How to Become a Freelance Writer (With No Experience Required)

What Is Freelance Writing?

What is freelance writing?

It’s…

  • Creativity – writing amazing content that blows your audience’s mind.
  • Time Independence – working on your own schedule, when you want and how you want. 
  • Freedom – no time clocks to punch or bosses to report to.
  • Being the Master of your own destiny – forging your own way into a life entirely of your own making.

On a good day, yes, freelance writing can be all of these things.

But, it can also be…

  • Unstable – you won’t always know when or where your next paycheck is coming from.
  • A constant hustle – who is going to be your next client? What’s your next gig?
  • Isolating – working from home, without daily human interaction isn’t for everyone.
  • Stressful – the never-ending hustle, juggling of clients and projects, and all of the uncertainties that come with working as a contractor can be unbelievably stressful. 

In a nutshell, freelance writers are self-employed, independent contractors who write content for pay

Freelance writers are not salaried employees and do not receive any benefits.

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What are the Benefits of Freelance Writing?

When compared to a regular 9-5 office job, the benefits of freelance writing can be immense. 

Some of the top benefits of freelance writing include: 

  • Flexible schedule – Prefer to work at 3 am in your sweats? Not a problem. Want to blow work off on a Friday and go snowboarding instead? As long as you aren’t missing any deadlines – go for it!
  • Work from anywhere – work from your kitchen table, the local Starbucks, a Tahitian beach, or the African Serengeti. As long as you have wifi and the ability to connect with your clients, your options are limitless.   
  • Variety – as a freelancer, you get to choose the clients you work with and the projects you complete. Love blog writing? You can do it. Prefer more technical writing? You can do that, too.
  • (Potentially) Limitless Income – The sky is the limit when you’re a freelancer. There is no salary cap. Want to make more money – secure more clients and projects.

Can I Be a Freelance Writer? YEEES.

Whether you’re a formally trained and experienced writer or just someone who dabbles in writing on the side, the idea of branching out on a new career path can be a daunting thought.

You’ve probably wondered, “Can I really make it as a freelance writer?”

As long as you’re a decent writer, the answer is a big, loud, resounding YES!

There are a few character traits that can also help you along the way:

  • A commitment to becoming a better writer
  • A willingness to work hard and hustle
  • The ability to focus your attention and time when needed
  • The ability to accept rejection and still keep going

How To Get Started as a Freelance Writer: A 3-Step Process To Get Started

Stepping outside of your comfort zone and beginning to build your own freelance writing business can be a terrifying thought. 

Don’t let the fear hold you back. 

As long as you’re willing to work hard and take massive action, you can be successful at building your own freelance writing business.

Step 1: Clearly Define Your Goals as a Freelance Writer

The first step in becoming a freelance writer is to determine your goals.

Creating clearly defined goals is what moves you from writing as a hobby to writing as a business. 

  • Why do you want to become a freelance writer anyway?
  • What do you hope to gain?
  • What do you hope to achieve?  

It’s vital that you spend some time thinking over these questions during the beginning stages of your freelance writing career.

Clearly defined goals provide motivation and focus, as well as giving you a clear direction in which to work.

Step 1: Clearly Define Your Goals as a Freelance Writer

Did you know that the reason most people fail in their endeavors is not due to lack of talent? 

The real reason that prevents most people from achieving their dreams is a lack of confidence

It’s vital to understand that success is not about who you are now. Who cares!? 

It’s about who you are BECOMING. 

We are not the highest version of ourselves which we can imagine. We are the lowest version of ourselves which we can accept. 

If you want to achieve your dreams and goals you must turn them into irrefutable standards.

One of the best ways to establish your personal standards and map out your path towards who you are becoming is by creating your own personal ‘Becoming Document’. 

Through the creation and consistent review of this document, you are able to manifest your own future. 

By first and foremost taking control of your thoughts, you will be able to alter what you believe about yourself and create your own future.

Because…

What we believe is our reality. 

‘Becoming Document’ Components:

1. Daily Ritual

The first step in creating a powerful and effective Becoming Document is to establish a daily routine that begins with reading and reflecting upon this document every.single.day. 

Daily review helps keep your mind in the right place. You will become more aware of your daily words and thoughts. The more aware you become, the less likely you will be to allow negativity and self-doubt to creep in. 

Each morning, read your affirmations out loud to yourself. Take your time with this and really feel the emotions associated with each and every one. 

