Each day I’m reminded why some online writers struggle. It’s actually pretty simple. They lack the confidence to put themselves out there, be vocal and network with potential clients.
You won’t be successful if you hide behind your monitor hoping pay-per-click sites will magically pay the bills each month. Instead, prosper in this business by laying the ground work each day for future writing jobs and projects.
You want to make money writing online. Great. So, do it.
Don’t dream about doing it. Put yourself out there and secure those contracts. What? You thought freelance writing jobs online will just fall into your email inbox? Ha!
Here’s 11 Reasons You Haven’t Secured Your Dream Freelance Writing Jobs Online
- You don’t pitch publishers often enough. I juggle multiple clients each week, but I still send out pitches to blogs and magazines I haven’t written for recently. Why? They always need content. If I come up with a great idea, why wouldn’t they hire me again?
- You’re scared of reaching out to new companies. Do you have a favorite go-to website you read daily? Would you love to write for them? Then ask them. Find a contact email and ask what their submission guidelines are for bloggers. It’s really that simple.
- You aren’t timely. I can’t tell you how many freelance writing jobs I’ve secured because I check my email throughout the day. Sometimes editors need things done quickly. If I can turn around a blog post in less than 24 hours, guess who they will contact next time they’re in a crunch?
- You’re scared to write assignments. I know it’s comfortable to write your own topics and ideas each day, but if you get over the fear of accepting an assignment from a managing editor, a whole new world of opportunities open. Don’t hesitate to do research or interviews.
- You don’t want to leave the computer. Well, if your writing assignments are journalism-based, you will likely need to do interviews either in-person or via telephone. It’s really not as scary as it seems. After all, great interviews are simply focused conversations. Stay on track and you’ll do fine.
- Your rates are ridiculous. You charge too little, which makes you look amateur. Or, you’re hoping to be a millionaire. Poke around and see what other people are charging for similar work, talk to colleagues or simply ask the client what their budget is for the project. Don’t sell yourself short!
- Your writing is sloppy. I’m sorry, but it’s true. The last few articles I edited for a client were riddled with lack of capitalization for proper nouns, no punctuation at the end of sentences, blocks of long gray text without paragraphs and basic spelling errors. If you want to make money with your writing, polish it.
- You don’t meet deadlines. Blogging, content marketing and article writing revolves around editorial calendars. The editors, publishers and webmasters in the chain of command above you post copy on specific days. When you’re late, the whole system lags. Missing deadlines is a great way to end a writing contract quickly.
- You aren’t networking. I’ve said it a million times before: I get the majority of my freelance writing jobs online from talking to people, communicating on social media, going to online webinars and staying in the loop with past clients. There’s no magic website that will build your personal brand for you and ensure writing work until the day you retire. YOU have to work at building your reputation and services as a writer each day.
- You don’t give writing enough time. Once a colleague said to me, “Wow, you really treat this writing thing like a business.” Well, yes, I do. Why don’t you? If you expect a full-time income from working in words, you need to dedicate eight or more hours a day to the craft. Use Google calendar to get organized.
- You don’t have business-related social media accounts. If you want to work online, you must have an audience. Most companies will only hire writers with influential online profiles that have reach. After all, would you hire someone to do a writing job, or someone who does the job then helps you promote the writing? I’ve been asked for links to my Klout score and social media profiles on writing job applications multiple times.
Sometimes making just a few changes will open the doors to more freelance writing work online. Tell me in the comments below what’s holding you back from making a living writing online?