Consistent cash flow is what all freelance bloggers want.
But good-paying clients seem to be the most aloof people on the planet. And if you’re a freelance blogger whose first language is not English, you can’t help but feel this pursuit is made even more difficult for you.
On the other hand, if you really want to level up, you’ll do what you can to stand out and be noticed.
If this is you and you’re up for the challenge, keep reading while I share how I succeeded as a blogger even though English is not my mother-tongue. That’s right, I’m giving you permission to steal my moves.
Moves that make a good first impression
In 2012, a blog comment I’d written made an impression on the blog’s business owner.
He liked how I’d written my comment and the copy on my writer site. He specifically pointed out that my grammar was good and my writing was easy to understand.
Then he asked me to ghost-write 3 blog posts for his business. 🙂
Move No. 1: Get your grammar right.
Good grammar is still the foundation of good writing. Get that right and you’ll have less work to do to convince clients you’re a good writer — that your command of English is good, and that you’re the one they’re looking for.
Move No. 2: Leave insightful blog comments.
Reiterate, contradict, or bring up an additional point the blogger may have missed in his post. But don’t just say “Nice post!” or something similarly short.
Moves to make good impressions last
Here’s where it gets more interesting. My client didn’t give me any projects for almost a year after that, despite saying he liked my work and my research skills.
So I made sure I kept in touch with him. Every two or three months I’d contact him via email just to ask how he and his business were doing. I also shared updates he’d find interesting via social media sites where we’d connected.
My perseverance paid off, because early this year he gave me a monthly ghostwriting assignment that’ll keep me busy until the end of this year.
Move No. 3: Let research set you apart.
Even if you use simple words, the facts and figures you present in a post make it stronger and make you sound like an expert. Take that additional hour or two to find the data that fits best with your point.
Move No. 4: Stay at the top of your past clients’ minds.
Whether this is via email or social media, ask how they are from time to time and you’ll see they’ll appreciate this sincere attention. People like it when you think of them and their business.
Move No. 5: Write well-structured, yet friendly emails.
Even if you’ve worked with a client several times, make sure the structure of your emails and the way you present yourself in words reflect your professionalism, reliability, and how easy you are to work with.
Moves that attract clients to you
Some of my clients approached me via LinkedIn because of the keywords on my profile. Here’s what happened:
Business #1: This client found me by searching on LinkedIn using keywords related to ESL teaching and writing. He said my profile matched what he was looking for and asked when we could talk via Skype. We scheduled to meet the next day and he offered me a job as an editor/instructor for his decade-old Japan-based business.
Business #2: This business owner, on the other hand, found me using keywords related to B2C (business-to-consumer) businesses. He was looking for a writer with experience as a team manager and he found all those on my LinkedIn profile too. He offered me a job with his big ecommerce business that had just received venture capital funding — and he made that offer in his first message to me!
I ended up not taking either of these jobs, though, because they wanted full-time staff and one of them required me to work as an in-office employee. But even though “freelance” is reflected on my LinkedIn profile, they still reached out to see if I’d consider the positions because I (my profile) matched what they needed.
Move No. 6: Use keywords on your LinkedIn profile.
Stuffing it with keywords you want to be found for, or keywords related to your ideal client profile, is okay. But revisit Move No. 2 and insert those keywords in your summary and job descriptions naturally. Plus remember to use the same voice and style you use on your writer site in your LinkedIn profile.
Move No. 7: Don’t leave the past behind.
Include your past jobs on your profile even if they don’t relate in any way to what you do now. Sometimes you can’t see a connection between your past jobs and freelance blogging, but you never know when a prospective client will make that connection for you.
It’s your turn
Freelance marketplaces are not the only ways you can land high-paying blog writing projects when you’re a non-native English speaker. The freelance blogging field is leveled now if you’re willing to work on your craft.
Good-paying clients smell skilled writers from a mile away, and they don’t even ask where you learned English.
Are you ready to let them see that you can do a good job too?