Welcome to day 12 of my 12 Days of Freelance Writing series. You can view the whole series here.
Feel like you can’t gain traction on your business because you believe there is too much freelance writing competition?
The truth is that there are a lot of freelance writers, but there is always room for more. Look at your typical day, how many words did you consume? From the copy on your bag of coffee, to the Instagram feeds you scrolled through, to the interesting article (or five) you read – and that’s just before 8 a.m.!
Yes, There is a Need for Your Writing Business
We are surrounded by thousands of words each day and most of them are composed by a freelance writer. Every business and website you see could benefit from a freelance writer. Even the busy author who publishes her own books could use help with email copy or Facebook ads. The site that puts out 5 to 10 new articles a day needs a huge team of writers, a content manager, editor, email marketing, ad copywriters, web copywriters, and social media writers all to make one site run like it does. Have I convinced you that there is still a need for freelancers?
Digital marketing means that words get old faster and readers want new information to consumer daily, if not hourly. Successful companies must rely on good writers to build trust with their customers. Companies that have not focused on their content marketing plan are most likely not seeing the profits they want to see.
Change Your Mindset
As a personal finance writer, I know the top writers in my field. I know which companies pick them up and how much most of them bring in a year. It can feel overwhelming trying to compete with them especially since most of them are not on full-time mom/homeschool duty.
But that’s the thing. I don’t need to compete with them. And you don’t have to compete with others in your niche either.
If you have the mindset that you will never get work or that there is not enough work for you, then you are right. If you are going to stick with that negative mindset then don’t be surprised when you have negative results.
I know a lot of writers are into some mindset chants or what not. That’s not me. Instead, I just believe that there are unlimited opportunities available and that through enough hustle and exposure, I will get the writing jobs I need.
Change Your Stomping Grounds
Still think your niche is overcrowded?
You don’t need to change your niche; you just need to get to know your ideal client better.
For example, say you wanted to write about pet health. There might only be 30 outlets online, and you feel like you exhausted them all. Pet health isn’t profitable, you think. I should ditch the niche.
Just because you aren’t getting the traction you want with pet magazines and websites does not mean pet health is a dead industry.
Instead of looking for pet places that are hiring writers, you need to start looking for the big pockets that are profiting off of pet owners. Here are just a few: vets, online pet stores, pet food, pet toys, pet tech, pet sitting services, pet vitamins, pet meds, etc. That should give you over 1,000 leads to pitch just there.
Change Your Offerings
If it still feels like there is too much freelance writing competition, change what you are offering. Instead of offering everything under the sun or generic blog post, pick one form of writing that you enjoy the most. Do you enjoy writing emails? Perhaps you are a pro with course creation or ad copy.
By narrowing your focus, you can command a higher rate and attract the right type of client for you. Maybe you are an insurance expert but the thought of writing long-form articles on policies makes you want to poke your eyes out. What about fun and helpful social media prompts that make people want to follow an insurance agent? Local agents might not want to shell out thousands for regular articles, but they might be more willing to pay you for managing their social accounts and gaining them leads.
When you zoom into one type of writing offering, you get your ideal client to think twice. For example, a dentist might turn you down to blog writing because she doesn’t think her customers will read the blog or perhaps, she enjoys writing them herself. Offer her a better email strategy, and she might be more inclined to listen and open up her wallet since sending emails rubs her the wrong way.
But if the dentist needs email marketing, why wouldn’t she say so if you offered her your general writing services? Simply put, out of sight; out of mind.
Think of it this way. You just ate dinner an hour ago. I come up to you and tell you that I am a great cook and can make you a sandwich. “A sandwich? No thanks. I’m stuffed,” you might say and wave me away. However, if I approached you and said, “I know you just had a great meal, but would you care for a small cookie or bowl of ice cream to finish off your night?” Your answer might be completely different.
In my head, I might think, “I’m a chef. I could have made you a cookie if you asked for it when you turned down my sandwich.” But you didn’t know cookies were on the table. You didn’t know that you needed or even wanted a cookie.
Bingo! The same principle applies for writing. If you struggle opening new business doors, try a new key – i.e. a focused type of writing.
Here are just a few types of focused writing you can offer:
- Social media posts (and you can even just focus on 1-2 platforms)
- Ad copy (again, you can just focus on Google ads or Facebook ads. No need to offer it all.)
- Email marketing
- Sales page copy
- SEO-driven descriptions for Youtube channels
- Funnel copy
- Course copy
- Video copy
- Product descriptions
- About me page
- Blog posts
- Long-form posts
- Guest posts (i.e. other companies pay you to write guest post for influential blogs)
- Revisions/content refreshes
- Emailing brands/sponsorship reach out
Saying that freelance writing competition is keeping you from succeeding is just another excuse. If you want to win more clients as a freelancer, then you need think outside of the box and get creative.
Start with the mindset that everyone needs a writer, and that should open your eyes to many opportunities you were missing before.