Do you want to learn how to make money writing articles?
I’ve been a writer for a few years now and I can say that writing blog posts and articles are an easy way to make money online.
Even if you have no experience, you can pick up a gig pretty easily. Not to mention, you can scale very quickly.
In fact, I 10X’d my freelance writing income in one year .
From January 2018 to January 2019, I grew my freelance writing business from $650 to $6,500 per month — while only working part-time.
And in September of 2019, I made over $20,000 in one single month as a freelance writer.
I say none of this to brag.
I simply want to show you what is possible, even if you’re a brand new writer without any experience.
Because less than two years ago, I was right there myself.
In May of 2017, I had a millennial life crisis at 29-years-old. I quit my $120,000 job to build my blog (after making $200 from it…EVER) and pursue professional golf.
I had no idea what I was doing. I just saw other people making money online so I naively assumed if they can, I can too.
The first eight months of my entrepreneurial journey was excruciatingly difficult.
I barely made any money. My savings were taking a hit, my credit card looked like it got hacked, and my ego was destroyed.
At the time, I was a struggling blogger barely making $2,000 per month. I knew if I didn’t change something, I’d have to put my head down and go back to a 9–5 job in defeat.
But I decided to quit random side hustles, scale back blogging, and commit to learning a real skill.
So in January of 2018, I went all-in on freelance writing.
My freelance writing business got off to a slow start but I just kept pushing. I’m confident if you read this post and watch this video, you will have the skills to land your first paying client.
Make Money Writing Articles: How to 10X Your Income
Here are 10 strategies I used to 10X my income in 12 months.
1. Create an Epic Freelance Writing Website
If you’re only trying to make a few hundred bucks each month as a writer, you probably can get away without having a writing website. But if you’re committed to making a few thousand dollars (or more), a freelance website is a no-brainer investment.
Your freelance writing website does a few things…
Imagine being a client that you send a cold email too. If you’re the client, would you be more inclined to hire…
A total stranger who has a nice, professional website OR someone who is a ghost online?
The answer is pretty obvious. People work with people they know, like, and trust. The same goes for landing freelance writing clients.
Clients are much more receptive to even responding to your pitch if you have an established brand online. It shows that you are committed to being a writer and aren’t going to leave them mid-project.
Your writing website can establish credibility and increase trust in a few simple ways.
Show Off Your Work and Testimonials
Your freelance writing website allows you to control your brand online. You can show off your writing samples, portfolio, and most importantly, testimonials.
Social proof is key!
If you look at my writing website, you can see how much I use social proof in all forms. I have testimonials from past and current clients.
I have pictures with millionaires, best-selling authors, and experts. And I have testimonials from students who have enrolled in my writing course.
All of these forms of social proof help potential clients/students want to work with me.
If you want to 10X your monthly income, invest the few hundred dollars and get yourself a freelance writing website. I recommend using your full name as the domain name, buy paid hosting (like Bluehost) and a paid theme (like Genesis).
Not only is this a business write-off but if your website helps you land one client it will also pay for itself instantly. If you want to make money writing articles beyond a few hundred or $1,000/month, I highly suggest creating your writing website.
2. Pitch Like Crazy
Want to make more money as a writer?
Get more clients!
Pretty simple right?
Seriously though, if you are committed to 10X’ing your income, pitch like crazy. One lesson I learned from my past sales career is that getting clients is just a numbers game.
The more you pitch, the more likely you are to land clients. If you pitch ten people, you might not hear anything. But if you pitch 50 people, you are bound to get a few bites.
Once you get to 3–5 clients, you can easily make $3,000 — $7,000 per month if they need recurring content. Get over the fear of rejection and give yourself a chance to succeed.
I talk to so many new writers that are terrified of the rejection of potential clients. But remember, there is nothing to be scared about. I also refer them to my favorite quote from best-selling author Jack Canfield:
“Rejection is a myth, you never had it in the first place.” — Jack Canfield
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, so start pitching and applying to job boards!
Like anything, the more you pitch, the less scary it will feel. Remember, all it takes is one pitch or job board to land a client that can change your life.
