4 Keys to Attracting Your Ideal Freelance Writing Client

Are you a freelance writer without a clue about how to attract your ideal client?

It seems like your only mission is to accept any paid work that comes your way – whether it’s a $.04/word writing gig for a history blog site or a $.20/word writing gig about the Paleo lifestyle.

They’re interested? I’ll take it (even though you hate historical events and love your carbs).

4 Keys to Attracting Your Ideal Freelance Writing Client

At this point, all you want is a recurring writing gig with a client who consistently pays, enjoys your work and actually recommends you.

But instead, the clients you do have either don’t correspond with you for weeks on end or they avoid paying you for months.

Or worse yet, you end up taking a writing gig you know you shouldn’t have.

Face it:

None of these clients value you as a strategic partner in their content marketing plan.

What’s wrong with this picture? Why aren’t you consistently landing great clients?

It’s time for you to quit writing for just anyone or for anything anymore. It’s time to only write for your ideal client.

Let Me Tell You Something…

I’ve been doing this for a while now and I have some of the best clients (for my situation), but it took a couple bad seeds to arrive at this conclusion.

What I learned is, there are four areas of your freelance writing business that can work to help attract your ideal freelance writing client.

If you have all four perfectly aligned, I can guarantee, your ideal client will be coming to you. It happened to me, and it will happen to you.

Don’t expect it to happen right away; for me, it took nearly 6 months until my version of an ideal client started approaching me.

If you simply need help with getting any client, check out some of these great posts:

I’m all for snagging, attracting and landing clients. I mean, aren’t you?

What is Your Ideal Freelance Writing Client?

I bet we all have similar ideals when it comes to the ultimate freelance writing client, right?

A writing client must:

  • Pay my rate or higher
  • Answer my emails within a reasonable time frame (and doesn’t require extra meetings or phone calls, i.e. non-billable hours)
  • Pay me on time every time
  • Love my writing
  • Think about how great of a writer I am
  • Insist on paying me more

The last two points you can only hope a client will do, but it’s fun to think about!

In reality, a good client is one who values you as a writer. They understand your craft and realize all the work, time and research you do to produce awesome content for them doesn’t go unnoticed.

And what about a writing gig? What’s your ideal writing gig? Here is mine:

  • It’s something I enjoy writing about
  • It’s consistent at 1 post a week
  • It’s in my sweet spot of between 1000-2500 words
  • It features my author byline
  • It doesn’t require extensive research
  • It requires uploading to a CMS

Your ideal writing gig may be different than mine, but it’s something you should know before you start pitching to various job ads.

So, once you know what you want in a client and writing gig, how do you attract the perfect client? Here are 4 keys to unlocking your ideal freelance writing client.

1. Know Your Worth

If you are new to freelance writing, you may not know what to charge for your writing services. This isn’t a good thing for your business because if you can’t decide what you’re worth, you’re going to end up taking low-paying writing gigs.

What’s a low-paying writing gig in relation to your standard of living?

If you can live comfortably writing for $.05/word, then go with it. But, if you feel you are worth more (which you are), command a higher rate.

Your ideal rate will differ from others, but if you want a precise number, check out Tom Ewer’s post, How Much Should Freelancer Writers Charge Per Word?

For me, I charge a flat rate. But I do have clients below and higher than my standard rate (which goes against my advice I tell you later on).

Well, what about free writing gigs?

Another name for those types of gigs are guest posts. Guest posts are something entirely different and shouldn’t be off your list of potential writing gigs.

Guest posts are a great way to:

  • Increase your reach – Your post will reach a new audience and a new platform for promoting your services
  • Get in front of more people – If you guest post on a popular site with more traffic than your site, you have a better chance of landing writing gigs.
  • Develop your niche – Finding guest spots can help narrow down your niche or help you figure out what you enjoy writing about
  • Build your portfolio – For new freelance writers, this is a great way to add quality writing samples to your portfolio

So you see, it does pay to write for free – in this case.

When it doesn’t pay is when job ads require you to submit an original sample without compensation. Most likely they are finding ways to get free content and have no desire in hiring you.

How do you decide what you are worth?

  • Pick a range you are willing to write for. It’s best you set a range of “rate per word,” such as $.010-.20. Commit to this range and don’t go below this range.
  • With every new writing gig you land, try to increase your rate. It doesn’t have to be much, but it does have to be more. So, for our example, if your last writing gig was at $.08/word, ask $.10/word for your next gig. You may not get it – but – you may!
  • Learn to pass up writing gigs that don’t meet your criteria. This is hard because you probably feel you have to pitch to everything and anything, but if the pay is low and the wring requirements are high, it’s not worth your time .

2. Write in Your Niche

A niche, or your area of expertise, will quickly attract your ideal client. Figuring out what your niche is can be tricky, though.

When I first started freelance writing, my expertise was: special education and parenting. I had a hard time, however, finding paid work in those industries.

Many parenting blog sites that did require a blog writer only wanted to pay pennies. And, education job ads required a higher degree than I had and actual experience in things like designing educational curriculum for US children.

