Freelance writing income miracles
Tired of not making enough money or of 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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How our freelance writing income liberated us
Fourteen 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. We share here how we did that so you, too, can earn money from your education, experience and misfortunes.
If you’re inspired by our story, know that it all started with us starting our gay blog. If you haven’t already, 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, 14 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 two full-time jobs. Along with our podcast, public speaking and brand partnerships, we’ve increased our income and income streams for Debt Free Guys® with freelance writing.
Our freelance writing income nets us 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.
With these 9 tips, start your five-figure freelance writing career, too, by clicking here.
1. Pick your niche to 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 that bore you. Writing clients want to see your breadth and depth on a subject or two, so love your topic like Selena loves a love song.
2. Serve others, and the freelance writing income follow
Now that you’ve picked your passions, who will your freelance writing help and how will it help them. Your boss (freelance writing clients) wants 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.
3. Practice. Practice. Practice to be a highly-paid freelance writer
I don’t know who, but someone once said, “A good writer is a bad writer who didn’t stop writing.” The point is to earn five-figures in the 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 your work. You’re not writing in your diary. To make a living from writing, you must share your writing with others, and know to want to make a living from your freelance is okay.
There are tools better than Microsoft Word to help you write better. Grammarly’s 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. Target a 6th or 7th grade-level for the broadest appeal. Freelance writing income comes from appealing to a broad audience and no one can read War and Peace several times a day.
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 your work on their phones at work on the toilet.
Don’t get your readers in trouble with their boss.
Co-Schedule Headline Analyzer
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 clickbait, but do create titles that grab 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. You can, too, by clicking this link!
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 feedback. When you’re confident enough, share your writing with family and friends. Ask for their feedback and be as receptive to it just as with your man’s.
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.
4. Write a book in your niche to position yourself as the pro
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. You’re not writing a New York Times best-seller – yet. You’re putting your content out and creating a catalog.
We’ve published three books on Smashwords and Amazon’s CreateSpace this way.
When you’ve been writing in your niche for more than 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 a fast 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.
To learn more about why and how to publish your book, listen to Jenn T. Grace, founder of Publish Your Purpose, on Queer Money® share her insights for up and coming authors.
Hear Jenn T. Grace of Publish Your Purpose on Queer Money®:
Publishing a book isn’t walking on sunshine, but it’s easier than it seems. Plus, even being a self-published author has weight! Another colleague of ours is rockin’ it with writing ebooks, romance novels, of all things.
For help writing ebooks, Michelle will walk you through step-by-step with what she did to generate 5-extra figures a year. Sign up to learn more by clicking this link here.
5. Be a social media powerhouse to get your name out there
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 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 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 Sprout Social to automate your social media 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.
To to get the most out of Facebook, you’ll want to use Facebook Ads. But mastering Facebook Ads is a combo of art and science. Fortunately, we interviewed the master of masters of Facebook Ads, Monica Louie, of Flourish with Facebook Ads.
Monica shared amazing tips on all things Facebook Ads on this Queer Money® and use this link along with discount code (DFG50) to save $50 on your purchases of Flourish with Facebook Ads.
Hear Monica Louie Flourish with Facebook Ads on Queer Money®:
6. Network. Network. Network.
When you become an online entrepreneur with success, 95% of your job will be networking. One-hundred percent of your business opportunities will take longer than you expect and 60% of your initial business opportunities will go nowhere.
So, 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. We interviewed LGBT Entrepreneur on Queer Money® about networking to grow your small business.
Hear LGBT Entrepreneur on Queer Money®:
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 more. This is when we establish our street cred and our street cred has grown since.
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.
7. Write for others to generate freelance writing income
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.
When we first started writing, we wrote for blogs no one read. We then emailed every single editor of every LGBT magazine in the country and offered to write for free. 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.
Over time our cost per article grew and grew.
Subscribe to freelancing job boards like Contently, Pro Blogger, and BloggerJobs.biz and set up IFTTT to notify you when freelancing jobs come available. Create templates to pitch freelancing opportunities and make pitching easier for you. You’ll need to modify each pitch, but having a process will make pitching easier.
