My freelance career was off to a dismal start. It was nothing but low-paying gigs, flaky clients, and race-to-the-bottom bidding on content mill sites. Then I discovered an unusual business writing niche that changed everything.
Two small business start-up clients asked me to write content designed to attract investors to help fund their business ideas.
But these entrepreneurs weren’t looking for angel investors with millions of dollars. They were going to get funding in a different way. And they needed someone who could blend copywriting and business writing to ramp up.
It didn’t take long to discover that I liked this unusual business writing niche. Write copy to promote a business idea, help entrepreneurs, and see an idea turn into a physical product or service.
And the pay? It’s been two years since I discovered this unusual business writing niche. It took a little work to understand it, but now I regularly earn $500 per hour.
Curious? I’ve carved out a niche writing crowdfunding campaigns. And so can you. Here’s what you need to know.
When I got a random phone call from a prospect about a proposal writing gig, I was curious.
“I need help writing an RFP [request for proposal] for a multi-year, multi-million dollar cyber security contract for a government agency,” the person said. “The deadline is in 30 days. Can you help me?”
You can make a lot of money doing this kind of work, right? That’s what I thought. But I had my doubts.
Months before this unexpected phone call, I did a lot of leg work to try and land proposal writing gigs and government contract work. And nothing happened.
I navigated clunky government websites and studied the jargon. I registered my writing business on sites like the System for Award Management and FedBizOpps where you can find contracts. I tried to land big contracts, then smaller ones without success.
It seemed like a lost cause. And then this prospect found me on one of those government sites for contractors.
I bid $12,000 for the work, and the client accepted. Here’s what the proposal writing process looked like:
We know how much you love our lists of sites that pay writers. So we’ve got an update since last year’s list of 92 sites that pay $50 and up.
Why do we do these market lists?
First, we like to help writers earn a good living. We have a floor rate of $50 for inclusion in these lists so that you can move up from sites that pay writers $10, $15, and $25 for posts.
Then, once you’ve added a few clips from these better-paying sites to your portfolio, you can move up again to sites that pay writers more. (Don’t think those sites are out there? Read about writers who are making $200+ per post and a content mill that pays $400 per post.)
Second, we want to recognize sites that value the work their writers are doing. Good guest posts bring traffic to a site, which leads to list subscribers or ad revenue. When someone helps a blogger or business earn money, they deserve to earn money for that work. And we celebrate sites that have that same philosophy.
Now, on to the updates.
I wasn’t always a freelance writer. In fact, I used to be a brainy corporate accountant who made a six-figure income. But I wanted out in a bad way. And I made up my mind that I could earn a decent living by booking well-paying freelance writing jobs.
Here’s how it all went down. I raided my 401(k), a very un-CPA-like thing to do, bought a townhouse, renovated it and flipped it. Pretty smart, right? But I still needed freelance writing jobs lined up before I could quit my day job. And not the content-mill kind.
So I joined the Freelance Writers Den and went through the bootcamp, “Learn to Write White Papers,” by Steve Slaunwhite. That was my light-bulb moment. Writing white papers was the perfect match for my skills and goals to get freelance writing jobs that paid pro rates. Without hesitation, I named my new business and launched my site, “Savvy White Papers.”
With that done I busted my butt until I had a $250/hr contract in my hand and a check in the bank. Want to know how to land freelance writing jobs that pay top dollar? Here’s how I did it:
In early 2016, I landed my first freelance blogging client.
It was a big win for me, even though it wasn’t in my niche (because I hadn’t really figured out what my niche was yet). The client actually reached out to me after seeing some of my blog posts on Facebook.
But there was a problem. I had no idea what to charge, and the client wanted to know my rate.
I pored over everything I could find online, asked around, and finally settled on a rate of $50 per 500-750 word blog post. I sent the editor my rates, and voila – I had my first contract in place.
I jumped into writing awesome blog content for this client. But it didn’t take long to start second guessing my rate. Was I charging enough for this type of work? What were other writings charging for writing similar blog content? What would need to happen to raise my rates and keep this client?