Freelance writing gigs are a fantastic way to fire your boss, because some of these can be quite lucrative to say the least. Sure, some may pay as little as $25, if they compensate at all, but never fear, as these are the gigs that pay you with publicity, which is still a huge plus. Others pay up to $1,250 per article, so imagine working one hour a week and making that kind of money.
Yeah, freelancing is quite the hot topic and freelance writers everywhere are now bringing in enough dough to fire their boss, just like you’re going to do.
You may think landing the ideal freelance job is impossible, because don’t editors want someone with experience?
Yeah, experience might be a plus, but it’s not required.
Think of it this way:
You pitch an editor an idea for an article, or maybe you pitch the entire article, depending on that company’s pitch requirements, and someone else with ten years’ experience pitches another, but the editor likes your idea more, it’s highly likely you land the gig.
I’m not saying this happens all the time, as some companies do value experience more than others, but it’s definitely possible. In fact, more editors will choose lesser experience over more if the article matches their company’s taste.
The goal is to get readers to read the article and in my experience, readers don’t care how much experience the article’s author has.
When was the last time you read an article based on an author’s writing experience?
I’m drawing a blank.
How to Break Into Freelancing
Okay, for one, you need to know where to look for freelance jobs.
I don’t need to see you to know that your eyes just widened and color drained from your face, but that’s okay, because it’s really not as bad as it seems.
These jobs are literally everywhere.
You can subscribe to Freedom With Writing, hosted by Jacob Jans, where they send weekly freelance jobs to aspiring freelance writers.
Freedom With Writing also sends free e-books listing hundreds of websites and magazines that pay writers for their work and there are so many avenues one can take it’s likely you’ll find something worth your while.
You also need to know how to write a good pitch, but don’t worry, because I’m going to show you how it’s done later in the article. Most of us think a pitch is identical to a salesperson trying to sell a product to a skeptic, but it’s really quite easy.
How Much Can You Make
There are freelance writers who make full-time livings, because freelance writing possesses a huge scope of practices.
In fact, people hire freelance writers to create ‘About Me’ pages on their company websites. The same company may hire the same writer to create a brochure.
Tech writers might be freelancers, and they’re also hired by companies to create instruction manuals we all love to read.
Soon-to-be newlyweds hire freelancers to create wedding vows. Some freelancers are lyricists and both bands and singers opt for their services.
Other freelancers may have a more narrow scope of practice, like copywriting, and they will scour job boards to sell their services online to those in need of professional copywriters. The same goes for editors.
Freelancers are scriptwriters, ghostwriters, and some may even be hired to co-author a book.
Think about it: There are hundreds of avenues plus hundreds if not thousands of people out there in need of your services. That’s a lot of opportunity.
So, how much can you make?
A full-time living is definitely in the cards.
Oh, and if you read my articles about Wealthy Affiliate, selling your own products, and affiliate marketing in general, and you undertake each avenue, which is more than possible from your laptop, you just created four cash flows.
What About Niche?
Yes, as I’ve mentioned before, finding a niche market is something you want to keep in mind as you hunt for the ideal freelance gigs.
For instance, I love researching and writing about a few things:
3) Creative Writing
4) Fitness and Wellness
These four avenues are my go-to’s whereas three of which (sports, creative writing, and fitness) I have sound experience in. In the fourth niche, I have a degree in plus six years’ experience working as a personal trainer.
Let me be the first to tell you that upon working a day job once upon a time at a steel warehouse, I found that steel magazines existed.
The magazine was called something like ‘Metals Today,’ I believe, and yes, there are freelance writers getting hired by these editors to write about steel.
Ain’t that a snoozer?
But it also goes to show you just how many niche markets are available to freelancers. You might have a passion for flying kites, and yes, I’ve come across online magazines in this niche.
Guys, the possibilities here are more than endless; they’re all over the place. If you like to paint pictures or take pictures, rest assured there are magazines and websites that want your writing.
