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Looking to make extra income for you and your family? One of the best ways to do that is with freelance writing. It requires little start-up cost and is a skill you can develop with practice. You don’t have to have a journalism or English degree to be a writer either. I’ve found success writing this past year and you can too. I’m going to share my story with you and show you how you can make money as a freelance writer.
My Story as a Writer
I’m a freelance writer. It’s not my full-time job. I work during the day and then write in my spare time in the morning (before work) and the evening (usually after our kids go to bed). I didn’t go to school to be a writer and I don’t have a college degree in journalism or English. Writing was something I’ve always been interested in, but I never looked at it as a career option.
After we adopted our girls, I become more interested in personal finances. Adding 2 more kids to your family will do that I guess! I would search the internet for ways to save money and manage our finances better. Travel has always been a passion of mine so I spent time learning how to find deals so I could still plan great trips for our family of 6.
One of the websites I frequented often to learn how to find travel deals was Club Thrifty. Greg and Holly Johnson have one of the best websites on the planet. Their website also focuses on personal finances. Reading their blog was the inspiration for Family Money Adventure because it tied together all of my passions in one website.
Holly also has an online course called “Earn More Writing” which was all about learning to make money as a freelance writer. Seeing the success Holly had, I signed up for the course. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made. No joke.
There is only so much cost-cutting and deal-finding you can do to save money. Eventually, to be able to have more money to save and invest, you need to increase your income. Freelance writing was an opportunity to make more money. I wasn’t looking to switch careers. Just make enough money to pay down debt, save, and fund some of our family adventures. Something else I wanted to avoid was creating a side hustle that required a ton of overhead or locked me into specific working hours. Our family is always busy and I needed a flexible job that could be done at any time and from anywhere. Freelance writing was exactly what I was looking for.
How Much Money Can You Make Freelance Writing
Like anything else, the amount of money you can make as a freelance writer depends on how much time and effort you put into writing. At first, you won’t make much as a writer. You may have to do some free articles or guest posts just to get your foot in the door. Do just enough to build a portfolio and then never do any free work again.
The sky is the limit with freelance writing. In a year, I’ve been able to build up to my writing income to $2000+ monthly. That’s just writing in between my day job, coaching basketball, and chauffeuring kids to various practices and school activities. I know writers who regularly make 5 figures every month as freelance writers. Several of them have been able to make enough writing to quit their jobs and become writers full time.
How to Get Started as a Freelance Writer
So, what does it take to become a freelance writer? How do you start? The path to becoming a freelance writer looks different for everybody. There’s no right way to become a paid writer. Through my experiences, here is what has helped me get to where I am at today.
Potential clients will want to see samples of your writing before hiring you. It’s that simple. You need to have some kind of portfolio online to show off your writing. Many writers simply create a website or blog to do this. This could be a whole website dedicated to your writing services or just a “hire me” page on your website. This is what I’ve done with Family Money Adventure. You can check out my “Hire Me” page here.
If you don’t want to create a website, there are services where you can create a portfolio on their platform. Some are free to use and others cost money to set up. Here are some of the more popular portfolio websites:
- Journo Portfolio
- Muck Rack
If you want to want to keep it simple, you could always create a Word or Google Doc with links to all of your work. Editors need to see your samples however you can get it in front of them.
Pick a Writing Niche (or Don’t)
Most writers will tell you to figure out your writing niche. What is a niche? It’s basically a specific subject or target audience. For me, it’s personal finance, business, and travel because that’s what I know and what I love. I can write about other topics, but I choose to focus most of my efforts in these 3 areas.
Why limit yourself to a specific niche? Doesn’t that limit your income possibilities? Possibly, but probably not in the long run. I find limiting what I write about helps my writing business. I can position myself as an expert on certain topics. My portfolio isn’t a jumbled mess. I’m more focused with my pitches and with my work itself. It’s almost freeing to pick a niche.
Imagine you were applying for a job and your potential employer asks what you are good at. You reply, “Everything!” Is that really going to go over well? Probably not. I can write about robo advisors, student loans, and budgeting, but it’s not going to go so well if I land a writing gig for a scientific journal.
How do you figure out your writing niche? What are your interests? What do you like to write about? You don’t want to pick something that’s of no interest to you. Even within your own niche, you’ll end up writing articles that bore you to death, but it’s a chore if you don’t have a genuine interest in the subject matter as a whole.
Another option is to not pick a niche and let your niche find you. Plenty of writers don’t limit themselves at first and take any writing job they come across. As they get further in, they learn what they love and what they want to avoid.
Build your Writing Portfolio
How do you attract clients if I don’t have any writing samples to show them? How do you get writing samples without having clients? It’s the whole chicken and the egg thing, right?! Pretty much. One method to overcome this is to do some free writing in the beginning. Find bloggers accepting guest posts. Take low paying writing gigs. Do just enough of these to start a decent portfolio and then move on to higher-paying writing gigs.
Use Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool for writers. You can connect with editors, bloggers, other writers, and anyone else that might lead to writing jobs. Join writer and blogger groups in Facebook and create a LinkedIn account. Writers can even land writing jobs through Twitter and Instagram. If you have your own blog or website, set up accounts with any of the social media platforms you use.
Don’t use your personal social media accounts for your writing business, though, unless it’s all you are using them for. You don’t want to connect with potential clients on the same accounts that you post pictures of your breakfast or retweet weird memes.
Network with Other Writers
This is probably my number one tip. Part of the “Earn More Writing” Course is access to the course’s private Facebook Group. Besides having a group to receive encouragement and ask questions, you can develop relationships with other writers. Often writers will post writing opportunities as well. Many of my earlier writing jobs came from posts in the group. In fact, I just landed my biggest client with the help of a friend in this Facebook Group. You aren’t competition. There’s enough writing work to go around.
Start Working Towards Higher Paying Freelance Writing Gigs
As you gain writing work, you can leverage that into other writing jobs. If you develop a good relationship with an editor or client, ask them to refer their friends to you.
You can continue to add your new work to your portfolio and attract other clients. Having that experience will help you as you pitch your writing services to potential clients. If you land the right clients, it could lead you to tons of new work.
Perfect Your Craft
Continue to get better at writing. As you write, you’ll get better. You’ll become a better communicator. And be able to do it more concisely too. You’ll learn how to research, secure quotes, and how to source information. Your understanding of client needs will improve and you’ll be more confident with your abilities. It’s amazing how much better your writing skills will become in a few months.
The Earn More Writing Course
I can’t stress how important Earn More Writing has been to my success as a freelance writer. Holly covers so many aspects of freelance writing that you won’t find searching google for answers.
You’ll learn many of the tips that have led to her making over $200k a year freelance writing. She was able to make enough to quit her full-time job years ago and is well on her way to early retirement because of freelance writing.
What I love about the course is that Holly does fake anything. She tells you when something is going to be hard. She doesn’t sugar coat anything. The course is all useful tips and 0% fluff!
Whether you want to earn enough to quit your job or just add some extra income, there isn’t a better way to go about it than freelance writing. And Holly is the “Go-To” source for learning how to make money as a freelance writer.
Sign up for “Earn More Writing” and start making extra money this week!
Have you ever thought about freelance writing for extra income? Have questions on how to get started? Let us know in the comments below
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