What Does It Take to Break $1K per Month as a Freelance Writer?

First and foremost, congratulations on beginning your freelance writing career.

As a freelance writer, you can work whenever you want and charge what you’re worth, and there’s no limit to how much money you can make.

Well, this isn’t the reality for many, a lot of freelance writers find it difficult to navigate the feast and famine that freelancing comes with.

Does it seem like you can’t possibly earn more than a measly $200 every month?

Well, you’re in luck. This guide highlights everything you need to start earning at least $1k every month.

What Does it Take to Earn your First $1k/month as a Freelance Writer?

For the record, you may not earn a thousand dollars in your first month of being a freelancer. Heck, many new freelancers give up after the first two months because they didn’t make a single dime.

So, don’t expect this to be a get-rich-quick scheme because it’s not.

Here’s a breakdown of a few things you need to do to earn your first 1,000 dollars as a freelance writer.

1. Choose an Industry (Specialize)

While it’s good to be a versatile writer, it is best to choose a particular writing discipline or a couple of them to create a niche of your own.

This helps you concentrate on a form of writing and become the best at it. It also ensures that a steady group of clients will always want to hire your writing services.

Having a writing niche also helps you stand out and, over time, create a brand name for yourself.

It is impossible to specialize in every writing discipline, so choose one or a few and become a juggernaut niche writer.

Here’s a list of writing niches to choose from:

  • Landing pages
  • Cold emails
  • White papers
  • Ghostwriting
  • Product reviews
  • Academic write-ups
  • Ebooks
  • Fiction
  • Long-form blog posts
  • Copywriting
  • Video Scripts

You can also become a specialist in any of the following hot topics:

  • Cryptocurrency
  • Beauty and Fashion
  • Personal and Global Finance
  • Technology
  • CBD products
  • SEO
  • Nutrition and Health
  • Digital marketing
  • Global warming and other environmental topics
  • Real Estate

2. Package your Offer

In the introduction to this guide, we mentioned that you would face fierce competition from millions of other writers, right? Well, what you offer is what will make you stand out and seal major deals.

Clients are most impressed by unique pitches and special offers.

Answer these questions:

  • What are your most significant achievements, certifications, and campaigns?
  • Where is social proof of your writing prowess?
  • What can you offer that others cannot?

List out the answers to these questions and include them in your proposals.

Also, when applying for a writing gig, you should use ingenious and original content. Something that’ll tickle the fancy of your clients or address their struggles as a company.

If you’re applying for a juice company copywriting gig, for example, you can say something like,

I help beverage companies create marketing content that triggers a thirst that their products can only quench.

It sounds somewhat superficial, but it’s the type of creative and simple content that impresses clients.

3. Join a Job Board and Freelance Marketplace

Job boards are online platforms that advertise open job opportunities in various sectors, including freelance writing.

You’ll find dozens of adverts for freelance writing gigs on job boards, but it’ll be up to you to convince the clients to hire your services.

You should target job boards like Solidgigs.com, LinkedIn, MediaBistro, Contena, ProBlogger, Glassdoor, CareerBuilder for freelance writing opportunities.

These platforms get the most freelance writing job adverts and are used by top clients with fat budgets.

Solidgigs.com, for example, is designed to help freelance writers find potential clients, thereby eliminating the hassle of going through endless job listings.

The team takes the initiative of searching over 100 sites, job boards, and other online platforms for quality freelancing gigs from top-tier clients all over the globe.

It is a freelancer-centric platform and a great place to source for high-paying freelance writing gigs.

Setup Accounts on Freelancing Platforms

Think of freelance platforms as online service marketplaces where writers post their writing services, and clients visit to hire them.

There are dozens of freelancing platforms where you can list your writing services or approach potential clients, the best of which are Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, Contena, BloggingPro, and CraigsList.

Some of these platforms also allow clients to post requests for writing services for which you can apply.

The downside of freelance platforms is that bidding is a race to the bottom, with freelancers willing to work for as little as $10.

However, these platforms also have high-paying clients. So, if you stick to your guns, you may be able to hit your target.

To get started, create a convincing profile, list your writing services, prowess, and achievements, and apply for gigs using compelling pitches.

4. Build a Freelance Website

There are many advantages of having a freelance writing website. First, it exposes your writing services to millions of potential customers looking for writers for hire online.

It also makes your business look professional – that way, it won’t seem out of place when you charge high rates. Another perk of having a writing website is that you can display social proof of your writing prowess using product review sections.

In other words, you can create a segment where all your satisfied customers rate your services.

You must understand that it is not enough to create a professional freelance writing website; you must also ensure that it is SEO-optimized.

Optimization increases your website’s search engine rankings, thereby making it easy for potential clients to locate your website when they search for freelance writing options on Google or any other search engine.

Here is a list of things to do to optimize your website

  • Optimize for off-page SEO
  • Optimize for on-page SEO
  • Use relevant keywords
  • Update website content
  • Get backlinks from quality websites
  • Keep the number of plugins on your website at a minimum
  • Host your website on high-ranking platforms using Shared hosting, Virtual Private Servers (VPS) hosting, or a dedicated server
  • Make your website mobile-friendly

5. Exploit Social Media

Social media is the place to advertise any product and service, including freelance writing. However, you need to reach the right audience for this to be effective.

Building and getting the right audience on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, and whatnot will take some time and effort, but it’ll be worth it in the end.

First, you need to create a professional profile using an official display picture and stating your writing services in your bio. That way, people will know what you do immediately when they check out your profile.

