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Freelance Writer Survival Guide


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Freelance Writer Survival Guide

Thank you for downloading this free ebook. Inside, you will learn some of the 2

major pitfalls that ever writer would face and how to avoid them. And you will learn some of the best strategies you can use to grow your online writing business and best of all you will discover where to find some of the best & highest paid online writing opportunities on the internet.

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Freelance Writer Survival Guide

Tips on Becoming A Freelance Writer


So you want to be a writer. Excellent. Writing for pay is an ideal lifestyle for many. However, it’s not the right choice for everyone. Here’s how to know if writing for pay is right for you.

#1 Do you enjoy writing?

If you answered, “Yes” with a shrug of your shoulders or “sure” then take a minute and pause. When you write for pay you’re going to be writing. All day.

Every day. To write for pay and embrace it as your career writing needs to be your passion. You need to actually enjoy the process of writing, and rewriting.

If you answered with a “YES!” then you’re good to go!

#2 Are you self motivated?

Your clients will have deadlines and expectations. If you’re not able to get up each morning, sit down at your computer and write, it’s not going to work.

However, if you’re able to tackle your writing projects, write well and deliver them on time then you’re ready to write for pay. Take a look at your habits right now. Are you motivated? Do you approach projects with energy? Or do you procrastinate?

#3 Can you manage your time well?

Here’s something many people don’t think about. If you get a $1000 project and it takes you fifty hours to complete it that’s $20/hour. However, if it takes you ten

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Freelance Writer Survival Guide

hours to complete it, that’s $100/hour. How can the same project take 10 or 50


hours? Focus. Time management.

If you’re checking email, surfing the web and chatting on Facebook in between pages it very well could take you 50 hours to finish that project. However, if you’re completely focused on writing it’ll take you much less time.

#4 How are your cash management skills?

Writing for pay is interesting. Sometimes you have a ton of work and everyone pays on time. Other times it can get slow. People may pay slowly. If you spend money as quickly as you make it, those slow times can be really stressful.

On the other hand, if you manage your money well then those slow times can be enjoyed. You can use them to build your business. To network. To work on personal projects. And you won’t have to worry about your next paycheck or the bills stacking up on your desk.

#5 Are you a good communicator?

One of the most important elements of writing for pay is to be able to hear what your client wants. This means good listening skills. It also means knowing what questions to ask. Good communication is essential for success. The good news is that you can set up your business to support your communication skills. If you communicate better in writing than on the phone consider an email system for communicating with clients.

So how did you do? Were you able to navigate these five questions with confidence? If you were, great! You’ll do well as a writer. If you hesitated with

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Freelance Writer Survival Guide

some of these questions don’t give up. Simply take some time to assess why and 5

create a plan to overcome these challenges. You can do it!

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Freelance Writer Survival Guide

Tips On Getting Started As a Freelance Writer 6

Are you interested in becoming a paid writer? Do you enjoy writing? There are a number of opportunities for writers. It’s a lifestyle that offers many freedoms and joys. The good news is that it’s also pretty easy to get started as a paid writer.

Here’s what you need:

#1- You need good word processing software.

The majority of your writing clients will want either documents or text files. That means you’ll want word processing software that fits those demands. Microsoft Word comes standard on many computers. If you don’t have Microsoft Word and it’s not in the budget to purchase it you can use open source word processing products like Open Office. Text files are easy to create with an application like Notepad.

Additionally, you can create documents with a Google account and share them with your clients if they have Google accounts too.

#2- You need to have knowledge about your chosen writing specialty

You want to have a solid understanding of two things. The first is the basics about your chosen writing formats. For example, if you specialize in writing blog posts then you need to know how blog writing differs from other types of writing. If

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Freelance Writer Survival Guide

you specialize in sales copy then you need to know how to write a good sales 7


You also want to be informed about your chosen niche. For example, if you write for the health industry then you need to have a basic knowledge about health related topics. You want to be comfortable writing about them.

#3- You need marketing and a website.

Instead of always knocking on doors, you want clients to come to you. This means you’re going to want to market your services. There are many marketing tactics to choose from. Publishing content is a good way to gain credibility and authority. It’s also a good way to demonstrate your writing ability.

Consider also using social networking, blogging, partnerships, and advertising to market your business. In this day and age a writer must have a website. Your website is the place where potential customers can learn more about you. It’s where they can have their questions answered. And it’s where they can review your samples and your writing style.

#4 -You need to have a positive mindset.

Writing for pay is a great lifestyle. However, like any business it has its ups and downs. In order to persevere, a positive mindset is a must. Your enthusiasm and positive attitude will help you connect with clients. It’ll help you stay positive and focused. It’ll help you succeed.

