Question / Discussion Freelance Writing Work

OCTOPUS

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I'm another one looking to get into freelance writing. I'm doing a College of Media & Publishing Level 4 Diploma, its going well so far. Interesting what others have said about not bidding too low, I've heard this before and I could imagine falling this loophole easily. Thanks MagicMonkey for your advice as well. Dont know when I'm going to finish my course, but I'm hoping to be earning some money from copywriting by the end of the year.
 

EdibleDormouse

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I'm just going to jump in with a really good piece of advice I was given early on - don't say you're inexperienced, don't say you're just starting out, don't say you're trying to get your foot in the door. Just tell your clients why you can do a really good job for them (plenty of knowledge about the subject, writing qualification etc.) and get that bid in. If they ask for examples (which they almost certainly will), then it's up to you at that point how honest you are, or whether you want to tell a white lie that all your experience so far has been with a content mill (e.g. Copify and the like) and you can't point them directly to examples, or whether your previous writing has been done in house at a job (and ditto, because intellectual property, etc.).

Yes, you'll speed up as you do more and get more clients, but otherwise your writing style is pretty much your writing style. Have a look at a few company blogs for the kind of company you'd like to write for, and make a note of voice, style, content, length etc.

You might also want to think if there's anything you're not comfortable writing - either subject matter, or type of communication. I won't touch press releases, for example (they make me want to punch myself in the face and take me about an hour a word), nor anything that I'm not ethically on board with.

Good luck, all. There seems to be quite a lot out there at the moment, and with the vast majority of businesses still working remotely, I don't think there's ever been a better time to start.
 

Karonher

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I used to work on Freelancer but it could be very hit and miss. Once or twice I did not get paid and was sometimes told it was not the standard they wanted but the client would pay half. When I said not to bother I would sell it elsewhere, they paid the full amount.
 
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EdibleDormouse

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Ooh, just another thing that applies to People Per Hour in particular - don't start work until the FULL amount (or if it's a longer job, up to the first agreed milestone) is sitting in escrow.

Having been royally stiffed last summer for £200 by a client I'd worked for on two previous occassions with no trouble whatsoever (instant payments, perfect feedback etc.), I don't care who it is any longer, and whether it's a £10 "could you just proofread this letter for me?" or not. I now don't start work until there's an accepted proposal and the full fee sitting with PPH.

I'll stop spamming this board now.
 
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Jon

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of all the sites I always find Fiverr and PeoplePerHour to be the be the worst in terms of people putting up offers of wanting say 2000 words for £8 sort of rubbish

Though to be fair I see that a lot on upwork as well!
 

EdibleDormouse

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of all the sites I always find Fiverr and PeoplePerHour to be the be the worst in terms of people putting up offers of wanting say 2000 words for £8 sort of rubbish

Though to be fair I see that a lot on upwork as well!
You'll get the odd shirty chancer who'll be rude about you quoting £100 (minimum) for 2000 words when their stated budget is £8, but quite often it's because they simply don't have a clue about the amount of work involved. I know it's not our job to educate - there's money to be earned for a start! - but sticking to your guns and politely offering to be there to work for them in future pays dividends. Quite a few of my clients went with the cheaper option for their first job, then came back to me afterwards!

Upwork is a sewer. Got the first job I ever pitched for there several years ago, and the client did a runner.
 

Jon

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I would also remember that SEO copywriting and PROPER copywriting tend to be different things.

The former being 'rustle up 500 word blog post about cars and include this backlinks' with the latter requires a lot more research.
 

Jon

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Just a bit more advice.

As you go on your journey and you build up some good examples of content you've written make sure you share that with potential new clients so they understand the tone / topics etc you can write about with confidence.

I can't count how many times at Content Conga we've been asked to show articles of our work as it's a great way to show you are some sort of 'fly my night' content provider!
 
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MagicMonkey

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I would also remember that SEO copywriting and PROPER copywriting tend to be different things.

The former being 'rustle up 500 word blog post about cars and include this backlinks' with the latter requires a lot more research.
Sorry to contradict you a bit on this but SEO and proper copywriting are the same thing these days - the 500 blog post model with keywords hasn't worked for a very long time now. (Average position 1 ranking page is now 2000+ words)

Don't get me wrong i'm sure people are still trying this as they are firmly in the past but it doesn't work - the move now is definitely towards high quality, long form, keyword optimised content for both SEO and what you're calling PROPER copywriting. (I'm Head of SEO for a marketing agency).

If i was trying to stand out and earn good money i'd be looking to develop this skill set as the way to earn the most money as people who can do this style of copywriting are in high demand.
 
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Jon

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Sorry to contradict you a bit on this but SEO and proper copywriting are the same thing these days - the 500 blog post model with keywords hasn't worked for a very long time now. (Average position 1 ranking page is now 2000+ words)

Don't get me wrong i'm sure people are still trying this as they are firmly in the past but it doesn't work - the move now is definitely towards high quality, long form, keyword optimised content for both SEO and what you're calling PROPER copywriting. (I'm Head of SEO for a marketing agency).

If i was trying to stand out and earn good money i'd be looking to develop this skill set as the way to earn the most money as people who can do this style of copywriting are in high demand.
See for me (at least) I would say PROPER copywriting is maybe writing a feature article for a travel website or magazine.

SEO copywriting to me is ' write this article and insert this backlink naturally)

I agree the lines are getting blurred and that the demand is there which is why Content Conga works with no many SEO agencies now because they content at a decent price which sadly they don't seem to get from the likes of Fiverr these days paying as low as possible
 

rninja

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@Jon, when producing work for Fiverr/PPH etc, what format do you produce the written content in? Is it just send a Google Docs link or document over?

And are Fiverr/PPH/Fivesquid the best platforms to get started?
 

Jon

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@Jon, when producing work for Fiverr/PPH etc, what format do you produce the written content in? Is it just send a Google Docs link or document over?

And are Fiverr/PPH/Fivesquid the best platforms to get started?
Google doc / word document / pages document - basically anything really

those platforms are good ones to get you off to the races
 
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rninja

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Google doc / word document / pages document - basically anything really

those platforms are good ones to get you off to the races
Great thanks. How important is choice of username on those platforms?
Wanna try content writing, but with a view to diversify if needed.

..._services

Would that be alright?
 

Jon

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Great thanks. How important is choice of username on those platforms?
Wanna try content writing, but with a view to diversify if needed.

..._services

Would that be alright?
yeah anything around services / content with the name can't go wrong!
 
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Jon

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Finally got my first decent paying gig on PPH for some gambling content that needed doing!

Those PPH Fees though!!!
 

EdibleDormouse

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Finally got my first decent paying gig on PPH for some gambling content that needed doing!

Those PPH Fees though!!!
They're absolutely murderous (and used to be worse, if you can believe that!). I've got a couple of VERY long-standing clients where years and years of orders mean we're now on the lowest rate, but it's still a massive swipe out of your fee for sweet fanny adam.
 

Jon

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They're absolutely murderous (and used to be worse, if you can believe that!). I've got a couple of VERY long-standing clients where years and years of orders mean we're now on the lowest rate, but it's still a massive swipe out of your fee for sweet fanny adam.
it's absolutely criminal! Up there with the bloomin Upwork Connects!!
 

EdibleDormouse

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it's absolutely criminal! Up there with the bloomin Upwork Connects!!
I wouldn't mind if they actually a) booted creepy 'clients' who slide into my DMs looking for a bit more than a blog post, b) chased the former client who disappeared into thin air owing me £200, or c) acted a bit quicker on fake jobs phishing for people for "incredible new opportunities".

But what do they offer for those fees? Flap all.
 

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