on your payment terms.
The most popular way for freelance writers to accept payments is through PayPal. PayPal works like an online bank. You can apply for a debit card for your PayPal account, or safely transfer the money from to your own bank account. I have been using PayPal since 2006 with no complaints.
Your payment processor isn’t the only decision you need to make. It’s important that you also consider the terms of your service. Will you do the work first, and expect payment when the content is sent to the client? This is generally not advised, as you may end up working for free.
At the least, I would recommend you ask for a 50% deposit on projects, especially if they are for more than 1000 words of content. This helps prevent you from not getting your payment once the work is done.
Either way, you may want to draw up a contract between you and your clients, if they don’t already request you sign up. That way, both of you are protected in the transaction.
4. Reach out to local businesses.
With your blog up and running and payment terms figure out, it’s time to start looking for clients! Local businesses can be a great place to start, especially if you live in a smaller city. There is less competition if you are the only freelance writer in the area.
Small businesses in your town may have websites that aren’t regularly updated or that need a blog added. Just like a blog is beneficial to your freelancing business, a blog is beneficial to all businesses. It helps them gain more exposure to their products or services and present them as the best solution.
Do the Math
So, the title of this post is how to make your first $1000 as a freelance writer.
If you start out charging $25 for a 500 word article, you need to write 40 articles to make $1000. It’s not impossible to make more like $30-$40 per article…then you would only need 25-34 articles to hit your $1K goal.
Depending on how much you hustle and how fast you can type (and gain clients) this can be done in your first month!
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