Freelancers are an innovative bunch. Nevertheless, almost daily I receive inquiries from people who are struggling to make a sustainable living. I attribute most of this to his inability to think outside the box.
There are so many ways to make money as a freelance writer that I keep a file of ideas. Although I rarely find myself without a project on my desk, when assignments become scarce, I check out this file to tickle my brain cells.
The following are 10 ways a freelance writer can make money, fast!
1. Sell to professionals: What I mean by this is, target real estate agents, insurance agents, mortgage brokers, etc. with your writing skills.
A Personal Story: When I was a loan officer, I created a newsletter to send out to prospects. Another loan officer in my office saw my newsletter and asked how I did it. (I used Constant Contact software to set it up (ConstantContact.com)). I walked him up the steps and he started one.
When the owner of the company saw it, he asked me to write a weekly newsletter for the firm.
As this example illustrates, business professionals need a way to convert prospects into customers. A weekly newsletter was just what I needed in this case. If you have 15 or 20 companies paying you to do a weekly, monthly, or quarterly newsletter, and charging enough, this may be all the income you’ll ever need.
So, go to professionals like these and offer to write a weekly column, newsletter, e-zine, etc. and watch your business grow.
2. Edit Websites: This may require a bit of upfront work, but it can bring in dollars for years to come. There are so many sites that are in dire need of good copy, all you have to do is turn on your computer to find one. HOWEVER, the key is to target those who are willing to pay for your services. Once again, a personal story.
A friend of mine knows a chemist who created a skin care product. The product is sold nationally through independent distributors. He told me to check out the website to see if it was a product I would be interested in trying.
Once I logged into the site, I immediately forgot why I was supposed to be looking at the site. Why? The grammar, graphics, and layout were horrible; especially grammar! I rewrote the home page and sent it to the webmaster with a nice note saying I’d be happy to redo the whole site for $X. A few days later we reached an agreement and I got the job. You can do this too.
Again, professionals are a great target market for freelance writers. Mortgage brokers, insurance agents, lawn care providers, etc. Most have websites, and many of them are not very good. So, edit/rewrite a page and send it to them with a proposal to do the whole site. Usually, if they use it once, they will continue to do so for years to come.
ADDITIONAL TIPS: Offer to add weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. articles to the site to increase traffic. Many small business owners are so busy that they don’t think or know how to do this type of marketing. Point out the benefits and watch your customer list grow.
3. Create an e-book: Okay, you’re thinking: everyone and their mom are doing this these days. TARGET, why? Because it works. If you have knowledge on a particular subject, for example, how to stain a deck, pressure wash a house, quit smoking, make doll clothes, whatever it is, write a book about it.
Writing ebooks is easy – it can be done in as little as 24 hours – and offer it for sale on a site like ClickBank.
REMEMBER, most people search for information on the Internet. And, “how to” information is one of the most popular ways. So, rack your brains for what you love to do, write an e-book about it, and sell it through a major distributor like ClickBank.
A book probably won’t make you rich, but it could bring you extra money for years to come. The best part of this idea, once you create one ebook you can create others and really increase your income to the point where you can quit your dreaded day job.
4. Set up a CafePress store: This online marketer (CafePress.com) allows you to create t-shirts, mugs, stickers, etc. and sell them without carrying any merchandise. There are no minimums, nothing for you to store, and no upfront fees. If you don’t sell anything, you don’t pay anything.
So, How can a freelancer take advantage of this medium? Quite simply, if you’re powerful with a pen, then the dollars can follow. Create cool slogans and quips and put them on t-shirts, stickers, mugs, etc. You could be the creator of the next great fashion T.
Remember the catchphrase “Sh*t Happens”? I think this phrase was popularized by hippies in the 70’s. Can you begin to guess how many stickers and t-shirts were sold with this phrase? So, rack your brain and create some phenomenal pop culture!
5. Create a “Newspaper” and Sell Ads: This is a bit more ambitious, but once implemented, it can really attract a large number of customers! Here too, I would target a professional market.
An example: In my city there is a very prominent real estate agency. In all my years in and around this profession, I have never seen this particular mode of advertising from an agent. He created a “newspaper” about his geographic area. It’s only 5 or 6 pages (11×17) and printed on newsprint.
It has all the local activities, the functions of the Chamber of Commerce, what is being built, how it will affect the community, etc. Granted, the paper is skewed toward real estate news, but it has enough of the other factors to attract a loyal resident readership.
In this job, you sell ads to mortgage brokers, movers, title and loan companies, car dealers, etc. If I remember correctly, he’s been putting it out for 9 years. Now, when people go to sell their houses, who do you think they’re going to call? Him, of course! Because his name is in front of them giving them news relevant to their daily lives week after week.
How can you capitalize on this idea? Create a mockup, go to five or six different professional groups (eg insurance agent, mortgage broker, etc.) and offer to do something similar for your business.
Make them realize the value of being in front of customers in their geographic area week in and week out, e.g. The XYZ Newsletter is proudly presented by the following area sponsors:
I would start with no less than a thousand copies; these can be printed very reasonably at your local Kinko’s or neighborhood print shop. Also, make sure it’s a very narrow geographic area. Remember, most business owners realize the value of focus, focus, focus.
MARKETING TIPS: Go to those companies that have grown beyond the one man shop with this idea. For example, an insurance company with an owner, 2 agents, and a full-time or part-time receptionist. Why? Because they are the ones who can most likely afford to implement this plan.
As you can see, There are a wide variety of ways to earn money as a freelance writer. It is only limited by YOUR imagination..
Soon the second part!