Freelance writing isn’t a side hustle. It is a business, and you should treat it like one. I realized this cold hard truth after having a severe client drain while gaining writing experience in a content mill.
Getting clients from a content mill is like a roller coaster. Today you are earning a decent income from many one-off clients. Tomorrow, you are at the bottom of the pyramid, hoping your content mill algorithm will show your gigs to your audience.
That was me. And I got fed up with the content mill model that guarantees unpredictable income.
Perhaps you have a similar story. Or, maybe you’ve worked with an agency, written for friends, or assisted a local business with their content need. My guess is, you are tired of the lowballed offers and random gigs you get, and you want to attract better-paying clients.
Stepping up from petty freelance writing to an organized freelance writing business is an excellent way of earning a stable income.
Let’s kick off how you can move from unstable to expected monthly revenue by answering an important question.
Do I Really Need a Freelance Writer Website?
Hell yeah, you do.
This question always comes up when you believe only your social media profiles/pages can help you attract clients. That’s garbage considering the disadvantages of relying only on social media.
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram aren’t yours. You could lose your accounts at any time, and this renders you helpless.
Carlos Adell is a successful 6-figure business coach and content marketer. For three years, he worked tirelessly to build an audience using only Facebook.
According to him, he never broke the rules. His business moved from 0 to $500K in a year! Unfortunately, Facebook deleted his account. “I lost EVERYTHING. Why? No one knows!”
You certainly don’t want to be in a similar situation. This is one reason why you need a freelance writer website. And that’s not all.
I asked Nathan Collier for his thoughts on the question, “Do freelance writers need a website?”
Here’s what he said:
You don’t need a website to get started as a freelance writer. An updated LinkedIn profile and samples of your work are enough to begin with. But most writers will eventually need a website. It’s a sign that you’re a professional and it immediately makes you more credible.
Nathan’s thought is spot-on. With over 1.85 billion websites globally, having a website today has become the norm for establishing yourself as a business professional. And your website doesn’t need to be complex. Get a simple WordPress theme and modify a template. That’s it.
Additional Benefits of a Freelance Writer Website
“Find a freelance copywriter” is a search term with a monthly search volume of 40. This means up to 40 persons use this term monthly to find freelance copywriters for their projects.
The returned pages for this search query do not include social media profiles/pages. What does this imply? – You grossly limit your client reach by failing to have a freelance writer website.
2. Display Your Expertise Without Limitation
Every social media platform has a limit on the number of characters for a post or an article. A freelance writer website gives you zero limits. Plus, you have the opportunity of optimizing your blog posts to attract organic traffic from search engines.
3. Market Your Services at a Lesser Cost
Google and other search engines always update their algorithm to ensure every website owner provides an excellent user experience for web visitors. Here, the playing field is level for everyone.
The same doesn’t apply to a platform like Facebook. Even if you write your content with the hand of a Shakespeare, your organic reach is only 5.2%. Hence, only 52 persons out of 1,000 people will see your nicely-written post on Facebook.
The situation isn’t so different from the other social media platforms. All these happen because these platforms want you to advertise your services. Whereas, on your freelance writer website, you can collect emails for free and reach out to 100% of your audience.
Having a website positions you as a professional. Also, it is cheaper and encourages your ideal client to make an informed decision before using your writing products and services.
Now that we are clear on why you need a website, the next step is attracting your ideal clients to your website.
5 Steps to Attract Your Ideal Clients to Your Freelance Writer Website
Step 1: Know Your Ideal Client
Everyone is not your customer – Seth Godin.
You need to direct your marketing efforts to the specific set of people you want to attract. Targeting the wrong customers will keep you stuck.
Ideally, the kind of customers you want are:
- Those with a specific problem you can solve
- Those that can pay the standard rates for your services
- People who respect your time (becoming a freelance writer doesn’t stop you from having a life) and resonate with your values
It helps to go further by creating a buyer persona.
Step 2: Blogging (Write for Your Ideal Client)
A freelance writer is only as good as their portfolio. Your blog can build your portfolio fast, especially for new freelance content writers. Creating blog content also provides the following added benefits:
- Your blog posts will rank for keywords that will bring clients to your website.
- You’ll get experienced with online content publishing and SEO. You can upsell these services to your clients.
- You’ll have a content arsenal for generating social media posts. Many writers struggle with what to post on social media. Blogging provides you with content ideas you can use for social media posts.
Sometimes, you could refrain from showing your skills by publishing content on your website. Perhaps you are scared of creating a wrong impression.
- Should I publish this?
- Is this content good enough?
- Is it well-formatted?
- Is it optimized for SEO?
- Will my prospects get turned off after reading this?
You can’t validate these thoughts by hoarding your blog post ideas.
Staying within your shell is the only ingredient for having stunted growth as a freelance writer. You need to put your skin in the game to attract the kind of clients you want.
