Hey y’all, and welcome back today. In today’s post, I will be walking you through the process of starting a successful freelance writing business in 2022 even if you have zero experience.
This step-by-step marketing process you are gonna learn today is perfect for beginners.
Even though my friend was a totally broke and clueless college drop-out, she was able to use this exact process to build a $5k a month freelance writing business in just four months after she lost her full-time job back in 2015.
This step-by-step process truly built the foundation for her business which continued to grow and allowed her to do so many things she always wanted to do; like, write from home and even travel full-time with her husband and their dogs.
You can actually get the same freedom she has if you take the leap and decide to become a freelance writer.
Now, step one is one of the most important things you will ever do for your entire writing career. And it’s something that you must master before you can take any of the actionable marketing steps that I’m going to discuss a little bit later in this post. And this step is to:
1. Develop A Business Owner Mindset
You got to just decide that you are going to take action in spite of your fears.
Now, if you’re anything like she was when she started freelance writing, you might be thinking “that’s stupid just give me the practical marketing steps. I don’t need any of that.” But I gotta tell you; you do need this.
In my experience as an online business owner, I’ve learned that mindset is the one key thing that separates beginner freelance writers who fail, from those who succeed because your mindset truly seeps into all of the practical marketing steps.
Thoughts lead to feelings, which lead to action (or inaction in this case), and action leads to results.
So, if you’re sitting around thinking, “I’m not going to treat this like a business;” Then you’ll be terrified, discouraged, and depressed, which means you won’t take action or will take it half-heartedly.
So, maybe you’ll pitch yourself, but you’ll sound so insecure and apprehensive that it will affect your writing pitches, and as a result, you may find yourself stuck in your day job, never realizing your ambition of being a writer. Long-term remorse! You don’t want to live with regret.
I don’t know about you but for me, I would rather feel the fear of getting rejected or failing sometimes in business than deal with the fear of having that lifelong regret of never even trying.
And like I said, mindset is so important because it actually impacts the way you are going to approach the rest of the marketing steps in this post. So, make sure you are prioritizing your mindset.
All right. Now that you know about mindset, it’s time to move on to step number two.
2. Pick A Profitable Freelance Writing Niche
If you don’t know what a freelance writing niche means, it just means your area of expertise. And your niche is going to be one of the most important decisions you will make in your freelance writing career.
Now more than ever, this is really specific to right now in 2022. You need to make sure that you are targeting businesses and companies that are thriving right now during this time, specifically.
For example, gyms and yoga studios and places like that, that are having to shut down right now because of everything that’s going on, Probably not your best target market.
But if you do want to ride in the health and fitness space still, maybe you could target companies that offer at-home fitness equipment in 2022.
You must adapt to the times and you must make sure that your niche targets a company that is thriving right now and an industry that is doing okay right now.
So, what do you want to think about when you are choosing your freelance writing niche in 2022?
Well, the three niche requirements that you have got to consider are knowledge, interest and profitability.
It’s got to be something you know about or can learn about. Something that interests you or at least doesn’t bore you to tears right? And then something that is profitable; meaning it’s something you can get paid well to do.
And again, this niche decision is one of the most important ones you will make. It can literally dictate how all of your pitches go and how your marketing goes.
Once you’ve got your niche, it’s time to move on to step number three, which is to:
3. Set Up A Professional Niche-Optimized Writer Website With A Custom Domain.
setting up a professional niche-optimized writer website with a custom domain is really vital for your freelance writing career.
In other words, this has got to be your business name.com, not a free portfolio page on Tumblr, blogger, or yourname.wordpress.com or whatever, that is not gonna work.
You have gotta get clients to take you seriously as a business owner and if you’re not even willing to invest in yourself by getting a custom domain, they’re not gonna take you seriously.
This is really just like an essential investment for every single freelance writer who wants to do this full-time, and if that’s not an investment you have made yet, I really want to encourage you to take that leap and get started.
If you don’t know how to create a full-fledged website, you can hire someone on Fiverr to do it for you.
So, for example, at the top of your website you’re not just gonna put I’m a freelance writer. You’re gonna put something like, “I write copy that helps technology businesses win more customers” and then, later on, when you have proof of that, you can show proof and testimonials and things like that, that are specifically relevant to your niche.
I want you to remember that you’ve got to pick a profitable niche and then use that in every aspect of your marketing. That’s what I mean by “make your niche your bitch.”
It’s something that is super important and you’ve got to do it because when you’re starting out as a freelance writer, you don’t really have a lot of ways to build trust with your potential clients. Meaning you don’t have testimonials and results and fancy bylines so, the way you build trust is with your freelance writing niche and making it crystal clear throughout all of your marketing.
If you don’t have a site yet, please head over to Fiverr now and commit and get this set up ASAP. If you don’t know how to hire someone on Fiverr? Watch the video tutorial below.
Now, after you’ve gotten your writer website set up and it’s optimized for a profitable niche, you can move on to the next step which is to create two to three niche-relevant writing portfolio pieces.
3. Create Two To Three Niche Relevant Writing Portfolio Pieces.
When I say niche relevant, then you gotta do this. You only want pieces in your portfolio that are the exact examples of what you would want to write for your potential clients.
So for example, if you decide to be in the pet care niche as a blog post writer, you would want two or three pet industry blog posts in your writing portfolio. You can self-publish these on medium or LinkedIn publisher, or you can write a couple of guest posts.
That is a really great way to get writing samples.
Now, it’s very important to know that your portfolio website is not just one page of writing samples. Your portfolio is just one specific page on your writing business website that houses those samples. The rest of your website should include copy that directly speaks to your target audience.
All right. You’ve got your business owner mindset, you’ve chosen a niche, you’ve got a writer website and two to three samples . This is something you can get done in like, a week or even less if you really really commit to making it happen.
And now that you’ve got all that done, you can move on to the final step which is, to become a pitching and cold emailing machine.
4. Become A Pitching And Cold Emailing Machine
Now, the terms pitching and cold emailing are sometimes used interchangeably.
However, pitching tends to mean more like pitching a specific story or guest post idea to a publication, whereas cold emailing is sending a tailored, personalized, and high-quality letter of introduction email to a target client in your specific writing niche that eventually results in you getting hired.
Right after my friend got fired from her shitty full-time job in 2015, she did this exact process. She sent about 15 to 25 cold emails a day until she started seeing good results.
She actually sent 17 cold emails out the first day and two of those ended up converting into high-paying clients. This shit really works! I was shocked that it worked for her.
So I want you to know that this can really work for you too but an important point that I need to bring up about cold emailing is that it’s not as simple as just grabbing some template or writing a good cold email.
Yes, that is a key part of your marketing process. However, your cold emails will only be effective if your site is effective, if you’ve chosen the right niche, and if you have the right mindset; because you’re going to sound really unconfident and unappealing if you don’t have the right mindset.
And if your site sucks, well then, clients are gonna look at that and be like, “I don’t trust this person. I’m not gonna hire them” So you can see how all of these marketing pieces work together.
You can’t really just pick one or two of these things to try. This is truly a step-by-step process and you need all the pieces working together correctly to succeed at freelance writing and make a living doing this quickly.
If you are serious about starting freelance writing this year so you can have the freedom, you want to work from home or eventually work while traveling, or work from anywhere with an internet connection, right now is the time for you to take that leap.