Freelance writing income miracles
Tired of not making enough money or relying solely on that jerk of a boss for your standard of living? Let’s discuss how to create multiple streams of income and financial independence from freelance writing income.
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Freelance writing income liberated us
Twelve years ago, we were living in a basement apartment with no daylight buried under $51,000 in credit card debt. We’re now debt free and make over $60,000 a year writing about how we paid off that debt. This article shares how we did that so you, too, can earn money from your misfortunes.
Are you’re inspired by our story, then try this to start your freelance writing career today! It all started with us starting our blog. If you haven’t done so, start your gay blog today and get our exclusive discount here.
Like the emperor with no clothes and the cobbler’s kids with no shoes, 12 years ago, we were two financial services professionals poorly managing our own money, as we were helping others manage theirs. We weren’t newly employed, but we weren’t spring chickens.
Clinging to the gay cliché of looking fabulous but being fabulously broke was our monetary mistake. Back when there was a different gay bar to go to every night in Denver, we were at a different gay bar every single night in Denver. We overspent at happy hours that lasted hours, expensive dinners despite an expansive fridge, clubbing all hours all nights, clothes we didn’t need and couldn’t afford, and vacations we shouldn’t have gone on. All this was happening while our debt was piling up.
Life wasn’t going as planned. We were the gay version of the Friend’s theme song. When we realized that club-thumping every night wasn’t getting us our dreams, we decided to make a change.
We paid off our $51,000 in credit card debt in two and a half years. We put what we knew professionally and all too personally about money into our book, 4: The Four Principles of a Debt Free Life, and this blog you’re reading now.
What started as a hobby turned into one and a half full-time jobs. John works solely for the Debt Free Guys™, mostly freelance writing and now we’re public speaking and doing brand partnerships. David splits his time between his W-2 and our 1099.
Our freelance writing income currently is about $5,000 a month. To earn that, we talk about more than paying off our $51,000 in credit card debt, but it was paying off our debt, starting our queer blog, and writing our book that got us earning $5,000 in freelance writing income.
Let your passion fuel your freelance writing income
Most freelance writers have a specialty. They choose one, maybe two, topics in which to be experts. To get good gigs, you can’t play the Renaissance man. You may be an expert on everything, but your public and clients want you in a box. If you’re as diverse with your freelance writing as the guys you’ve been with, you’ll struggle.
Freelance writers write about politics or music or economics or fashion or anything else. They don’t typically write about public policy and life coaching – too confusing!
This tip is also important because to earn $5,000+ a month in freelance writing income, you’ll need to write a lot about your specialty. So, don’t pick topics bore you. Writing clients want to see your breadth and depth on a subject or two, so love your topic like Selena Gomez loves a love song.
Learn all about exploring and picking your passion and why we need more LGBT bloggers here.
Serve others, and the freelance writing income will come
Now that you’ve picked your passions, who will your freelance writing help and how will it help them. Your boss (freelance writing clients) want to give their readers value. Your key to making full-time freelance writing income hinges on the value you give their readers. If their readers aren’t interested in your writing, your freelance writing income will be a big fat goose egg.
Practice. Practice. Practice.
I don’t know who, but someone once said, “A good writer is a bad writer who didn’t stop writing.” – or something like that. The point is to earn five-figures in freelance writing income you don’t have to spend years in journalism school.
The best way to become a better writer is to write a lot. Write more. Then, write some more. When you first start writing, you’ll likely be scared to let people read it. You’re not writing in your diary. To make a living from writing, and wanting to make a living from it is okay, you must share your writing with others.
There are tools better than Microsoft Word to can help you write better. Grammarly is amazing. It spell-checks, grammar-checks, dupe-checks, missed word-checks and more.
Readable is another site we use. Readable verifies the readability of your writing. Using algorithms, Readable estimates the grade-level required to read your writing. You want your writing to target a 6th or 7th grade-level to have the broadest appeal. Freelance writing income comes from appealing to a broad audience and not all of us want War and Peace for every article we read.
Readable estimates the time it takes to read your work and analyzes the sentiment, positive or negative, of your writing. Unless you’re writing a “how to,” like ‘how to’ start a blog guide, keep your articles under six minute-reads. Most people are reading you on their phones at work on the toilet. Don’t get your readers in trouble with their bosses.
You won’t need this now, but you will eventually. You have about three seconds to get a reader to read your writing. Think of how fast you scroll through news and Facebook on your phone. What catches your attention first is the title and the opening lines.
You’ve heard the term “click-bait?”
Don’t rely on click bait, but do create titles that get attention. For that, we use Co-Schedule Headline Analyzer. Co-Schedule grades your headlines and helps improve them.
With strategies like this, friends of ours are earning $200,000+ a year freelance writing income. Someday, we will, too. That includes you!
When you’re ready to share your writing, share small. Maybe let your husband read it first. Ask him for feedback. This step will be tough, but it’s critical. Be open to receiving his comments. When you’re confident enough, share your writing with other family and friends. Ask for their feedback and be as receptive to it just as your man’s (what are we talking about?).
Then, start a blog and go public. If starting a blog sounds hard, here’s our step-by-step guide to creating your blog in one-hour. Our niece did it all by herself, and so can you.
Write a book
You need to establish yourself as a thought-leader on a topic. One way to become a thought-leader is to write and publish a book. Sites, such as Lulu, Smashwords, and CreateSpace, make publishing a book super easy. We’ve published three books on Smashwords. You’re not writing a New York Times best-seller – yet. You’re putting your content out and creating a catalog.
