4 Ways Training Can Land You More Freelance Writing Gigs
As a freelance writer, you know that competition for writing gigs is fierce!
You’ve all heard the dreaded “everyone’s a writer” phrase, which devalues the work of really great writers.
But wannabe professional writers aren’t your only challenge.
Websites like Elance (yes, I’ve got a profile on there, too – *hangs head in shame*), pit freelance writers against each other in a race to the bottom of the pay barrel.
So, everyone can “write” – and usually, they’re all writing for peanuts!
But that’s not all!
The freelance writers who do command more than pay-per-peanut rates aren’t “just writers” – they’re professionally trained as SEO copywriters, content strategists, graphic artists, and more. These talented people can measure the results of their work and make tweaks to improve its performance.
Are you panicking yet? Yes? You were already panicking about it before you read this? I know, sorry, BUT here’s the reality…
While you should be able to command higher pay based on your stellar, persuasive, always-on-deadline writing alone, that’s unfortunately not the reality we live in.
Thankfully, like your writing style, you’re adaptable. There is a way to stand out above the competition, and you can do it.
I know you’ve heard this before, but sometimes you have to spend money to make money.
I’m talking about training – where you get awesome knowledge, and often an awesome badge to prove it, in exchange for your hard-earned money.
I know, you’re probably thinking: But I regularly keep up on my training for free with all of the awesome resources available.
That’s what you’re doing on this site right now.
I thought the same thing.
But I broke down and paid for a training – Heather’s SuccessWorks SEO Copywriting Certification training, to be exact. (OK, before you get all AHA! on me, I’m not being paid to write this. Hear me out.)
Turns out you get a lot more out of online training than the structured knowledge that you paid for.
Sure, paid online training goes into much more detail than the stuff the experts give out for free (naturally), so you’re advancing your skills beyond what you can learn otherwise.
That’s great. You probably knew that.
But paid online training gets you ACTUAL PAYING WRITING JOBS. Like, for real. And not always in the ways you might think.
Here are four ways that purchasing online training can help in landing you more writing gigs.
1. The expert might hire you
If you purchase someone’s online training, that someone is more likely to hire you when they have an opening to fill on their content team.
They know you have the skills to do the job because they just trained you.
That’s what happened for me after I took Heather’s training.
She happened to have a Blog Editor opening on her SuccessWorks team just as I’d finished taking her SEO copywriting training, so she thought of me to fill the spot. I also happened to have an editorial background that helped land the gig.
One of my favorite quotes sums up this scenario perfectly:
“Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning.” – Thomas Alva Edison
For me, and probably for most of you, it’s a dream come true to work for someone you really admire and whom you consider the utmost authority on the topic you’re studying.
Not only can taking their training help you get a gig with them, having that impressive gig on your resume and those writing samples in your portfolio will land even more writing gigs.
2. The expert may recommend you
This ties in with number one.
When you take an expert’s online training, that expert may recommend you for work. That’s huge!
Why do they do that?
There are a few reasons:
- They now have proof that you know what you’re doing.
As mentioned above, you taking their course proves to them that you have the skills necessary to rock at whatever you trained for. Now they know that you won’t embarrass them if they recommend you to colleagues.
Another bonus for them – they’re now a resource to businesses for quality writers. That adds value to their own business offerings. Recommending you actually helps them keep and generate business.
- They want you to succeed.
Boy, that’d be super embarrassing if you offered an online training and none of your trainees succeeded in landing freelance or in-house writing work.
It benefits the instructors offering online training for potential customers to see you wildly succeed. That generates more online training business for the instructor.
- They want to give back.
Your guru may want to give back to you for purchasing from them.
One way they do that is by sending writing jobs your way.
For instance, Heather has an email list for her SEO Copywriting Certification grads. It’s chock full of good stuff – including the occasional paid writing opportunity!
Copyblogger has a page on its site that recommends their Content Marketing Certification grads to businesses that need a content marketer. I’ve received a lot of inquiries through this site. They also occasionally include writing jobs in emails to certification grads.
3. Potential clients see evidence of your skills
I love badges. I think everyone loves badges. Honestly, who doesn’t love badges?
