Quite a few people are amazed that so many people seem to be making a good living as a freelance writer. They don’t seem to realize that they, the Internet users, are one of the main reasons that online freelance writing is one of the most popular careers today.
Businesses know that in order to score with the online community, they have to have good quality content. Hence, they leverage content marketing and integrate this strategy in their overall marketing plans. With this trend, skilled writers are much in demand, and not just for web content, either.
Matthew Sims of the dissertation writing service Edugeeksclub says that he typically makes $150 from one order of content from his clients. With such going rates, you can make quite a bit of income as a solo freelance writer, depending on how good you are and how fast you can write. However, your income will always be limited, because there are only 24 hours in a day. You will eventually hit your “roof,” or your full capacity to produce work in a day and that is it.
If you want more income, you should get a group of other freelance writers together and start your own online writing business. Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can get this done:
1. Create Your Own Plan with Targets You Need to Achieve
Setting a target gives you something to aim for. It helps you narrow your focus so that all your energy goes towards reaching that target.
In your business plan, you can have several targets. You could start with the one thing that motivates all freelance writers: money. Set a monetary goal, based on what you are already getting. For example, if you are making $300 a day in freelancing, set a daily target of $600. You can then formulate an action plan that will bring that to fruition.
Aside from narrowing your focus, a target also gives you a benchmark. For example, if you fail to reach for the goal of $600, you know you need to improve on your strategy, or to try a different approach. When you have targets, it motivates you to work methodically to reach them, rather than just improvising.
2. Research the Market
You may think that the best way to reach your goal of doubling your earnings is to charge double the price. The only thing that will do is drive away your customers.
You need to find out what your competitors are charging. When you have this information, you have to decide if you should charge less and build your clientele first, or stick to your guns and charge more with the guarantee that you will deliver high-quality work. You can also decide to charge what everyone else is charging, and look to other marketing strategies to make your business stand out in the crowd.
What pricing strategy you choose will depend on your target market. You need to find out how your target market makes buying decisions. Do they go for the cheapest service they can find? Do they ask their friends for recommendations? Are they students just trying to get by or professionals with high standards?
Here are some tools that help you do competitor analysis and identify the distribution channels other sites are using.
- Ahrefs – This is a link research tool with several useful functions for tracking what your competitors are doing, and what type of users go to your website.
- SEMrush – If you know the value of SEO and analytics, you will like this search engine marketing (SEM) tool. It tracks and researches keyword use by your competitors, and checks backlinks to your website.
- Majestic – You can use this online website to get important data about the backlinks on your site, or any site, for that matter.
- Similar Web – A good way to find out what the competition is like is to check its ranking. This tool can help you get marketing insights and traffic data for any website.
3. Create your Financial Plan
You need to marshal your resources to start your online business.
Figure out how much time, effort, and cost will be involved in creating and designing your website, configuring your platform, and launching your marketing strategy.
You also need to know licensing and business requirements for your online business, and figure out how much tax you will have to pay. You can then create a budget for your business venture. You also need to decide how much you are going to charge your clients and pay your writers so you can project a return on your investment.
You will have to do a lot of research, but planning your expenditures will help keep you on track of your business. If you are not committing resources to your online business, you should forget about starting one.
4. Launch a Website
You can create and design your website yourself with WordPress, which has tons of free and paid super customizable themes and templates. It also has many plugins specifically designed for eCommerce sites like yours. Another good eCommerce platform is Shopify.
Buy your hosting and your domain to make your site credible to clients. Make sure that you set-up you corporate email to communicate with your clients and writers. To track your website traffic, set-up both your Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. This way, you can analyze your traffic and make improvements on your strategy.
5. Hire Several Freelancers
The whole point of putting up your online writing business is to make more money. You won’t do that by doing all the writing yourself.
Find and recruit good writers to work for you on a freelance basis. You can find quite a few lurking on different freelance platforms like Upwork and Freelancer.com. Ask for samples of their work to gauge their competency and assess if they will be a good fit for your project. In some cases, you can even request a test article on a topic of your own choosing. You can find more tips on recruiting the right freelance writers for your business here.
6. Promote Your Website Through all the Possible Channels
You have to make sure people can find your new website. You can do this by getting sociable. Open accounts on relevant social networking sites, and make your presence felt. A good way to catch attention is to launch a writing contest; you hit two birds with one stone if you manage to get one or two writers to work for you!
Start populating your blog with an interesting and valuable information to get people to come to your site. Build long-lasting relationships by grabbing the attention of your audience with great quality content.
You can also consider an adwords campaign or hire a good SEO agency to help you get to the first page of Google search results. It might be a bit expensive, but if they get you to number one, it would be worth it as no.1 gets 33% of search traffic. Just imagine the income possibilities that would generate for your business.
7. Get Your First Order, Do a Brilliant Job, and Keep to Your Standards
The only way to ensure the sustainability of your business is to deliver premium quality service for your every project. Once you get your first order, start building a good reputation by making sure that you do a great job in that project. Keep your work impeccable and maintain high standards of excellence.
8. Continue Developing Your Business
Do not make the mistake of becoming complacent. Always be on the lookout for ways to improve. Analyze your performance to see how you can do better. Think up innovative ways to let more and more people know about you. Hire new freelancers to keep your pool at peak performance, and expand as much as you can.
Setting up your own business will always entail a lot of planning and research before you can even start moving. It can be frustrating when all you want to do is to get started. However, it would be a mistake to go into your online writing business without a thorough knowledge of what you are getting into, and where you want to go. The steps above are far from comprehensive, but they should set you towards the right direction.