After 2 years of working as a freelance web editor, I was earning between 2000 and 3000 euros per month! However, I write mainly in French and the French-speaking market is not known to make us, the brave freelancers, win so much.
(Small parenthesis, I don’t really like to talk about specific numbers, but I know that’s what will make you click and make you want to read to the end..ah)
Yes, I write for a living and I love it
I was a full time freelance writer until I started my own blogs. Having said that, until today, do I write for clients that I particularly appreciate?
When I started, in 2013-2014, it was really not easy to find web editor contracts. It was not easy to make a good living with it.
There wasn’t a lot of platform and it was hard enough to find “drinkable” or serious customers.
But, after having had a hard time with his breed, I understood a few tricks of the trade. Little by little, I made a name for myself and I was able to find what I wanted.
What I wanted??
Um, get away with writing 1 or 2 articles of 1000 words, MAXIMUM per day. I wanted to be able to do a day’s work easily and even be able to complete my duties as a public writer (not the exact term, I know) in half a day if I had to.
That was my goal! And, it took me 2 years to get there. 2 years of struggle because I was alone. There was no training to become an online web copywriter and the self-employed status was struggling to be launched.
To tell you, it was frankly not easy.
But, after 2 years, as I told you, I succeeded! I succeeded and reached my goal!
I didn’t start by advertising in the wind
Eh yes! The main mistake I see among those who want to get into freelance web writing is wanting to advertise right away.
One of the main reasons I have been able to be profitable and live comfortably from my business is I think because I have never done any advertising.
You know how much money advertising can be. Especially for freelancers because the turnover is never amazing and even if we land many contracts, we never have enough time to do everything.
Yes, being a freelance writer is above all playing with and against time. The ideal for us? Find few contracts but well paid contracts.
There you have it, how a freelance web editor can really get away with it.
Anyway, I think the fact that I didn’t spend a single penny on advertising did my wallet a lot of good.
I had nothing at the start. No business cards, no site, no domain name, no Facebook marketing or advertising, nothing. Damn it, Nothing my friend!
In fact, I still created a website afterwards and that’s what I recommend now. At the time, it was not necessary especially since it was expensive to create a beautiful site if you had no computer skills. Today, sites like Strikingly did not exist!
But above all, instead of advertising from the start, I first looked for as many clients as possible. Here is the idea, I did not advertise in the wind at the start. I looked day and night (it’s hardly an expression) for customers!
Well, yes, anyway, it’s a golden rule in business in general, we only advertise when we have already made sales.
If there is no turnover coming in, no need to advertise unnecessarily. It is still possible if you are an advertising pro and can generate a strong ROI.
I signed up for freelance platforms like Fiverr for example.
I contacted sites that interested me; I really do send thousands of emails, and even go unanswered (at the time, I didn’t know how to sell myself).
I took a few randomly selected blog posts that I had previously written and put on my new personal blog that I created on purpose.
I modified them and made them more professional, viewable in pdf format. So I used it as examples of my writing style. Moreover, I had chosen very general articles, so as not to close doors.
I wrote for free blogs, just to have my name on it.
This is what I did the most painful when I started.
I played the game so to speak. I was a beginner and inexperienced, well, I lowered my rates. That is all.
What can I take away from these years as a freelance writer?
What I mean in this short article is that admittedly it was not easy, but I did it anyway.
I sometimes wanted to give up everything and find a salaried job, especially since I have 2 masters, so I wanted it to be useful.
But, I did not give up!
I learned and I would still have liked someone from the field to help me or there were resources on the subject.
Now, I know there are plenty of sites out there that explain how to become a (full ??) online copywriter, but again, I repeat to myself, back then it was a big void.
I learned where to look, how to market myself, how to contact clients and most importantly, how to win contracts.
For example, I learned very quickly that people who offer “free” articles without paying in exchange for some visibility are petty crooks. There is no visibility or recognition, nothing but crap in a box.
I systematically refuse to work with them after having cheated myself at least 3 times, naive that I was….
I then realized that I was charging too low prices. I learned to get my prices accepted.
I maintain my way of being a freelance web writer the same way today. Of course, now it’s different. I was a full-time writer for about 4 years and then as soon as I created my affiliate blogs , I started writing for my apple.
Besides, today I write even more than before, but this time I write for myself. It changes a lot of things. But, in the end, I still write.
Finally, I’ll give some tips here before I end the article for good.
Here are some of my top tips for new freelancers or people looking to become an online web writer:
- Make sure you have multiple clients, never rely on one big client for all of your pay – this contract can end at any time.
- Always find contracts before you even complete your current contract. Don’t leave a blank in your agenda. Pauses yes, but not voids.
- Every once in a while as you gain experience and learn new skills, your prices will increase.
- Never work for free to gain exposure, it’s usually not worth it. Rather, it is better to write for free for a large magazine. You will at least, really, gain visibility.
- Say no to bad customers. If they’re not signing a contract, appearing unreliable or canceling calls, not getting you what you need on time, or trying to break your spirits (or directly asking for big discounts or free labor) , just say no. You’ll save yourself a lot of hassle and be able to spend your time looking for better clients. Say shit if you have to, but don’t waste time.
- Pay your taxes on time and try if possible to live in countries with a better quality of life and a cheaper cost of living than where you are. Especially if you are just starting out and your prices are still low.
- Sales and freelancing are cyclical. There will be months with and months without. You really have to keep that in mind. This is why it is important to have continuous contracts. If you don’t find a little for this month, it will be better the month after.