It is the 29th of July, which is a special day in my world because three years ago, my wife and I got married. Today is our anniversary. Happy anniversary, Chelsea. She’s missed a couple of these, but not many of the 98.
Today, we’re going to talk about how to make money as a freelance writer. Basically offering your services to other people through sites like Upwork or any one of several other platforms.
We are going to talk about how to bid on those projects and how to get that gig to work. We’re also going to talk about some job boards and stuff, and we’re just going to kind of go from there. For those of you who don’t know who I am, my name is Jason Drohn, doneforyou.com, and we specialize in helping people create offers, build sales funnels, and automate their marketing and their traffic; automate their sales.
This week we have been discussing writing – how to make money writing. That was all kind of prompted by a visit to Barnes and Noble and seeing that every dummy’s guide in everything that was how to make money doing X was sold out. I was like, well, we might as well do a couple of weeks of how to make money writing. How to make money podcasting. How to make money doing this kind of fundamental things that I have been doing forever. Other people have been doing them forever, but they’re all fundamental in the terms of digital marketing. They’re all fundamental in terms of ways to generate revenue. So that’s what I’ve been talking about.
Now, freelancing, make money as a freelance writer. Several disciplines work well as a freelancer, make money as a freelance writer. Some of those disciplines, design, anything that’s remote in nature, graphic design, programming, writing, accounting, bookkeeping, all of those like disciplines lend themselves to freelancing very well because you can work with several clients at the same time.
For most of them, the client’s work isn’t considerable enough to work on any of them full-time. But if you have 3 or 4 or 5 or 10 or 20 clients, and you have a full roster, you can generate quite a bit of money that way.
The disadvantage of freelancing is it’s entirely gig work. If you five clients and they’re all paying relatively decent, you lose one, then you just cut your income by a fifth. So that’s the other side of freelancing.
Websites To Sign-up Freelance Writing
Now using some of these tools and some things that are out there now, like a freelancing website like Upwork or JobBoard, then you’re going to be able to pick up clients relatively quickly. The disadvantage is there are also about 10,000 other competitive freelance writers who are all looking for those same projects.
There’s a push and pull when it comes to writing. You want to be cheap enough that people are interested in working with you, but expensive enough that you are bottom of the barrel. Or they’re expensive enough that you have a profit margin so that you can still make a good living off of the freelance work. There are all kinds of just push and pull stuff in there.
I have never written as a freelance writer. Most of everything that I have done in my past has been, you start writing a blog, you generate traffic, that traffic turns into sales and clients. Those sales and clients pay you money and then you reinvest that into more traffic. They turn into more sales and clients. I haven’t ever pulled work off of a job board. I’ve never signed up as a vendor for Upwork.
However, we have hired a lot of vendors off of Upwork for various blogging things, most of it Done for You related. Usually, what I’ve done is I go and I look for bloggers and writers, freelance writers, that can write for Done for You. Then once they’ve been around for a while and they learn their processes and I’m able to see their writing and kind of their thought process as it approaches writing, then we usually pull them off another task.
Because most of the time, internet marketing writers, they’re not just writers. They can execute on something and then the writing is kind of the byproduct of the execution. So that’s what I look for. And it’s one of the things that has helped a lot in building the Done for You team. We’ve looked for freelance writers to kind of start the process.
Now, oftentimes, when I go and post a project, I have a pretty good idea of what the deliverables I need. I need three articles a week. Each of those articles needs to be keyword loaded. It needs to have so many images. It needs to have so many internal links. Then I kind of write up guidelines of what needs to be in that. As a freelance writer and make money as a freelance writer, when you’re looking for jobs, you want to look for something that seems pretty stable, that values your writing. That they’re going to be able to generate revenue from your writing for a while because that means it’s going to be a stable gig for you. It’s not just 10 articles about a certain keyword phrase for 150 bucks that is a bargain basement. It’s more important that it gets done than it’s right.