Bass fishing? Sprint car racing? Nature and scenery?
I found one for yacht racing.
You get the point.
Pros of Freelance Writing
1) You can work at home, libraries, coffee shops, anywhere in the world, directly from your laptop.
2) There are thousands of niches out there you can undertake.
3) There are online job boards plus subscription services you can utilize to find freelance work.
4) It is possible to attain clients and establish long-term relationships rather than just a one-off gig.
5) You can make a full-time living ONLY as a freelancer if you so choose to.
6) Your work experience from past day jobs will be a huge plus, even if you don’t have real freelance writing experience.
Cons of Freelance Writing
1) You WILL be told ‘No’ a lot and see more rejections than accepted submissions. This doesn’t mean your work isn’t good, but it might mean it simply doesn’t fulfill a current need, or the topic may’ve been covered recently.
2) Freelance writing can be a very confusing endeavor for the novice, especially since there are job boards out there that literally pay pennies for articles. Like anything, you need to research each job board to ensure it pays your worth.
3) You may see dry spells if your niche only accepts submissions during certain parts of the year, which might force you to research a niche you haven’t previously considered.
4) Even if your writing is accepted, brace yourself for constructive criticism and keep in mind an editor has the right to tear your work apart and rebuild it.
5) Magazines and websites regularly open and close, so don’t be surprised if you research a niche and find more dead links because a site no longer exists.
Make Your Pitch
Pitching really isn’t that tough, despite the fact it sounds as such.
There are two ways to pitch, and the first is easy and straightforward.
Dear Mr. Pitt
I’m submitting an article entitled ‘How New Mothers can Lose Belly Fat in Thirty Days the Healthy Way.’ The article will cover two major points: 1) A manageable exercise routine that new mothers can easily fit into their day, and 2) A basic yet effective nutritional regimen new mothers can incorporate. My experience in this field includes a Bachelors Degree in Wellness and Fitness from California University of Pennsylvania, plus six years of work as a certified personal trainer.
Would this article be a good fit for ‘The New Mother Magazine?’
Notice I cut straight to the chase.
Fact is, editors might be dealing with hundreds of emails per day.
I didn’t state, ‘Hi, my name is Todd Matthews and I’m submitting the article (…) for your consideration. The editor will delete the email after reading ‘my name is.’
I also went through my credentials, displaying my credibility.
Now, in this particular pitch I didn’t attach any work to my email; I simply pitched my article. Some magazines want the article that day, and it’ll be outlined in their submission guidelines. Others, such as in this example, will respond to you if they’re interested.
The second pitch is a little longer and looks like this:
Dear Mr. Lerner
I’m submitting an article entitled ‘How Men in Their Early Thirties can Still Gain Muscle Mass and Lose Bodyfat.’ This article will cover three points.
Point One: The correct way to build muscle mass without gaining unnecessary bodyfat. From here, I’ll describe Point One.
Point Two: How to lose bodyfat without sacrificing muscle mass. I’ll describe Point Two.
Point Three: How to maintain your results for the long haul. I’ll describe Point Three.
My experience in the field includes six years of work as a certified personal trainer, working with men in their early thirties. I also hold a Bachelors Degree in Wellness and Fitness from California University of Pennsylvania.
You can find the article attached to this email.
Again, I cut straight to the chase, while outlining each point described in the article. I went over my credentials as well, and even attached my work, as in this sample, the editor wanted the article. Now, some will tell you to copy and paste the article into the body of the email, so make sure you follow the guideline if they do or else you’ll face rejection every single time.
The following contain key resources freelance writers can turn to.
The Write Life is your number one hub for freelance writing. They provide access to job boards and even e-books that will help you start your freelance writing career. They also provide free articles for budding freelancers.
Be A Freelance Blogger is another awesome resource you can turn to. Run by Sophie Lizard, she offers online training and coaching, a job board, and an e-book showing you where you can land your next freelance writing gig.