Freelance writing is a very competitive business. Usually, writers who are not officially hired by a company to write, fear they are not able to make ends meet. For many writers venturing out in the Freelance Nation, it’s usually feast of famine when you run your own business. However, there is a way to run a successful freelance writing business that does not require you to live from paycheck to paycheck. Many writers, write what they love and turn it into blogs. Other writers write for content mills that bring in steady pay but can lead to writer burnout. You can run a successful freelance writing business by writing for other businesses.
Business writing can be boring, however, you are doing what you love to do even if it is not the subject you wish to write about. You just need to learn another niche, but that is a small price to pay in order to remain independent. Here are some lucrative niches within the business writing niche:
Writing Press Releases
Writing press releases for both new and established businesses can be quite lucrative. Beginners could get $150 or more per press release, while experienced writers command payments of $300 and above-even up to $1 or or more per word. Writing press releases is a form of advertising that many businesses willing pay for. The fact is, business owners have to use their time effectively, so they usually contract out things like writing, and advertising. Also, some business owners may not know how to properly pitch their press releases to the proper publication even if they know how to write one. You can stay with local businesses writing press releases. Many businesses don’t know what’s news, so you can help them pull out the news that’s happening in their company, pitch it to journals and magazines and write the press release. Pitching is also a separate fee from writing the press release, so you can include that fee in your contract. Press releases can get you in the door to more lucrative opportunities within the company and also getting you on retainer.
Pitching to Business Journals and Magazines
Pitching to business journals and magazines with an idea of your own is different from pitching to business journals and magazines for your client (as in when you are writing press releases). In the former, you get paid by the journal or magazine, while in the latter you get paid by the client. You have to make sure you differentiate between the two when you are pitching to the source. Like blog posting and writing press releases, pitching to business journals and magazines can land you gigs paying $1 or more per word.
Pitching to Blogs/Guest Blogging
There are many blogs that will pay you $50 or more per blog post. You just have to pitch them with great ideas! This is where you can make good money writing about what you love to do. Find as many blogs online within your niche and pitch them regularly with great ideas. Blogs want to differentiate themselves and build themselves as an authority in their niche, so it is important that you get great independent sources to quote from. Don’t just read a book and quote the author. If you want to be paid the $1 or more per word writing blog posts, you have to make sure you find your own source and conduct the interview yourself.
Get on Retainer!
This is by far the best way to make sure you are not living from paycheck to paycheck or as they say in the writing world ‘feast or famine.’ Getting a client to put you on retainer means that you get paid whether you work that month or not. It means that they pay you a certain amount each month to make sure that you are ready and waiting for them when they need you to do work for them. As a part of the retainer agreement, you should spell out how much you expect to get paid and how much work you intended to do each month for that pay. If the company decides, it has no work for you that month, you still get paid because you are on retainer.
Getting a retainer from a business is easier once you have completed a couple of assignments for the company. Once you have a relationship with them, you can then approach your contact person within that business about putting you on retainer. If your work is exemplary, the company most likely wants to keep you. In order to have a good flow of income each month, you only need a few good clients on retainer.
Great Books That Will Help You In Your Business Writing
1) The Well-Fed Writer, Bowerman, Peter, 2009
2) How to Not Write Bad: The Most Common Writing Problems and the Best Ways to Avoid Them, Ben Yagoda,
3) 2014 Writer’s Market, (This book also comes with access to a forum that is good for those who need more hands on instruction)
4) Freelance Nation: J Melissa Cooper