How to make more money as a freelance copywriter: 20 tips

Yes, you can make more money as a freelance copywriter. Really!

Yes, you can make more money as a freelance copywriter. Really!

Do you feel like your freelance writing income is stuck in low gear – and you’re looking to rev up your profits?

Making more money can be easier than you think. Here are ways to make it happen:

1.  Raise your rates. If you haven’t increased your freelance copywriting rates lately, now may be the time. Here’s how to do it without alienating your current customers.

2. Check in with your current clients. You’ve already built a relationship with these people – why not leverage it? A quick “how can I help you?” email may help you gain new work.

3. Ask your current clients for referrals. If your clients already love you, why wouldn’t they recommend you to their colleagues? Even just one referral could net some great new business.

4. Create package deals. If you’re a blogger or a freelance copywriter, you could bundle your services so people buy them in bulk (say, 10 blog posts every month.) Some clients prefer to purchase content this way, so it could drive more money your way.

5. Set up ongoing contracts. If clients are consistently purchasing 10 blog posts every month, why not put them on an ongoing retainer (you could even give them a small discount.) You know you have ongoing freelance income every month, and the client gets a good deal. Win/win!

6. Educate yourself. When’s the last time you got trained in an advanced subject (like SEO copywriting … hint, hint). The more you know, the more you can charge – and the better caliber client you can attract.

7. Change up your target market. Are you stuck charging lower freelance fees because your target audience can’t pay for more? Don’t get mad. Pivot your business. It may be time to find clients with more money to spend.

8. Boost your confidence. Do you feel weird answering the question, “How much do you charge?” It’s time to get over it. Here’s how.

9. Fire energy-sapping clients. This is never easy to do, but it’s often necessary. The good news is, you’ll have room for new (higher paying) clients when you can prune the bad ones. Here are some things to think about.

10. Don’t give your current clients a reason to fire you. Have you been a little … flaky? A fast way to lose money is if your clients start slowly fading away. Here’s how to prevent the dreaded, “We can’t use you anymore” email.

11. Join Google+ and get set up with authorship. Yes, I know this is a pain (especially if your market isn’t on Google+ … yet.) But the rewards are well worth it. Here’s what Eric Enge has to say about it.

12. Do outstanding work that gets results. Clients want to work with proven SEO copywriters – and testimonials, case studies and before-and-after screen shots can help seal the deal.  Here are some tips about how to make your testimonials more powerful.

13. Find a niche you love and specialize. Both Bob Bly and Pam Foster discuss this technique in the Copywriting Business Bootcamp training.

14. Get out of the house and network. I’m guilty of hiding behind my computer most of the time. However, I know that actually seeing people in public (gasp) can help drive business my way. Try to get out at least once a month. More if you can.

15. Don’t forget to network with other writers, too. You may see them as “competition,” but they can also be trusted colleagues. Other writers may refer a gig to you that doesn’t fit their existing client/work base. Just don’t forget to return the favor.

Other feedback from the SEO Copywriting Facebook group and Google+ …

Improve your skills and offer new services – like press releases or content audits as an easy add-on to your existing services. – Courtney Ramirez

Don’t be scared of putting your prices up, even with customers you have had for years. Times change and so must prices. – Craig Wright (@straygoat).

It’s not about marketing, as much as it is about building the right relationships. – Tania Dakka (@TaniaDakka).

Get amazing results. – Daniel Iversen

Don’t be afraid to charge professional prices. – Steve Maurer (+Steve Maurer).

Save almost $50! Learn the secrets behind the why some freelance copywriters rake in the bucks. And yes, you can do it, too! Check out the Copywriting Business Bootcamp and use coupon code SECRETS. Sale expires 11/13/13

7 replies
  1. craig wright says:

    Getting out and meeting people can back fire though! If you create the wrong impression, it can work against you. Sometimes people have certain expectations of what a writer is, so if, like me, you don’t fit the stereotype, it can be bad for business. Many clients have said to me “don’t take this the wrong way, but you don’t look like a writer”. Thank God for the Internet.

  2. Tracy Mallette says:

    Wow, sorry you’ve been through that, Craig! What exactly do they think a writer looks like? Don’t let clients like that discourage you from networking. Someone who’s going to stereotype you maybe isn’t a beneficial client to have anyway. A lot of gaining clients or jobs involves networking and referrals. You’ll meet people and make genuine friends who can recommend you for great gigs!

  3. Halona Black says:

    I have been absolutely terrible at getting out to meet people. I moved to Orlando, FL this past July and haven’t been out once to a networking event. Cold calling has been working well for me. But I would like to get some local clients, so I should just face the fact that I have to put some professional looking clothes on and get out the door.

    • Heather Lloyd-Martin says:

      @Halona – I understand. I really do. I had a networking event last week while I was dreading all day. Once I got there, it was actually fun – and I felt energized afterwards. I didn’t land any business, but it did feel like I was breaking my “stay in the house and work” pattern. And that’s a good thing. :)

      Thanks for your note!

  4. Mike Robinson says:

    Excellent advice here – I’m off to get myself sorted on Google+ as the SEO value alone will be worth the hassle.

    As an aside, as copywriters we spend far too long in front of a desk cut off from the real world as it is. Getting to networking events and discussing other people’s businesses can provide a useful relief and give you valuable knowledge on new business types (as well as new business).

  5. Alexander John says:

    About a year ago I found that asking your current clients really does do a number on your numbers.

    It’s such a simple question, “Do you know anyone else who would benefit from my service?”

    Only one question, your only asking one question to someone, and you could get leads…


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