3. Network, Network, Network
While pitching online and applying for job boards is a great way to land freelance writing clients, don’t discount in-person networking as well. Whether it’s personal development events, seminars, business conferences or just talking to people at the coffee shop.
Meeting people in person helped me land some of my first clients. When I started my writing career I was in the personal finance niche and found a local group (FINCON) where bloggers, financial advisors, and other financial gurus meet up.
After going to a few events, I mentioned that I started freelance writing alongside my blog. A few people in the group needed new content and decided to work together.
This lead to a trial article which led to one post per week at around $200 per post. Then one of the clients referred me to another friend in the financial space and just like that, I was making an extra $1,000+ per month from the meetup.
“Networking is the number one unwritten rule of success in business.” — Sallie Krawcheck
4. Ask For Referrals
Another great way to land new clients is to leverage your existing clients. As I mentioned in the previous point, one financial blogger referred to me another. I didn’t have to worry about cold pitching, doing a phone interview or applying on a crowded job board.
That is the power of referrals!
So once you get clients and build strong rapport, make it a quarterly occurrence to ask them if they know anyone else who could use your services. Referrals are great because clients already enjoying working with you and will give you a warm introduction. When they refer you to a friend or business partner, it’s a lot easier to close the deal.
5. Double Your Rates
One of the best things I did in 2018 was join Benjamin Hardy’s mastermind (#1 writer on Medium.com). While I learned a ton from him about success, habits, and the power of the subconscious mind, I also learned a ton about writing.
One week, I was lucky enough to get on a hot seat during a group coaching call and I told my situation. I was trying hard but only making $2,000-$3,500 per month and needed more.
He told me quite simply… “Double your rates.”
At the time, I was only charging .10 cents per word because I didn’t think I was “qualified” enough to charge more. But he told me to try to pitch .20 cents or more per word, pitch new clients, and see what happens.
I started getting new clients at .20-.25 cents per word really fast.
I recommend you do the same!
Quit waiting for permission and start asking for higher rates. Always do it when you feel like you aren’t ready yet. Besides, only a few things will happen…
- You will get a higher rate. I’ve found that once you land a client at double your normal rate, your confidence soars. I also found that I stepped up my writing game and over-delivered.
- You won’t get a higher rate. But since you pitched a higher rate, you have a lot more room for negotiation. You can still easily get 1.5x your normal rate which is still better than staying at your current rate!
- You hear no. Who cares!? No’s will eventually lead to yes!
6. Drop Loser Clients
While I highly recommend raising your rates, don’t be afraid to fire clients as well. This was hard for me at first as I was scared about losing monthly income but sometimes it’s necessary.
At the beginning of my freelance writing journey, I was so grateful that anyone would pay me to write words online. The thought of firing them was the last thing I was thinking about. But back then, I was operating from a scarcity mindset instead of realizing there are endless people who will pay you to write for them.
If you keep clients at low rates just because you want to be nice, it’s very difficult to scale your business. You only have so much time in the day!
So every month, I recommend doing an audit of your clients… not just based on pay either. Because sometimes, clients can pay a lot but are a pain to work with. If someone doesn’t pay on time, is never satisfied with your work or doesn’t communicate, it might be time to drop them.
Remember, your time is valuable. Start acting like it!
7. Master SEO
One of the best skills to learn in 2019 and beyond is SEO (search engine optimization). If you know how to rank client’s posts high in Google search results, they will gladly retain your services.
Remember, the best place to bury a body is on page two of Google search. Most people click to results on the first page, specifically the top three results. If those posts are for your clients, this will translate to more email subscribers, sales, and ad revenue.
Plus, you can also display your SEO skills on your profile and when you cold pitch new clients. Don’t discount SEO, this skill will help you become a highly paid freelancer.
When I got started, I binged Mike Pearson’s “Stupid Simple SEO” course which helped my blog and writing for my clients. He makes SEO crazy simple and way less intimidating.
8. Write About Stuff You Like
From January to April of 2018, I took whatever job I could get. I won’t lie, I was desperate to stop the hemorrhaging going on in my savings account. But after a few months, I got super bored with my clients as I didn’t care about the topics.
