The struggle when I started my freelance writing service business looked like this:
- I was fascinated with crafting words that accurately conveyed a message.
- I knew that offering basic content writing services for businesses — filling up pages with words — would not pay high rates.
And I completely understood why filling up pages with words was not valued. Nothing is worse than paying for a service that doesn’t produce results.
When writers charge low fees for content writing that doesn’t persuade prospects to take action, two dangerous things happen:
- It’s difficult to support yourself through your writing services.
- Your clients don’t make new sales.
If a client thinks that the money they paid you was a waste because they didn’t make it back in sales, they’ll view you as interchangeable with any other writer — and there’s probably someone else who charges even less than you for a comparable lack of results.
Writers end up thinking that making a living off of their craft is unrealistic and businesses devalue writers because they aren’t familiar with the power of the right words.
But when you’re able to show a client what the right words can do for their business, everything changes.
Smart businesses value smart copywriting
To end the disappointing cycle, you need to offer the proper balance of content marketing and copywriting.
Once I learned about copywriting, my writing business benefitted in two main ways:
- I was able to write copy that persuaded people to hire me.
- I had a skill set that justified competitive rates and delivered a return on investment for clients.
If the work you do for a client makes them a profit that exceeds the cost of paying you, everyone wins. You get paid what you’re worth and they are happy to pay high rates for your services.
Copyblogger’s Certification program teaches you how to be the kind of writer that businesses value.
If you’re interested in joining our list of Certified Content Marketers who we recommend to businesses, make sure to add your email address at the end of this post. You’ll be the first to know when the program reopens to new students.
Bridge the gap
If you’re anything like I was, you’re looking for enjoyable, artistic writing work, but you’re also disciplined and practical.
So, you’re asking yourself questions like:
- What types of new clients would I like to retain in the next year?
- Am I open to learning new skills to attract those types of clients?
- How can I prioritize the different steps I need to take?
You may even be thinking about possibilities down the road like becoming a different type of entrepreneur or joining a larger organization.
Here are three resources that will help you bridge the gap between the writing career you have now and the one you want in the near future.
30 Sure-Fire Steps to Become a Successful Freelance Writer
You may or may not know that I haven’t always been Copyblogger’s editor.
But I pretended that I did. Of course I didn’t tell anyone that … I just received so much guidance from Copyblogger that helped me position my writing and editing services for success that it felt like I knew them.
Although it was just a website with content I read, Copyblogger supported my business journey.
This article is where I “pay it forward,” if you will, and share a list of Copyblogger’s top 30 steps that help you become an in-demand freelance writer.
No, Content Marketing Is Not a ‘Soft Skill’
We tend to divide business writers into two types.
“Hard” writers are the conversion copywriters — the ones who make businesses lots of money, because words are what drive sales on the web.
And content writers, by contrast, too often get identified as soft. As in a “soft skill,” something that’s nice to have as long as budget permits and you’re not feeling too tough-minded this week.
But that’s a dangerous mistake.
Content writers, if we’re doing it right, make businesses lots of money, because words are what drive sales on the web.
If the content on your site is fuzzy, fluffy, and just exists to make you feel good to be in business, I guess soft would be a fair word.
But that’s not what content is great at. And none of us should settle for soft, fluffy content.
Snub Your Next Deadline and Read This Instead
“Creative people are flaky.”
That statement gets my blood boiling a bit, but I do understand where the sentiment comes from.
When distractions are useful in order to ultimately make insightful connections for your job, the line that separates work and goof-off time often gets blurred.
And having frustrating experiences with creative people who are “not reliable in performance or behavior” perpetuates the flaky stereotype.
To make sure your combinatory play doesn’t derail your workday, you need to decide how you want to behave as a creative professional.
Copyblogger’s Content Writing Masterclass
Join Copyblogger’s Editor-in-Chief, Stefanie Flaxman, for The Content Writing Masterclass. It’s for all types of content creators who want to build audiences of interested prospects.