Anyone considering selling online certification training shouldn’t even bother if they don’t offer a certification badge that graduates can display proudly on their site – if not on their foreheads.
More than just an ego-boost, badges are a quick way to draw attention to your skills and can help business owners and managers decide who to hire.
Otherwise, who knows if you’re credible? You’re just these guys.
If a marketing manager who knows and loves HubSpot (there are a lot of them) needs some content help, they’ll gravitate toward a writer who has that HubSpot Inbound Certification badge on their site because they know that you know the inbound methodology that they use to create content.
As you know, you really shouldn’t write anything online (except maybe your personal blog that you hope nobody finds anyway) without SEO writing skills, but it’s hard to prove those skills to potential clients without formal training. Badges offer quick proof.
4. New skills land you more clients — and higher paying jobs
So maybe this should’ve been number one — but it’s also the most obvious.
When you spend the money and take the time to keep up with your writing skills and learn new ones, you’re qualified to take on new types of work, can offer more services and can CHARGE MORE MONEY for the value you’re adding to freelance writing clients.
With advanced SEO writing training, you can prove your skills to potential clients to land more gigs and charge them more for that service. Keyword research and other SEO copywriting techniques adds a helluva lotta value to clients, especially when (don’t we know it) they’re often optimizing for the wrong keywords.
Maybe you’re an awesome blogger with mad SEO skills, but you’re missing a huge chunk of potential clients because you don’t know persuasive copywriting techniques. AWAI offers a well-known copywriting certification course. Writing copy that sells brings in big bucks for you and your clients.
Get that training and get writing – plus, a bonus!
Now that you know how purchasing online training can land new freelance writing gigs, get to it!
Do some research and find out what skills would help you the most.
Maybe you’re awesome on the writing-skills front and just need to learn how to find more clients. Well …
That leads me to my bonus way that paid online training leads to more writing gigs.
There are paid online trainings (SuccessWorks and AWAI offer two of them) that teach you how to find freelance writing clients! Instead of going it alone, you can learn how to ramp up your business faster — and make more money, more easily.
Yes, training is an investment. Yes, you will need to spend time to go through the course and complete the exercises.
Yet, the benefits are well worth it — and you’ll be able to take your freelance writing business to the next level.
Have you experienced other ways that paying for online training has helped you land writing jobs? Let’s talk about ‘em in the comments below!
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Photo credit to LeanForward If | Flickr.com
Paying for an online course is also extremely effective at solving procrastination. For example, I’ve paid for several online courses for blogging. Each time it’s motivated me to learn the material and use the advice to go and get better at what I do. However, if I just consume free material – it doesn’t have the same impact.
That’s why if you really want to do something but due to procrastination or some other barrier, you don’t – then by actually going ahead and purchasing an online course, you can motivate yourself to do the things you really want to do – which in case of this blog post is land more clients and improve as a writer.
I know a lot of people see paying for online material as a turn off – but it’s until you go through a proper course that you discover the tremendous amount of benefits it can provide.
This is Heather chiming in. :) I totally agree with you. I have a bunch of free course sitting on my laptop that I mean to take someday…but I haven’t so far. I probably won’t.
However, if I’m shelling out cold, hard cash…you BET I’ll take the course. It’s an investment. I paid good money for it. I want to learn more. And I’d feel like I wasted money if I didn’t go through the materials — which is a huge motivator for me!
Thanks for your comment!
You’re so right about paid courses upping your motivation. I’m the same way. Like Heather, I have a bunch of free courses languishing in my inbox, but paid courses never do. Paying for something not only gives that extra drive to get your money’s worth, but also makes you see the product as more valuable and therefore more worth your time.
I’m glad you like the post and thanks for your input!
Tracy, this was a great post that doesn’t just apply to writing, it applies to all skillsets in any marketplace. For example I want to learn photoshop and while Adobe offers tons of free training for the product it’s not the same as going to Udemy for example and paying for a structured strategy and getting lessons from someone who is already very successful. Of course the badges and referrals might not happen this way, but in any kind of training paying a professional is often a better way to hit a target for training goals then spending hours surfing the net and trying to hack your own training together!