But there are all kinds of different writing projects that you can look for. There are writing eBooks. There are blog posts. There’s ghostwriting, which we kind of talked about a little bit on Monday. The most important thing is you’re able to source it and make money as a freelance writer.
Let’s just pull up a browser here. If we go to Upwork home. We’re going to go to my jobs or we’re going to go into Upwork. I use Upwork all the time and I don’t have any active postings up, but let’s say I was looking for, let’s see, we’ve got all my job posts and then talent. Let’s go into Upwork and I’m going to show you where to find projects.
Basically what we want to find is we’re just going to look for writers. Writing. We have an Upwork account, and we’re looking for the different agencies that are writing. You can see this would be all your competition. So 75 bucks an hour. $200,000 earned. $75 an hour. They have a 94%. $32 an hour. They have $100,000 earned. There’s $150 an hour with $300,000 earned. So there is a lot of people, especially right now who are getting into the freelance writing gig and make money as a freelance writer.
Now let’s look over. So we’re going to go here. I’m going to log out here. And then we’re going to go back to the home page. Like I said yesterday, Upwork is a publicly-traded company. If you want to find workers, you can post a job here. If you want to find jobs, then you can look for jobs here too. There’s everything from tech and IT to design to sales and marketing to administrative and accounting and legal.
The most important thing is you are looking for writing projects. We’re going to find quality freelancers and agencies for writing. We want to bid on work though. You know what, here we go. So writing jobs. I’m going to become a freelancer and make money as a freelance writer. I’m going to sign up. So I’m just going to continue with my Google account. Go through. We’re going to sign up with this guy. Nope. It already exists on Upwork. Let’s see about this one. That one already exists too. As I said, I’ve used these guys quite a bit. All right. So I want to work as a freelancer and make money as a freelance writer. We’re just going to go ahead and sign up. Send me genuinely useful emails. We’re going to hit the little, yes, I understand box. And then it’s creating my account.
Signing-Up on Upwork as Freelancer
Now it’s redirecting me. Basically what it’s going to do is it’s going to sign me up as a freelancer. We are going to create a profile. We’re just going to go ahead and hit continue. We’re going to hit start my profile. Here we can go through and upload everything right from our LinkedIn profile. So let me just connect to my LinkedIn profile and hopefully, it’ll pull in everything that we need here. All right. Open your LinkedIn profile, select more, save to PDF so more. And we’re going to save it to a PDF. Then we’re going to select the file to upload. So we’re going to do that. There we go. All right.
Tell us about the work you do. We are… What are we? We’re writing, right? That’s the goal. We’re looking for writing jobs. We’re going to do academic writing, copywriting, technical writing, web content, and creative writing. Oh, we can only do four. Cool. So what skills do you offer clients? Blog posts. We’re just going to do blogging. All right.
I’m just going to do the writing. There are all kinds of other options there. What level of experience in this field? We’re going to do intermediate, expert. I’m going to say, expert. Now we’re going to go to Mercyhurst University. It’s where I graduated from. That looks good so we’re just going to hit next. Employment. Founder of Done for You. President blah, blah, blah. So on and so forth. We’re going to hit next. It looks like something went wrong. So there’s my sales account manager at Pepsi Bottling Group.
I’m going to remove this guy cause it doesn’t matter anymore. This one was quite a while ago so we’re just going to pull these off. Then we’re going to hit next and see if that saves. Okay, cool. What is your English proficiency? So I am fluent, native, or bilingual. And what other languages do I speak? None. What is my hourly rate? My hourly rate is $250 an hour. Upwork service fee is then going to be $50 an hour. The service fee is 20% when you begin a contract with a new client.
It is expensive to get work from Upwork. It’s one of the reasons why we want to move the relationship off of Upwork if we can. And then also the estimated amount you’ll receive with service fees. So we’re going to hit next. Then it’s going to look for a title and overview. It pulled all of this from our LinkedIn profile, which is super nice. Super nice that we don’t have to set all this up. It looks like I misspelled a specialty or something. Link to external websites is not allowed. Okay, cool. So that we needed to move. Next.
