Audra Rogers is really honest (after all, she’s Real Honest Mom on the web). When she bought 30 Days or Less as a gift for herself on Mother’s Day, she only wanted to make a couple hundred dollars a month.
Meanwhile, she’s managed to make a chunk of change working part-time as a freelance writer. Tell us how you get those $100 gigs, will you Audra?
When I first started freelancing, I only wanted to make a couple hundred extra bucks a month to supplement our income.
I thought it would take years of experience to make any serious money, and I was afraid to set my goals too high for fear of failing to reach them. But in less than three months, I made $1,200 working part-time as a freelance writer.
I’ve learned a few great tips and tricks that helped me find great sites to work for, and I’m earning $100 per post in most cases. My three biggest tools are probably already right in front of you! Here are the things I’ve done to find success so early in the game.
Finding Great Sites in Your Niche
My biggest tools are Google, Facebook and Twitter to find great sites to write for. The following techniques have turned out to be gold for me.
In Google, if you search “write for us” or “submissions” or “contributor” plus a keyword for your niche, it will bring up pages and pages of websites that take posts. For instance, I Googled “write for us + parenting” and I was able to choose from a lot of websites I wanted to work with. Bear in mind, not all of them are paid, but it’s a great way to find sites you might not have heard of before.
I love Facebook. People share all kinds of great articles on Facebook (along with all the crazy!). I pay very close attention, and if I find an article that was really good and is on a topic or genre I am interested in, I comment on that post and investigate further to find a “write for us” page on the website it was published on. (Super smart idea Audra!)
I also follow several writers and freelancers on Twitter. I love to read what they’ve written and what they’re sharing, and I have come across a few sites I hadn’t heard of before that I’m working with now.
Share and compliment the stuff you like! Sharing is truly caring in this business. Search #writer #blogger #freelance or niche keywords to find like-minded people. And put those hash tags on your own profile so they can find you too!
You can also find brands to work with on Twitter. If you search #ad or #spon (sponsored) or similar, you will see a lot of bloggers who are currently working with brands. It will bring up everything, so it’s not always going to fit what you write about, but it will give you a great idea of which companies work with writers.
Don’t Marry Yourself To One Site
By using the tools above, I found three or four great sites I like to work with regularly (which is plenty for where I’m at right now.) I know it’s tempting to just stick with one site when you find a good home. That’s fine, but keep at least a few others on hand so you can shop your content around if something doesn’t work for them.
Find Your Work Flow
I almost exclusively pitch fully-written articles. My niche is Parenting and Relationships, so this works for me as my favorite sites have similar content.
I usually have a particular site in mind when I write, but if that article isn’t accepted I can tweak it for another site. I put a lot of thought and care into everything I write, so the articles are pure in thought, and I’m not ripping anybody off.
Find Like-Minded People
I am in a few writers groups on Facebook, and they are invaluable when it comes to bouncing ideas off of each other and asking veteran writers questions when you are new. It also really helps to just be around the positivity of others in your work field that know exactly what it’s like to be in your shoes.
Invest In Yourself
It is hard trying to figure all of this stuff out on your own. I had very little confidence in doing this and I had no idea how to pitch, or even find who to pitch to.
But in my first few months, I’ve been published on The Huffington Post, Babble, Scary Mommy, Club Mid, BlogHer, She Is Fierce and Moms Magazine.
All while having a toddler at home with me during the day. I really wanted to follow my writing passion, so I got creative with writing times (very early morning and at night after bedtime) and I decided to invest in myself on Mother’s Day.
A discounted rate for the 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success was offered in May and I chose this writing course as my Mother’s Day gift. It has more than paid for itself.
It worked around my busy mom schedule, and I was impressed that course creator Gina Horkey shares exactly how much she makes every month, and actual emails she sent to pitch clients and score writing jobs. It’s also very affordable. The course also includes membership to a great Facebook group, where we inspire each other with pitching challenges and links to free webinars and job listings.
Writing is my passion and I have a new spring in my step! My family gets to see me really happy and fulfilled, and I am here for them anytime they need me.
I’m so pleased at how my freelancing career has started, and I plan to hold onto my hat as I prepare to launch into full-time!
Audra Rogers is a freelance writer in the niche of parenting and relationships. She’s been featured on The Huffington Post, Babble, BlogHer, Scary Mommy and Moms Magazine. Audra’s home on the internet is Real Honest Mom where she shares about her personal experiences in parenting, personal finance and DIY with honesty and humor.
What’s the smartest investment you’ve made as a gift to yourself?