Close your eyes and paint a vivid picture in your mind to accompany each one. 

Replace visions of your current self with new visions of the person you are becoming. 

But don’t stop there. 

Allow your vision to motivate you all day long. Plan out your day down to the smallest details. 

Then take laser-focused, massive action in accomplishing those goals. 

Do the work. Achieving small goals add up and propel you forward towards achieving bigger goals.

2. Performance Tracking

Creating a new daily ritual and effecting real change for yourself requires commitment and follow-through. 

Set your goals.

Write them down clearly and succinctly.

Hold yourself accountable to your commitment by tracking your daily performance.

Do this for 31 days and you will start to see serious changes within yourself and your business.

3. Vision Board

Vision boards, when used properly, can be an amazing motivator. 

The human psyche is powerful beyond measure. But, it operates much like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes.

The real truth is that, for most of us, it remains largely untapped, with most of its potential power remaining untouched.

When creating your vision board, you want to consider all aspects of your life, not just your professional life.

Pin-point the goals and dreams that are most important for you and be sure to include images that clearly illustrate these goals for yourself. Be sure to include both your short-term as well as long-term goals on your vision board. 

4. Your Legacy and Personal Story

Who are you now and who do you believe that you will become?

What is the legacy you want to leave?

When people describe you, what would you like them to say?

These are the types of questions you want to ask yourself while penning your legacy and personal story.

Similar to your vision board, images can also be a powerful component for this section of your Becoming document as well.

5. Manifesto

Writing your personal manifesto can be an extremely powerful tool in altering your mindset about yourself and pushing your forward towards success. 

Before you begin writing your personal manifesto, you need to know…

What is a manifesto?

Merriam-Webster defines manifesto as a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer

Simply put, a manifesto is a person’s written declarations of what is important to and about them.

What are your motives and intentions?

What are your views and beliefs about yourself?

 The value of a well-written manifesto is its ability to serve as a constant source of motivation and inspiration. Daily readings will help you stay focused on your priorities and commitment to achieving your goals.

6. Goals

When writing your goals, you should think about all aspects of your life. 

Think about your goals in the areas of:

  • Professional accomplishments
  • Personal accomplishments
  • Health/physical goals
  • Mental/spiritual goals
  • Lifestyle goals
  • Financial goals
  • Family/relationship goals
  • Tangible/material goals

When creating your goals, you’ll want to be sure they meet some basic criteria:

  • Include both long-term as well as short-term goals
  • Your goals should be as specific as possible
  • Each goal should have a clear deadline
  • Each goal should be measurable
  • Each goal should be actionable

7. Positive Affirmations

Almost everyone engages in one form or another of self-talk, whether they realize it or not.

Take a moment to consider your own self-talk. Are you building yourself up or tearing yourself down? Are you reminding yourself of how awesome you are, or are you constantly criticizing your perceived mistakes and shortcomings? 

There is scientific evidence showing a connection between positive self-affirmations and increased neural pathways in the brain. 

Positive affirmations, when done regularly and consistently, can alter our self-identity in a positive way. 

When we see ourselves in a more positive light, we become more confident and more willing to step outside of our comfort zone in order to achieve our goals.

Some benefits of daily positive affirmations include:

  • Increasing a sense of self-worth
  • Providing additional motivation 
  • Keeping you in a mindset of gratitude
  • Helping you focus on the positive
  • Keeping your focus on your goals and priorities
  • Making you more self-aware

When writing your own affirmations, focus on 2 things…

  • What positive behaviors or thoughts do you want to increase?

Clearly define these and write them in the form of an “I am…” statement, such as…

“I am an excellent writer. I know how to write content that grabs the attention of my audience.” 

“I am focused and committed to my goals. I can achieve  anything I set my mind to.”

  • What negative thoughts and feelings do you want to decrease?

Clearly define these and then write an “I am…” statement that is the exact opposite of these negative thoughts and feelings.

For example, if you struggle with a fear of failure, your affirmation could be…

“I am free of the fear of mistakes and failure. I act without fear of failure and am excited about the opportunities to come.”

As with anything new, the practice of speaking these affirmations aloud daily can feel a bit awkward at first. But the old saying, ‘fake it til you make it’ is true, at least in this circumstance. 

The more frequently you speak these affirmations aloud, with confidence and conviction, the more you will come to believe them as true. 

And remember…

What we believe is our reality.