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Freelance Writer Survival Guide

Getting started as a paid writer doesn’t require much. In addition to these four 8

starters, take the time to create a business plan. Write down your goals and how you’re going to achieve them. Your business plan will help you stay on track to achieve your writing business goals and dreams.

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Freelance Writer Survival Guide

Reasons Why People Want Writing for Pay 9


There are a number of truly outstanding benefits for freelance writers. If you are serious about becoming a full time freelance writer, you can definitely enjoy these benefits to the fullest

You Set the Rules

When you write for pay, you’re the boss. You choose when it makes the most sense to work. If you’re a morning person then you work in the morning. If you are a night owl then you work at night. If you’re a stay at home parent you can work around your children’s needs. In short, you’re the boss. When you write for pay you decide when you work. You also decide how much you work. And you can choose the clients you work with.


Writing for pay is a wonderful income opportunity. You can write for pay part time to earn additional income. You can also choose to write full time. Whatever your needs and goals are, you can create your business to fit them.

There are also a variety of writing opportunities. Some of these opportunities pay very well. For example, there is a high demand for business to business copywriters. You can earn thousands of dollars per project.

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Freelance Writer Survival Guide



As a writer you can specialize in a niche topic. Generally, people choose niches that fit their personality, interests, or knowledge. For example, if you have a background in sales then you might write for that industry. If you have knowledge about pet care or health then you may choose clients and projects in that industry.

As a writer you have the unique ability to make money writing about topics that interest and excite you. Many other business models don’t offer this ability to profit from your passion.


There’s a lot of demand for writers. Whether you’re interested in working freelance, contract, or you want a full time job there are opportunities. This means you can pick and choose which opportunities you’re interested in pursuing. Visit any freelance job board and you’ll see an abundance of opportunities.


You can write from anywhere. Do you love the beach? You can write from your chaise while the ocean laps at the white sand. Do you enjoy the city? You can write from a coffee shop downtown. If you enjoy the comfort of your own home then you can write from your office or kitchen table. As long as you have your laptop and an internet connection you’re ready to write.

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Freelance Writer Survival Guide

How to Get That First Writing Job


One of the biggest challenges to becoming a writer for pay is landing that first job.

Even if you have a lot of writing experience, finding your first client can be a trick. Here’s how to find your first writing job with ease.


The best way to find your first writing job is definitely find a client you’d love to work with and make them a pitch. Just like when you are looking for any type of job, you take the initiative to approach the employer that you want to work with and pitch to them in the form of a cover letter and resume and show them what you are capable of doing.

Offer to write for them on spec. This means they don’t pay for the work unless they like it and are going to use it. Sure, there’s some risk that they may not use your work. However, the risk is minimized. You can still use the work for your portfolio. And you may have gotten your foot in the door with this ideal client.

Ideal outcome is of course they love your work, pay you, and hire you for more.

It’s a risk worth taking.


Do you have any friends or relatives that can help? If they own a business themselves chances are they need writing work. They can also spread the word about your skills and services to the marketing department at work.

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Freelance Writer Survival Guide



Non-profit organizations are always on the lookout for writing help. They may not need your specialty but it’s a good way to gain experience. Additionally, non-profits are often run by professionals who have other jobs and connections.

Working on a volunteer basis for a non-profit is a good way to get noticed and gain prospective clients. Additionally, any work you do for a non-profit can be added to your portfolio. It’ll boost your credibility and experience as a writer.

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Freelance Writer Survival Guide

Tips on Getting The Most Out of Your Writing 13

Career - Should You Write On Spec?

If you want to make more money from your writing career, then you should consider writing on spec. However before we can talk about whether you should or shouldn’t write on spec, it’s important to know what it means. Writing on spec means “speculation.” Another good word for it is assumption. You’re writing and assuming or hoping the client will like it enough to pay. There are many pros and cons to writing on spec.

Pros of Writing on Spec

When you write on spec you’re taking a risk. You’re putting hard work into a project with the potential that you might not get paid. So why do it? Why take that risk?

A Foot in the Door at an Ideal Client Writing on spec is a way to prove yourself. It’s a great way to get your foot in the door with your ideal client. For example, if you write for the health and wellness industry and Rodale is an ideal client, why not write on spec for them. The opportunity to write and demonstrate your skills might be worth the risk.

You Gain Experience

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Freelance Writer Survival Guide

Even if the client says “No thank you” you still gain experience. The client may 14

say no thank you. However, they might invite you to try again. With their feedback you may be able to get it perfect the next time.

You Get Something For Your Portfolio Regardless of whether you get paid or not, you can still add the project to your portfolio of samples. You did the work. You can take the credit.

