As many of you know, I quit my job in April of 2013 to pursue a career as a freelance writer. Even though I have technically “been a writer” for my entire life, 2012 – 2013 represents a time when I started getting paid what I was worth.
Up until then, I was getting sporadic jobs here and there but not nearly enough to quit my job. But something changed near the end of 2012 – and the changes just so happened to coincide with the birth of this website.
All of a sudden, I started getting offers for a crazy number of writing jobs – so many jobs, in fact, that I could barely complete them on top of my 9-5 job. After a year of working full-time and hustling on the side, I was convinced I could make a full-time living as a blogger and writer. And now that I’ve got a few years of full-time writing under my belt, I know that was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
When I left my job, my goal was to gross at least $4,000 per month. I came up with that specific dollar figure because I wanted to fully replace my old income, which was about $38,000, and add a little more to make up for a few key benefits I lost – health insurance, my 401(k) match, and my employer-paid phone, just to name a few.
However, that income goal was short-lived since I made around $90,000 in 2014. Then in 2015, I made around $150,000 from writing jobs alone, although we earned more money with this website and some of my other online hustles.
See also: How I Earn a Living On the Internet
In my last income report, which was for December of 2015, I shared that we made a total of $23,620. That’s been pretty hard for me to wrap my head around, especially since I don’t really “see” this money as it goes straight into funds for retirement and quarterly tax payments. The rest just builds up in my business account, and doesn’t feel real to me for some reason.
How to Get Freelance Writing Jobs
Since I’ve done pretty well at securing so many writing jobs, I often get emails from people asking for advice. So, instead of repeating myself over and over, I wrote this post. Without further ado, here are some ways that YOU can get freelance writing jobs of your own:
Write For Free
I know, I know. No one wants to do this. And, it sucks. However, most of the high-paying writing jobs I have now were secured by sending a multitude of free guest posts ahead of time. While you may not want to write for free in the long-term, this strategy really can work. Start by finding sites you want to write for. Then, send them some awesome posts that haven’t been published elsewhere. Make sure to ask them for a definitive answer so that you don’t lose that post if they choose not to run it. Most big sites will be nice enough to respond and let you know either way. And, if you aren’t having much luck, keep trying! Sometimes it takes a while to find someone who will give you a chance.
I don’t do a lot of guest posting anymore, but I used to guest post a lot. Hands down, guest posting is one of the easiest ways to get your writing skillz noticed. And, since you’re typically not getting paid to guest post, you can just consider it an investment in your freelance writing future. Am I right?
After you start emailing websites in an effort to get freelance writing jobs, you’ll notice that some of them will respond. Answering those emails prompty will put you in the front of their minds and make it more likely they’ll give you a shot. Trust me, no matter how amazing you are, no one wants to wait three days to hear back from you. Freelance writers are a dime a dozen. You have to be quick!
Use Your Personality
A lot of my freelance writing jobs are totally boring. However, some of the jobs I do require an infusion of my amazing personality and/or hilarious anecdotes. In a sea of other writers competing for the same jobs, it doesn’t hurt to let your individuality shine. Just be yourself. Or, better yet, be a more interesting version of yourself. Trust me….it helps!
Apply for Jobs on Job Boards…Or Not
A lot of people apply for freelance writing jobs at Elance.com or BloggingPro.com and that may be a good way to get started. However, from my experience, the jobs posted are low-paying. Plus, a million people instantly apply for every job that’s posted, making it increasingly difficult to get your foot in the door. Although I personally don’t apply for jobs on job boards, I do think it’s worth your time if you’re just getting started. At the same time, don’t get your hopes up.
Start a Blog
Having your own blog is an excellent way to showcase your writing skillz. You simply would not believe how many writing jobs I have gotten just because this crazy ol’ blog exists. However, if you do decide to start a blog to get freelance writing jobs, it’s important to post frequently. If someone finds your blog and notices that you haven’t posted in a month, they will not be impressed. Although I post almost every day, posting 2-3 times a week is enough to be considered “up to date.” And, if you make the topic of your blog broad enough, that shouldn’t be a problem.
If you don’t have a blog and are thinking about starting one, make sure to read my blog post on the topic: Quit Your Day Job: How to Start a Blog. And, if you use any of my affiliate links and have questions, please feel free to email us! We’ve learned a little from our experiences and may be able to help!
See also: How to Start a Blog in 6 Easy Steps