How do I get higher-paying content writing clients?

23 replies
Okay, so everything I'm seeing out there tells me there's more than enough money to make a full-time living from freelance blog/content writing.

I am confident that I have the skills to charge at least $50 per 400 word blog article and probably much more.

What I'm wondering is, "Where is it?" How do I go about finding these companies? I think I have a few ideas, but having someone to coach/mentor is always helpful and I learn more and faster.

I've gotten some "beginning" clients, as I call them, that are willing to pay $15-$30, but that's all so far. Can someone help a struggling newbie with the next step?
#clients #content #higherpaying #writing
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    • Profile picture of the author danstelter
      Thanks for the help Alexa! I've notice that you post on this topic pretty often on this forum. As I cannot yet send PM's, is it okay for me to ask questions?

      Sometimes I feel like I overstep my bounds in that regard though, so if that is the case, please let me know and I'll move on.

      In any event, thanks for the beginning tips.

      Dan
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  • Profile picture of the author jared h
    If a client usually wants something for cheaper, they are not expecting the best quality. If you go to sites like Elance, there are people who want THE BEST quality and will be paying much more. Your portfolio should confirm that you deserve that wage, and the fact that you are confident that you can get $50 per 400 word articles, then you shouldn't have a problem telling your client that is what your price is.

    Overall, you should just be very straightforward and confident with your prices and your clients should be just as happy if not more.
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    • Profile picture of the author DudeAndy
      Don't look for them in places you have high competition. They will not pay you $50 per 400 words when they can pay $4.
      Try contacting blog owners directly, lots of them are actually looking for writers but don't know where to find them.
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      You've got to burn to shine

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  • Profile picture of the author jamesquin
    You need to build a reputation and find regular clients - the trouble is there is so much competition out there - you can get decent articles written for $2. I think you are better aiming at website content pages, rather than articles, because the quality needs to be higher. If you can write good landing pages you might find it easier to find work, but you still need to build a reputation.
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    • Profile picture of the author mounds
      The way I see it is that there's two ways of finding work: reactive and proactive.

      Reactive people create a gig on Fiverr, a Classified Ad, slap up a website, or put a link in their sig. You see a lot of people in the $2-$20/article range doing this. This is a more passive approach.

      Proactive people are sending PM's, e-mails to blogs in their niche, responding to ads, and pounding the pavement into dust. You obviously don't see this going on as much but you can bet it's happening.

      Check out these two similar pieces of advice that have always kept me from going without work:

      1. Treat looking for a job like having a job.

      2. Spend 90% of your day on sales.

      Good luck to ya.

      -Tim
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      • Profile picture of the author danstelter
        Originally Posted by mounds View Post

        The way I see it is that there's two ways of finding work: reactive and proactive.

        Reactive people create a gig on Fiverr, a Classified Ad, slap up a website, or put a link in their sig. You see a lot of people in the $2-$20/article range doing this. This is a more passive approach.

        Proactive people are sending PM's, e-mails to blogs in their niche, responding to ads, and pounding the pavement into dust. You obviously don't see this going on as much but you can bet it's happening.

        Check out these two similar pieces of advice that have always kept me from going without work:

        1. Treat looking for a job like having a job.

        2. Spend 90% of your day on sales.

        Good luck to ya.

        -Tim
        This is exactly what I'm learning. The best-paying clients are ones that I have found on my own. I'm trying to find more ways of getting them to come to me because otherwise, I find myself never actually writing articles!

        Thanks for the encouragement though - it's always good to hear!
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  • Profile picture of the author Kezz
    The basic rule of thumb is the more ROI a client can get from your writing, the more they will be willing to pay you in the beginning.

    This is the reason that the highest paid writers are Copywriters - a highly skilled & talented Copywriter can generate massive ROI even if their initial fees are in the healthy four figure range.

    This is also why the lowest paid writers tend to be generic small article writers - it generally takes a lot of articles to yield a strong ROI.

    But you don't have to have to be a Copywriter to offer high ROI writing services, hence maximizing your rates.

    For example, instead of writing generic articles, try specifically offering 'pre-sale' articles that can be used to send warm leads through an affiliate link. If your writing generates commissions for your clients, the rates you can charge will increase along with your proof of results.

    If you're not inclined towards any type of selling (which is not as hard as you might think) then you can also try your hand at product creation.

    If you are a solid researcher and writer you can create ebooks for people that they can sell or use as lead gen incentives. When people plan to sell your writing, it becomes a very easy calculation to determine how many copies they have to sell before they are making a great ROI on your initial fee.

    So it's more than just the quality of your writing, your grammatical skills and so on.

    It's really about how you as a writer can add to the bottom line of your client's business. The more you add to their bottom line, the more valuable resource you will become.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    $50 for a 500 word blog post is pretty ambitious but I like your attitude. Do you want to know who will pay real money for your work? Offline clients. Chances are good you've visited many of the online freelance sites and discovered that most assignments pay small money and want a lot for it. That's just a fact of life.