You Might Get Paid

Finally, there is the chance that you might actually get paid for the work. Then you not only get your foot in the door you also get a paycheck. You may also get a lifelong client who respects you for taking a risk.

Cons of Writing on Spec

The most obvious con for writing on spec is the risk that you don’t get paid for your work. This is definitely a risk. There are many reasons why a client may reject your work. It may not fit their needs. Their needs may have changed mid-project. They may have simply found a different writer.

Another con is that if you do a horrible job on the project, you may never get another chance to work with that client again.

However, chances are if you’re writing on spec, you’re going to give it your best try. And that means it won’t be horrible. If you’re writing on spec to get a

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Freelance Writer Survival Guide

paycheck then it’s probably not a good idea. However, if you’re writing on spec 15

to get your foot in the door with your ideal client, it may be worth the risk.

Evaluate the risk versus reward before you take a spec assignment. If you’re confident you can do a good job and the client is worth it, take the risk. There’s very little to lose.

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Freelance Writer Survival Guide

Seven Ways to Grow Your Writing Business Quickly 16

Once your writing business is established you probably want to grow it quickly.

After all, you've started a writing for pay business to make money. The faster you gain a full schedule, the better. Here are seven ways to grow your writing business quickly.


Networking is an exceptional way to gain your first few clients. Chances are you already have a social networking profile. Use it to build your writing business.

Connect with other writers. Connect with business people in your chosen niche.

Market your services to them.

Don’t forget networking offline too. Many business owners in your community have a need for a writer. And people like to hire locally. Join your Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Association. Connect at meet up groups.


Partnering with others is a surefire way to gain business. Partnering can take many forms. You might partner with someone and swap advertisements for your services. You might also partner with a complimentary business to support each other.

For example, if you write information products you might partner with a graphic designer to create complete packages. To grow your business, look for partnership opportunities.

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Freelance Writer Survival Guide



In the beginning ask friends, family and associates for referrals. Once you've established a few clients and they're happy, ask them for referrals. Consider also creating a referral program. Reward clients who send you new clients with a discount or credit for your services.

Job sites

Job sites have a bad reputation. However they can be a great place to gain experience. They can also be useful for building your business. Once your business is established you may turn to them from time to time for extra money.

Or to fill in gaps in your schedule


One of the best ways to build your business is to publish. You're a writer after all.

Get your name and your content out there. Publish online. Publish in print if possible. Utilize article directories and blogging to establish a name for yourself.

Free report

Giveaways are an excellent way to gain prospects. Reports are an exceptional tool because they help you accomplish two tasks at once. For example, if you’re a web content writer you might create a report that talks about how to hire a ghostwriter for your web content. You now establish yourself as a source of information. You also establish your credibility. And you provide a sample of your writing work.

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Freelance Writer Survival Guide

With a free report you're driving prospects to your website and you're motivating 18

them to use your services.


Finally, consider blogging. Blogging on your own site helps you drive traffic to your business. It also establishes your brand. Your content helps establish your credibility by providing writing samples as well as information.

Become a guest blogger as well. Guest blogging broadens your reach. More people will learn about who you are and what you have to offer. Building your business takes a plan. It also takes a little time and patience. To your success!

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Freelance Writer Survival Guide

Strategies on Making Even More Money As A 19


Writing for pay can be a very profitable career. It can also be rewarding and fulfilling. It provides a unique sense of freedom while enabling you to grow your business and reach your financial goals.

Many writers find they reach a plateau with their business. They have a full schedule, great clients and a satisfactory income. However, they want more. If this sounds familiar, consider these strategies for making more money.

#1 Publish.

One of the best ways to earn more money as a writer is to publish. You don’t have to get a traditional writing contract from a publisher. You can self publish. In fact, it is a better idea to self publish. So what do you publish? Write and publish reports and/or ebooks on your niche topic.

For example, if you are a writer for the fitness industry, consider writing a how to book on a fitness topic. You can then use this book as a calling card for your writing business. If someone asks you for a sample, you can say, here, you can read my book.?

You might also consider publishing a book or report on how to hire a fitness writer or how to find your ideal ghostwriter. These types of publications can be used to establish credibility in your industry. They also provide valuable information.

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Freelance Writer Survival Guide


When you publish you not only make income on the sales of your books you also gain more high paying clients.

#2 Partner.

Partnerships can increase your income tenfold. In fact, a good partnership or two can open up a whole new world of opportunities. For example, you might create a referral partnership with a complimentary provider. If you are a content writer you might receive inquiries for copywriting or virtual administration.

