These will make you rich.
“Success” has different definitions for different people.
I started my freelance writing career in December 2020. Since then, I’ve earned more than $80,000 US by working less than ten hours a week. I’ve also worked with sub-contractors and paid them a salary much bigger than the paycheck from my previous day job.
How did I achieve such levels of success while it takes so many writers several years to earn any form of “good” money through freelance writing?
In this post, I’ve dissected the three subtle mindset shifts that have hugely contributed to my successful freelance writing journey.
If you’re struggling to make ends meet as a freelance writer, then this post is for you. Learn from what I did, and apply them to your journey to reach new and astronomical levels of success you never imagined.
1. Playing the long-term game with long-term people
Since 2020 until a few weeks ago, I’ve worked with the same two freelance clients.
This goes contrary to any freelance writing advice you’d see on the internet. Writers are advised to keep seeking new opportunities and moving on to better deals.
Why, then, did I stick to the same two clients for a year and a half?
The reasons can be summed up as follows:
- As I grow familiar with the work and the client’s expectations, I can hand in better results.
- I can take up more responsibilities as time passes, thus creating more opportunities for myself and better results for the clients.
- As the client grows and diversifies their business, the trust between us grows, and I get assigned new gigs that come up.
- When we are familiar with each other’s pace and style, the project becomes more enjoyable for both of us.
I’ve moved on to bigger and better deals that helped me earn more than 10x the amount we had initially signed the contract for.
How you can implement this
Instead of constantly trying to find new clients, when you find someone you like working with, hold on to them.
Give in your 100% and keep improving on your submissions so you soon become irreplaceable to the company. This way you’ll ensure a place for yourself on the team, and open up the possibilities for future collaborations when the opportunities present themselves.
2. Giving more than what I promised
When I sign on new clients, the primary skill I promise them is content writing. But with time, here are the services I’ve provided to my clients:
- Content planning and strategizing.
- Website copy.
- Optimizing content for various platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
- Social media strategy.
- SEO strategy.
- Guest posting and backlinks.
I included none of these in the contract. But with time and as I understood the clients’ requirements better, I started pitching for new services. The clients were happy to pay because they’d already seen the kind of value I provided with content marketing.
After all, if almost every article I write ranks #1 on Google and brings insane traffic to their website, why would any client hesitate to pay more for bigger projects?
Giving more than what you promise is a win-win situation as the client gets more services without hiring new people, and you get paid much more from an existing contract without going through the hassle of looking for, signing, and onboarding new clients.
How you can implement this
When you start work with a new client, don’t hesitate to offer a few services for free. Once it’s established that you can provide a lot of value, start pitching long-term paid versions of the skills you’d provided for free.
This is a great way of testing the waters before asking for a raise straight away. You can also learn while you work, and then keep polishing your skills so you can charge more once you gauge the impact your work is making on the company.
3. Saying “YES” before I knew how it would work
A few days ago, a potential client reached out to me with the kind of work I’d never done before. They had an obscure blog with 0 traffic, and the challenge was to take it up to 100 clicks a day with 100k+ monthly impressions.
I had never worked on such projects before, but the pay was amazing.
And so, I said yes.
The next few days were spent learning and educating myself on how exactly I can implement the strategies to get the clients the results they want. Within six months, the website was averaging 300+ daily clicks and 200k+ monthly impressions.
This was a huge win for me, and the final amount I got paid for the deal was double what we had initially signed the contract for. This would never have been possible if I’d chickened out at the beginning and said no without even trying.
How you can implement this
When you get asked for a new project that requires skills you’re not yet sure you have, say yes. Take it as a challenge and figure out how you can make this work as time passes.
Later on, if you realize you aren’t cut out for the work, you can end the contract and recommend someone else. But if you don’t try, you’ll never know.
Every writer’s freelance journey is different, and I’m sure the challenges you faced would be vastly different from mine. Summing up, here are the three reasons why I believe I managed to reach incredible success as a freelance writer in just a few months of starting my journey:
- I stuck to the “good” clients for a long time, rather than always running after the deals that promised more immediate money.
- I gave more than what I promised for free. When it was clear I could provide value to the client, I started charging for them.
- I said yes to projects before I had any idea of how I’d accomplish them and later figured it out on the go.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on these skills and am curious to know if you’ve tried any on this list. Do let me know in the comments.