Many people are starting side hustles or are thinking of doing so. A recent study conducted by The Harris Poll found that 61.1 million Americans plan to start a side hustle in 2021.
A side hustle can allow you to maximize your income potential and expand your skills. There are side hustles that work well for all kinds of interests.
Freelance writing is one popular side hustle that is free to start, and it can bring in $1,000 or more per month. Yes, that’s right, people and companies pay others to do their writing for them. Whether it’s a press release, a web page, an article, or a brochure — someone wrote it.
You can start your own freelance writing business providing web content for others and can do it without spending any money. While you may see some side hustles advertised that require money upfront before getting started, freelance writing isn’t one of those opportunities. So if you’re interested in bringing in more money and want to do so through writing, check out the following tips for better success.
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Choose an area of focus
Many writers pick an area or a couple of areas to focus on. When you write about any topic in general, it can be hard to stand out against the competition. Choosing a niche allows you to write about topics that interest you, and it helps you establish yourself as an expert. Whether you want to write about fitness, health, business, real estate, travel, or finance, pick something that you enjoy, and pick a focus that you already know about or that you’re willing to learn. If you choose a topic you don’t find interesting, you may end up giving up on your side hustle.
Practice, practice, practice!
Don’t let a lack of experience keep you from pursuing this side hustle. If you don’t yet have a lot of writing experience, take the time to practice and learn! The more you write, the better you will get. You’ll also feel more confident in your abilities. Create some practice pieces and then use these pieces as samples to show prospective clients.
Set your rates
Make sure you set your rates so that you’re getting paid fairly for your work. Your time is valuable. If you set low rates, you’ll have to work a lot harder and spend more of your time writing to reach your income goals. Plus, you may not have enough time to find additional clients who pay better because you’ll be too busy.
By setting your rates higher from the start, you can maximize the income that you bring in and feel good about the time that you’re spending writing. If you’re unsure where to start, join writing groups on social media and ask other writers what they’re charging for their services. Be firm about your rates, and the right clients will be willing to pay.
If your goal is to earn $1,000 or more per month, consider how you’ll get there when setting your writing rates. For example, if you decide to charge $200 per article, you’ll need to write at least five articles per month.
Be ready to market your skills
As a freelance writer, you have to be more than just a writer. You need to be a business owner who handles the admin and money tasks. You need to be a project manager who keeps track of all of your tasks and assignments. And you also need to be a sales and marketing professional to spread the word about your side hustle. Otherwise, it can be a challenge for clients to find you.
Here are some ideas for how to market yourself for free:
- Advertise on social media. Post about your writing services on your favorite social media. You can experiment with different platforms to see which works best for you.
- Join social media groups. Join some freelance writing groups and business groups and interact with like-minded people. Some people post when they’re looking for a writer. These groups can provide a great way to land more work.
- Send out cold emails to brands you love. It may feel weird at first, but emailing businesses can be an excellent way to get additional writing work. Research the company, be clear about what you’re offering, and provide work samples.
- Don’t ignore the power of word-of-mouth marketing. Share your skills and offerings with your network. You may know some people or may have friends or family who know others looking to hire a writer.
As you make money, you can consider creating a professional website or investing in some paid marketing techniques if that’s of interest to you. But as a beginner, you don’t need to invest money to find and get writing work.
Don’t forget about job boards
Job boards can be a great way to find regular jobs — but you can also use these platforms to find contract writing opportunities. You can search by industry or specialty to find the right work for you.
Consider using the words “contract” and “freelance” when searching for opportunities. Contract opportunities like this can be beneficial. You control your hours and workload, which gives you much more flexibility and control, which isn’t offered with a regular job.
I have found some of my best writing gigs on job boards. When you’re first getting started with your side hustle, spend some time looking up potential gigs each week. You may find a writing opportunity that makes perfect sense for you and your skills.
No matter if you’re a beginner or if you’ve been writing for a while, a freelance writing side hustle can be rewarding, and it can help you increase your income. But if writing isn’t for you, there are other freelance opportunities that may work better. These include:
- Graphic design
- Copy editing
You can have success with all these side hustles by following the suggestions above.
Being a freelance writer can help you reach your personal finance goals sooner. The extra income that you make can allow you to save more money, and it can also be rewarding to improve your skills and do something that you enjoy.