Freelance Writer - if you had to start again where would you look for clients?

41 replies
Hi,

This question is addressed to people who have experience getting freelance writing gigs and have maintained clients for decent periods of time.

I would like to ask you where you would go searching for clients if you had to start all over again?

I am specifically talking about clients that offer rates of $20+ per 500 words. So not sites like fiver, odesk, freelancer and so on.

Thanks

Martin
#clients #freelance #start #writer
  • Profile picture of the author goindeep
    This forum is an excellent place to start.

    Just post an ad.

    Offer a great solution for a good price.

    If that dont work hit up the freelance websites.

    If that dont work hit up bloggers and other media empires and tell them you will write for beer money
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6568686].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Robinson
    Banned
    With the same knowledge I have? Literally anywhere that this forum and it's low end content market is unheard of. I'd go offline or directly to other websites.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6568798].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ThomasCook
    If you are going to ask that amount of money, then you will need to list why someone should buy articles from you. If you can show some of your previews works it will be great.

    Search on forums about article writing services, or ask webmasters if they want your help. If you are able to write them a helpful article many of them will think about it.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6568883].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    This forum and other similar forums are often useful. However it's also important to create a genuine presence in a forum if you expect people to pay for articles you write.

    You can also advertise in classified sites such as Gumtree and Craigslist.
    Email friends and family to ask if they know anybody needing your services.

    These tips should get you going anyway.
    Signature

    Cheers, Laurence. Writer/Editor/Proofreader.
    Visit my site for more info

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6568992].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author contentwriting360
    Banned
    You may seek for business partnership with other service providers (other than your writing services, of course). Refer clients to them and they will use your content writing services. You may also build working relationship with offline clients.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6569049].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Seatbelt99
    In no particular order...
    1) Post in the Warrior for Hire section
    2) Post on digital point
    (for both of these you'll find 95% of people will want cheap articles, don't get discouraged. You're only interested in the top 5% anyway. Ignore the rest).
    3) Post on CraigsList and other similar sites.
    4) E-mail website owners directly
    5) Contact via phone, in person or email offline businesses.
    6) In your down time, write for constant-content.com

    The most important thing is that no matter where you're looking, you need to pitch them on why they need your articles. Keep these things in mind:

    Many people on WF and DP don't understand the value of true, high quality content.

    CraigsList doesn't often take too much of a sales pitch because if they are in the writing section they must be looking for you. Just list the details of what you can provide them and some examples of the work. CL is a numbers game, get it in front of enough people and you'll get sales (don't forget to contact people who post requesting a writer too!)

    when you contact website owners you need to properly explain what your articles will do for them. You can start out with a general form letter but make sure to customize it for each site owner.

    Contacting offline businesses will require you to explain to them what you'll do, how you'll do it and what benefits it will get them (use $$$ amounts if possible).

    Hope that helps.

    Michael
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6569109].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author phoebetabitha
    When I started my article writing services website with my mentor I had no problem finding work, I had the opposite problem! I couldn't find a good writer who was a native English speaker. I had to look on odesk(dot)com. So I guess if I was starting out I'd sign up at odesk and promote myself from there. Hope this helps.
    Signature

    Very new, but learning FAST

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6569416].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author schttrj
      Originally Posted by phoebetabitha View Post

      When I started my article writing services website with my mentor I had no problem finding work, I had the opposite problem! I couldn't find a good writer who was a native English speaker. I had to look on odesk(dot)com. So I guess if I was starting out I'd sign up at odesk and promote myself from there. Hope this helps.
      You won't really get ANY client paying you $20+ in Odesk, but yeah, I mussay it's a good site to start with.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6569493].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Joseph Robinson
        Banned
        Originally Posted by schttrj View Post

        You won't really get ANY client paying you $20+ in Odesk, but yeah, I mussay it's a good site to start with.
        Sweeping generalization. Maybe you couldn't, but that doesn't mean that the rest of us couldn't (some of us may have even gotten above those rates on Odesk from time to time :rolleyes:).
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6569529].message }}
        • I would like to ask you where you would go searching for clients if you had to start all over again?

          Searching? Why not make clients come to you, at least part of the time?

          Create and cultivate a valuable web property, then you can charge people for reviews and such.