It looks like my description is too long. Feel faster. So I’m going to delete this too. Hit next. All right. Profile photo. I’m just going to skip this for now. Got it. Location. The United States is good. The city is North East, PA. All right, here we go. All right. Filling this in. Okay. And we’re going to hit next. And the phone number? (814) 315-8121. Then we’re going to go to enter the code. So it looks like it’s going to send me a verification code just to make sure the account is mine. So let me grab the code here. Right.
All right. Grabbing the code. This part is always the pain because then you got to go to it again. 3153121. That is the right number. So it just didn’t get the code yet. Maybe it’s on a new browser or maybe it’s on voice Google. All right. Got to love all the security features, right? All right. Huh? Still haven’t got the code. So we’re going to (814) 315-3121. Yep. So we’re going to resend. A new pin has been sent. Strange, right? Let’s do this one. All right. If that one goes through. Maybe it will. Oh, there it is. Okay. Cool. All right. 80268. So 80268. Next. All right.
So now we’re going to preview the profile. That is our profile. $250 an hour. There’s my employment history, my education, all of that fun stuff, which is great. So it looks like I need to do one thing, which is to add a profile or add a picture. So I’m just going to go and find one sitting on my server somewhere. Let’s see.
Nothing is working very fast today. But let’s face it, we are setting up a freelance account so we can go write and make money as a freelance writer, which is awesome. All right. So we’re going to go here and then we’re going to do… There’s one. There’s one of me in my Pepsi shirt at the internet marketing party. That was like forever ago. And it is uploading the profile picture.
It’s probably one of the most boring episodes I’ve done, but it might be the most helpful in terms of setting up a freelance account. Yesterday, we talked about blogging, which I think is pretty important. Being a professional blogger. And today, let’s see. All right. So let’s take them as good old time here uploading. Not sure why, but you know. Something went wrong. We were unable to upload your image. Interesting. So how about I just maybe pull it down a little bit and then we’re going to hit save. Maybe that will work. Maybe I need to have a different picture of some sort. All right. Let’s see. We’re going to try a different picture.
We’re going to select a different image. Which one is relatively small? There we go. Maybe this one? That one is too small. No, that one is too small too. That one might work. I’m just trying to find something that we can get done quick. That’s all. I don’t know. It might be broken, but this is basically how you set up a profile.
So once you set up the profile, you go through, you verify your PIN, all that other stuff. Then as a freelancer, when you’re logged in, you can go create your work. Now it might make me submit my photo before I can go find projects. Yeah. Sign in as a freelancer and make money as a freelance writer. I think it is. I think it’s going to make me submit my profile. Yeah, just the baseline profile. Something went wrong. That’s weird. I wonder if I can just do this? Let’s see.
I don’t know. Oh, good. There it is. I don’t know why. I don’t know. Maybe there’s something wrong with the server or something? I don’t know. Whatever. All right, so now we’re finding work. You can just delete the last four minutes of messing around with that fricking photo. And then we’re just going to go find work.
What it’s going to do is it’s going to deliver the work that it thinks we want right now, which we have US-only work. This is work that is only biddable in the US. This is a technical writer, a 10 to 11-week project, 27 to $30 an hour. We are looking for a skilled wordsmith to help out our private label team while our technical writer is on paternity leave. Copywriting for our home page. We got marketing writing for a cosmetics brand. Need a written client proposal for spam-tightened office.
There are all kinds of projects here. We have fixed price projects, hourly projects and we want expert people or whatever. Like this one, of course, marketing writing for a cosmetic brand. Estimated budget, $40. That probably isn’t all that awesome. I mean, if you want to be a highly paid expert, you’re probably not going to want to kind of top out of 40 bucks. Estimated budget, 50 bucks. Estimated budget, 400. Maybe that would be something that you could write for. One to three months, 30 plus hours a week, rewriting copy for websites.