    But people who are bringing their business online for the first time haven't been spoiled by the availability of 'cheap' writers. I'd suggest you get connected with a successful ofline marketer or two or three and offer your services via them. You're going to find out you'll be getting more from these 'unspoiled' folks just coming online. Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author angela99
    Originally Posted by danstelter View Post

    Okay, so everything I'm seeing out there tells me there's more than enough money to make a full-time living from freelance blog/content writing.

    I am confident that I have the skills to charge at least $50 per 400 word blog article and probably much more.

    What I'm wondering is, "Where is it?" How do I go about finding these companies? I think I have a few ideas, but having someone to coach/mentor is always helpful and I learn more and faster.

    I've gotten some "beginning" clients, as I call them, that are willing to pay $15-$30, but that's all so far. Can someone help a struggling newbie with the next step?
    Dan, no disrespect intended, but your major challenge is a lack of perspective.

    "$50 per 400 word blog article" isn't highly paid. It's VERY low-paid. A professional writer would chuckle at the idea of a gig like this, because it's not worth the time and energy.

    Reasonable payment would be $200 for a 400 word article, $400 would be better for the same thing.

    I could go on about this forever, and I often do, but in a nutshell, you're targeting the wrong crowd.

    If you want to be paid well, you need to learn how to target.

    So, ask yourself WHO pays $150 for a 400 word blog article. (I won't bother with your $40 example -- as I said, it's not worth it -- you can do better.)

    The short answer to WHO is: big companies. So, make a list of big companies, and ASK FOR THE GIG.

    Contact people in the marketing department at major companies and ask -- via email, phone, or mail. Contact 200 companies, and you'll have more than enough WELL PAID work.

    I always advise my writing students to introduce themselves to prospects, and ASK.

    If you want the work, there's more than enough out there, at any price you want to charge. You should be thinking $1 a word.

    Angela
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    • Profile picture of the author danstelter
      Originally Posted by angela99 View Post

      Dan, no disrespect intended, but your major challenge is a lack of perspective.

      "$50 per 400 word blog article" isn't highly paid. It's VERY low-paid. A professional writer would chuckle at the idea of a gig like this, because it's not worth the time and energy.

      Reasonable payment would be $200 for a 400 word article, $400 would be better for the same thing.

      I could go on about this forever, and I often do, but in a nutshell, you're targeting the wrong crowd.

      If you want to be paid well, you need to learn how to target.

      So, ask yourself WHO pays $150 for a 400 word blog article. (I won't bother with your $40 example -- as I said, it's not worth it -- you can do better.)

      The short answer to WHO is: big companies. So, make a list of big companies, and ASK FOR THE GIG.

      Contact people in the marketing department at major companies and ask -- via email, phone, or mail. Contact 200 companies, and you'll have more than enough WELL PAID work.

      I always advise my writing students to introduce themselves to prospects, and ASK.

      If you want the work, there's more than enough out there, at any price you want to charge. You should be thinking $1 a word.

      Angela
      I'm well aware there are better ways than what I'm asking, and I'm glad that you are pointing some of them out. I just had no idea how to get them!

      I believe that I can write a query letter and develop a portfolio that will convince someone to use my services.

      You'll have to forgive me, as I'm a total newbie at this whole process. But,
      my question is: How do you actually step-by-step contact big companies and convince them that they need your services?

      Will they go for some of the same simple blog articles that I'm writing now for $25-$35? Is it just a matter of marketing to the right crowd, the one with more financial sources and convincing them of the value of my skills?

      Do you have a link for marketing to big companies?
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  • Profile picture of the author Emotia
    Thanks for this thread - I've subscribed!
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    • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
      Originally Posted by Marianne Gonne View Post

      Hi Dan,

      There are lots of good suggestions and resources within this thread for sure.

      But if you want a step-by-step blueprint that you can start implementing right now and find higher-paying clients this week, look no further than this post by fellow Warrior John Coutts.

      I'm sure I must sound like a broken record around here but it's a mantra worth repeating: the moment I began to seek my own clients (primarily Offline, as travlinguy also advises in his response), I broke free of double-digit fees for 1000 words and advanced to triple figures.

      Prospecting can seem daunting at first. But, trust me... once you land those first lucrative gigs, you'll never look back. Just persist!

      Good luck!
      Thanks Marianne for recommending my post. That is exactly how I did it about a year ago now. I literally gained my first client willing to pay $25 per 500 word article within 10 minutes of sending out the emails.

      I considered (at the time) $25 to be the starting level for better things. I quickly moved higher, and while I will still write articles at $30 to $40, I often get paid a lot more.

      Read Angela's post above. Once you get comfortable writing in the $25 to $100 range per 500 words, know that you CAN get paid a lot more. I'm not quite in the dizzy heights of $200 per 400 word article, but I know it's out there, and I know I am worth that.

      I've been paid $150 for a 500 word article many times, and I know I can get more. I will too, and Dan, you certainly can as well. Start by believing, then go out and find the work. This post can take you to the next level. Follow it: it works.