          I don't market this service at all except with a payment link on the site. Works a treat, as you Brits like to say.

          fLufF
          --
          Signature
          Fiverr is looking for freelance writers for its blog. Details here.
          Love microjobs? Work when you want and get paid in cash the same day!
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6569575].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
    Your own domain. Work it. The $20 per page rate is low really for ghostwriting - most buyers - not "typical marketers" pay way more than that.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6569583].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author megansays
    I agree about getting your own site. Put up samples and information to let it do the selling for you.

    Try to target a handful of niches that you can specialize in, and then seek out businesses in those niches and pitch your services.

    Once you get things set up and figure out your rates, be confident about what you charge. If you are uncertain, clients will pick up on that and feel you're not worth what you say you're worth. Go headlong and don't hesitate. Unless you're way out of the ballpark, you can find clients who will pay what you want.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6569787].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author artse
    This is interested, i`m also looking for a way to get customers for "article writing".
    I tried digital forum, is fine.
    But i need more customers because in the end a few will turn into regular customers.
    So where to put the ad , not warrior or constant content.
    Other websites? examples ?

    Thanks
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6570248].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Viramara
    Set up your own portfolio website, get a professional WP theme (there are tons of fabulous, elegant free themes specifically designed for freelancers, photographers, and designers), display some samples of your work (watermark them, stamp them!), with your contact info, and spread a special price for first 10 or 20 customers (discount and bonus). The aim is to gather testimonials.

    To market yourself, you can go to forums like WF or DP, Fiverr and its clones, or to freelance websites like odesk, elance, and freelancer.com. If you're choosing 3rd party freelancer websites, you must weapon yourself with a really effective script to really persuade the future client and winning the bid, explaining why the client should pick you and not someone else. (and that's where your portfolio website can come in handy ).

    You can also become a guest blogger, writing tutorials in writing/ web design etc websites with high traffic -- to build your brand. And joining some freelance communities to educate yourself, from most of them you can keep up on how to win clients and handling some technical stuff (priceless!).

    In Clickbank there's a $37 useful ebook titled 6-figure freelancing. It's a good ebook about setting up freelancing business. And Tiffany Dow has a product "ghostwriting cash" which is very good too (no affiliate whatsoever) and newbie friendly. You may want to check them out.

    Hope this helps.
    Signature
    Those who have time and search for a better time will lose time (Sufi Proverb)
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6570407].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Martin Pupke
    Thanks for the suggestions guys, I think creating my own website is a good investment of my time.

    Also I think I might need to create some social media accounts, I have had some people ask for links to FB and twitter accounts to find out more about me.
    Signature

    "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" - Richard Feynman

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6572954].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Joseph Robinson
      Banned
      Originally Posted by pupkevicius@aol.com View Post

      Thanks for the suggestions guys, I think creating my own website is a good investment of my time.

      Also I think I might need to create some social media accounts, I have had some people ask for links to FB and twitter accounts to find out more about me.
      Those can help, but are a bit too informal in my personal opinion. Make a great Linkedin profile, it's essentially an online resume anyways, and spread that around to people who ask. It's apparently how some writers find and bring in clients as well, although I haven't tried the platform for that purpose myself.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6574169].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author David Chung
    A little rephrasing might help a bit.

    Where would clients look for you?

    Do you have a website with proof of your skills where clients can easily contact you? Any testimonials?

    Do you have a forum profile with lots of posts proving your expertise in your area(s) of expertise?

    Or a LinkedIn profile like Joe recommended?

    If you were the type of client that you're looking to get, where would you go to find a writer? I doubt serious clients would go to fiverr or iwriter. Not saying the websites are bad, but if I were a serious business owner I probably wouldn't want to get a cheap $5 writer, and iwriter isn't exactly a household name yet.

    I'm not sure if having a Kindle book or two on Amazon would help. If you were able to successfully promote a book, something along the lines of "how to publish an online newsletter" or "how to get more customers using the Internet", maybe you could tie in your services to it? Any published authors can chime in with their experience?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6574500].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Brant
      Check out the free "Writer's Weekly" e-zine published by Angela Hoy.
      In a search engine type in "Write for Us" and then add an area where you have much expertise, such as men's health (just for example).
      As someone else said, advertise your services here at Warrior Forum and be clear about the rates that you want.
      Look up blogs that will accept Guest Blogger posts and pay you $40 to $50 for each one of them that they accept.
      Ensure that you are knowledgeable about how to write in ways that pay.
      Signature

      Visit me at "A New Domain" digital magazine here!

