About a year and a half ago, I was where you probably are today.
Underpaid, overworked, and wondering how the hell I was going to find clients who’d pay hundreds of dollars for a blog post.
I get it – when you’re starting out, booking yourself with tons of high-paying freelance blogging clients seems about as achievable as chugging an entire 30-pack of beer without barfing your guts up the next day.
But I’m here to tell you that it is possible to boost your freelance blogging pay fast.
When I started freelancing full-time, I charged about 10 cents per word. Now, I typically charge a flat rate that is twice that (or more!).
You may be thinking:
That sounds too good to be true. I don’t have a degree or any connections to help me make it happen.
I didn’t have those things either. But what I did have was a crazy work ethic and marketing/sales knowledge – that’s what helped me scale my business so fast.
So today, I want to share that knowledge with you. Keep reading, and you’ll learn 4 strategies you can use to double your freelance blogging rates.
Sell the value of your services.
Ready for a tough truth?
Clients don’t give a shit about how “passionate” you are about writing or how much you “loved English class in college.”
What they do care about is the results you can drive for their business.
Results like more traffic. Improved search engine rankings. Better conversion rates. A bigger email list.
So if you want to demand high rates, you have to stop coming off like a desperate job-seeker and start positioning yourself as a confident business owner who can help clients get those kinds of results.
Thankfully, I realized this early in my freelance blogging career and started to sell the value of my services right away.
And it worked like a damn charm.
Here are a few tips to help you make it happen:
- Put the results you’ve achieved for past clients on your freelance writer website. Don’t hide this info at the bottom of an internal page – show it off prominently somewhere you know clients will see it! That way, anyone who visits your site will recognize you as an expert and realize that you’re capable of getting bangin’ results for their business.
- Start charging by the project (as opposed to hourly or by word). Don’t get me wrong – you can still consider the word count and time you’ll spend on a project when you calculate your rate. Just make sure you factor in your expertise Your clients are paying for the business results you can offer them, not for the time you spend on a project or the number of words you write!
- Pick a profitable niche, and master it. When I started out as a freelance writer, I specialized in a weird niche: writing content for IT service providers and technology companies. The great thing about weird niches is that they make a specific type of client want to hire you for your industry expertise. That’s why I always recommend writers define a narrow niche – especially when starting out!
Stop approaching clients like you’re just a freelance blogger, and start positioning yourself as a content marketing expert who can help them improve their business. If you can do that, you should have no trouble demanding higher rates and building a better clientele.
Land some badass bylined posts.
I’ve already mentioned that establishing yourself as a niche expert is an easy way to justify high rates. If clients realize you’re an expert in their industry, hiring you instead of a general freelance writer will feel like a no-brainer to them.
One of the best ways to establish your expertise is to write guest posts.
If you can get published on sites that are popular among your target clients, you’ll have some writing samples that attract them to you like rednecks to a Nickelback concert.
For example, let’s say you specialize in writing in-depth blog posts about marketing for agencies.
You’d want to look up the most popular blogs about marketing – something that’s easy to do with a quick Google search.
Then, you’d look through those sites to see which ones you could pitch a guest post to. Send your pitch to the editor, write the post, and slap that shit up on your portfolio the second it gets published.
Once you’ve got a few solid samples, you’ll find it much easier to market yourself as a niche expert, draw in your ideal clients, and demand higher rates.
A few tips for landing bylined posts:
- Always find and follow the site’s guest posting guidelines. As someone who has been on both sides of pitching, I can tell you nothing is worse than getting a pitch from someone who has blatantly ignored the guidelines. That shit’s headed straight for the “Trash” folder, friend.
- Make sure you don’t pitch something that’s been written about before. Search the site to make sure your topic is unique – this only takes a couple minutes and can make all the difference in whether or not your pitch is accepted!
- Write about something relevant to your ideal clients. For example, if you want to write about B2B marketing, your best bet is to write something about B2B marketing specifically – not marketing in general or some other random topic.
Score some sweet testimonials.
Did you know that customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating for content marketing at a whopping 89%?
Now that you know, it’s time to collect some testimonials and display them on your freelance writer website.
But you don’t want just any testimonials. You want relevant testimonials – the kind that make your target clients think:
Wow – this writer has the knowledge and experience to deliver exactly what I need!
Let me give you an example.
I specialize in writing in-depth blog posts about marketing topics. So, the first testimonial I display on my freelance writer website is from Aaron Agius, a marketer who has contributed in-depth content to Neil Patel’s popular marketing website QuickSprout.
Since most people in the marketing industry are familiar with QuickSprout, having that testimonial on my website lets my ideal clients know that I know my shit when it comes to writing in-depth content.
So, think about the clients you’ve worked with or the sites you’ve written for. If any of them are well-known or relevant to potential clients in your niche, get a testimonial.
Don’t have testimonials relevant to your target clients?
That’s okay – we all have to start somewhere. Just having general testimonials on your website is definitely better than having no testimonials at all. You can collect more relevant ones as your freelance blogging business grows over time.
Improve your freelance writer website.
I completely re-built my freelance writer website twice in the past year.
That’s right – each time, I bought a new theme, re-wrote the website copy, and started from scratch with a new design.
Why, you ask?
Not because I have tons of free time on my hands (I don’t!), but because I always want to improve my business as I learn and grow. And that’s the attitude I want you to have about your website too since it’ll often determine how much a client is willing to pay for your work.
Here are a few improvements I made that have helped me attract higher-paying clients:
- I put my specific niche in my freelance writer website headline. Doing this lets your ideal clients know right away that you’re the perfect fit to write for their business.
- I tailored my copy to one specific audience. If you want your site to sell and regularly generate new leads for you, this is the way to make it happen.
- I put results I’ve achieved for past clients all over my site. Numbers don’t lie, so putting real results (like social share numbers or email open rate percentages) you’ve achieved in the past is a great way to make clients confident in your abilities.
When you’re working on your website, stop thinking about your business from your own perspective and put yourself in a potential client’s shoes. They’re looking to hire a writer who can help them solve a business problem, so you’ll find it much easier to sell if your site convinces them that you’re capable of doing that.
One more thing:
If you want to build a successful freelance blogging business, avoid content mills and bidding sites like Upwork at all costs.
Those sites might bring you a bit of instant gratification, but they’ll also likely bring you low-paying work, difficult clients, and unrealistic deadlines.
In other words, content mills and bidding sites are about as good for your freelance writing career as gouging your eyes out with a spork.
So use the tips in this posts to raise your freelance blogging rates and wave goodbye to content mills and bidding sites. Preferably with your middle finger.
Because you deserve better pay, better clients, and better treatment than that. It’s time for you to get out there and demand it.
Do you have any questions about raising your freelance blogging rates? Leave ‘em in the comments section below or Tweet me @JordenRoper!