Step 3: Commit To 60 Days of Laser Focus and Intense Action

Just like with any new habit, it can be hard in the beginning.

Let’s say you establish a personal goal of running 1 mile each day. 

The first day or 2 it may feel easy. You’re excited and motivated about your new personal goal so you wake up and literally hit the ground running. 

Then it’s suddenly the morning of day 3. You wake up sore. You wake up tired. You just don’t feel like it today.

It’s what you do at this moment that makes all the difference in the world. 

Do you give in, roll over, and go back to sleep? Or do you force yourself to get up, push through the pain, and do the work? 

Habits have a way of getting harder before they become automatic.

Decide now what you will do when things get hard.

Hold yourself accountable for 60 days. 

Wake up every morning and attack the day with laser focus and intense, massive action.

Make a commitment to yourself and do the work.

Next Step… Get Your Freelance Writing Tools in Place

Now that you’ve tackled your mindset, it’s time to tackle the nitty-gritty details of creating a successful and productive freelance writing career.

The first step in this process is ensuring you have the tools needed to be successful.

SEO Tools:

Why Does SEO Matter For Freelance Writers

Freelance writers who know a bit about SEO are in much higher demand, add way more value, and can charge more.

Their writing is backed in data, which is extremely important.

If you aren’t up to speed on the best practices for writing amazing SEO content, you’ll definitely want to spend some time educating yourself in this area.

Once you understand SEO and master writing strong SEO content, your clients and potential clients will sit up and take notice. Your services will be in high demand.

Free SEO Tools for Freelance Writing

There are many outstanding, and better yet, free SEO tools to help you get started in your freelance writing career.

Utilizing as many free tools as possible, especially in the beginning when cash flow is limited, can really help catapult you towards success.

Here’s just a couple of extremely useful and free SEO tools.

1. Neil Patel Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is a super useful SEO tool that provides keyword research by using Google autocomplete. Ubbersuggest helps you find additional keywords related to your content that people are searching for.

When you register for FREE with Ubersuggest, you also get access to:

    • More keyword suggestions
    • Daily rank tracking
    • Personalized SEO suggestions
    • Historical keyword data
    • Backlink checker

2. SEOQuake

SEOQuake is a free and easy to use browser plugin that provides you with organic research data. You can even embed the plugin into search engine results for faster access. 

The best feature of SEOQuake, besides being free, is that it is super fast and easy to use. In a matter of seconds, SEOQuake provides you with virtually every bit of information you want to know about a particular site.

SEOQuake will provide you with:

    • SEO audits
    • Keyword density reports
    • Internal and external link analysis
    • Social metrics
    • SEMrush ranking data
    • SERP analytics

3. CoSchedule Headline Analyzer

As any decent SEO writer knows, the title is one of the most important aspects of your entire piece. The online world moves at a staggering pace and without a catchy headline that makes readers stop scrolling, the chances that your content will actually be read can be very low.

CoSchedule Headline Analyzer is a super helpful tool that analyzes your title and helps you create headlines that will increase traffic and shares. 

CoSchedule Headline Analyzer takes into account multiple factors, such as word balance, emotional and unique word usage and character and word count and then scores your title based on these factors.

Project Management Tools:

Once you’ve secured your clients, you’re going to need some project management tools to help you juggle all of the projects that will be headed your way. 

Here are our top picks for the best free project management tools.

Free Project Management Tools for Freelance Writing

1. Asana

Asana is an extremely flexible tool for collaboration and task management. While Asana really shines in terms of team collaboration, it can also be extremely beneficial in boosting personal productivity as well. 

With Asana you are able to create tasks, sub-tasks, add attachments, create due dates, assign projects to various team members, add comments, and a multitude of other custom fields. 

Tasks can be viewed in either a list or kanban board format, according to the user’s preference. 

2. Trello

Trello is a great project management tool for visual people because it mimics a real-life project board. 

With Trello, you create a ‘card’ for each task, which you can then move to various columns on your project board. You can add notes, attachments, and various other things to each task card. 

3. Google Drive

Google Drive is awesome because…well, it’s Google Drive! Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably already familiar with Google Drive.

The ability to create an unlimited amount of folders is one of the best features for freelance writers. Create folders for each of your clients. Create folders for each of your projects. Create folders for each individual document if you want, the options are limitless.