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6574594].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author gtabiado
    You can do that in odesk and also they have that widget that you could use to advertise your account to other sites
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6574551].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author phoebetabitha
    TBH, if you set up your own site and get it ranked on page one of the search engines, you won't have a problem finding clients. We routinely get far too many orders for our writing team. This is when I go to odesk... I pay the freelancer's $15 per article. You'd be surprised how many writers will line up to work for you
    Signature

    Very new, but learning FAST

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6589062].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author cashp0wer
      I would start on this forum if I had to start back over and do freelance writing. Back when I did freelance writing I didn't use this forum and I know I could have found some great clients here.
      Signature
      My Internet Marketing Blog - Warts And All!
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6589186].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JCTorpey
    Originally Posted by Martin Pupke View Post

    Hi,

    This question is addressed to people who have experience getting freelance writing gigs and have maintained clients for decent periods of time.

    I would like to ask you where you would go searching for clients if you had to start all over again?

    I am specifically talking about clients that offer rates of $20+ per 500 words. So not sites like fiver, odesk, freelancer and so on.

    Thanks

    Martin

    Your last line, " am specifically talking about clients that offer rates of $20+ per 500 words. So not sites like fiver, odesk, freelancer and so on."

    is exactly how I get my $20 plus clients.
    I tried Freelancer.com and had a terrible experience there, and would never sell anything for $5 so Fiverr is out for me. However, I use ODesk quite often and have found some of my best clients there - all of whom pay me top dollar. I am currently working with a client of 2+ years who pays me much more than that, and I found that client on ODesk. You have to be patient and not accept junk offers, which are probably the types of offers you are referring to, right?
    Signature

    JC Torpey ~ Freelance Writer for Hire
    Read samples and view my portfolio @ Virtual Copy
    Read the VCopy Blog before Sept. 30 and get a discount off all services

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6589275].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author imgeek2727
    First, I would take an assessment as to what LEVEL of writing services I can offer. Not all writing jobs are the same. Some don't require any thinking or creativity. Others are just rewrite jobs. Even others involve high levels of analysis and critical thinking.

    Second, I will research the competition and look at the pricing for the writing tiers my work falls under.

    Third, I will produce samples and put them up on my site

    Fourth, I would offer free samples to people looking for content in my tier. You'd be surprised as to how many long-term content provision deals you can get if you go this route.

    To be honest, the standard keyword sniping type of writing is fast developing into a race to the bottom. There are fiverr ads advertising 1500 words for $5 and some ads on forums for .003 cents per word. The future of content is not keyword articles or reworded garbage. The future of GOOD PAYING content projects is higher levels of research, more analysis, and emotionally/intellectually engaging content.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6592737].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author fedor50
    Originally Posted by Martin Pupke View Post

    Hi,

    This question is addressed to people who have experience getting freelance writing gigs and have maintained clients for decent periods of time.

    I would like to ask you where you would go searching for clients if you had to start all over again?

    I am specifically talking about clients that offer rates of $20+ per 500 words. So not sites like fiver, odesk, freelancer and so on.

    Thanks

    Martin
    Ready... Warriors For Hire. If you can produce quality content then people will pay you quality money
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6592752].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Martin Pupke
    @jctorpey I am not surprised that you got some $20+ gig from odesk, however most of the gigs there are worthless for someone aiming at such such a number. I have not quit using odesk yet, because from time to time I do see some great job offers there. The crappy thing is the rate is like 1 in 30.
    Signature

    "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" - Richard Feynman

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6593616].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Joseph Robinson
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Martin Pupke View Post

      @jctorpey I am not surprised that you got some $20+ gig from odesk, however most of the gigs there are worthless for someone aiming at such such a number. I have not quit using odesk yet, because from time to time I do see some great job offers there. The crappy thing is the rate is like 1 in 30.
      Not surprising at all, really. As stated above: if "IMers" know about it, they've diluted the prices you can receive from it.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6594890].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author amar92
    I would start on this forum if I had to start back over and do freelance writing. Back when I did freelance writing I didn't use this forum and I know I could have found some great clients here.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6661534].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author go4glory
    Yup..Start on these forums, then go to the other sites that you mentioned although i really doubt if any of them would pay you $20. You can also do some advertising for yourself like visiting blogs and leaving comments or making a signature to suggest your expertise.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6661615].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ja0ynssnd0
    Banned
    [DELETED]
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6661930].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author adamj2
      Yes I would set up your own website where you can publish portfolio samples and a bit about you as a person and what you have to offer.

