How One Simple Thing Turned Into $1k of Freelance Writing Business

How rockin’ would it be to earn an extra $1K in less than 3 weeks – from a brand new client?

Almost sounds a bit crazy eh?

I don’t know about you, but I typically average around $500 per month from each of my recurring blogging clients. So, how did I double this with a  client I recently landed?

How One Simple Thing Turned Into $1k of Freelance Writing Business

I didn’t raise my rates.

I didn’t land a copywriting gig – although I’m itching to do some copywriting in the future.

I didn’t even land a recurring gig.

This gig is on-demand and ghostwritten. Pretty standard for freelance writing. So, how did I do it?

I’ve Never Talked About This Before

When I think of what it takes to be a successful freelance writer, I typically think of:

  • Dedication
  • Passion
  • Persistence
  • Strong marketing ability
  • Social presence
  • The right attitude to make it as a freelance writer

But, I never considered – or even talked about – basic professionalism as a key to success. It’s always a given in my book. I don’t know about you, but I want to wow my clients. I want to be their go-to writer when they need a blog post or article written.

I must be doing something right – because my clients are obviously impressed by me.

So, I was surprised how a simple thing I was doing for this client turned into a big payout.

Want to know what it was?

I made sure to be prompt.

That was it.

I was available.

Being There At the Right Time

The agreement I had with this new client was on an ad hoc basis. He has a team of writers working for him so I figured I would get an assignment maybe once a month.

The client requested an ad hoc piece right away, which I agreed to write, while I continued working on other client work. Then, a little while later, I received this email:

prompt-email

Even though I was quite busy at the time, I jumped at the opportunity.

I said sure, no problem, and eventually this turned into the client asking me to write several posts over the month. I didn’t turn down work.

One writer quitting for the client turned into a $1K writing opportunity for me.

How’s that for being prompt and available?

Is That All It Takes?

I’m a busy WAHM.

Now that I’m in the midst of potty training my twin toddlers, my time is split between potty duty and client work.

But, even though my days are full, I do my best to balance work and life. I work a little bit every day. There are many freelance writers that clock in at 8 am and clock out at 5 pm. They take the weekends off and don’t answer their work email until Monday morning.

Kudos to them. But, if a client emails me on a Sunday morning, I’ll be sure to get back to them within the day. And, if they ask me to do a rush job, you bet I will do my best to say yes.

Established freelance writers may think differently. I’ve only done this a year so I’m eager to grow my business and make freelance writing viable.

I’m also only working part-time most days, so every day I play with my children, cook their meals, do the laundry and write for my clients. I slip in social media throughout the day, but there will be days where I don’t even check my Twitter or Facebook.

It all evens out for me. When my children go to school, I’ll be able to structure my day more like from 8am-3pm, but for now, I’m fine with my splintered schedule.

I do feel obligated to be prompt and available to my clients because I only have very limited time during the day to work. I’m still new and want to make my mark in this business, and being available helps me achieve this.

What This Means For You

What’s so great about professionalism is that anyone can do it, especially if you are starting out as a freelance writer.

Doing these little things can help you stand out when you don’t have a portfolio or testimonials yet. So, don’t ever think no one’s going to hire you because you’re new to freelance writing. With a killer pitch, a persistent attitude and professionalism in the bag, you will land a client in no time.

And to help you out, here are some other ways you can show your professionalism to a new client:

  • Exceed those deadlines – hand in your work days before it’s due. Clients will definitely notice how keen you are and may be inclined to give you more work.
  • Respond to emails right away (or as soon as you can) – clients can come from all over the world, so when they shoot off an email to you, respond quickly.
  • Go the extra mile for clients – I often ask clients if they want me to upload my post into their WordPress site. More times than not, clients tell me what a big help that is. Another thing I often do is include a feature image in my service package. This is what one client told me after I uploaded a featured image (flat design):

kudos page wiz

Get Out There Today

I would never have thought being prompt would pay off so big. But, it goes to show that we are all just people. People want to be treated with respect.

So, if you’re new to freelance writing this one simple thing can really skyrocket your business. Be that writer that’s available, respond to your emails right away and always put your best foot forward.

Now it’s your turn – do you have a simple thing that’s helped you succeed in your freelance writing business? I’d like to hear about it!

