You get up daily in the morning to the cacophonous sound of the alarm and get ready to go out to your routine job. After working for eight hours, you get back home, grab some food and then go back to sleep.
The next day, you again go through the same grind. At some point, you wish that you could just switch off the irritating sound of the alarm clock and just go back to your sweet dreams. Well, you could do just that if you opt to start writing as a freelance journalist and earn your way to financial freedom.
Freelancers beware, there is great opportunity in freelance writing, but there is a right and a wrong way of doing things. You will have to continually invest your time and energy, not only in writing but also in relationships with your clients. Invest in technology while writing. These are both offline and online technologies, with the latest gadgets, such as the iPad and the iPhone and other software devices that can make your life more profitable. You should also invest in tools, such as the WordPress plugins and so on. Marketing is also important and you need to ascertain precisely the needs of your clients by using email, Skype, Twitter, and more. There are several freelance job boards where a quick search can offer you your particular niche. Some of them have a broader scope as well and you can select one that suits your skills.
Freelance writing can make your life easier, as you can work when you want. Today, the Internet has made it possible to take your voice to places that you would have never dreamed possible. You can now express your thoughts and opinions and even get paid for doing so. Furthermore, if you are good enough, you could make big bucks out of it. However, not all freelancing jobs can be equally lucrative. In most cases, the reputation of the writer is also equally important. You may have to struggle as well before freelance writing proves to be a solid source of income.
Six Most Profitable Types of Freelancing Gigs
1. Content Writing for a Company
Many companies need content for their websites, which enables their website to remain on the high-ranking pages in the search engines. This is a never-ending source for freelancers since the website owners are in constant need of good quality content. This is a consistent writing job for freelancers. You may not be able to choose topics and some of it might be monotonous, but you can obtain job security and consistency as well as free time.
2. Content Farms
There are many sites, such as Suite 101.com and Demand Studios that can be quite lucrative for a freelance writer. These are actually sites that use industrial techniques in order to create content for Internet businesses. Content farms are highly advanced and a freelance writer can do well if he makes a good choice of whom he writes for. The writing can also be flexible and you can write what you want and make a pretty pile of the green stuff whenever you want. Content farms are sites that employ several freelance writers and generate large amount of content, which is ideal to satisfy search engines. The main aim is to produce revenue from advertising. However, the pay scales can be a little lower, but if you are able to produce several articles in a day, you could earn a decent income.
3. Freelancing to Niche Forums
You will find this a more flexible and attractive proposition, as you can be part of forums where you can market your services. You can find these forums through Big-Boards.com. You can also choose one that relates to your particular niche in writing. Select a forum that has a good number of webmasters with several websites connected to your niche, so that you can get consistent work.
4. Freelancing Sites
There are several freelancing sites that are posted on freelancing website platforms and you can use the search engine to find the best ones. However, this platform for writing can be quite crowded and they usually require a lot of writing with less payment. You could just hit upon some private company that has some freelance writing requirement for their website.
5. SEO Writing Services
The best and highest quality of writing is needed in contextual link building. This is what many webmasters are looking for to put up on their website and you can earn profits by guest posting on such websites. You need to work for an SEO company or for other webmasters who require this service.
6. Bulk Marketing Jobs
This is where you will have to reach a large number of people though emails. Companies usually outsource this kind of jobs to freelancers. However, this job could prove to be monotonous and you can take it up only as a last alternative.
Four Niches for Making Money
1. Writing for Blogs and SEO writing
You can write on anything provided it is something you know sufficiently about. The niche should be something that has a lot of search traffic. In a short time, you could have advertisements and placements of products on your blog. You can even post sales for any of your products and services that are related to the subject.
2. Sell Your Content
Just write whatever subject you are interested in, or even something that other people are requesting. You can then name a price for the content on websites, such as Constant Content and Daily Article. If you are exceptionally talented and can write unique pieces, you can earn a handsome sum by selling your content. Don’t go for sites that hand you a pittance, but go for the big bucks. You can place your own price for the work and you can even sell the complete rights for the work or just the usage rights alone. The content is usually checked by the site to ascertain whether it is error free and it is then put up for sale.
3. How-To or Tutorials
If you have experience in web designing and its development, you can go in for articles under the niche of tutorials. There are several websites that pay excellent remuneration for a well-written tutorial. Cash in on your writing skills even if you are just an above-average writer.
You have probably seen several autobiographies by celebrities and politicians who didn’t have the time or the talent to actually write those books. Take it from me; they didn’t write those books. You can ghostwrite for them. This is a most lucrative form of writing. Granted, you may not see your name in the limelight, but what’s that when you are making good money in the bargain? Technically speaking, any writing done by someone else carrying your name can be termed as ghostwriting. Today, the category is geared towards writing of manuscripts, reports, and eBooks, along with other web content. The important thing is to provide unique content and a willingness to forgo your byline for payment.
Seven Traits to Adopt While Writing
- Learn to quickly adapt. This is an important trait that all freelance writers will have to learn. You will have to be ready to try out different ‘adventures’ that are relevant to your niche. There are several genres of writing and each one is challenging in its own way, requiring its own set of skill levels and experience. Try and explore different genres to make the choice that fits best.
