Are you sick of those dry spells that make you go back to begging for work as a freelance writer?
It happens. One day you’re flush with work, cranking out copy, and making a decent income. And then you realize your freelance marketing efforts haven’t been all that great.
Projects come to an end. You get paid. And then you’re scrambling to find more clients that need a freelance writer.
Been there? Done that?
If you’re that kind of freelance writer, it can get exhausting. It’s kind of like trying to make your way across a desert without any water. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
If you want to be a fully-booked freelance writer, there’s a few things you can do to always have a steady stream of work. The marketing techniques I use as a freelance writer have helped me increase demand, raise my rates, find better clients, and make more money.
Ready to end the freelance-client drought once and for all? Here’s how:
1. Write epic content
The best-paying blogs and businesses aren’t looking for fluff. They’re looking for 1 of 3 things:
- Education and how-to posts
If you’re writing something to share with the world, make sure it does one of these three things. I’ve had blog owners contact me asking if I’d write for their site simply because they saw this epic step-by-step post.
- If you’re going to blog on your own site, or you’re writing for clients, do your best work. Your byline or link can help send more client work your way.
2. Go beyond expectations
Stand out as a writer by going beyond writing a good post.
For example, if you’re writing a how-to post, add screenshots, data, or examples to prove your point.
- That’s the difference between being an average freelance writer who gets a one-and-done assignment, and the freelance writer clients keep sending work to.
Which would you rather be?
3. Do a good job, and make sure everybody knows about it
When you do something to stand out, it makes a huge difference. And people should know about it.
As a book editor, I work a little differently than most. Instead of just fixing typos and grammar, I help authors improve their voice and style, and connect with readers. And it’s a game changer.
One New York Times best-selling author asked me if he could write a testimonial about my work as an editor. Of course! This one testimonal helps me get more clients and solidified my rate increase for all future editing and writing projects.
Don’t have any testimonials? After you complete a project for a client, ask for a testimonial via email, LinkedIn, or another platform you prefer. Then promote the hell out of it. Do a good job, and make sure everybody knows about it.
4. Self-publish a book
There’s no better way to show you’re an expert in your niche than writing a book. Seriously, you can do this. And you don’t need an agent, a book contract, or a publisher.
When I found out I was pregnant, I wanted to keep earning money while I took time off. So I wrote a book.
It’s a perfect example of why writing is one of the best jobs for pregnant women or anyone who wants flexibility. I published my book before the baby came, then enjoyed earning money through book sales even while I took time off.
- Not only will self-publishing e-books give you another income source, it will boost your credibility to write for bigger clients too.
5. Find bigger clients with more ongoing work
How much time have you spent writing a single query letter and shopping it around to different magazines to land an assignment?
There’s nothing wrong with this type of writing. Great magazine writing gigs pay $1/word or more. But it’s usually a one-and-done kind of assignment. And then you have to start the pitching process all over again.
If you want to write for magazines, great. But if you want an easier way to stay fully booked as a freelance writer, focus on finding clients who will have ongoing work so you can spend more time writing…and less time pitching.
- Cold pitching prospects by writing a letter of introduction, or connecting via LinkedIn is a smart strategy to land more clients. Resources like the Junk Free Job Board in the Freelance Writers Den can also help you find clients with ongoing content needs.
6. Use data to write about high-traffic topics
What are your ideal clients talking about? Or if you’re writing for a client, what should you write about to increase audience engagement and drive traffic.
Don’t guess. Instead, use free tools like BuzzSumo.com or SocialCount.co to find which posts and topics your target readers love and share the most.
When you use data to pick your topics or key phrases, and then write an epic post with lots of useful information, you’ll increase your reach and be seen by more people. And some of that traffic will come back to you in the form of prospects who want to hire you.
Here’s an example from Make A Living Writing: Freelance writers love to share sites that pay (the post I share most too!) and the numbers tactic to land writing jobs.
7. Be open-minded
You never know when a new freelance writing opportunity will present itself. Be open-minded.
A one-off job could turn into ongoing work. Maybe a writing assignment will turn into an editing, ghostwriting, or speaking opportunity.
I’ve had book editing jobs turn into blog editing, blog writing, ghostwriting, online course writing/editing, and speaking gigs.
Evaluate your current clients. Is there potential for more work? Or have you asked your current clients for referrals? Opportunities to move up and earn more are everywhere. You just need to look and be open-minded to discover them.
8. Do it scared
Virtually all of the milestones in my freelance career involved taking risks to do things I wanted to run from for fear of failure. But I believe if you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not growing.
What are you afraid of? Failure, making more money, charging higher rates, or working with big-name brands or clients? Face your fears and do it anyway.
- Pitch an idea with a query letter
- Send an LOI
- Make a connection
- Learn to use data and analytics
- Write a book
- Pitch a guest post
- Ask for referrals
- Keep marketing
Be a fully-booked freelance writer
You’ll only know what you’re capable of if you keep hustling and reaching outside your comfort zone. That’s how you become a fully-booked freelance writer. Consistently do these eight things and you’ll never have to scrounge for work or write for pennies again.
What’s holding you back from being a fully-booked freelance writer? Let’s discuss on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Val Breit is passionate about writing, editing, being smart with money, and finding creative ways to make money while being a stay-at-home mom.