Some other great features of Google Drive include:

    • 15GB of free storage
    • Upload and downloads documents easily
    • Your documents are saved automatically while you work
    • Cloud-based means you can access your drive from anywhere at any time
    • Tons of free templates available
    • Reliable file sharing options

Editing Tools:

Even the best writers require strong editing. 

Proofreading and editing are vital steps in the writing process that absolutely cannot be overlooked. Ideally, you’d have your writing edited by a professional editor, but sometimes that’s just not possible. 

The next best thing to having another pair of eyes editing your work is to have some really powerful editing tools in your back pocket.

Free Editing Tools for Freelance Writing

 

1. Grammarly

Grammarly is a fantastic tool for a quick final check of your content. 

The free version is limited, but it does a really great job of catching spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors. 

Another great feature of Grammarly is the Google Drive plugin. It will catch your errors in real-time as you write, limiting the amount of editing that will be needed once you finish your piece of content.

2. Hemingway App

The Hemingway App is another really beneficial tool to have in your editing arsenal. While the actual app is not free, the online version is and works just as well. 

With the online version, you have the option of either copying and pasting your content onto the page or writing directly on the page. 

The Hemingway App not only corrects spelling and grammar errors but also points out errors in fluency, word choice, and sentence structure. Even better, in addition to pointing out the errors, it also makes suggestions for improvements. 

This easy to use tool will help you determine the overall readability of your content and allow you to make adjustments and improvements as needed.

3. DupliChecker

It is absolutely necessary that you have some sort of plagiarism checker in your tool kit as a freelance writer. 

DupliChecker fits the bill quite nicely as a free online resource for plagiarism checking. Is it absolutely bullet-proof? Probably not. But it does seem to hold its own when compared to its paid use counterparts. 

Using Duplichecker is quite easy. You have 3 options when it comes to checking your content.

    1. Copy and paste text directly on the site (1000 word max)
    2. Upload a file
    3. Check a webpage URL

After scanning your content, DupliChecker will break your content down into 3 sections: Unique, Plagiarism, and Related-Meaning. If any instances of plagiarism or related-meanings are found, it will highlight these occurrences within your text so that you know exactly where adjustments need to be made.

Image Creation & Infographic-Producing Software

You don’t have to hold a degree in graphic design to create some really great online graphics. Creating really strong, eye-catching graphics for your written content can be a very powerful tool in driving more traffic to your client’s site.

Luckily, there’s a really great free tool to help you with this task.

Free Image Tool for Freelance Writing

Even if you don’t have a single artistic bone in your body, you can make professional-quality graphics very easily with Canva

Canva’s interface is easy enough that even a novice is able to use it while providing such high-quality designs that it appeals even to professionals. 

Using Canva, you are able to design virtually anything you need to further your business. 

Some of the design options you have with Canva include:

  • Business cards
  • Logos
  • Social media graphics
  • YouTube thumbnails
  • Media kits
  • Call to action graphics
  • Blogging graphics

How To Start Freelance Writing - First, You Need Clients…

Now that you’ve got all of your tools in line, you’re ready to start stirring up some business for yourself. 

But how? 

This, my friends, is the million-dollar question. 

There’s actually a plethora of work available for freelance writers, but if you’re simply sitting around waiting on clients to come a’ knocking, you’re going to be waiting a long, long time. 

Step 1: Create an UpWork Profile

Freelance job boards, such as UpWork, can be a great source of new leads if you approach it properly. 

I’ve made well over $20,000 just on UpWork alone.

The first thing you need to do is spend some time creating an eye-catching profile that stands out from your competitors. 

UpWork profile example:

Content Marketing Strategist & Copywriting Enthusiast Who Loves SEO

Hi,

I’m Joey. I’m brand new to Upwork, but not new to content strategy, SEO content writing, and lead generation. Give me 49 seconds to explain how I’ll create positive change in your business that lasts a long time.

I only claim to be an expert at a couple of things:

    • Parallel parking
    • Creating content marketing strategies that increase high-quality traffic & monthly leads
    • Writing content that deeply connects with an audience
    • Cooking pancakes that are oh-so-perfectly fluffy

Here’s the truth (I know you’ll agree):

You don’t care how much experience or skill I have with on-page SEO, structured data, email marketing, Google Search Console, SEO keyword research, WordPress plugins like Yoast SEO, landing page conversion rate optimization, or brand strategy.

There are only 3 things you care about.

More website traffic. Converting traffic to leads. Making the sale.