It made me begin to dread writing. I stopped doing great work for clients because I was so tired of writing about content that I didn’t care that much about anymore.
So I switched niches from personal finance to personal development and digital marketing. Those were topics that got me excited and I enjoyed writing about.
Eventually, I dropped all personal finance clients and started attracting new clients in these niches. I kept raising my rates, learning new skills, and eventually fell in love with writing all over again.
I’ve found if you hate your writing topics and are only doing it for the money, it’s kind of like working at a job you hate just for the paycheck. To avoid burnout, try to find a niche about something you really care about!
9. Avoid Complacency Like the Plague
From May — September of 2018, I found my revenue plateaued between $4,000 to $5,000 per month.
I got complacent with my income as I was no longer struggling to stay afloat (thankfully).
“Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.” — Andy Grove
So I got back to goal setting regularly. I started setting income goals, pitch goals, client goals, and daily goals.
This led to my highest income months ever! If you don’t keep setting new revenue goals, it’s so easy to get comfortable.
While it’s easy to get complacent, please don’t fall into this trap. I promise you can do so much more than you even realize.
Even when you’re loving your clients and income, always stay a little paranoid they might not require your services in the near future. Keep pushing yourself to do even better and constantly level up your skills.
10. Get a Second Niche
The riches are in the niches… right?
While I do agree, I don’t see any problem having several different writing niches. You can easily show this on your freelance writing clients and open up an entirely new set of clients.
For me, this started when I applied for a golf writing gig on ProBlogger. I figured why not… I’m a good writer, I love golf, and I’m trying to become a professional golfer. So I shared my story to the individual who posted the listing.
A few days went by…crickets.
But I thought it would epic to get paid to write about golf so I followed up. And much to my surprise, I got the job. In fact, the client told me 300 people applied!
I’ve been working with him for over one year now and my secondary niche provides roughly 20–35% of my monthly income.
Plus, it doesn’t really feel like work as I LOVE golf. This had led to 2–3 other golf clients that have found me from my freelance writing website as I feature that I’m a golf writer.
So if you’re a little bored with your niche and have a passion like golf, try to find some new gigs. Whether it’s music, movies, cooking, or something else.
Share your passion with potential clients and you never know what might happen. It might lead to more opportunities than you ever even though about.
Make Money Writing Articles Recap
As you can see from this video and post, you can crush it as a blog writer. If you want to make money writing articles, start by finding websites and blogs in your niche that already have writers. Here is my epic freelance writing job post that has 50+ ways websites, magazines, and blogs that pay writers.
Then, reach out or guest blog to learn more about future opportunities. Often times, they will have you do a test piece of writing.
If they like you writing and enjoy working with you, they will often bring you back as recurring paid writer.
Freelance writing has allowed me to never return to my boring, unfulfilling, soul-sucking 9–5.
Writing for clients has provided consistent income and allowed me to grow my blog, start a podcast, and work toward professional golf. Needless to say, I’m very grateful for freelance writing.
But remember, not even two years ago I didn’t even have a freelance writing business. I was just a struggling blogger trying to make ends meet. The main lesson…
If I can do it…you can too.
Plus, I think freelance writing is the easiest and best online business to get started. You can …
- Work remotely
- Scale your income easily
- Get started with only a few hundred dollars
- Don’t have to learn a bunch of new skills (like e-commerce, blogging, podcasting, etc.)
So if you’re looking to add a new income stream to your life, I recommend giving freelance writing a shot. If you are a writer already, use these tips to scale your income.
Make Your First $1,000 as a Freelance Writer!
Enter your best email and hit "Lets Go" to grab my freelance writing cheat sheet. I'll send you my step-by-step formula to teach you how to build a writing business with no experience, make $5K+/month & work part-time.
Latest posts by Michael Leonard (see all)
- Episode 46: Why Freelance Writing is the #1 Online Business in 2020 - January 7, 2020
- Episode 45: Why 99% of Blogs Fail (and How to Find Success) - January 5, 2020
- Episode 44: What is Freelance Writing? How to Get Paid to Write Online - January 5, 2020