      Elance can actually be quite a good place to find some clients that pay a half-decent fee, but I would suggest not to get caught up trying to out bid people for one-off projects. Type in the word "ongoing" and see if there are more SEO and web marketing type companies on there that are likely to have future work for you as opposed to keep having to write proposals for small one-off tasks.

      I found I got more bids accepted when I applied for projects I had existing knowledge of, a qualification in, or existing portfolio samples to show of that topic. So if you have an expertise, then brand yourself around that and apply to those specific projects on there.

      Another good way to earn a bit more money is to learn how to write press releases. Most people struggle with them, but they are not complicated or take much longer than a typical article, and you can often charge more because it is a more specialist skill.

      The highest paying work at professional prices would come from directly emailing SEO companies in your area I would think, but you will need to go through a great many of these emails and stick at it until you get a response.

      Good luck!
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6662377].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JohnE
    Posting an ad in the Warriors for Hire section of this forum will get you some clients. Put a link to the ad in your signature and participate, by adding value, in forum discussions on a regular basis.

    You should also contact web designers and SEO providers, by phone or email, and solicit your services. For every 100 or so you contact, 1 or 2 will be interested. Your conversion rate may differ from that depending on your email copy or phone pitch, but you can fine tune your approach as you go.

    Lastly, contact brick and mortar businesses with websites and offer to provide them with solid content. It helps to seek those who are actively buying online advertising as they are already aware of the importance of the internet as a marketing medium.

    Just keep in mind that whatever lead generation method you choose to pursue, and you should engage in more than one, the overwhelming majority of contacts you make will not result in a gig, but a small percentage will; that small percentage is enough to build a full-time income for yourself.

    Just be persistent and you will see good results.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6664151].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author TheArticlePros
    If I were starting over again, knowing what I know now, I'd never touch a forum that had anything at all to do with Internet Marketing. Period.

    I'd not post here in the WF, use Digital Point, or go to any other forum.

    Why?

    Too many people who are trying to get a start in business and can't afford a decent article "live" here. I'm not saying that there aren't good clients here, but the majority of what you'll find in IM forums are what I call "one offs" and you never hear from them again. They'll come in, tell you how, if you can do this one job to show them how good you are, they'll have thousands of more articles for you. You agree, and sometimes at a reduced rate, and then never hear from them again.

    I'd start with Mike's (Seatbelt99) advice and hit Craigslist first. You can pick up a few clients there.

    After that, I'd start looking for websites in whatever town or city you live in. Find the ones that look like crap (and they're not hard to find) and/or the sites that haven't been refreshed since 2006, go to the contact page, and attempt to contact the business owner and see if you can design a new site for them. It takes 30 seconds to go to Google and type in "[your city] + plumbers" (for example) and scroll down the list to find the non-franchise, local guys.

    That should keep you busy for 3-5 years. After that, come back here and let us know that you've run out of people and we'll start you over again.

    -- j
    Signature

    Posting About Life & Video Games:
    http://www.jarycu.com

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6664193].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author contentwriting360
      Banned
      Originally Posted by JaRyCu View Post

      Too many people who are trying to get a start in business and can't afford a decent article "live" here. I'm not saying that there aren't good clients here, but the majority of what you'll find in IM forums are what I call "one offs" and you never hear from them again. They'll come in, tell you how, if you can do this one job to show them how good you are, they'll have thousands of more articles for you. You agree, and sometimes at a reduced rate, and then never hear from them again.
      I can't agree more with that, JaRyCu. Whenever I'm on shift, I always deal with a client in that kind of scenario. Sometimes, our conversation takes 20 to 30 minutes on Skype. Sometimes, it takes 10+ email exchanges to seal the deal. The next day or so, you'll never hear anything from that person. I'm not sure if that's the norm or people are just trying to do what's being done in unison. lol