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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29 Comments

This right here was the number one thing people complimented me on as an intern. Thanks for rolling it over to my new start as a freelance writer!Reply to Grace
Hi Grace! That’s great to hear! Being prompt and professional goes a long way for sure!Reply to admin
Hi Elna, I just stumbled on your blog from Pinterest. I am truly inspired by this post, and your work in general. I’m also a mom who needs to find time here and there to get my writing in, as I have three children (ages 6, 4, and 2) at home with me. We are homeschoolers, so the time issue is huge for me. Knowing you are potty training twins, freelance writing part-time, and still making a full-time income gives me encouragement to keep at it. Thank you! Yours, MarianaReply to Mariana
Hi Mariana! Let me just say you are a super mom! Homeschooling children is truly inspiring and amazing. I could never do that, but I applaud moms who do. Yes, time is a HUGE issue for WAHMs. I’m in the middle of cleaning my house and just took a break and replying to this comment. Then I’m back to cleaning the house before lunch,then nap and then I can actually work on my business. It’s busy, but I wouldn’t have any other way. Thanks for letting me know you found me via Pinterest.Reply to Elna
No problem! I just signed up for your mailing list, and I’m enjoying going through the tips. Thanks for all the great content! Talk soon, MarianaReply to Mariana
Thank you so much Elna for sharing the trick. I too try to be always available or whenever possible. Thanks a lot for sharing 🙂Reply to Unaiza
That is so good Elna, I do understand that a lot of other freelance writers would have turned down that offer all in the name of being busy but then, they will also be leaving the money on the table right? Its good you took the opportunity and also was able to deliver, this will certainly help to cement your relationship with the client the more. Thanks for sharing.Reply to Theodore
You have given a lot of tips for successful freelance writing, Elna. I, myself, worked as a freelance writer for various websites and always tried my best to deliver what the clients asked and more. I would use all the tips that you mentioned, but right now, I am taking a break from freelance writing to work on my own projects.Reply to Arbaz
That’s great Arbaz, Glad you are using these tips and it’s helping you succeed in your own business. It surprises me that many freelance writers don’t even consider going beyond what is asked for. If you’re new then it’s a good idea to go above what is asked so you can have those glowing testimonials as social proof on your site. Good luck on your own projects – are they freelance writing related? – and thanks for stopping by!Reply to Elna
I’m so proud of how far you have come, Elna! Congratulations on your latest accomplishment! 😀Reply to Lorraine
Thanks Lorraine! You’ve done great with your career and am over the moon you landed 2 guest posts on ProBlogger! Way to go. You are an accomplishment in whatever you do. Thanks and looking forward to chatting it up with you at Starbucks!Reply to Elna
You are right on Elna! In my almost 30 years as a real estate appraiser, I got clients because I was willing to go the extra mile. I would show up at an unusual time for an appointment because that’s what their customer needed. I’d burn the midnight oil for rush jobs. I’d take reduced fees because that was all the could collect. But those clients would continue to send me more work because I was reliable and flexible. Now I try to apply that same philosophy to freelancing. You can’t do it with every job (nor should you), but it will be remembered and rewarded.Reply to Vicky
Wow Vicky, you are a go-getter. But I bet you are super successful, right? I love your examples of going the extra mile. While I fiercely protect my time with my children, I do my best to work around my day and accommodate my clients. If I need child care because I have an interview, I will ask my in-laws to help out. I will find time in my day to finish that rush job or try to land a new client. I do all this because I know in the long run, I’ll earn more money and grow my business so that I don’t have to worry about having enough money to pay the bills.Reply to Elna
Elna, your advice is awesome as always! I am so excited to begin our coach/student adventure! I have already learned so much from your posts! As for going the extra mile, I completely agree. It’s what sets us apart in any profession!Reply to Cheri
Hey Cheri! I’m super excited too to get in touch and start helping you succeed! I’ve helped other ladies and I know I can help you with your freelance writing! Looking forward to our first consultation. Yes, going the extra mile is key to succeeding. Some feel it’s “kissing up” to a client, but I don’t think so. Often my clients are eternally grateful for the extra work I put in. It’s a load off their back and makes their day less hectic. Thanks for stopping by!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna! Your freelance journey and your thoughts never fail to inspire and motivate. And it’s a wonderful way to end a hectic day; your post definitely brightened things up. 🙂 I completely agree with going that extra mile. I’ve heard the advice of not working during the weekend so you don’t sound desperate and clients respect you, but if your life is jam-packed with other obligations.. there’s almost no other way. Glad to know you embrace that, too!Reply to Ralitsa