Next up, consistently post content. In the beginning, you might want to avoid talking about your writing services and stick to talking points or trending topics in your industry.

When you start to gain followers interested in your content, you can promote your writing services alongside your usual content.

You must also learn how to use keywords and hashtags that members of your target audience often search for.

That way, you’ll be priming your content and social media page for massive exposure to the right group of people on social media.

You can also send cold pitches to companies and individuals you feel require your services.

When these parties check your profile and see your posts, followers, and engagements, you can bet that they will be inclined to hire and pay tidy sums for your services.

6. Get the Best Business Tools

Yes, you’re a fantastic writer, so you probably think you don’t need any special writing tools or marketing tools.

You couldn’t be more wrong.

Writing tools improve the quality of your writing, no matter your level of experience; plus, they also save time and increase productivity, which are skills for writing optimally and delivering jobs when due.

There are many tools for you to choose from, and each of them will improve your time management, writing proficiency, SEO, and organization.

Here are some of the writing tools you need as a freelance writer:

Grammarly: This writing tool is everything you need to create error-free and plagiarism-free content.

There are free and paid (premium) versions of Grammarly, both of which will save you from vocabulary and structure mistakes.

You can decide to post your writing content on Grammarly and have it correct your errors or add it as a plug-in to your Google Docs.

Google Docs: Think of Google Docs as a better version of Microsoft Word. With this writing tool, you can access all your synced contents on any device, including mobile phones – as long as you have your Gmail username and password.

It comes with every possible writing tool, including a word counter, spelling and grammar checker, dictionary, script editor, and various formatting features.

Google Sheets: Google Sheets is an all-in-one organization tool you will find handy for your writing biz. You can use it to organize your gigs, clients, and topics, create calendars to monitor deadlines, and share spreadsheet content with clients.

Canva: This would make a lot more sense if you were a graphics designer, but sometimes as a freelance writer, you may need to create graphics content for your work.

Canva should be your go-to app for this because it is user-friendly and features a myriad of design and editing tools, as well as sources of stock images and designs.

Ahrefs: Ahrefs is a simple but highly efficient SEO tool. It comes with tools for keyword research, content analysis, link-building, and other features for boosting search engine ratings.

Applying Ahrefs to your written content makes it highly SEO-optimized, which is something every client today wants.

7. Invest in your Business

When we hear the word “invest”, the first thing that usually rings a bell is money. In the writing biz, that’s not always the case.

Yes, investing in your business as a writer could mean taking a paid course or workshop, hiring a coach, buying equipment like a MacBook or ergonomic furniture, or paying for premium versions of writing tools, but it goes way beyond that.

Here are a couple of other ways to invest in your writing biz:

Attend conferences and events

While it’s perfectly normal to want to stay in your workspace and work on your gigs, taking a break to attend writers’ events and conventions now and then might be better.

Such gatherings give you and other writers the chance to share ideas with like-minded people, which is good for inspiration and networking.

Stepping out of your workspace to interact with other writers or personalities in other disciplines will augment your creativity and give you opportunities to meet new potential clients.

A large number of these events now take place online via webinar tools. So, you don’t need to leave your desk to attend an online conference in your industry.

Study the work of other writers

No matter your level of experience as a writer, there’s always something new to learn. And while there are tons of sources for you to explore, your best bet is to study successful projects of model writers in your niche.

Do this by buying their books, articles, or journals, and study them and over time, you’ll become a master wordsmith yourself.

Join a writing community

Being a part of a community of writers in the same niche will help you hone your writing skills and get access to high-quality gigs.

Members of your writing community, for example, may give professional insights into your subject topic, critique your work, serve as beta readers, or generally inspire you.

Of course, this will only work if you join a dedicated and truly talented group, so don’t just opt for anyone.

Social media is the most obvious place to find and join writing communities, but you can also keep an eye out for options around your home, office, or favorite restaurant.

8. Get your Pricing Right

Pricing is where many freelancers miss it. It is a delicate and largely overlooked subject, but it can make or mar your journey to the $1000 per month mark.

First, you need to understand that you should never be afraid of asking for your worth. Because some clients are ready to pay top dollar for quality, others? Not so much, and you don’t want to end up underpricing.

There are three significant factors to consider when pricing your writing services:

  1. Time required to complete the project
  2. Amount and level of research
  3. The economic value of the project

Your rates should follow suit with the levels of each of these factors. For example, if the project requires you to dig deep to find legit information and data or takes you quite a long time to research and compile, your rates should be high.

In combination with the above-stated factors, you can also charge clients by the hour, word count, number of pages, or arrange for a retainer fee.

9. Get Retainers

Try to get your clients to hire you on a retainer basis. That way, you’ll get paid at higher rates and in bulk for writing services to be rendered.

Retainers also guarantee you a constant flow of gigs and income every month.

It is important to note that retainers can be a little bit tricky because once you agree to one, you’ll have to see it to the end.

So, you must ensure that you’re not underpricing your services and that you understand the job description.

To do this, try running a couple of single projects with clients on similar projects; that way, you’ll know how to set your price and see if you can put up with the clients’ requirements.

Pro-tip: Treat all your clients well, but treat your retainer clients even better. Prioritize their projects and ensure that you deliver nothing but the best.

Conclusion

Freelance writing is highly lucrative biz, and only a few smart people have clocked this.

You can also join the smart tribe of freelance writers by leveraging all the tips in this guide, and before you know it, earning $1k every month will be a piece of cake.