- Freelancing is not just about stringing a few sentences and making up an article. You need to adopt a style that can sway and persuade your readers towards your opinion.
- You need the essential skills to be able to do research on the required topic in an intensive way in order to communicate the correct and significant facts related to the niche. You should have the ability to demonstrate facts that are relevant to the subject and all other statistical information related to the topic in a unique and personal writing style. Your writing must cover all the pertinent information related to the topic and must be presented in a succinct style.
- Avoid all copy and paste habits, which is a great temptation to most freelancers. They just collect the data from the Internet and convert it into material required for the article. You cannot expect to paid good money for this kind of work. Freelancing is a serious profession and you need to do justice to it by respecting all ethical and moral values. You can get information and then coordinate it into a comprehensive content by using your own style of writing. Start picking up new words and read more in order to enhance your vocabulary.
- Try to write early in the morning. I find that many professional writers and bloggers prefer this time, as they are able to write fresh and original content. Maybe you have enhanced ability because of the quiet and energetic atmosphere.
- An important trait to cultivate would be to become a good reader. This is absolutely mandatory for a person who wishes to build his writing and creative skills. Read more and you will be able to become more creative in your thoughts and writing. You can also broaden your knowledge on several topics. ‘You are what you read and write’ is not just an idle quote.
- Time-management skills are also very important for a freelance writer. This is especially so when you are self-employed. You need a lot of self-discipline because there is no one but you who can manage a schedule. You need to develop good time-management skills. You can even make use of tracking applications that run in the computer background. You can make a note of how much time you spend on the net, how much time is spent in emailing, and the time spent on other applications. This will provide you with an aid for assessing the best ways to use your time while writing.
Benefits of Owning a Blog/Website
There is often a question about whether freelancers really need to have their own blog or website. I’m admittedly prejudiced in favor of blogging for freelancers.
- A blog provides a good presence on the Internet to promote your freelance business. There are many people who can discover you through your blog.
- Another benefit of having your own blog is that it could be the best place to advertise your niche in writing. You could also provide a comprehensive list of the writings and the articles that you have contributed and the services that you are ready to offer to prospective clients.
- A blog provides you with a position of expertise. You could make suggestions and give opinions on various topics related to your niche. It promotes you as a professional writer who is well-experienced in his work. Additionally, it also offers you a position from which you can connect and network with other clients.
- Having a blog and frequently updating it with your own original content can land your page high in the search-engine ranking as well. Updating and maintaining a freelancing blog is also easier than a commercial blog.
- Though a business blog may take some time to set up and create blog posts, it is well worth it, as you can promote your products or services with your own original posts. It provides support for your business, and you can even run advertisements on it to generate a profit. It provides the perfect platform for advertising your freelancing business.
Money Management Tactics – Four Effective Strategies for Writing Smart
In general, I have noticed that writers are bad accountants. If you asked them what is 80 percent of $ 3000 , you would most likely draw a blank. But, in reality, if you want to make a success of your freelancing business, you need to update yourself with a few basic money management tactics. Managing your own business is no rocket science and you just need to be a bit systematic to effectively manage your revenue.
1. Establish A Basic Plan For Your Income
Try to ask yourself questions, such as where the freelance income is going to come from and what topics or niches you will use to generate a profit. Also, analyze how you are going to increase this income by means such as diversification, increasing your client base, and so on.
2. Manage The Cash Flow
You will not be paid until the work is finished and submitted. You will surely not pay your mechanic until you have checked out the car. It is the same with freelancing. It is quite a tough task to manage the cash flow, especially when you have invoices that are pending for weeks and sometimes even months. You need to do some self-management here. Try to establish regular work but in a more staggered pattern. Try to write regularly but have the deadlines staggered, so that the bank account gets topped periodically and regularly.
3. Become Your Own PA
Try to keep track of your work that is in progress, the payments that are pending, those that have been paid up, the work that is completed, outstanding work, etc., in an excel sheet. You will need to commission every monetary detail in the sheet, with the due dates, the publication name, the date of completion or submission of the job, the paid date, and so on.
4. Tax Awareness
Make sure about all the tax deductions that you are entitled to and which you can claim through your business. If you have income protection, look into it. Have online access to your bank account and monitor the funds.
Writing an article for a magazine or a newspaper or for online submission is more than just browsing and copying it. Freelancing requires a lot more talent with trying out different topics and fields where you could be making the maximum profit from your creative talents. There are several niches in which you can write in order to make more profits, such as tutorials, blogs and SEO writing. You could be exceptionally gifted in the art of writing, but if you do not have what it takes in the form of other money making strategies and tips, you might just get left behind. You need to have face to face selling skills, use the latest technology and manage your money in a smart and professional manner. One last word, it’s sure worth trading the long commuting to a work place, as you can just sit back and work in a relaxed atmosphere from your home. The deal is not so bad after all if you can just pick up a few smart cues.