Hi Ralista! Thanks for coming over! Glad I made your hectic day end great! ha. Every day for me is super hectic and loud. I honestly think I’m losing my hearing because of how loud my twins are during the day! 🙂 I can see your point about not working weekends. But, if your client is emailing you on weekends, it probably means he won’t view you as desperate if you work on weekends too! Usually my clients email me on weekends if they need something important. I actually have one client where their weekend starts on Thursday and ends on Saturday. So they start the week on Sunday. So, I feel if you’re a freelancer, weekends are optional but don’t completely go black on the weekend! Well, I’m sure you can take a break of course…you know what I mean!Reply to Elna
Being professional seems like the most natural thing ever, but it is amazing how many people aren’t. I’m not a freelance writer, but the idea is the same for anything that is done as a freelancer. Love your site and content. Bookmarking you in case I ever need a content writer! 😀 RhodaReply to Rhoda
Hey Rhoda! I know what you mean. Professionalism is totally natural, but for some reason it doesn’t come naturally to some. For freelance writers, we are a service based business so our professionalism ties in to our success. Thanks for considering my content services. I’m available 🙂Reply to Elna
Hi Elna! This is my first (but not last!) visit to your blog. I found you at #bloggingboosters and am really enjoying your site. What a simple concept: being willing and available. And what gains you got from that. Sometimes we need to recognize an opportunity when it presents itself. Great info and I’m sharing it on Twitter.Reply to Melanie
Hey Melanie! I love #bloggingboosters! I meet so many new bloggers out there it’s awesome! I’m planning on doing a blogging article next week so keep your eyes out for that! Thanks for being a supporter of my blog!Reply to Elna
I’m always surprised when an editor thanks me for being prompt. I can’t imagine dragging my feet on an assignment. Hello, this is what we’re paid to do, right? An editor of mine told me it took her three days to get one writer to change 3 words in the piece. Three days of back and forth arguments. No thank you. My first jobs were in customer service positions, and I know that in order to have repeat business, you need to make the client, editor, and/or publisher happy. There’s no reasons *NOT* to be prompt when you get a request. Even if the response is, “I’m ‘out of the office’ (so to speak), I will get you an answer by tomorrow” helps foster a good working relationship.Reply to Michaela
Hi Michaela, I know what you mean! It’s a given in my book to be prompt, but for some reason, many freelance writers aren’t prompt! Like you mentioned in your example, taking three days to change a few words is a big no-no. Yeah, I was surprised that this new client asked me several times this month to write some pieces. I’m a new writer on his staff, so for him to ask me says a lot about his writers.Reply to Elna
Hey Elna I’m really glad to read ur articles &I’m really inspired by you. I want you to help also in landing clients. Plz guide me from where can I get blogging clients. I’m already working for a company but I want to expand my work.Reply to Afaf
Hi Afaf, I think the best way for you to land clients is to start building samples for your portfolio. My free email course Get Paid to Write Online goes through figuring out your niche, building your samples, pitching and landing work. Check it our if you haven’t already! Or, if you need some personal help I do offer coaching!Reply to Elna
Great insights on the importance of being professional Elna! When other writers have let a client down being present is a great way to make a positive impression. It shows that you always have their best interest in mind. You are willing to go the extra mile and put them first instead of just talking about it. Thank you for sharing your insights 🙂Reply to Sofi
Hi Sofi, Thanks so much! I know there is a fine balance between taking on too much work and always saying, “yes” to everything. But, for me, I just passed my first year of freelance writing, so I’m in my infancy stage right now. So, to grow I need to be available as much as possible. I need to secure great testimonials and connect with a variety of influencers to help my business. So, being prompt is important! Thanks again.Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, You’ve mentioned a valuable point. Being prompt is surely one positive step to get more work, especially when the client has no one to fall back on. I’ve been ghost writing since a couple of years, but I’m still critical of my own work the way I was when I started writing. It has helped me see the minor faults which would otherwise get passed on as excellent work. It also helps maintain my standard of writing and constantly have work even during lean periods. PatriciaReply to Patricia
Hi Patricia! I know what you mean about being over critical with your work. There’s one freelance writer and I’m in awe of her. Her writing appears so effortless with a mix of conversational elements but commanding authority. It’s something I want to achieve! I know my weakness is being too wordy and I struggle with that. But, that’s why you have to edit, edit and keep on editing, right? Yes, I was surprised being prompt turned up to a big payout. This client, though, had other writers to fall back on (at a lower rate than what I asked for), yet she asked me. It’s good to know, something as simple and small as being prompt can help boost your freelance writing business!Reply to Elna