My superpower brings you more of the first 2 things: website traffic & leads.

As a small business owner, you don’t have time. You probably wear multiple hats – Chief Marketing Officer, HR (babysitter at times), accounting, and IT. And you don’t have the money (and more importantly, time) to hire a sales team or prospect for new leads yourself.

Imagine yourself in this scenario:

Every month you throw some money into your magic piggy bank. That piggy bank comes to life every night as you sleep and maintains your entire website, boosts your SEO, writes content that your audience drools over, and brings in 8-10 new high-quality leads for your business.

The best part? You wake up having done ZERO work.

You’d probably happily put money in that piggy bank, right?

Here’s the bad news: magical piggy banks don’t exist (yet).

Here’s the good news: I do all those things (plus more).

Hire me and I’ll become your magical piggy bank.

Step 2: Look at ‘Find Work’ on UpWork Every Day And Submit Proposals

Once you’ve created your profile, it’s time to start looking for gigs. This is where persistence and commitment comes into play.  

You’ll want to make sure you are checking the board at least twice a day – ideally, first thing in the morning as well as late at night. 

Make sure you’re reading the job ad very closely, taking notes as needed.

What’s cool is that this job opportunity above shows that the business owner buying it has already spent over $100,000 on UpWork. That’s a good sign.

Once you’ve found a job you’re interested in, it’s time to write a killer proposal. Using a template can be a time saver when you’re sending out lots of proposals daily, but it’s important that you always customize each proposal to the job. 

Sending out the same template to every potential client won’t convert as well.

Within your pitch be sure that you are clearly outlining your value as well as offering your best samples.

Here’s an example of a ‘template’ proposal. 

I’m brand new to Upwork as of 2-3 months ago.

But, I’m not new to SEO.

I have been getting SEO results for businesses just like yours for more than 5 years now.

Below, I’ll explain exactly how I’ve helped 3 other companies in similar situations to yours. If you’d like, I can even give you the phone numbers/emails of those business owners so that you can hear about their transformative results, and their experience working with me, in their own words.

1. CORE Learn:

They had no clue what to do for their SEO.

Their goal?

Get more website traffic to convert into paying clients.

To start, I conducted ROI-focused keyword research. This included more than 150 keywords with monthly volume, competition levels, and most importantly, their ROI potential. Most other SEOs out there do NOT conduct keyword research based on ROI. My process is different and I run an algorithm to determine ROI potential for each keyword.

The keyword research paid off. Because of the data gathered, I put together a comprehensive content strategy to help them reach their goals.

CORE Learn had 3,149 organic visitors in July 2019. After 4 months, CORE Learn had 13,837 organic visitors come to the site in November 2019. That’s a 339% increase in organic traffic.

2. Chiavaye:

They basically had to start over. They were getting 98% of organic traffic from paid ads. Suddenly, Google and Facebook/Instagram changed their policies and shut down their ads accounts because of “adult content” (they’re a vegan sex lube company focused on helping women with endometriosis).

They wanted to create content that was targeted at women with endometriosis and would drive organic traffic.

After creating a comprehensive keyword research strategy and building out a detailed content calendar, I got to work.

They went from averaging less than 60 organic visitors per month to, last month, having 2,606 organic visitors. That’s well over a 1,000% increase in traffic. This all happened in less than 6 months.

The best part? The traffic is really high-quality and targeted and is actually leading to month-over-month increases in real sales.

3. Power Wizard (owned by a Fortune 100 Company)

Power Wizard spent over a million dollars last year on display ads that weren’t working. They were EXTREMELY confused on how to drive traffic to their site that would convert.

In the first 2 months of working together, I have analyzed the industry and discovered, at a high-level, what other competitors were doing. I found out what was working, what wasn’t working, and how to reach their goals.

I created a detailed SEO & content strategy. In the first two months, my team of military spouses has produced more than 25 pieces of content (at least 2,500 words each, which is more than 60,000 words total) for their website. These content pieces are already driving real traffic organically, something they’ve never had before.

Again, I’m new to UpWork. But, I’ve been getting results for businesses just like yours for years now.

I’d be honored to help you grow your business exponentially.

Step 3: Join Different Facebook Communities

Facebook can be a great resource for leads, networking with potential clients, and marketing yourself as a freelance writer. 

Connecting with like-minded entrepreneurs can also be a helpful source of encouragement and new ideas, as well as providing a sense of community in a field that can often become very isolating. 

