Today, I have a great post from my friend Holly from EarnMoreWriting.com. She is a very successful freelance writer and has earned over $200,000 writing online! I'll let her take it away now.
Up until 2011, I made a living as the Director of Family Services at a local mortuary. The job itself was great, but it was extremely taxing on my time, my relationships, and my sanity.
I worked crazy hours, often leaving the house at 7:00 a.m. and arriving home at 5:30 p.m. To make matters worse, I worked every other weekend, several evenings each month, and random on-call hours I couldn’t always predict. And, did I mention I had two kids?
If you work full-time and have kids, you already know what that means. Every morning, I dragged my children to daycare where they would spend 10+ hours. And once I finally left work, I started the “second shift” of parenthood – you know, dinner, bath time, playtime, books, and bed.
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My life was exhausting, and I found little comfort in the fact there was no end in sight.
Then, in 2012, something unexpected happened: We started a blog.
Yep, right in the midst of the busiest time in my life, Club Thrifty was born. And once we got the ball rolling, I learned to leverage our online platform to pursue my real passion – writing.
Within a year, I started earning enough income writing online to replace my $38,000 salary. With that news, I put in a one-month notice…..and bounced.
Since 2012, I’ve earned more than I ever dreamed, and all from the comfort of my own home. In 2015, for example, I invoiced for more than $180,000 in freelance writing work – and that doesn’t include income from my blog. And so far in 2016, it looks like I’ll invoice for more than $200,000 in paid writing jobs.
Not only am I Contributing Editor for The Simple Dollar, but I write for Lending Tree, Frugal Travel Guy, U.S. News and World Report Travel. In addition, my writing has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, and Fox Business, to name a few.
People think it’s crazy when they find all this out. After all, my background is not in journalism. I have always been a writer, but not in the online space. Before 2012, I mostly wrote short stories, essays, and books of depressing poetry. Ha!
5 Ways to Build a Freelance Writing Career from Scratch
But I taught myself what I needed to know along the way, mostly through trial and error. And the result has been nothing short of miraculous.
As a result, hundreds of people have contacted me over the years to see how they could do the same. Here are the main pieces of advice I dole out over and over:
Tip #1: For heaven’s sake, start a blog.
Whether you want to try your hand at online content creation or make your millions affiliate marketing like Michelle does, you need a blog. You can build a writing career without one, but it’s much easier if you have an online home. Personally, I have found that blogging and freelance writing go hand-in-hand – as in, you can use one to build the other.
Tip #2: Always be yourself, and put yourself out there.
A lot of new writers assume you have to “tone yourself down” to be successful. My career has proved the opposite is true. When you inject your personality into your writing, you become an online personality.
And when you become an online personality, you can easily score better and higher-paying work. Don’t let fear dull your shine. In the online world, you have to put yourself out there – and own it.
Tip #3: Do the things other people don’t want to do.
A lot of people assume I only accept glamorous work, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Over time, I have learned that the more boring the job is, the higher it usually pays. I have also learned which niches to look in for the dullest, most lucrative jobs I can find.
Tip #4: Show up like you own the place.
Whether you’re starting your first blog or trying to get your first “real” writing job, it’s easy to rely too heavily on the feedback you receive from others.
You’ll wonder, “Is anyone even reading this?” “Does anyone even care?”
Then, all of a sudden, you find yourself second-guessing everything. This is a mistake. Instead of seeking out the approval of others, you need to show up like you own the place. Start your blog and your writing career as if you have been awesome all along. And over time, you will become an embodiment of your positive thoughts.
Tip #5: Treat your writing online career like a “real job.”
One of the biggest mistakes I see new freelancers making is not treating their hustle like a real job. Instead of setting aside work hours each day, they procrastinate.
And instead of taking steps to please existing clients and get new ones, they take a passive approach and let the chips fall where they may. If you want to succeed as an online content creator, you have to build a work ethic you can be proud of. Treat it like a real job, and it will become a real job. It’s as simple as that.
Introducing: Earn More Writing with Holly Johnson
Obviously, I have learned so much more than I can cover here. Because I get asked for tips and advice all the time, I created a brand new course that shares everything I have learned over the years – EarnMoreWriting.com.
My course includes nine video modules hosted by yours truly, several printable worksheets, and awesome add-ons, too. Here are some of the things you can expect to learn as you dive in:
- Discover the #1 most important thing you can do to get paid writing jobs.
- Learn how to find beginner jobs and move up over time.
- Learn how to price yourself to get the most work.
- Learn which types of jobs help me earn the most pay, and where you can find them.
- Find out which online platforms work best for finding paid work, and how to use them.
- Learn how to structure your work day to earn six figures or more.
Beyond the video modules and the printable resources, you can also hook up with me for one-on-one coaching and personalized help crafting your career. While everyone is different, I truly believe everyone can achieve some modicum of success with the right knowledge and tools. And that, my friends, is what I’m offering.
Before you sign up for a writing course, ask yourself who has actually “done it?” Can anyone else say they built a six-figure writing career without a background in journalism, with zero connections, and from scratch?
Very few, if any, can.
If you’re tired of your job and ready to turn your writing skills into paid work, I’m here to help. In the meantime, check out my Facebook group for freelancers: Earn More Writing with Holly Johnson.
Are you interested in writing online? Why or why not?
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