Last year I joined the solopreneur fraternity and became a part-time Freelance Writer as an Australian. Was it easy? Certainly not. Worth it? Questionable.
Pleasing clients is more challenging than expected as you’re writing for quality, not for quantity that I’m known for here. However, the perks can really pay off if you’re looking for income in the $120 to $200 per hour range like I accomplished.
There are a plethora of tracks that you can take to becoming a freelance writer in Australia. You can find your path to earning money from writing regardless of the particular writing talent that you have.
Things to Keep in Mind to Become a Good Writer
You can certainly create an income through writing. But before you earn through your freelance writing job, there are several things that you have to keep in mind. I will be listing those things down below, so you can have a guide if you want to start your writing career.
Treat freelance writing as a business
Sean Platt, a well-known writer said that if you want to build a career in writing, then you have to treat writing like a business.
Regardless if you are a fiction or non-fiction writer, making an income through writing means that you have to sell something. And you should not just sell; rather, you must sell something good.
You must make sure that the articles or blogs you write are all in its highest quality for it to sell. No one wants to pay for low-quality products, right? Therefore, writing good articles will help you make a sustainable career out of writing.
Embrace your learning curve
Before earning an income, the initial thing that you should do as a writer is to learn your craft. It does not matter if you write fiction or non-fiction. There are skills that are important for you to learn so you could become a good writer.
There are vast arrays of ways for you to learn. For instance, you can learn by trial and error. Learning from your mistakes is a slow way of absorbing things.
And although it may seem to be disheartening to make mistakes, its where you will learn.
You can also join courses that will help you enhance your skills as a writer. You can also learn from the experience of other successful writers who already have their own careers.
But above all, the most important thing that an aspiring writer should do is to embrace the learning curve. Although the learning process is long, it will be the only way for you to become good in your writing path.
Generate your audiences
There is an audience for every writer. Before writing whatever your topic is, you should first know how to generate your target audience.
You can generate your audience through blog writing and using social media for you and your works to become known. Yes, it may take time, but you will have an assurance that it works.
Once you have already generated your audience, you can use various social media accounts to alert them when you have a new blog.
Build your email list
As a writer, you must be able to reach your readers whenever you need them. And the best thing to reach your audience is to build a list of email addresses. Admittedly, this is a weak point for me.
Most people have a strategy of giving away something for free in return for an email address. The email list that you will be able to build will help you influence your readers to make an action.
You can send an email to the people included in your list whenever you have a new blog or you have an announcement about your website.
Choosing Your Earning Track
Like any other business, writing has different areas. It is important that you know each one before choosing the track you will take. Such will save you from the hassle of being on a track that is not meant for your ability.
To help you have a more in-depth understanding about the writing tracks that you can choose from, take a look at the list of tracks listed below:
The Blog Track
If you want to make an income from blogging, there are five fundamental steps that you can follow.
The first step to making money from your blogs is to attract visitors. You can do such by regularly creating and posting valuable content to your website.
Another way to attract visitors is by having a high-quality site that they can visit. The site should be fast, easy to access, and error-free. Preferably, without ads just like my blog here.
You can create an account to various social media platforms where you can promote your blogs. Personally, social media isn’t for me. Also, you can become a guest writer on other websites.
The second step is to build an email list. You can ask for your visitors’ email addresses and offer them something for free in return. This is what you call an opt-in gift.
For the third step, you should generate the trust of your readers and followers. You can do such by giving them regular and useful content.
The fourth step, offer a product. In a writer’s case, your products are your articles. These articles must have content that can help your audience in one way or another.
Lastly, if you want to build blogs where you can get your income, you have to do this process repeatedly.
The Freelancer Track
To become a freelancer is one of the easiest ways to make money out of writing. It will not take too much of your time since you can work from home and you are your own boss. Another good thing is that when you are a freelance writer is that you can work whenever you want to.
As I said, last year is when I became a freelance writer right here in Australia. It wasn’t an income choice; I simply wanted a new experience.
Before getting into the freelancer track, the first thing that you should do is to acquire experience. You can offer your writing services to your friends and family first if you are new to freelancing.
You can also use your school projects relevant to writing as your portfolio when a possible client is asking for it.
Another thing that you can do to develop your craft is to find out any special certifications and titles held by professionals in the field of writing.