Some of the groups you should consider joining include:

  • Local business groups
  • Job boards
  • Freelance writer groups
  • Copywriter groups
  • Niche groups
  • Goal-setting groups
  • Personal growth & development groups

Step 4: Join Local Networking Communities

In addition to online networking, you should also consider becoming involved in a local networking community as well. 

In many cases, the demand for freelance writing locally is much larger than you realize. 

Tapping into this local market offers many advantages for you.

  • Creates local relationships to drive your networking goals forwards
  • Brings awareness of what you offer to local businesses
  • Forges personal connections and fosters a sense of community and support

One source for local networking opportunities is BNI.com. BNI offers thousands of local chapters worldwide for Business networking and referrals. 

Another local networking source is Meetup.com. Meetup is a platform for building local communities. Meetups are organized around both business and personal special interests and provide a great opportunity for connecting with local like-minded individuals.

You Now Have Clients - So, How Do You Write Amazing Content?

In order to become a successful freelance writer, you need to understand that being an amazing writer is not enough.

You’ve got to focus on content marketing. 

Content marketing is defined as a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material such as videos, blogs, and social media posts, that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.

When you focus on content marketing, you are able to shift your focus towards writing content that is valuable, relevant, engaging, and meets the needs of your audience.

But, how do you pinpoint the needs of your audience?

It all begins with research.

1. Understand Your Client’s Target Audience

Before you can begin creating content, it’s important to first identify and understand your client’s target audience. 

The better you understand your target audience and their unique needs, the more likely you are to create content that is relevant and engaging for this audience. 

Although this step can be a bit time-consuming in the beginning, it will save you a tremendous about of time and wasted effort in the long run. 

You could create the most epic piece of content ever known to man, but if it doesn’t meet the needs of your client’s audience, it’s essentially worthless in providing any real value to the client. 

Once you understand exactly who your target audience is, you are able to very carefully narrow the focus of your content and craft pieces that will really resonate with your audience.

How To Build a Buyer Persona To Truly Connect With The Reader

The best way to truly get to know your target audience is through the creation of a buyer persona

Creating a really strong buyer persona is beneficial because:

  • It allows you to better target potential customers
  • It allows you to create better content and messages that will resonate well with your target audience 
  • It provides a larger Return of Investment (ROI) to the client, which translates into continued work for you. 

While the concept behind creating a buyer persona is a simple one, the process is not easy. 

While buyer personas are fictional representations of your client’s customer base, they should not be created based on assumptions or made-up information. 

It is important that this buyer persona is created based on factual data, ideally obtained directly from your client’s customer discovery.

The steps for creating a strong buyer persona are as follows:

  1. Determine exactly who the buyer is and how they spend their time.
  2. Determine the types of problems the buyer has.
  3. Determine the “language’ the buyer speaks.
  4. Determine the type of content the buyer is looking for.
  5. Determine what will prompt the buyer to take action.

Build a Brand Playbook for Each Of Your Clients

After building a strong buyer’s persona for your client, the next step is to create a brand playbook. 

If you’re new to the world of freelance writing, you might be wondering…

What is a brand playbook?

Simply put, a brand playbook is a document that establishes protocol and guidelines for how a brand, or company, is marketed. 

When done well a brand playbook should clearly explain who the company is, what their brand voice is, how you can create powerful content to help drive traffic towards their website, and how to best meet the needs of their target audience.

How to Build a Brand Playbook

As you begin to build a brand playbook for a new client, keep in mind that the playbook is a work in progress that can and will evolve over time as you gain a better understanding of what the client wants and what resonates best with the client’s target audience. 

When creating a brand playbook, some components to consider including are:

  • A brief overview of the company
  • Identification of the client’s competition
  • Differentiating factors between the client and their competition
  • Details explaining why the company exists and what problems they aim to solve
  • Details explaining how the company works
  • The client’s vision and content strategy
  • The type of content the client is looking for
  • Ideas about how to “spice up” the content
  • The ideal structure of the content
  • Other notes or points to keep in mind for this client
  • Results, once you’ve had time to evaluate them

2. For Website Content, Write With Short, Choppy Sentences & Paragraphs

Writing content for websites is an entirely different ballgame from academic writing. 

The online world is fast-paced and the attention span of your audience is usually minute. If your content doesn’t grab their attention within the first couple of seconds, chances are high that they will keep on scrolling by.