Over the course of writing for my blog and guest posting, I found I loved writing about:

  • Digital marketing (includes blogging)
  • Blogging

Most of my clients fall within these two categories though I do have other amazing clients in different niches.

So, once you narrow your focus it becomes easier to:

  • Find clients
  • Come up with blog topics and content
  • Earn a higher rate

When you only write for a few selected topics and industries, you suddenly become an expert in those areas. Clients seek out premium content from experienced writers.

3. Have a Professional Writer Website

Is your blog hosted on Blogger.com or WordPress.com? Using a free writer website will not attract your ideal client.

Clients are giving their money away and they want to know it’s in professional hands. A free site, instead, screams, “I’m a professional writer, but not sure if I’m going to make it so I’ll only put up a free site to see if it works.”

Having a professional writer website will definitely land you your ideal freelance writing client.

The only other way I see writers attracting their ideal client is to be an expert blogger first.

For example, Making Sense of Cents is a blog devoted to budgeting and financial tips. Michelle started her blog before she took on freelance writing gigs.

It was her blog that landed her clients. Her blog proved to online readers she was an expert in dishing out financial advice. With her MBA in finance and her personal experience of paying off her debt, she was able to attract her ideal clients.

Personally, I’m a freelance writer first and a blogger second.

I decided to build my freelance writing business above anything else.

Monetizing my blog, selling products etc.. are all things I did in the future, but I’m having fun scaling my freelance writing business and earning more every month.

Here are some ways to create a professional freelance writing website:

  • Have a professional looking headshot on your landing page.
  • Use a paid hosting service – check out this post to start your own website
  • Prove your credibility by showcasing where you’ve been writing (logos, links, portfolio)

Check out my Getting Paid to Write: Your Writer Website for some additional tips you can use.

4. Know Your Industry

As freelance writers, it’s our job to understand the online industry. From content marketing to blogging and knowing the latest SEO tactics, you have to know your profession.

This knowledge will show-off your expertise and credibility, drawing your ideal client to you instead of another writer.

If you are new to freelance writing and you want to keep up with your industry (as a digital marketing writer), check out these sites:

  1. Content Marketing Strategy – get the latest advice on everything about content marketing here.
  2. Kapost – geared towards B2B industries. Learn how businesses handle their content marketing and use this knowledge to help your clients.
  3. QuickSprout – Neil Patel has great advice for anything content related. Check out his guide on The Definitive Guide to Copywriting.
  4. BeaFreelanceBlogger – learn from the best bloggers about freelance writing and blogging.
  5. FreelancerFAQs – learn how to make it as a freelance writer and learn the skills to be a success.

Have Your Ideal Client Come to You

Using these four keys can attract your ideal client.

Spend some time figuring out your ideal freelance writing rate and start narrowing your focus to find your niche.

It’s your writer website, however that will make an impression on a prospect so provide the most import elements in an easy to navigate site.

Finally, when you stay up-to- date with your industry you add more credibility to your services showing your ideal client they need you for their content needs.

So, tell me, how did you attract your ideal client yet?

Click the Image Below and Land Your First Freelance Writing Client as a New Writer

Hi I'm Elna and I'm a freelance writer and mom blogger. I help people just like you become a profitable freelance writer. Within 6 months of starting my freelance writing business from scratch I was able to earn a full-time living as a part-time freelance writer while taking care of my twin toddlers. Check out my free email course Get Paid to Write Online and learn the steps you need to take to be a freelance writer.

