Wed, 18 September 2013
Most freelance writers I talk to never want to go back to a regular job.
But many of them do miss the steady paycheck. (Usually that's the only thing they miss!) Which begs the question: How can you add more predictability to your freelance income?
I'll be showing you several ways to do that over the next couple of months. Because, frankly, there's no single way to ensure predictability. It requires smart strategy and hard work.
But let's get started on that discussion by addressing one potential solution to the income variability dilemma: adding email newsletters to your list of services.
My colleague Michael Katz has made a great living over the last 13 years writing, producing and managing email newsletters for clients. He's also taught many freelance writers how to do the same. And in this lively interview he details the opportunity — including what it entails, what you can charge, how to lock yourself in with great clients who can pay you $700 to $2,000 every month.
The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of our interview. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. And you can also subscribe to this podcast series in iTunes.
Tue, 10 September 2013
If you've followed me for a while, you already know that I'm NOT a fan of quoting hourly rates.
At least not when you're a freelance writer.
There are many disadvantages to the hourly rate model, and I still believe that in most cases it's much better to quote flat project fees.
However, there ARE some situations where it makes more sense to quote project work by the hour. And if you do it right, you can still earn a great living and keep your client happy.
I recently corresponded with web content writer and SEO specialist Katherine Andes. Katherine quotes most of her work by the hour. And one of the many things I admire about her is how successful she's been with this model.
In this episode, Katherine explains why she's chosen the hourly rate model. How she makes it work for both her and the client. And how she handles pricing objections and pushback.
Tue, 3 September 2013
Many freelance writers get to a point where they want to scale their business in some way. Or they want to diversify their income stream by launching a new side venture or project.
Mike Stelzner is a classic example. From 1996 until just a few years ago he was a freelance writer. Today he is the founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner (SME), an online magazine for business owners and marketers who are trying to figure out social media.
In less than 4 years, SME has attracted 222,000 email and 800,000 website hits per month. And Mike's podcast, The Social Media Marketing Podcast, has 21,000 listeners! As if that weren't enough, Mike recently launched a new website: My
Tue, 27 August 2013
It's great to have a formal prospecting system in place. But sometimes the best opportunities come to us through unconventional means.
In this episode of The High-Income Business Writing podcast you'll hear from Angus Stocking, a successful business writer who specializes in the infrastructure industry.
Angus has had great success landing good-paying writing clients using low-cost "guerilla-style" methods.
The notes that follow are a basic, unedited summary of our interview. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. And you can also subscribe to this podcast series in iTunes.
Tue, 20 August 2013
Over the past few years, LinkedIn has evolved into one of the most important social media platforms. The site boasts more than 225 million users as of this recording.
Even though much of the conversation about LinkedIn revolves around drumming up business leads or new jobs, there's an opportunity for business writers that's not often discussed: writing profiles for LinkedIn members.
Who in the world would pay a writer to write their profile? Turns out that many business professionals do! Not only do they pay handsome fees for this work, but it can also become a great way to build trust and land additional projects.
To learn more about this opportunity, I interviewed Victoria Ipri. Victoria started as a copywriter in 2006, and her business has evolved over the years into Ipri International, a Linkedin training consultancy providing telephone coaching and on-site group training.
What follows are some notes summarizing the information in this week's show. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. And you can also subscribe to this podcast series in iTunes.
Tue, 13 August 2013
One of the biggest factors that holds back new and aspiring freelance writers is the idea that they have to find their niche before they launch.
This "niche quest" tends to do more damage than good. It creates confusion, stalls progress and kills momentum.
Don't get me wrong. Having a niche or a specific target market is a good idea. But it's not a prerequisite for launching your commercial writing business.
In this episode I give you a simple framework and a series of questions to determine if you should define a niche ... how to find one that makes sense ... and what to do if you can't come up with anything viable.
Tue, 6 August 2013
Blog posts, articles, white papers, case studies, marketing collateral.
These are some of the most common pieces business writers come across. The bread-and-butter projects that pay the bills.
But occasionally you may come across a project that's so massive, it requires a different set of skills to execute. Your writing chops alone won't save you.
My friend and colleague Denise Kiernan knows this firsthand. Not only has she written dozens of books and large-format pieces, she recently finished the largest and most complex writing project of her career: The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II Touchstone/Simon & Shuster), now a New York Times bestseller.
(Side note: This week marks the 68th anniversary of the world's first atomic bomb attacks in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.)
To tell this true story of the women who helped build the first atomic bomb, Denise spent years conducing intense research all across the U.S., doing live interviews, writing and rewriting. It was the kind of assignment that required flawless project management, excellent organization skills ... and unshakable faith in a story that had to be told.
I recently sat down with Denise to learn more about how she approached this massive project. She shared some excellent tips, insights and advice that apply to ANY writer facing a large-scale project.
Wed, 24 July 2013
If you've ever bought a product online, at a store or through a catalog (OK … if you've ever bough anything!), chances are you read the product's descriptive copy before making your final buying decision.
And guess what? That copy didn't just write itself. The manufacturer or distributor hired a copywriter to put it together.
What's involved in this type of writing? How well does it pay? How do you land projects? And are there any opportunities in the B2B arena for this type of work?
Tue, 16 July 2013
Did you know that entrepreneurs are willing to pay writers $3,000 - $6,000 (and even more!) to write a business plan for them?
There are many reasons why. But one of the most important is that most banks and investors need to see a well-written business plan before they even consider investing in a business.
My guest for this episode is Jessica Oman, founder of Write Ahead and an expert on writing business plans. In this interview, Jessica explains the opportunity in writing business plans for clients.
Tue, 9 July 2013
One of the fastest ways to propel your writing business to the six-figure level is to become a MUCH more efficient writer. And in this week's show, you'll learn 8 simple steps to boosting your writing speed by 30% or more.
My guest is Daphne Gray-Grant — an authority on writing faster. Daphne's strategies are a big reason why I earn $200++ per hour when I write for clients.