Write and clean up your work with copywriting tools. Hit publish. Analyze your results to find what’s working. Rinse and repeat the process. This is the only way you improve.
Step 3: Promote Your Writer Website
As you take baby steps to build your freelance writing business, you will be tempted to show up everywhere. After all, the goal is to get maximum exposure and attract lots of leads to your website.
But the reality is different. You need to provide intelligent insights and engage with people on any social media platform you join.
Posting daily on multiple social media platforms reduces your chances of engaging with your audience.
Rather than focus on different platforms for promoting your freelance writer website and business, put your efforts on one channel.
If you’ve researched and discovered that your audience is mainly on LinkedIn, conquer LinkedIn first. Understand how it works. Build your authority there. With this knowledge, you will quickly know what you need to promote your brand on other social media channels.
Mastering one social media platform also helps you build a community. This community can follow you on another social media platform if you ask. But without first engaging with them, the likelihood of getting them to follow your work on another social media channel reduces.
Step 4: Guest Posting
Guest posting is the research, writing, and publishing of content on a website that isn’t yours. Writing guest posts is an excellent way to get before your audience and grow your revenue. This client acquisition strategy helps you with the following:
- It proves you know what you do
- It helps you acquire backlinks
- It sends traffic to your website
- It can lead to increased email signups
- Most importantly, it can lead to more clients requesting your services
You can find websites that accept guest posts by searching for keyword + guest post/guest blog
Example: Digital marketing + guest post
Other strings you can use after the keyword include:
- contribute to our blog
- contributor guidelines
- write for us
- submit an article/submit a guest post
- contribute guest post
- become a guest blogger
- guest posting guidelines
- guest contributor guidelines
You don’t want to write a guest post for every Tom, Dick, and Harry website. It will help if you contribute to a blog with traffic potential and an audience that may need your services.
You can use a free tool like Ubersuggest to evaluate the traffic potential of a website. Also, it would help if you read a couple of the guest posts on the website to know what they expect from guest writers.
Step 5: Excellent Website Copy
Whether you are promoting your content on social media, or your ideal client finds you from search engines and guest posts, they will eventually land on your website.
Your website is your digital storefront. And you need to keep it great with a neat design and a web copy that converts. Writing a compelling website copy doesn’t have to be complicated. You only need to say what will make your ideal client interested in your service.
As a freelance writer, you’ll likely have the following pages on your website:
- Home page
- Service page(s)
- About page
- Portfolio/samples page
Your home page should state what you do, who you serve, and the benefits of your service
Here’s an example.
I’m Jane Doe. I help SaaS companies to create compelling content that attracts qualified leads.
- What Jane does – write compelling content
- Who Jane serves – SaaS companies
- The benefit of Jane’s service – attract qualified leads
Your home page should also contain the following:
- Featured in section (optional but necessary to attract premium clients)
When you examine many writer websites, you will see a list of “featured in” clients or notable brands they’ve worked with. If you don’t have this, it’s okay. You can still create your website while you work on writing guest posts for top brands.
Having your content featured in top brands proves to clients that you know what you are doing. It also enables you to quote better rates for your services.
- Client testimonials
Client testimonials aid your marketing efforts. Be sure to ask your clients to give details like stats on how your content helped them rather than generic testimonials.
- Compelling calls to action
Your website should have excellent CTAs that drive readers to take action.
- A lead magnet (optional)
A lead magnet is optional. However, if you are ready to communicate with prospects through email, give it a shot.
Service pages are great places to display your expertise. Assuming you wrote a piece of content ranking on page 1 of search results, you can mention it. It doesn’t matter if this content is on your website or any of your client’s websites. Write your copy to show clients that you can help them achieve similar results.
Regardless of your writing niche, the same formula applies. If you are an email copywriter, your focus could be open rates, the number of sales from your emails, and so on.
ABOUT ME PAGE
Your “about me page” is an excellent place to show off your fun personality. People like to work with result-driven and cool individuals.
If you do a side service that isn’t listed on your service page, you can say it here. For instance, if your primary service is content writing, but you can design websites, you can write something like this:
Although my primary service is content writing, I also design websites. So, I am an excellent fit for writing about WordPress reviews, comparison of plugins …
Can you see how you tied your web design skill to the writing service?
About me pages shouldn’t stop at stating how you started as a writer. Tell a beautiful story that convinces prospects that you can help them get results.
Your portfolio should contain some of your best content. If you have some guest posts, put them here. You can also include samples of short ebooks, links to web copies you’ve written, and so on.
I currently try all of these strategies to build my authority online. I am sure they will work for you if you do the same.
Take your time to implement them. They will set you up for success.
It’s also worthwhile to know that these inbound approaches might take some time to produce results. But the outcome is worth your time many times over.
What’s your preferred method for attracting your ideal clients?
Precious Oboidhe is a copywriter and SEO content writer for SaaS brands, busy business owners, and authors. Need help with a project? – Check out my services and get in touch.