Yes, we’re only talking about freelance writing.
Create an account with Capsule CRM or another client relationship management tool to manage the people and businesses to whom you pitch and follow up accordingly. Capsule is a free client relationship management tool.
Initially, this freelance writing income is free for obscure publications. As you build your portfolio and cred, which requires pitching, managing your pitches and client, you can get $20 here and $50 there until your freelance writing income is earning you $230,000 a year, like our friend here by clicking this link here.
8. Get quoted as much as possible
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. Twitter’s also a great way to connect with journalists and media to get quoted and even get freelance writing gigs.
Another way for LGBTQ small business owners and entrepreneurs to connect with journalists and other influential people to get quoted far and wide is to join the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and local chapters. Hear all about how the national and local chapters help LGBTQ small business owners and entrepreneurs on this Queer Money® interview with Jonathan Lovitz, the Senior Vice President of the NGLCC.
Hear Jonathan Lovitz of the NGLCC on Queer Money®:
Once you’ve been quoted in their publication, add that to your street cred to increase your equity.
9. 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 to staff writers.
Because you’ve niched down and have a unique voice for a specific audience, you’ll stand out from everyone else.
It may seem daunting, but it’s not about doing it all at once. It took us four years from start to finish to get to earning five-figures a year in freelance writing income. That includes the year we had no idea what we were doing. With more focus and our help, you’ll reach your goal faster.
Remember, 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 starting by clicking this link.
Why we need more gay bloggers and writers
The queer community needs more LGBTQ bloggers and writers to strengthen our community and influence the national dialogue. For far too long, too many of us have been marginalized to the sidelines. We can’t let that continue.
We must be seen as more than our sexual orientations and gender identities, and we must start driving the conversation of what true diversity and inclusion look like to us and not what straight, white men think it should look like.
The only way to do that is to strengthen our voices. We’ve been advocating for a long time for more in our community to start a gay blog to add a gay voice to their expertise or niche. The best way to start strengthening our voices is by more of us starting gay blogs.
The next step is for there to be more queer freelance writers. So, start your gay blog, then start your freelancing writing business to increase your income and take your queer voice even further for the sake of our community by clicking here.
Other resources for starting your freelance writing small business
Business insurance for small businesses
All businesses need business insurance. Even though it seems like you could run a small freelance writing business from your bed, you’ll need business insurance. Getting business insurance doesn’t have to be painful or costly.
Listen to the ladies from PoGo on Queer Money®:
Business valuations for small businesses
Most of us hope to leave a legacy someday, but small business owners typically have the majority of their net worth tied up in their small businesses. Being a small business owner doesn’t mean you can’t sell your business or inherit it to friends or family.
It does mean that you need to know the worth of your small business. We talked with the small business valuation pro from MassMutual who shares everything you need to know about easily and correctly getting your small business valuation.
Listen to Tracy Shaw on Queer Money®:
Small business lending for small businesses
If you’re serious about starting a small business, you’ll have to eventually get real with lending for and investing in your small business. Fortunately, most gig-economy businesses don’t have to go to a bank today to get for a small business loan. It’s easier and more convenient to obtain a small business loan with a small business credit card, ideally one that offers rewards or other perks.
Here are two small business credits that we think are great, in part, because of their rewards and other benefits.
Capital One Spark Business
Chase Business Unlimited
There’s a right and a wrong way to use credit cards. If you’re already struggling with credit card debt, hold off on applying for the credit cards above, and see our Debt Lasso Method to pay off your credit card debt fast. Then, for help following the Debt Lasso Method, saving money, increasing your credit score and ultimately, paying off your credit card debt faster than you ever expected, click here to sign up for the Credit Card Pay Off Plan.
Then, sign up for the ‘Improve or Build Your Credit Score Powered by Experian Boost‘ to make sure your credit score is rock solid before applying for either of these cards.