      John.
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      Write System - superior web content
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      • Profile picture of the author danstelter
        Originally Posted by John Coutts View Post

        Thanks Marianne for recommending my post. That is exactly how I did it about a year ago now. I literally gained my first client willing to pay $25 per 500 word article within 10 minutes of sending out the emails.

        I considered (at the time) $25 to be the starting level for better things. I quickly moved higher, and while I will still write articles at $30 to $40, I often get paid a lot more.

        Read Angela's post above. Once you get comfortable writing in the $25 to $100 range per 500 words, know that you CAN get paid a lot more. I'm not quite in the dizzy heights of $200 per 400 word article, but I know it's out there, and I know I am worth that.

        I've been paid $150 for a 500 word article many times, and I know I can get more. I will too, and Dan, you certainly can as well. Start by believing, then go out and find the work. This post can take you to the next level. Follow it: it works.

        John.
        Wow! This is awesome John! I have actually been contacting SEO companies, and I guess I'm just going through a slow period right now. I still get lots of responses and most people like my work, but for whatever reason, the work isn't actually coming through.

        I guess I just need to be persistent. There were some additional tips/tactics you explained that I hadn't tried.

        I was giving in to some fear, figuring that something I was doing was way off base, but your advice here is helping a ton.

        It's good to know that by charging $50 per 400 word blog article, I'm totally within a reasonable range - I was worried my pricing might be too high!

        Thanks everyone, and maybe I'll start a post that details my experience and provides some helpful insight to people. I'll keep asking questions as needed.

        Thanks so much,


        Dan
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        • Profile picture of the author bradstern
          I've read the thread and learned a lot of great stuff especially that of John's.

          Since I've also read this article about how to write a quote which also gives the same advice on getting good clients, I might as well just share it.

          Here are some of the points from the article:

          - First, you need to understand that you SHOULD not say you can do something unless you CAN really do it. This is critical to leave a good impression on your first clients.
          - Also, in relation to what everyone has said, choose or target high-end clients. These are the clients who are willing to pay you for what you are worth. Don't settle for those that pay less (and probably even demand more). This is probably the only way to step up.

          Just keep those in mind. Eventually you'll hit the 'higher paid' mark.
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  • Profile picture of the author LinkVariety
    Originally Posted by danstelter View Post

    What I'm wondering is, "Where is it?" How do I go about finding these companies? I think I have a few ideas, but having someone to coach/mentor is always helpful and I learn more and faster.
    I am a customer not a writer, but I gave up using freelancing sites a long time ago and now use Google to find writers via their own websites.

    As with any business, word of mouth, recommendation works well.

    Whilst there are undoubtedly $50 per page jobs out there, I doubt you will find them amongst affiliates. The ROI on sites that require a lot of content is not that great, especially when comparing $20 to $30 stuff.

    I guess the real money is in copywriting sales pages. If you can deliver high converting sales pages you can charge a lot more.

    If your writing product reviews, stuff for adsense sites then youve probably hit the ceiling for that already.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Q
    Banned
    We'll, there are so many writers out here on Warrior Forum that fits enough for your budget. You don't need to pay $40 or $50 per 400 word article, you can pay between $5 to $10 at least. Currently, I have a project outsourced to a Native American writer who charges only $1/100 words...and his writings were top-notch!
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  • Profile picture of the author Law guy
    Look into copywriting. You will, however, most likely have to brush up on your marketing skills.
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  • Profile picture of the author nm5419
    There are hundreds of high-paying clients on Craigslist.
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  • Profile picture of the author drmani
    Originally Posted by danstelter View Post

    What I'm wondering is, "Where is it?" How do I go about finding these companies?
    Some tips:

    Look for clients with established, profitable businesses.

    Make sure your work can generate a good ROI for them.

    Position yourself as a specialist worth high prices.

    Showcase your skills, expertise and results you've achieved.

    Encourage current clients to give you referrals. Ask for them.

    You may start out writing 'cheaper' - as long as you're strategic about it.

    Study marketing. Premium writing is more often a marketing challenge.

    Hope this helps.

    All success
    Dr.Mani
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  • Profile picture of the author Magnus Koenig
    You know, the 'word of mouth' has been very effective for businesses especially in the web. As you've said, you're still a fresh freelancer. Work more on advertising for your name and improve your capacity. When clients get to see that you are so brilliant, I guess, by that time you can up your ante and demand for something more. But, by this time, you better persevere and be patient on what you are doing. We should start it step by step. Do not run or take a leap, slowly but surely, take your way to succeed.
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  • Profile picture of the author godinu
    It can be hard to find the good gigs initially, especially with the onslaught of lower-than-low prices out there for content. I feel ya -- I have been writing for many years and have even won awards for investigative journalism from the Associated Press, but I really don't like doing sales pitches to companies/sites/etc to get a decent paying gig. Unfortunately, to thrive as a writer that's one of the best ways to get decent clients these days.

    Here is one other somewhat secret search phrase: "write for us" put into goog search pulls up all kinds of stuff, some which pays well.
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