Friday, February 3, 2012

A Guide To Making A Decent Living As A Freelance Writer In 2012

A Guide To Making A Decent Living As A Freelance Writer In 2012

There are no shortcuts when it comes to making it big as an online writer. I have scoured through numerous forums and the main questions that many new writers in the industry ask is, how can I make money writing online? Many forum members will reply with the usual regurgitated advice of using online freelance portals to land the first client. It seems this is the only way people think they can make money writing online today. However, this is not the only way. There are other ways of landing writing gigs on the internet, and most of these will get you top paying clients compared to clients on freelance portals.

Why Freelance Portals Are Not The Way To Go

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I am opposed to the use of many of the freelance portals as a means of getting writing gigs for one reason only-their horrible rates. Most writing gigs on freelance portals pay a maximum of per 500 words! There are even employees on the same portals who pay you per 500 words. Surely this is slavery, but writers are stuck in these freelance outsourcing websites because they feel there is no other way they can score clients. Well, you will be surprised to learn there are other ways of finding writing gigs online, and better paying gigs at that.

Another thing that makes it hard for new writers to get started with freelance portals is the bidding mechanism employed there. For most of the writing opportunities posted on these websites, writers are required to bid in order to be considered for the opportunity. An employer will then go through the bids and select one that meets his requirements and budget. This means that numerous people are competing for a single opportunity. The result of this is decreased writing wages, as writers will offer the lowest charges to improve their chances of getting hired, and at the same time giving the writing profession a bad name.

What employees fail to realize is, if you pay peanuts, then monkeys are what you get. People who are willing to work for a single dollar will of course rush through the writing and as a result, the quality will be poor. No wonder the internet is full of grammatically ill content and the levels of creativity are going down the drain. Hadly will you come across an original article these days. If the websites affected by Google's Panda update are anything to go by, then the quality of content on websites has gone down. The internet is fast becoming a vast junk yard of filth and worthless information, and we as writers have to put an end to this. First by demanding fees worth our effort and time we invest in writing. If the wages are decent, then writers will invest more time per article which in turn will increase the quality of information on the internet.

Where Do I Get High Paying Clients?

It is not worth discussing the shortcomings of freelance portals without providing an alternative, and a superior alternative at that. One thing you must acknowledge is getting high paying clients requires quite a bit of effort, but the rewards are well worth it.

Below is a method I used to get high paying clients. Some of them even pay me per 500 words piece. Am not saying that dollars is the best price in the market, I know a few friends who are making 0 per article, but it is better than or per article.

Here is what I did to get my first high paying client as a writer:

1. Conduct searches on your favorite search engine on terms like 'SEO Company'. These are the companies looking for writers. You can attach a location with your search string to bring specific geo-location results.

2. Gather the contact information for these companies and insert them in an excel file.

3. Next prepare an excellently written application letter. If you do not know how to whip up one, there are numerous templates on the web you can use.

4. Prepare an even better resume to accompany your application letter.

5. One by one send an email to the contacts you have gathered. In your email, explain the services you will offer to the company and why they would want to hire you in brief. Do not forget to attach your cover letter and resume.

6. Next conduct another search a using different search string such as 'copywriter firm' and follow the same process as before.

The Maths Behind The Method

Supposing you send 100 emails in this manner, you are likely to elicit 10 replies. From these replies, 3 clients will respond to your application positively. They are interested in hiring you depending on the quality of work you show them. If you get 3 clients willing to pay you a piece then you are looking at making a minimum of 0 a day, at the minimum. Not a bad amount by any standard, is it?

But you must consistently give quality output; otherwise, you will soon be out of a job.

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