Choosing to become a freelance writer and turning your writing talents into a profitable career are two very different stories. You can possess excellent grammar and spelling skills, but if you can’t build a profitable business around your talents, your freelance writing dreams are likely to be nothing more than a mirage. Understanding how to turn your writing yearnings into a revenue-focused business is essential for long-term success as a freelance writer. If this is the year you transition from being a wannabe writer to a writing business owner, remember the following five critical business development truths every freelance writer ought to know.
Evaluate the ROI of Your Writing Clients
Walking away from low-ROI, high-demand freelance writing clients is OK. Not every writing relationship offers a significant return-on-investment for your writing business. Learn early on in your writing career how to evaluate the ROI of your clients. Are they helping you grow your portfolio with a byline in a respected publication? Are they paying you enough to meet your revenue-per-hour goals? Do they request multiple revisions on each project, thereby driving down your revenue-per-hour rate? The sooner you learn how to evaluate the ROI of your writing clients, the sooner you’ll build a revenue-positive writing business you can be proud of.
Combine a Niche Specialty with a Format Specialty
Chances are good you have already heard the advice to choose a niche to specialize in. However, did you know that choosing a writing format can also help increase revenues for your freelance writing business? Not only should you specialize in an industry, but you should also consider concentrating on one or two types of content. Offer white papers and case studies for the digital marketing sector. Create blog posts for SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) startups. Also, build a reputation as a sales letter copywriter for the affiliate marketing sector. Once you learn the power of combining a business niche with a content format, you’ll kick yourself for not discovering this exceptional career-development hack sooner.
Your network has a significant influence on lead generation opportunities for your writing business. Find niche-specific forums via a tool like BoardReader.com and offer helpful insights your target clients can use. Build a knowledge-based reputation within your industry, and you’ll soon have to start turning away clients for your freelance writing business.
Consistent Education Upgrades Equals Business Development Mastery
Continuing your education as a freelance writer is essential if you want to enjoy a long and profitable career as an on-demand wordsmith. Immerse yourself in new industries. Learn new writing formats. Study business sectors experiencing rapid growth. Pay attention to which startup sectors are attracting investment capital. Continually increasing your knowledge base makes good business sense. Not only will you be able to attract more clients to your writing business, but you’ll also build a reputation as an expert who can be depended upon to craft compelling content. Developing a deep knowledge base also helps you to transition your writing business and improve client quality while increasing your writing rates at the same time.
Control Your Clients
How much you charge, how you’re paid, and the revisions you offer are within your control. Professional writers don’t allow clients to tell them what a blog post will cost or how many revisions will be required in an article. Writing is a business, and you’re a business owner. You can’t tell the supermarket manager how much you’re willing to pay for your groceries. Don’t allow clients to tell you how much they’re willing to pay for your writing services. Know how much you charge for your writing services and only work with clients who respect your professionalism and honor your business practices.
Remember these five critical truths for freelance writers, and you’ll improve your odds of building a thriving and profitable writing business. Choosing to be a freelance writer is a decision not to be taken lightly. The sooner you start treating your writing career like a business, the sooner you’ll start living your freelance writing dreams.