When you decide to become a freelance writer, always remember to price your works accordingly. Once you already built a solid portfolio and gained experience, you already accept paid gigs.
Decide for your hourly rate but also remember to price depending on the difficulty of your gig. You should also make sure that you are generating quality content so that your price will be reasonable.
Also, only take jobs that you are confident you can finish. You can take big projects for as long as you can produce high-quality output.
Lastly, make sure to communicate properly with your client. Your clients are your greatest source of information. This is the reason why it is important to create a good relationship with them.
Keep your clients updated about the progress of your work. Reply to their messages and emails the moment you read it and send them a draft of work before you deliver the final product.
The Copywriter Track
Copywriting is one of the greatest sources of income. If you are planning to take this track, there are things to remember. You must know that using the same text, tone, and length is not applicable across every marketing platform or channel.
Your tonality when you are writing a blog must be different when you are writing for a Facebook post or tweet.
Additionally, copywriting requires writers to be knowledgeable about the different writing tracks such as email, blog, and email newsletter copies. You should also be able to differentiate your tone and voice for each track.
For instance, email copies must be enticing whereas blog copies must be engaging. Regardless of what you are writing, the copywriter track requires you to have a more versatile writing technique. You have to be able to change your writing strategy depending on the platform and channel that you are using.
You can also ask your clients’ feedback regarding your output. This way, you will know the areas where you need to improve. You can use positive feedback as testimonials that you can show your future clients.
The Author Track
This track has two paths. You can become a self-published author or you can go along and take the conventionality of working in a publishing house.
Publishing houses consider not only the quality of work but also the size of an author’s audience. For this reason, I am going to focus on becoming a self-published writer.
The first step to becoming a self-published writer is to find your niche or genre. Look for a field that you are comfortable writing about. After that, develop your skills in that field.
When you already have your genre, know your target audience and understand their needs. This way, you will be able to deliver exactly what they are looking for.
In addition, always write all your thoughts down. Do a complete brain dump. Not familiar with the word? Well, brain dump means completely transferring every accessible knowledge from the brain to a storage medium.
Doing a brain dump will give you an assurance that you will not forget the things you think are relevant to your work.
When starting to write your book, always start with a compelling title. The reason for this is that the title will serve as a gateway to attracting more audiences.
Once you have your book drafted, create an appealing book cover. This, plus an interesting lead inside your book will undoubtedly get you more audiences.
When you have already finalized your book, launch it for free on different platforms. Once you notice that people are interested in your book, switch from free to $0.99. And then gradually increase to regular price.
One thing that I have learned from being a writer is that development takes time. You should exert a lot of effort if you want to succeed from whichever track you have chosen.
Regardless of the track you want to take, becoming a freelance writer is really a good source of income provided that you remain consistent.
The idea is to stick on one main track. So, know where you track you are comfortable and you will excel the most. For me, that’s blogging here and my other niche sites, and have since reduced my freelance client load down to just 1. Yes – 1 client only. (Who pays me a small fortune…)
It is good to have knowledge of all of the tracks mentioned above. But jumping from one track to another may make it a little difficult for you to establish your writing career.
If you find yourself unhappy with the track you chose, do not give it up just yet. Give it a chance for at least three months as you might just have to get used to the track you chose.
If there is not any reasonable improvement after three months, you can consider trying another track or adding a complementary skill. For instance, if you are a blog writer, consider adding a podcast or uploading videos on Youtube. This step will help you reach a wider range of audiences.
The secret to success is actually development. If you are writing too slow, then learn how to speed it up without sacrificing your work’s quality.
If you are lacking in inspiration to write, try looking at your competitors’ works on such tools as Ahrefs. This will help you develop content that can compete with theirs.
Lastly, utilize keywords. These keywords are what most people search for on the internet. Integrating it into your works will help you reach them better.
There are also SEO friendly steps to helping you rank on search engines. First, remember that you are writing for humans, not for search engines. For this reason, do not keyword stuff just to rank on Google and other search engines.
Additionally, focus on the questions that your audience will most likely ask. Addressing these questions in your content will make it more compelling and useful.
Last but not the least, break up your articles into 2-4 sentences per paragraph. You can also use bullet points to point out important information. To make it more actionable and appealing, use images and personally I use Canva.
Do you have any comments or suggestions? Let me know by leaving them in the comment section!