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27 Comments

That was good, solid advice, Elna.Reply to Chris
thanks Elna. this is great work! thanks for your clean heart and willingness to enlighten us. i’ve really benefited from your informative posts. thanks!Reply to Nicholas
Elna, This is great. I am hoovering up your suggestions, experience, and knowledge! While I am a meditation teacher and yogi first, I am working to build surer foundations for my freelance writing work.Reply to Ishtar
Hi! As a meditation teacher, you can attract clients probably by doing webinars, FB live videos and other video marketing as your service is more visual! Good luck!Reply to Elna
In the works already 🙂 Thank you for your reply.Reply to Ishtar
I’m really excited to start having clients coming to me. I just got my first client and it took a lot of cold pitching before I got to this point. I’ll be sprucing up my pitch to see what works best in terms of getting a positive response from people. Let’s see how it goes, right?Reply to Lisa
Hi Elna: Great post! I find that trying to narrow down my niche is the tough part. My educational background and work experience fit into a few niches, and I have many hobbies that I’ve practiced for years, hobbies that have required extensive training, so I feel comfortable writing in these areas. Is it an advantage or disadvantage to have a broad spectrum of things to write about?Reply to Rebecca
Hi Rebecca! Thanks for stopping by. I feel there is a bit of a disadvantage to writing in multiple niches. I started out that way and I was generating income. However, it wasn’t until I niched down to one focus that I really was able to make a living from this!Reply to Elna
Hi, Elna! I found your post(s) through Pinterest. I’m a SAHM and am faced with daycare costs + working outside the home (which pretty much cancel each other out and take time away from my son for little to nothing) or continuing to stay home and find a work-from-home opportunity that truly works. Writing is something I’ve always had a passion for. I’d love to build a freelance business but am SO overwhelmed, I haven’t a clue how to get started. Any pointers? Thanks so much! Also, props to you for taking the bull by the horns and forging your own path! It’s an incredibly brave thing, IMO!Reply to Lindsay
Hi Lindsay! First of all, thank you thank and thank you for commenting! I love connecting with other SAHMs 🙂 It can be overwhelming to say the least! Now that my twins no longer nap and are old enough to enjoy doing activities and wanting to do them 24 hours a day, I find it hard to juggle everything too! But, there are ways to maximize your time as a writer (for example, batching and typing fast!!) that help me focus on my client work and get it written fast! Please email me if you want to talk more! [email protected]Reply to Elna
Hi Elna! A quick question about Contena. Is it advisable to join it if you’re a parttime freelance writer and are looking for just a couple of good paying gigs? How was your experience with it? I have its email to join and all but can’t make up my mind. Thanks a bunch!Reply to Nida
Hi Nida! Of course. You can use Contena as a part-time freelance writer. Not all the jobs are for full-time writers. What’s great is you can just look at jobs in your niche and that saves a lot of time for you 🙂Reply to Elna
Thanks Elna. Very useful post. I’m just starting out. reading the daily tutorials you send. You’re the best.Reply to Peter
Thanks Peter! Glad you found this post useful. Having an ideal client is the best!Reply to Elna
What can I say you’re on fire Elna!LOL! And I really love your excellent four tips. They are extremely practical and they really cut to the chase!You’re really pulling the curtain back and exposed where the holes are and how to effectively cover them! You’ve definitely helped a struggling newbie start to discover exactly how to move off center in a very meaningful way! Thanks!Reply to Mark
Hi Elna, great post! Though I have had some really good clients, everything has been rather haphazard and not related to any particular job, client or niche. Like Annette I too have been focussing more on getting a feel for improving my website and not enough on what I think will be(come) my niche. Some great tips and advice to really get all my ducks in a row, thanks!Reply to Mariken
Hi Mariken! Thanks for your comment. Getting your freelance writing website can be time consuming – you want everything right so much so, you end up forgetting about your niche! Finding your niche, or what you’re good at is also a long process, but the sooner you stick to something, the quicker it is to get paid for your writing! ElnaReply to Elna
Great post, Elna. I am still reeling over the client I sought out… at Babygaga… UGH. You know the story. I don’t need to re-hash it here. Now, I’m taking a break from freelancing to focus on my own books. Phew. I feel relieved already! 🙂Reply to Lorraine
LoL, oh I know all about Baby Gaga. I recently saw an add on ProBlogger from Gaga. It looked oh so innocent 🙂 I still think you should pursue more freelance writing – but you do have great success with your editing and ghostwriting services for authors. That’s a great niche to be in and something I don’t talk about on my blog since I don’t do that! Good luck on your much anticipated books! And looking forward to meeting you for our regular chit chat and coffee this week. ElnaReply to Elna
Hi Elna, Awesome post. Much needed for me at this time. If I am not wrong, I would like to congratulate you on your joining bloggingwizard. You are an awesome writer and your tips are surely actionable. Thanks a lot 🙂Reply to Swadhin
Thanks Swadhin, I really enjoy writing for BloggingWizard and indeed Adam is one of my ideal clients. Glad to know you enjoy my writing whether I’m dishing out blogging advice or freelance writing advice! Hope to see ya around! ElnaReply to Elna
I love this post, Elna. I, too, face challenges when trying to settle on a niche. I think it will take me a few more months to narrow this down. It’s possible that I spend too much time “perfecting” my writer site. I realize it will never be perfect, but I keep tweaking it…I’m not quite satisfied with it yet, but I hope that it will help me land some ideal clients soon. Thanks for the post, AnnetteReply to Annette
Anette! I know what you mean. Perfection can really stall our success. You just have to push it aside and say, it’s good enough. Once you narrow down your niche you will be able to find your ideal client. Be patient!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna! Great post! It took me what felt like forever to decide on a niche. I always felt like I was limiting myself and that others would pass on my services because they would think I don’t know how to do what they need. Though I have just recently decided on a niche, I don’t think that will be as much of a problem as I originally thought. Besides, my niche in Health Care is a HUGE industry. Surely, someone will need a writer’s services! LOLReply to Robbyn
Hi Robyn, Yeah, I had a hard time with my original niche of parenting/special education. It was only after I started my blog and learned about social media marketing that I really feel in love with digital marketing and branding. Good for you for picking your niche! It does sound like a lucrative niche! ElnaReply to Elna
Fantastic post, Elna! I’d also say that when you’re starting out, don’t be afraid to be a little flexible. You might find niches that you love writing in but never thought you’d be good at, so your idea of your ideal client might change if you’re willing to take a few chances here and there.Reply to Alicia
Thanks Alicia! You’re right, when you’re first starting out you need to find out what your niche is. That’s what happened to me – I thought I’d land lots of parenting clients, but haven’t yet. My favorite are digital marketing, career and health. I probably have too many niches, but I think digital marketing is associated with online business and career fits into that. And health is something I’ve always had a passion for and enjoy writing about it. Thanks for stopping by! ElnaReply to Elna