You could refer prospects to a specific copywriter or administrative provider in exchange for a commission. You are helping your customers. You are driving business to your partners. And you are earning extra money.

You can also forge partnerships to create new businesses or products. In the first strategy we discussed publishing. We used the example of writing a fitness book if you are a fitness writer. You might partner with a nutritionist when you write the book. Together you could split the profits and each generates income and business.

#3 Affiliate.

Another great way to generate additional income as a writer is to affiliate. An affiliate is someone who earns a commission by promoting a product. For example, if you are a web content writer you might affiliate for SiteSell which is a theme based website system.

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Freelance Writer Survival Guide

You might have a banner ad for SiteSell on your writing business website. You 21

might also recommend them in a review article and link to them in other content related articles. Each time someone clicks on your ad or link and signs up with SiteSell, you earn a commission.

As a web content writer this type of affiliation makes sense. It helps establish your credibility because SiteSell has a good reputation. It is important to affiliate with companies that are related to your writing service/niche and that help boost your credibility.

There are many ways to boost your income as a writer. These three are just the tip of the iceberg. As you grow your business, keep your eyes open for new opportunities to earn and profit.

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Freelance Writer Survival Guide

Five Pitfalls of Writing for Pay and How to Avoid 22


Finally, we will look at some of the major common pitfalls writers tend to run into and how to avoid them.

Writing for pay can be a wonderful way to make a living in today’s society. If you enjoy writing and have the desire and motivation to make a career of it, then you should definitely follow your passion. The writing lifestyle provides freedom from the standard 9 to 5 job. It also lets you work when you’re most productive.

You can work at midnight in your PJs if you want to!

However, writing for pay isn’t easy. Many writers find out that there are pitfalls and challenges. If you know what to expect, you can adapt.

Here are five pitfalls of writing for pay and how to avoid them:

#1 Crunch time

Too often a writer doesn’t budget enough time for a project. The result is a rushed project. And a stressed out writer. When you have to rush a project, it’s tough to do your best work. You may end up with a less than your best result. This can cost you a client. Additionally, it’s difficult to feel pride in your work when you’re not delivering to your full ability.

The solution? Always budget in an extra day or three. If you think a project will take you a week to complete, ask for two weeks. And get started on the project

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Freelance Writer Survival Guide

right away. Don’t wait! Things happen. The internet goes down. People get sick.


If you finish the project early, great! Clients love it when you deliver more than you promised.

#2 Quoted too low

Sometimes a project is more work than you expected it to be. This happens to everyone. When it happens to you, there are two choices. Learn from the mistake.

Or ask the client for more money. Asking for more money after you’ve already agreed on a fee is a tough sell. You may end up losing the client.

There’s a way around this. First, take your time assessing the project before you quote. If you’re unsure, then err on the side of caution. Additionally, you can include a paragraph in your quote that essentially says if the project requires more work than originally anticipated there will be additional fees. Always discuss the fees before continuing with the project of course. No one wants an expensive surprise.

#3 Lost work

There’s nothing worse than pouring your time and energy into a project only to have it disappear from this world. Yet it happens. You must have a backup system and use it consistently. Make it a habit. If nothing else, simply email your saved work to yourself. Store it on a key drive or an external hard drive. Save it to a content management system.

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Freelance Writer Survival Guide


#4 Burnout

Writing for eight hours a day five or six days a week sounds like fun, right? It can be. However, it can also quickly lead to burnout. Make sure you take time off to have fun. Take a break from writing. Get outside and get some fresh air every day.

Talk to people. Laugh. Be social.

#5 Grumpy customers

One of the biggest challenges to writing for pay will be your customers. You’ll have some truly wonderful customers. You’ll also have a few you don’t like.

Ultimately the choice is yours. If your business is solid and you have plenty of work then you certainly don’t have to work with the grumpy customers again.

However, if you need the work then it may pay to put on a smile and appease them. Setting the groundwork up front with policies, procedures and an effective communication system can alleviate much. When customers know exactly what to expect, they tend to be more accommodating.

Writing for pay is a great lifestyle for many. However, it’s not without its challenges. Learn from them. Plan for them. And enjoy your chosen profession!

And finally, these few websites below can really get you started in finding some online writing opportunities where you can find more great clients and more writing opportunities than you can fill your schedule!

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Freelance Writer Survival Guide


We hope you enjoyed reading this report as much as we enjoyed writing it. If you want to pursue a career in writing for pay and are looking to grow your online writing business and at the same time wanting to know our favourite best place for finding some of the best & highest paid writing opportunities online then sign up to our FREE E-Newsletter below and we will show you the best places to market & promote your online writing business using those strategies described above and where to find the best & highest paid online writing opportunities

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