      Well, that's part of the business.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6664229].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author cashp0wer
        For one thing I would have found clients on this forum when I was freelance writing. I didn't know about this forum back then though so I probably missed out on quite a bit of work that I could have had.
        Signature
        My Internet Marketing Blog - Warts And All!
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6664375].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Imogene
    Originally Posted by Martin Pupke View Post

    Hi,

    This question is addressed to people who have experience getting freelance writing gigs and have maintained clients for decent periods of time.

    I would like to ask you where you would go searching for clients if you had to start all over again?

    I am specifically talking about clients that offer rates of $20+ per 500 words. So not sites like fiver, odesk, freelancer and so on.

    Thanks

    Martin
    $20 for 500 words is really too high price the normal price is $7, if you managed to get that kind of client then you would really be too beneficial...
    Signature

    Discover How To Earn Daily Profits Promoting Your Own CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) Offers. Affiliates Wanted - 75% Payout - Good Conversions - Affiliate Tools

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6664415].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author TheArticlePros
      Originally Posted by Imogene View Post

      $20 for 500 words is really too high price the normal price is $7, if you managed to get that kind of client then you would really be too beneficial...
      Really? That's the best your spam-spinner could come up with?

      And the normal price is what people decide to pay for it, not some random $ amount you throw out on a board.

      -- j
      Signature

      Posting About Life & Video Games:
      http://www.jarycu.com

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6664470].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
        That's a very good question and one that would take some thought and researching on my part.

        I really didn't seek out to be a freelancer, but rather, it sought me out.

        Writing is my passion and so it's just what I do. After having read my writing in different places online and off, clients came to me asking if I would write for them.

        From there, it has been word of mouth referrals and repeat customers and after twisting of an arm, a special offer on a different forum and eventually my own website.

        In a way, I'm kind of glad that I didn't decide to be a freelance writer first and try the IM route to try and find clients.

        Wait, come to think of it, if I were to start out that way, I would read all the posts on it from the likes of Alexa, Marianne Gonne, Annie Pottinger, and many more established and successful writers here on the forum and take their advice.

        Terra
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6664599].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author JohnE
      Originally Posted by Imogene View Post

      $20 for 500 words is really too high price the normal price is $7, if you managed to get that kind of client then you would really be too beneficial...
      $20 for a 500-word article is on the low end. I have regular, repeat clients who pay more than that.

      I started out charging $10 per article. Very few of those I dealt with were repeat clients because those who pay little for content are, more often than not, beginners dipping their toes in the IM world's water.

      Established online marketers, who make a good living from their marketing efforts, are always in need of good solid content and are willing to pay accordingly for it.

      Brick and mortar businesses who have experienced the bottom-line benefits of a steady stream of good content pay even more.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6664557].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author pamon
    as a freelance writer this thread has had some great information and details. kudos to all who replied and helped. i've used DP and here along with CL for advertising along with my own site. Fiverr I can't figure out but it takes a while to build a repeat clientele for your services. Good luck.
    Signature

    Freelance Writer & Blogger For Hire. US based. Awesome Rates. Check out http://about.me/davidamodt for samples & more.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6664825].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Martin Pupke
    Thanks for the input so far guys, most of my work as been coming from oDesk at very poor rates. But some money coming in is better than nothing. I hope to land some better clients from other marketplaces real soon.
    Signature

    "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" - Richard Feynman

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6733944].message }}
  • I started off writing by looking for jobs on Digital points forum. It wasn't very high paid work but it got me enough money to start investing in other things. I got some long term jobs there and the work was easy and quick.

    I would consider offering copywriting services here on the Warrior Forum. There is big bucks to be made here with those services.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6734360].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Martin Pupke
      Originally Posted by ExpertSEOServices View Post


      I would consider offering copywriting services here on the Warrior Forum. There is big bucks to be made here with those services.
      Copywriting is a tough nut to crack, but as you say the rewards are well worth it. As an article writer I guess it's something to aim for.
      Signature

      "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" - Richard Feynman

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6763675].message }}

Trending Topics