How to Find High Paying Freelance Writing Jobs – FAST

So you want to find high paying freelance writing jobs? And fast? You want to be a freelance writer…

If we’re being honest, you don’t. You want the freedom. You want to work on your own time. You want to work from home. You want to work from the coffee shop. You want to work from an island, or somewhere exotic. You don’t want to be a freelance writer, though.

P.S: Modafinil is a freelance writers’ best friend. I get my smart drugs here.

After freelance writing for nearly two years now, I’ve learned a thing or two about the profession. I’ve also realized that nearly everyone pursuing freelancing writing jobs is working on their own passive income pursuits, too. Most become a freelancer for freedom, and passive income is the ultimate form of freedom. Still, freelance writing definitely has its uses. If you’re starting your online money making adventures, writing for clients is often the easiest way to get started.

Here’s how:

Freelance Writing Requirements

Before you go all-in on finding freelance writing jobs, there are a few requirements. Anyone considering this profession needs to check a few boxes, including:

  • Ability to write well (not as hard as you think)
  • English as a first language
  • Ability to hit deadlines
  • Organizational skills

Understanding Freelance Writing Profits

Before you dive in head over heels looking for freelance writing jobs, you need to know a thing or two about the profession. So what can you expect? From a financial perspective, you can expect to make between $1,000-3,500 writing for clients every month. My highest month I earn around $3,300 from freelance writing alone. That’s around $40K a year – not a bad living from the computer.

My best month I earned $3,300 USD from freelance writing. 

The downside – I worked my ass off that month. I’m talking 50 hours a week on freelancing alone (that didn’t take into account my passive income projects). Most freelance writers who build up their client base earn between $1,500-2,500 once they go full-time. This is more than enough to live off of in Colombia, Thailand, or Ukraine. You’d probably be living like a bum off these numbers if you were in the United States, though.

And what are “high paying” freelance writing jobs? That all depends on how fast you write and how good your writing is. Typically, you’ll find you can write two 500 word articles every hour. If an average 500-word article pays between $15-35 per, you can make $30-70 per hour.

However, I’ve found edits, revisions, and communication with clients adds an extra 15 minutes per article. So the adjusted rate would be four 500-word articles every three hours. Thus, most freelance writers make around $20-47 per hour – once all time is taken into consideration. Still not bad.

Freelance writers typically make $20-47 USD per hour. 

The good news about freelance writing is there’s not much cost. You can start your freelancing business for nothing – if you desire. And there’s no cost in producing articles – other than your time. The non-existent start-up cost is what draws so many to freelance writing.

Two Platforms For Client Acquisition

Now, let’s get down to business. There are numerous ways to find freelance writing jobs. The best two I’ve found are cold emailing Internet marketing companies and UpWork. I’ll elaborate a little bit on both methods. While I prefer cold emails, I can’t deny that UpWork does work well for many. I have eight current freelance clients. Five were found through cold emails and three through UpWork.I don’t send out proposals any longer.

If you’re just starting out, you’ll probably need to work both ways to find clients. This will give you the best chance of finding and keeping great clients. As I prefer cold emailing, I’ll start with that. Using cold email to build your client base will require a few things. First, you’ll need to create a website.

Build Your Site

Internet marketing companies want to work with writers who have built a brand. They want to see that initiative. Plus, building a website to showcase your portfolio is incredibly easy. All you have to do is sign up here. It takes a few minutes.

If you’re struggling to find a domain name, I’ll give you a few tips. First, you want to keep it basic. When I created my first freelance writing site, I was living in Colorado. I loved the rugged nature surrounding me. So I didn’t overthink things. I bought RuggedWriting.com and never looked back.

You can use your name as the domain if you like (Ex: YourName.com) or you can create something with “writing” in the title. Just keep things basic. In the long run, the content found on the site, and your effort cold emailing will be much more important than the name of your site.

Then you’ll install WordPress on your new domain. WordPress.org – not WordPress.com. BlueHost makes this incredibly easy. Just check out this piece on how to do so. Once you have WordPress.org installed on your new site, you’ll want to get a theme. There are a number of decent free ones available. I’ve always found you get what you pay for when it comes to themes.

