Editor’s Note: The following content is provided to Writer’s Digest by a writing community partner. This content is sponsored by American Writers & Artists Inc. www.awaionline.com.
Once you’ve decided which of the numerous ways to make a living as a writer suits you best, the path to well-paid writing becomes clear …
Your first step is learning the skills you need to do the assignments. And quite honestly, that’s the easy part …
AWAI’s writing programs are wildly recognized as the industry standard in most areas of copywriting and writing for the web.
The second step though – finding paid assignments – is where most aspiring freelance writers get stuck.
Now often when I talk to Writer’s Digest readers, the first “paid assignment” that comes to mind is a magazine article or blog post.
And while you can get paid to write those things, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while or attending any of the webinars AWAI put together this year for Writer’s Digest, you’ll know that they’re not ones I recommend you pursue …
At least not if you’re looking to make a real living as a writer.
Instead, you want to find clients who have loads of ongoing assignments for you, so that you won’t have to continually search for new paid assignments month after month.
So where do you find these clients?
If you’ve chosen any form of copywriting as your path, Google is going to be your first stop for a little research …
Ask yourself, who are your ideal clients? What types of companies do you want to work for, and in what industry?
For example: publishers or supplement marketers in the health industry, product suppliers in the pet industry, adventure travel companies … wherever your passions or interests lie, there are loads of potential clients who are in desperate need of a good writer – and are willing to pay you very well for your services.
Then ask yourself, who are their customers? And how do those people find them?
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes, and run a few searches on Google …
For example, if you’re looking for potential clients in the health industry, you might search for “alternative health newsletters” or “dietary supplements” or “free report on weight loss.”
If you’ve chosen a particular industry niche, you can also search for things like:
- Associations/Trade Organizations
- Membership Sites
- “Best of” Lists (Like “Best Pet Supply Companies 2014”)
Give it a shot!
You’ll quickly find pages and pages of potential clients.
From there, you want to filter them into a manageable list of companies who clearly value their direct-marketing efforts – and, therefore, your writing services. Here are some things to be on the lookout for:
- Real companies (not blogs/information repositories).
- Professionally designed website.
- Well-written (persuasive) copy.
- Lots of content.
- They’re using multiple marketing channels (examples: e-newsletter, sign up for a free report followed by a series of emails, sales copy, direct mail, social media, etc.)
- They have something to sell (not just affiliate products).
And, if you’re looking at magazines and associations in your niche, look for people advertising and exhibiting at tradeshows. They clearly have money to spend on their marketing efforts, and they’ll want to ensure those expenses get a high return.
That’s where you come in!
And Google is just one place to find new clients …
If you’d like more – or you’ve chosen a path other than copywriting, check out the little report AWAI copywriter Jen Adams put together called, 10 Places to Get Clients Now.
Go ahead and give it a read. And since you’ll soon have no trouble finding new clients, make sure you join me next week so I can tell you exactly what to do once you find them!
To your success,