If you are reading this, I understand your pain.
You are right where I was last year - LOST. Wondering if you can ever make money from freelance writing in India.
Good news? You CAN make a full-time income from it if you are ready to hustle. It is definitely nowhere near easy but it is possible.
You have to get on top it and if you do, you will be making money sooner than you think. I made Rs. 82000 in my fifth month as a freelance writer.
Let’s see what I did -
Dumped the “I have an alternative” mindset
I have graduated from a National Law University and worked as a legal counsel for 1.5 years before I quit.
I had LOT of good options. But, I wanted to work from home. Spend time with family and kids (when I have ‘em, of course) instead of 12 hours in the office. Sit in my PJs and binge watch a TV show if I wanted, without having to think of taking a leave.
The only other option I found myself doing - WRITE. I knew it will be difficult but I was confident that if I did the right things I WILL succeed.
I stopped falling back on ALTERNATIVES. I stopped checking out any of those lucrative legal jobs. Stuck to writing and escaped through the constant nagging of “you can get a better job” “lawyers are paid much better” etc.
Keep a positive mindset and stop thinking of alternatives already. Be as positive as Sue Heck!
Set SMART goals
S - Specific [I decided to earn (at least) equivalent to my salary in the next 5 months]
M - Measurable [I decided it needed to be equal or more than my salary]
A - Attainable [Yes, it did sound crazy but I knew it was attainable.]
R - Relevant [No doubt about this, do we?]
T - Timey [5 months]
I set this crazy goal and guess what? I achieved it. In my fifth month as a freelance writer in India, I billed for Rs. 82000 (double of my salary!).
Set a SMART goal for yourself
Created a basic website
In this digital world, 81% people go online to search for products and services. You don’t want to miss out on this.
I had a blog from before so I knew how to set up a Wordpress website. I bought a domain by GoDaddy and create a BASIC website to offer my services.
I did not want to be seen as another desperate content writer who is looking for extra income. Clients judge you. Judge you on your photo, website, process and whatever else!
My aim was to give an impression which has “she knows what she is doing” or “she is a professional writer” written all over it.
So, I ensured that -
My website clearly stated what I can do for my clients. If your clients are lost on your website, they are unlikely to hire you. Think for a second, you are a WRITER. Everything you write is a SAMPLE.
Left out overused words - “hard-working” “meet deadline” “professional”. They are not your strong points, they are sine qua non (for my non-lawyer friends, it means indispensable) and this gets to the next point
Avoided “SINE QUA NON” words - None of the clients have the time to look up a dictionary (unless your target are lawyers in the first place)
Kept it simple - Avoid all sorts of clutter. You have to ensure that clients can skim through it quickly and pick out what is required.
Just think of yourself as the client and analyze your copy. Answers will start pouring in!
Created a strong social media presence
This point is just an extension of the previous one. You need to show the human behind the website.
Link to your most active social media. Get onto the RIGHT social media platforms.
LinkedIn and Twitter worked the best for my goals in the beginning. I optimized my LinkedIn profile and tweeted regularly.
Networked like crazy
But, it's not a one-way game. Don’t keep posting on LinkedIn and tweeting. Engage!
Comment on your potential client's posts and make conversations. Add value if you can.
Please DON’T “it's raining clients and client's” situation from social media. Any form of marketing takes time.
Don’t cut to the chase right at the start. Meaning - don’t ask for jobs or pitch your services as soon as you connect. Spend time engaging.
I spent hell LOT of time connecting with the right people.
Rejected low paying jobs like a BOSS
Say NO to low paying jobs. It can be tempting to take whatever comes your way, but DON’T.
The only argument which kept me from it? All the time lost in writing for shitty jobs equals to the time I could have hunted for a well-paying client.
So, what is SHITTY? Nothing!
You know your worth and you have to stick to it. Decide on a bare minimum rate and stick to it. Do NOT accept anything below that.
Remember - The amount you receive for 10 shitty paying jobs can be earned from one well-paying client.
Like Hicks words, get ready to be more than just a writer. You are a solopreneur.
Which of these things are you planning to implement (or have implemented) in your freelance writing career? Let’s talk about it in the comments section