There’s payment verified, payment unverified, how much they spent like 2K spent. This part is super nice because you know that their payment is verified. They have a payment record on file. They’ve already spent $2,000. All the reviews are five stars. I haven’t seen my profile on this site, but I don’t even know how much we spent, a couple of hundred grand. There’s six grand, 10K spent, plus.
There is anything you want here. You can go through and search for jobs too. Let’s say you wanted to blog. So you want to be a blogger. Blogging. See what pops up. If you want to start blogging for companies, then here we’ve got real estate mortgage and investment related to the blog. Ghostwriting, one to three months, 30 plus hours a week. It looks like they spent five grand. We’re looking for a blog writer to create some articles on various topics about purchasing a home or investment property. The writer should be able to write about topics and terms such as cap rate mortgages, first time home buyers.
What you do is you find the projects here that you would like to write about. And there are so many of them here; hundreds, thousands of projects that you can write from. And then if you don’t like it, just hit the little down arrow, because then it won’t show you similar things. It finds the keyword phrases. It won’t show you similar stuff. But if you like it, hit the little heart arrow and it’s going to kind of wishlist it for you. So you can go through and filter all of your stuff. And then Upwork is going to deliver the projects that it thinks you’re going to be into.
Now, if you want to apply or bid on this, you just click on it. And then what it’s going to do is it’s going to open up and say, “Here are all the details we know about that this project.” Here’s the attachment. Here’s a little JPEG attachment. So you can log in and see this is something here. And I don’t know exactly what this is. But the project type, you will be asked to, content writing services, interviewing one, blah, blah, blah. There have been less than five proposals for this job already. You can submit a proposal or you can save the job.
By submitting a proposal, and what I look for as a person who hires people from Upwork sometimes, I look for proposals that are custom and genuine and they are perfect grammatically. So if you’re putting a proposal in on a project then grammatically it needs to be perfect, especially if it’s for a writing gig. You would be surprised how many people apply to be writers, but their writing is fucked up. So obviously, if the writing is fucked up in the proposal, then, of course, it’s going to be fucked up on your website and you’re going to have to go in and correct a bunch of stuff or whatever.
In the proposal, make sure your response is grammatically correct. Make sure it’s customized to the actual project itself. So like if I was writing a proposal for this one, I would say that specialized profiles can help you better highlight whatever, blah, blah, blah. But I would use the same words that they use in their job description. That’s the language that I would put in the proposal. Yes, I can talk about the cap rate. I can talk about mortgages. I can talk about first time home buyers grant, so on and so forth. These are some of the places that I’ve done before. I’ve written 1500 word blog posts. I’ve included images on them. And this is what I can do for you if you hire me.
Then with the proposal, you submit a fee or how much you want to be paid. I don’t go super low. I wouldn’t expect you to go super low, super high. Stay right in the middle, especially when you’re starting. It’s like an 80/20 rule though. For every 10 proposals that you submit, you’re going to get a bite on maybe two, and then one of them is going to hire you. So it’s a numbers game. The more reviews you have and the more quality work you do, the quicker you’re going to get proposals, the quicker you’re going to get your bids accepted. But hanging out here, submitted a bunch of proposals, seeing what shakes out, messaging the vendors back and forth to make sure they understand what you’re going to give, and then you understand what they require. All of it is going to be big.
All the work is done through the Upwork platform. They have a time tracker, they have like a screen recording software. SIt is a nice transparent platform for doing this kind of stuff. That is how to set up and start writing freelance. How to write and make money as a freelance writer. I apologize for some of the delays in the middle because of the weird server issue, or maybe it was my computer. I’m not real sure.
For Questions and Guide
If there’s anything at all that we can help you with, just let us know. Go to doneforyou.com, fill out the little chat box in the lower right-hand corner. I hope that you got some nuggets today and I’ll talk to you soon.