As such, I’m a huge fan of Thrive Themes. While these themes certainly aren’t free, you’ll find the design stunning and all the features tailor-made to make things easier. I’ve been using Thrive on Nomadic Hustle, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Once you have a theme on your site, it’s time to create some pages. You’ll need around five pages on your freelance writing site. The pages you’ll need are:

  • Homepage
  • About page
  • Samples page
  • Rates page
  • Contact page

That’s it. You won’t need anything else. Potential clients can be sent to these five pages and find out everything they need to know about your writing. Make sure your homepage is static. To ensure your pages “sell” potential clients, I wanted to give out a few tips on creating the content for your site. Here they are:

  • Simple Samples: On your sample page, you’ll need 5-10 examples of your writing. This just means you need examples of 500-1,000 word articles for any potential client to skim through. The best way to do this is by attaching PDF documents through links. By using PDFs, you won’t hurt SEO for clients by using your work for them as an example. As always, remove any business names and politely ask your client if you can use the work as an example. Make sure to vary your examples – if you can write about a number of topics.
  • Show Personality: On your home and about page, you want to showcase some personality. On your homepage, inject humor and personality while giving a brief overview of your service. Show potential clients why they should hire you – don’t tell them! Your home page should be 300-500 words. On your about page, weave a story about your life and writing. Talk about your passions and why you decided to get into freelance writing. I included photos because they added to my story about traveling.
  • Rates Page: Always start high. Initially, I put $30 per 500-word article. Then I detailed different bulk rates. At the bottom, I added an “all rates are negotiable” clause. I highly suggest you do the same. Possible clients want to feel like they’re getting a great deal on great content.
  • Contact Page: Make sure you use a professional contact form. Then add your email address, too. Some clients will fill out your form online. Others will copy and paste your email address. Give them both options.

Examples of Freelance Writing Sites

These are just a few examples I found on Google. My old freelancing site is defunct, so I wanted to provide a few examples to help. Most of these examples are more complex than you’ll need to start off.

P.S.: I shouldn’t have to say this, but make sure you don’t copy anything from these examples. Learn from them. Then create compelling copy of your own on your site. 

Build Your Profile

upwork-logo-1If you’re not into creating your own freelancing website, you can still find freelance writing jobs. You’ll just have to use a website like UpWork. I have a strong love/hate relationship with UpWork – mostly focusing on the hate. However, I cannot deny you can find a lot of work and some great clients from the site. If you’re going to build a business on UpWork, you’ll have to create a compelling profile. This profile will be similar in nature to your homepage on your freelance writing site.

Pro Tip: Sell yourself as an expert in a few areas on UpWork. Do NOT try to be a general SEO writer. You’ll end up getting penny pinched by every potential client. You want to sell yourself as an expert that’s worth paying a premium for. 

Understanding UpWork

UpWork has an almost unlimited supply of freelance writing jobs, but it’s not perfect. Here’s why:

  • Cheap Ass Clients: You’ll find the majority of clients on UpWork try to get as cheap of work as possible. The amount of $5 for 500-word jobs on the site is appalling. However, you can find some amazing clients on the site. Just steer clear of the tightwads and you’ll be fine.
  • Penny Pinching Freelancers: And why can all these clients get away with paying nothing? Because there’s a ton of freelancers out there willing to write average content for nothing. You’ll be competing with people from India, the Philippines, and broke gringos living on $700 USD a month in Thailand.
  • High Fees: Not to mention – UpWork charges up to 20% on certain projects. This means that you complete twenty 500-word articles at $5 a pop, and then get paid $80 total for your work. That blows!
  • Wait On Pay: And UpWork doesn’t pay quickly. You typically have to wait a week or more to receive your payment. And that’s after a client finally releases the pay!

What You Should Do

If you plan to take freelance writing seriously, then you’ll want to use both methods of client acquisition. Create your website and create a profile on UpWork. If you are looking for freelance writing jobs on a part-time basis, then you’ll probably be best served using UpWork alone.

Virtual Assistants Galore

No matter how you plan to find clients, UpWork or through your freelance writing website, you’ll need to find clients. This requires sending out a ton of proposals. If you’re first getting started, you can do this yourself. You’ll have the time. Once you get a few clients, you won’t have three hours to spend searching and spamming emails out to the whole world.

