From Writer to Entrepreneur: Building a Writing Side Hustle
Freelance writing is a great way to make money from home and achieve financial goals while doing something you love. And with the rise of remote jobs and side hustles, it's a flexible and lucrative option for those looking to escape a traditional 9-5 job or earn extra income.
But how can you build a successful writing side hustle? Let’s explore the key steps you need to take to turn your writing into a profitable enterprise.
#1. Find Your Niche
If you're ready to become a freelance writer, the first step is to determine your niche. It's important to choose a niche that aligns with your interests and lifestyle because words can flow naturally, and the writing process can be effortless.
The more passionate you are about your niche, the more you'll enjoy writing.
Why is choosing a niche important when starting a writing side hustle?
Choosing a niche is essential before undertaking freelance writing gigs, and the importance isn't only about selecting a high-paying niche.
Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of choosing the right niche:
Channel your energy into becoming an expert in your area.
Sets you apart and helps you establish yourself as a trusted expert in your field.
Attract clients who specifically seek the expertise you offer.
Take advantage of more and better freelance writing opportunities.
What are the different writing niches?
Let’s explore some of the most popular writing side hustles:
To create a compelling blog post, you need strong writing skills, research abilities, and the ability to engage with your target audience.
If managing a personal blog isn't for you, you could also offer your writing services to other bloggers, brands, or businesses. There's always a demand for quality content, so you could potentially find clients interested in your services.
Copywriting is an excellent opportunity to showcase your writing skills and make money. It involves creating content for various advertising materials, both online and offline. As a copywriter, you could create website content, brochures, or email marketing materials.
The key to success is making your content as persuasive and engaging as possible. The idea is to cater to the needs of your target audience and guide them to take a specific action, whether it's buying a product, signing up for a program, or requesting more information.
Technical writing is a profitable side hustle. It's a perfect option if you have in-depth knowledge of specialized industries such as technology, engineering, or science.
As a technical writer, your job is to take complex information and simplify it. Usually, you'll be responsible for creating user manuals, technical guides, how-to documents, and other materials that are aimed at helping readers understand complex concepts or processes.
Social media writing
As the name suggests, social media writing involves creating content for various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
The aim of social media writers is to produce engaging copy for social media posts, ads, captions, and stories that connect with the audience.
Having a strong understanding of each platform and the ability to create content for each one is essential. You should also understand the brand, its voice, its story, and how its message can resonate with the target audience.
Additionally, staying up-to-date with current trends and best practices in social media marketing is crucial to staying competitive and relevant in the industry.
If your thing is storytelling, magazine writing could be a rewarding and profitable side hustle for you. To get started, you can submit articles for review. And once approved, you could get published in print or online publications.
One of the greatest advantages of magazine writing is that magazines cover a variety of topics, including lifestyle, fashion, finance, science, and even politics. So, if you enjoy writing to cater to different audiences, this could be the perfect fit for you.
As a magazine writer, you'll deliver quality content by researching and pitching story ideas, conducting interviews, and transforming all that information into engaging and informative articles.
Scriptwriting could also be a very profitable way to earn money if you love storytelling.
It consists of creating conversation-like content. It's important to differentiate scriptwriting from screenwriting, which is creating a script for a film. In this case, scriptwriting is used for advertising purposes.
Ghostwriting is also another great writing side hustle. In contrast to other writing side hustles, this one involves writing content under someone else's byline. It could be blogs, memoirs, articles, or speeches.
In these kinds of writing jobs, it's critical to talk to the person you're writing for. Also, it's important to understand their vision for the content, the topic, and the desired outcome. You must also capture your client's voice and style so no one can tell that it was you who wrote it.
Tips for identifying your niche and target market
Choosing your niche might seem like a difficult task, but it doesn't have to be. Still, you must dedicate time, thought, and effort to it.
Here are some tips to help you make money writing:
Consider what kind of topics you're passionate about or would make you feel confident when writing about them.
Determine who your potential readers might be and what they are looking for in content.
Conduct market research. Look for other content writing experts in your industry and learn what they're doing, how they do it, and where they do it.
#2. Build a Portfolio
Beginner and experienced writers need a writing portfolio for most writing gigs. Your portfolio is a collection of your best work. It helps to showcase your skills, experience, and writing style to potential clients.
The role of a portfolio in showcasing your work
An online writing portfolio is a crucial tool for writers to showcase their skills and differentiate themselves from others in the industry.
With the rise of remote and freelance jobs, it's important to have a professional portfolio that displays your commitment to quality writing and excellent work. Employers and clients often request writing samples, making a well-organized portfolio essential for success as a writer.
What are the essential components of a writing portfolio?
Similar to your resumé, your portfolio should include the most relevant information about your work experience as well as a description of who you are.
In your writing portfolio, you must include an introduction that describes you as a writer and includes your contact information. It must also include writing samples arranged by industry or type of work.
To add credibility, consider including testimonials or references from past clients or employers.
Tips for creating a strong and diverse portfolio
Now that you know the essential components of a writing portfolio, here are some tips to help you create a strong and diverse portfolio:
Show your versatility: Include writing samples that demonstrate your ability to write in different styles and for different audiences.
Keep it organized: Your portfolio should be easy to navigate and well-organized. Use clear headings and subheadings to make it easy for potential clients to find what they're looking for.
Tailor your portfolio to your niche: Make sure to include writing samples that are relevant to your niche. This can help demonstrate your knowledge and make you stand out for writing gigs in that area.