The more scannable and easy to read the content is, the more likely it is to actually be read

When reading online content, few people are reading word for word. Most often, their eyes are quickly scanning, seeking out keywords related to their specific need.

If the reader can’t quickly and easily find what they’re looking for, they are going to move on.

One of the best ways to increase the readability of your content is through the use of short, choppy sentences and paragraphs. 

Avoid adding too much fluff, complicated jargon, or sentences that are super complex or technical. 

Break the text up as much as possible. Adding subheaders is a great way to do this.

Add more white space, which is simply the white areas between and around your text. White space helps provide a better user experience. It’s easier on the eyes and actually helps the reader focus and digest the text more easily. 

Employing other techniques, such as strategically using italics and bold text, as well as breaking up text-heavy paragraphs into bullet points or lists will also improve the overall readability of your content as well.

How To Keep Your Clients Happy (And Continuously Paying You)

While your client may initially be pleased with your content, at the end of the day what really matters are the results.

If you aren’t able to clearly illustrate that your content is generating the desired results for your client, your client isn’t going to be happy.

If your client isn’t happy, they aren’t going to continue paying you.

If you aren’t getting paid, you’re going to be sad.

Don’t be sad. Make sure you know how to concisely and effectively communicate your results to your client.

You Have to Show Data That What You’re Doing is Working

Creating a successful content marketing strategy is the single best way to keep your clients coming back for more. 

But how can you, or your client, know with 100% certainty that your content marketing strategy is successful?

At the end of the day, you have to be able to show your clients that what you’re doing is working. You want your clients to clearly see the value you provide as well as the ROI they are getting as a result of your efforts.

The single best way to clearly illustrate the success of your work is with data.

For Blogging, Show Website Traffic, Conversions, SEO Rankings, etc

When evaluating the success of your content marketing strategy, you’re going to want to focus on KPIs.

Wondering what a KPI is?

A KPI, or Key Performance Indicator, is a set of metrics that give qualitative data about how well a company is achieving its main business objectives. 

Now you’re probably wondering…

What are the best KPIs to use?

Unfortunately, that’s a bit of a trick question because there really is no “best KPI”. The best KPIs for one client will be different from what’s best for another client because the clients’ objectives will differ. 

Some helpful KPIs to consider, depending on the client’s objectives, include:

  • Search Engine Ranking
  • SERP CTR (click-through rate)
  • Organic traffic
  • Other forms of traffic
  • Time on page
  • Leads
  • Sales
  • Blog comments
  • Social shares
  • Blog subscribers
  • Backlinks

You have several options for evaluating the overall performance of your content marketing strategy and generating valuable reports for your clients. 

  • Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free tool that provides a wide variety of metrics based on recorded website data. If you are new to Google Analytics, they offer Google Analytics for Beginners, which walks new users through the process of creating an account and navigating the system. 

Some of the metrics evaluated by Google Analytics include:

    • Sessions and users
    • New and returning visitors
    • Bounce rate
    • Time on page
    • Organic vs. paid sessions
    • Average session duration
    • Goal conversion rate
  • Google Search Console

Google Search Console is another free tool offered by Google that monitors how a website is viewed by Google and helps you optimize your client’s online presence.

Some of the best ways to use Google Search Console are: 

    • Learning the common keywords people use to find the site
    • Identifying the site’s most popular pages
    • Find out where site visitors are coming from
    • Verifying that your content displays well on mobile devices
    • Checking for broken links
    • Finding out which sites are linking back to you
  • Agency Analytics

Agency Analytics is a paid tool, however, they do offer a free trial. 

With Agency Analytics you are able to create a custom dashboard consisting of your preferred widgets, which you can then share with anyone of your choosing. 

Agency Analytics also gives you the ability to generate an unlimited number of reports, complete with your own logo and branding.

Just a few of the reports options include: 

    • Backlinks
    • Search engine positions
    • SERPs
    • Keyword ranking
    • Traffic
    • Visitor count

Now That You Know What To Do, Get To Work!

As you can see, nothing about the process of becoming a freelance writer is hard, but it does take a certain amount of time, commitment, and hard work

Now that you are armed with the know-how, it’s time to get started.

Create your plan of attack based on the steps provided in this guide. 

Put it in writing. 

Wake up every morning feeling confident and ready to crush the day.

Take massive action.

Do the work.

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