So you’ll need a virtual assistant. I recommend hiring one on UpWork for $4-5 USD per hour. Your goal should be to get 20-25 emails or proposals sent per hour you pay for. You’ll need to provide every single detail to your assistant. I required mine to search Google, enter the email address, the name of the company, copy and paste my email and then put everything into a spreadsheet for me.

Hiring a virtual assistant and training him or her to properly send your emails or proposals takes some time. However, once you have everything set it, it’s amazing. Things run like clockwork!

Who to Email

If you’re on UpWork, then finding writing jobs is fairly straightforward. Just search the site for anything you can write about and you’ll find jobs. If you’re looking for clients from Internet marketing agencies, then things can get a little more complex.

All you’ll have to do is Google “Internet marketing agencies + your city” and then email away. You can add any cities in your area and just continue expanding your email reach every month. I eventually covered a fourth of the United States with my email spamming tactics.

Pro Tip: You’ll typically get a 3-5% response rate. And of these few response, around one in ten will become a client. 

Email Examples That Work

So what type of emails help you land freelancing writing jobs? I’ve sent out thousands of emails over the last few years. These two are my absolute favorites:

Email Title: A Great Freelance SEO/Content Writer For You

Email Content:

Dear XYZ Company,

Hope all is well!

My name is (Your Name), and I’m a freelance SEO/content writer based in (Your City).

I offer high-quality content that readers and search engines will love, and I do it in a timely fashion.

A lot of my previous work has been in the business, home improvement, travel, fitness, and self-help industries…but I can write about anything.

My rates and writing samples are on my website: (Your Site)

If you are in need of an SEO or content writer, you can reach me by email at (Your Email) or by phone at (Your Phone Number).

I’m passionate about writing and look forward to the opportunity of working with you.

Regards,

(Your Name)

It’s that simple. This basic email is ideal for any freelance writer who has their website up and running. You can legit copy and paste it to hundreds of Internet marketing agencies.

If you’ll be using UpWork to find clients, I like to use an email like this:

Instead of boring you with the normal UpWork copy and paste drivel, I will simply tell you I am the best man for the job.

I’ve been writing professionally for two years now. I can produce over 4K words a day – in any niche you need.

I have attached a general fitness sample below.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks,

(Your Name)

The key with both of these emails is the sample(s) you attach. If you have great samples, you’ll get more work than you know what to do with. If the samples you send out suck, you’ll find it hard to find and keep high paying freelance writing jobs.

Freelance Writing Jobs Follow Up

Another major factor in finding high paying freelance writing jobs, getting hired and keeping clients is how you follow up. The vast majority of the time – potential clients will want to Skype with you and then do a sample article. This is especially true when you’re first starting out freelancing.

Understand you need to continue selling yourself if you Skype. Then knock their socks off on the sample article. You should request payment for the sample piece. You don’t do free work!

How to Find High Paying Freelance Writing Jobs FAST

If you use all the information in this guide, you should be able to find freelance writing jobs faster than you’d ever imagine. Sound off in the comments if you have any questions. I’ll do my best to answer anything and everything for people interesting in becoming a freelance writer.

P.S.: Getting great clients is all about selling YOU. If you struggle to sell yourself, then this book may be of use to you

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Jake D

Travel junkie turned blogger. Location independent. From the Midwest, but often based in Latin America. Big on beaches, rumba, and rum. Addicted to the gym. Committed to showing a different style of travel - one that involves actually interacting with locals and exploring different cultures.

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Josh Bar - September 14, 2016

Cool, the geoarbitrage is great once one can build up clientele. I have seen some $100-$200 jobs even a couple of grand for blogs like the rolling stone!
Did writing come natural for you or was it something you worked on?

Reply
    NomadicJake - September 14, 2016

    Oh yeah! You can get high paying jobs freelance writing. BUT you need to have a brand first. Nobody is paying $200 for a 500-word article from some no-name writer.

    Writing is definitely something I’ve worked on. Once you learn how to reach flow on a consistent basis, it becomes a lot easier.

    Reply
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Calm and Collected - March 13, 2017

Just used this article to pitch companies here in Charleston. Great article!

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    NomadicJake - March 15, 2017

    Hope it helped, brother! Keep hustling.

    Reply
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