Update your portfolio regularly: Keep your portfolio up-to-date with your latest work and accomplishments.
#3. Set Your Rates
Starting a freelance writing business can be hard. There are many things to keep in mind, and even though identifying your niche and creating your portfolio are essential, determining your rates is as well.
Your rate is what has the power to make your writing side hustle profitable or not. So knowing how much to charge for your services is crucial.
What factors should be considered when determining writing rates?
When determining your writing rate, consider your level of experience and knowledge in a particular area.
Rates may also vary depending on the type of writing and the level of skill and effort required. Technical writers, for example, may request higher rates than copywriters due to the specific skills and expertise required.
The scope and complexity of the project can also impact your rate, with larger or more complex projects often justifying a higher rate.
Pricing models for writing side hustles
In freelance writing, the average pay can vary. There's no set amount of income you can make. While some freelance writers earn a few hundred dollars per month, others make thousands.
The following are the most common methods freelance writers use to set their rates:
Per hour: An hourly rate is the most common pricing model for freelancers. Basically, you charge your clients a fixed rate per hour for your services.
Per word: In this pricing model, you charge clients based on the number of words in the final piece of content. Therefore, longer pieces have a higher rate than shorter ones.
Per deliverable: As the name suggests, in this model, you charge clients based on the specific deliverable they're looking for. This can include blog posts, articles, an online course, and a cover letter, among other pieces of content.
Per project: This pricing model is similar to the previous one, with the main difference being that a whole project could be a website, a script, or even a book of memoirs. Usually, the rate depends on the project size.
Tips for negotiating rates with clients
Negotiating rates with clients can be tricky and not so fun. Still, as a freelance writer, it is mandatory to ensure you're paid fairly for your services while avoiding overpricing them.
Here are some tips for successfully negotiating rates with clients:
Research rates based on the industry you're writing about and your level of experience.
Be aware of your skills and capabilities. This can help you set a fair price and justify your rates to clients.
Be open to negotiation by offering different pricing models or finding ways to add value to your services that may justify a higher rate.
Be confident in your own skills and the value you can provide.
#4. Find Clients and Opportunities
For job seekers looking to take on side hustles in freelance writing, it can be challenging to land their first project. However, it's important not to give up. With determination, time investment, and an internet connection, starting out in freelance writing is more accessible than ever before.
What are some platforms for finding freelance writing jobs?
As a freelance writer, finding job opportunities can be challenging. However, online platforms have made it easier than ever to connect with potential clients.
Some popular platforms to start your career as a freelance writer are:
Networking strategies for finding clients
With the rise of online communities, networking has become more accessible. As a freelance writer, there are a couple of things you can do to grow your network.
Here are a few ideas you should consider:
Join groups: You can connect with fellow writers and potential clients on social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Reddit. Find those relevant to your niche.
Actively participate in online communities: Doing so can help you establish yourself as an authority in your niche and increase your visibility.
Attend webinars and virtual events: These online events are perfect for meeting and connecting with potential clients and seeing what other writers in your niche are doing.
How can I create a pitch to attract potential clients?
Reaching out to potential clients and pitching your services might seem terrifying, but don't worry; it’s not as bad as it seems.
You can confidently start doing this by following the next tips:
Research and tailor your pitch to the client's specific needs and goals.
Clearly explain the value you can offer the client and how you can help them achieve their goals.
Include samples of your work that showcase your skills and knowledge.
End your pitch with a clear call to action, such as asking for a meeting or inviting the client to contact you for more information.
#5. Market Your Writing Services
Promoting your services online is an essential part of being a freelance writer; generally speaking, it's an important part of many side hustle ideas. To start making money online, you must create a solid strategy to get your name out there and find clients.
If you're ready to discover how to effectively market your services, keep reading!
How can I create a personal brand and online presence?
To succeed as a freelance writer, it's crucial to create a strong brand identity that reflects your personality, writing style, and skills. This can be achieved by choosing a name and creating a logo, color scheme, and font that represent your brand.
Building a website or blog and using SEO best practices can help showcase your work and increase your online presence. Posting regularly on social media platforms that align with your target audience can also help build engagement.
However, the most important aspect of building a solid online presence is producing high-quality content that showcases your writing skills and results.
Can social media and content marketing work together?
Yes, social media and content marketing can work together. By combining them, you can create a powerful marketing strategy. You can use social media to publicize your content and drive traffic to your website, while content marketing engages and educates your audience.
Interested in More Than One Side Hustle?
Looking for ways to diversify your monthly and yearly income? You can combine your writing side hustle with other gigs online.
Here are some other side hustles that you can consider:
Proofreading: Proofreading is an in-demand skill, and as a writer, you already have a strong grasp of grammar and punctuation, so you can leverage your skills to offer proofreading services. Some platforms to find proofreading jobs are Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.
Online paid surveys: Online surveys can be an excellent side hustle idea. It's quick and easy; you can do it from home, on your computer, or on your phone. A dependable site with excellent payment per survey is ForthRight.
Sell stock photography: Stock images are in high demand, so if you're talented at photography, you can earn money by selling stock photography online. Use websites like Shutterstock, iStock, or Adobe Stock to market your photos.
Freelance writing can be a profitable side hustle that offers flexibility and the opportunity to pursue your passions. With the right mindset, determination, and dedicated work, you can turn your freelance writing side hustle into a successful and fulfilling career.