Getting the Most From Your Freelance Writing

As a freelance writer and blogger, I am consistently looking at the ‘one in the hand vs. two in the bush’ dilemma when it comes to my blog. Frankly, none of the blogs for which I am solely responsible have made me money. I am ‘doing it for fun,’ and enjoying the heck out of it. These blogs will be money makers if I’m willing to put the time, effort, and love into them on a consistent basis. Of that I have no doubt.

Then there’s the other half of my life. I am a professional writer. I create content for other passionate people about social marketing, recreational vehicles, greening the environment, and anything else which lands in my lap. This is where my money is made. When I say that I make money blogging – I make money from other people who run blogs but just don’t have enough time to write their own content. I feel them, and completely understand.

When it comes right down to it, I love writing. Regardless of whether there’s money on the line, I’m going to be writing. I tend to place those that keep me in kibbles and bits higher on the priority list, but I’m writing even if there are no projects on the horizon. I’m writing either for my own blogs or working on something.

I have found my passion.

I dropped off the ‘regular’ job radar in May 2010. I found myself writing things that were one-offs or one shots for people who weren’t very anxious about paying me very much. I would do three hours of research for a $3 article. That wasn’t paying off. Now, I’m getting my flow and I’ve discovered a few things.

How to Make More Money as a Freelance Writer

Write What You Would Normally Write

This has worked to my advantage. I tend to write in personal finance, health, diet, social marketing, affiliate marketing, and more. There are plenty of people who are willing to pay for these things, as content is something *every* company seems to need. When I’m writing about personal development, finance, or another ‘common’ subject, I see whether I can sell those articles to someone else.

Pricing Matters

You can tell how much a person values their writer by how much they’re willing to pay for the job. When I first started, I got a client (who I still have) who we’ve gone back and forth over the pricing. He has me do a number of things, including move websites and learn SEO. This person, though, wants to pay me at least 1/3 of the rate that I normally charge. He doesn’t necessarily value the writer, but he gives me consistent work. Being aware of the sweet spot is important.

Subcontract if Necessary

My mother writes great SEO furniture articles. I recently got a small bunch of articles about bathroom vanities. It didn’t take more than a few minutes to make the call to my mother to find out if she would write these for me. It was for linkbuilding, so there wasn’t particularly a need for consistency, just to get the stuff out there. Though I could have written these on my own, I took them off my plate and made a fraction of the cash without the whole of the hassle.

Pick Your Jobs Carefully

In the beginning, I would take anything that came my way. These days, I’m a little more picky about the jobs which I take, because they play to my strengths. I would write one-offs on Textbroker, but now I take the group jobs on iWriter or another place. This is because I can justify the two hours of research in a spin job for 10 articles.

While I’ve not conquered the world as far as freelance writing, I have discovered these tips which have really helped me. Sometimes I wish that I wasn’t hard-headed and had to learn these things by experience, but I’m hoping that you can make something of them. These discoveries have really boosted my bottom line, and I hope that they have the same effect on yours!

Photo courtesy of Kirsty Hall on Flickr. Used under the Creative Commons License