When you’ve been writing in your niche for a minute, you’ll have an excellent catalog of work. As your writing improves and voice strengthens, you’ll want to improve your earlier blog posts. Improving your earlier blog posts and putting it into a logical sequence with supporting information is an efficient way to write an e-book.
Use the sites above to create your book to sell on Amazon and wham! – wake me up before you go go – you’re a published author. Publishing a book isn’t walking on sunshine, but it’s easier than it seems. Plus, even being a self-published author has girth – wait, again!
Be a social media powerhouse
You’re nothing today if you’re nothing on social media. To make big freelance writing income, your clients want to connect with your audience. So, you need a social media presence. Which ones should you be on? That depends on your target market. Where are they?
We’re on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+, and Instagram. We’re on Facebook because, aside from Grindr and Scruff, most gay men are on Facebook. We’re on Twitter to connect with celebrities (Taye Digg, Margaret Cho, and John Cena to name a few), local and national media, and corporations. We talk more about this under ‘Network. Network. Network.’
We’re on Pinterest because Pinterest is a major search engine. Even though Pinterest is currently mostly moms, the rate of men signing up for Pinterest is currently faster than women. Plus, Pinterest is investing millions to attract men. No doubt four to eight percent of those men are gay. If Pinterest wants to put me in front of a gaggle of gay men, who am I to question it?
We’re on YouTube because this is the best place to house videos. We’re on Google+ even though no one else is because promoting our new articles on Google+ appeases the Google gods and ranks us higher in searches. Lastly, we’re on Instagram because gay men are visual creatures and Instagram lets us connect with them in a visual way.
Initially, your social media will be the primary driver of traffic to your blog. When you come out with a new article, you’ll promote it on social media to announce its arrival like all of Cher’s farewell tours. Use tools like HootSuite and Meet Edgar to automate this and make your life as easy as a twink after a few cosmos. Social media can be a full-time job, and you don’t have all day.
Over time you’ll establish yourself as an authority in your niche on social media. A great way to connect with other bloggers, journalists, writers and businesses is by connecting on social media. Like, comment on and share what they share. Ask them for quotes and tag them in posts. In time, you’ll establish a connection and can pursue business opportunities with them.
Network. Network. Network.
When you become an online entrepreneur with success, 95 percent of your job will be networking. One-hundred percent of your business opportunities will take longer than you expect and 60 percent of your initial business opportunities will fall through. Keep the pipeline full.
It’s a number’s game, like hooking up at the bar.
Even if something falls through, it might not fall through forever. There are many variables when establishing relationships and sometimes there are circumstances that make “right now” not the right time.
Other ways to network are attending industry, social media and blogging conferences, participating in talks and events by local businesses. Join your local and the national LGBT chambers of commerce, if you’re queer or a queer ally.
We’re personal finance writers. The first year we attended the personal finance blogging conference, we connected with a publisher that syndicates its articles on major platforms. They got us published on YahooFinance, MSN Money and others. This is when we establish our street cred and our street cred has grown ever since. This is also where we made friends who’ve contributed to making us profitable.
Because we’re published in so many places, we can command more in freelance writing income than those who haven’t been published anywhere. When you approach a blog, whether small or large – and when you start size doesn’t matter – they’ll ask to see your writing samples. When you can refer them to major publications in your niche, your equity increases. That’s more freelance writing income for you!
Write for others
To create this equity, offer to write for other blogs once you have at least ten posts on your own blog that you set up with our super-simple, step-by-step guide. Initially, this freelance writing income is free for obscure publications. As you build your portfolio and cred, you can get $20 here and $50 there until you’re earning $230,000 a year from freelance writing income.
When we first started writing, we wrote for a blog no one reads. We then emailed every single editor of every LGBT magazine in the country and offered to write for free. Eventually, one bit and we were published in actual print. This opportunity was, also, free, but in time we were commanding $100 to $500 an article.
Subscribe to freelancing job boards like Contently, Pro Blogger, and BloggerJobs.biz and set up IFTTT to email you when freelancing jobs are available. Create standard templates to pitch freelancing opportunities to make pitching easier. (I swear we’re talking about getting freelance writing income!) You’ll need to modify each pitch, but having a process will make pitching easier.
Create an account with Capsule CRM to manage the people and businesses to whom you pitch and follow up accordingly. Capsule is a free client relationship management tool.
In addition to getting published, get cited to establish yourself as an authority. Create a HARO account. HARO stands for “Help a Reporter Out” and lets reporters and journalists get quotes from those who have quotes to give. Once you’ve been quoted in their publication, add that to your street cred to increase your equity.
Write for freelance writing income
When you’ve established yourself as the authority in your niche on your blog and social media and been published and quoted, pitch your writing to businesses with blogs and other publications. Many large and small businesses have blogs to appease the Google gods and drive traffic to their sites. It’s cheaper to hire freelancers than a staff of writers. Because you’ve niched down and have a unique voice for a specific audience, you’ll stand out from everyone else.
It all seems daunting at first, but it’s not about doing it all at once. It’s about doing a little at a time, doing it slowly and consistently, and in time reaching your goal of making thousands of dollars a month in freelance writing income. We’ll talk about monetizing your blog in the future. For now, start your blog and start your freelance writing career with our help above and this great tool.
It took us four years from start to finish to get to where we are. That includes the year we had no idea what we were doing. Lucky, you! You can skip that with the amazing (if we do say so ourselves) article above and this help. With more focus and our help, you’ll reach your goal faster.
Now start making more money on your own!