Welcome to the shallow end of the pool!
So, we’ve been going over preambles, questions to ask yourself (these are important, don’t get me wrong!) and all that happy go lucky bullcrap, let’s put some of this stuff into practice. In this blog post, I’m going to show you how to make money writing from day one.
It’s not going to be professional freelance wage, don’t get me wrong, but you’ll make some cash and (perhaps more importantly) start building samples and clips for your eventual portfolio. The images you’re going to see here taken in one day unless otherwise marked, just to illustrate the point that you can make a buck right away.
First, let’s talk about goals.
When you’re writing for money, you’re opening yourself up to the vast and wild world of the Internet marketing scene and all the antics that come with it. The Internet thrives on new content (and kitten images), so it’s no oversimplification to say that your skills (and the income earning potential of them) is virtually limitless.
So, start with a goal. How much do you want to earn a day? A week? A month?
Since we’re starting small (like my self-confidence), we’re going to set the relatively modest goal to build on. Remember, this is day one. There’s no reason on earth we can’t make more than this, but we’re assuming an absolute cold start.
Sites We’ll Be Using:
Be forewarned: This method is going to suck a bit at the start. The idea is to get our boots on the ground, laces tight and start there. We’re working towards a long term goal here, eye of the tiger and all that.
Grab yourself your favorite drink and let’s do this…
Step 1: Set up the passive stuff
Passive stuff in this case refers to setting up some accounts that’ll allow our potential clients to come to us. It also means that whatever wait time these accounts need, to clear or get set up, will have elapsed by the time we’re ready to use them.
If you don’t already have a paypal account, get one. Seriously. This isn’t negotiable. On the road to making money writing, Paypal is the defacto standard for getting paid. Love it or hate it, everyone has their own opinions… If you’re in the US, grab yourself an employer identification number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and open up a business account with them. It’s going to take 90 days of having your account in good standing before you’ll be able to get a debit card for the account. You’ll want this so you don’t have to go through this other nonsense…
If you don’t have a bank account, grab yourself a Greendot card (right now, they don’t cost anything to activate, so you can walk in with a 20 dollar bill and walk out with a debit card and, most importantly, a direct deposit bank account number. You’ll be waiting 7 to 10 days before the card arrives in the mail, but that’s not a huge deal. You can deposit your earnings from Paypal into your greendot card via bank transfer. This’ll take 3-4 days, usually.
You’ll have to do your own research on how to make the most out of Fiverr, but essentially a gig (job) on Fiverr is worth about 3.91 after paypal fees and the 20% (!!) that Fiverr takes out of the transaction. There’s a reason you’ll want to set this up which I’ll get to in a minute. Once you have an account here, open up as many gigs as you’re comfortable doing.
I set gigs for copy writing, articles of various lengths, blog posts, and reviews for amazon ebooks. These gigs will need time to be approved and time to mature (IE: be seen by people). After this, we move on to. . .
This is where we’re going to earn our ‘next step’ income. For now, set up your forum account and keep the tab open.
Same with this, but you can close the tab for now.
Same with this.
Now… this bastard. We’re going to set up an account with these guys and mix ourselves a gin and tonic as we grab the lube off the ‘naughty shelf’. If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m not a fan of these guys, but if you want to make money writing right now, this is a way to start right now.
With me so far? Yes, it’s a bit of front loading, but it’ll pay out in the long run.
So this is what we’re going to do…
Step 2: Opportunities
Hop over to BlackHatWorld and check out the ‘Hire a Freelancer’ section. Browse through for anything that looks doable to you and post a reply to the thread. These jobs tend to run the gamut from writing short blog posts to articles, code or anything else. Put a replies up with some kind of contact information (setting up a ‘business’ skype ID for this is pretty useful).
From here, we wander over to the freebies section and post a freebie thread offering 5 free 300 word articles in exchange for reviews, tips and referrals. Here’s the thread I created and got replies to in about 10 minutes. BHW is /very/ busy, so you’re going to get a lot of replies. The fact that you’re offering free stuff makes it a no brainer. We’re not going to do these right away, this is for reputation building and we can spend a bit of time on it without loosing any traction. The idea of this entire method is efficiency and forward momentum. Give yourself a couple days and do these in your free time, like when you’re waiting for the bus or your drug dealer.
By the end of this, I found a hand full of gigs to do, did them and walked away with about 10 dollars for almost no work on my part which is awesome. I also got some leads for potential future work this way.
30 minutes in and 10 dollars up.
Hello kitty approves.
Update: by the time I finished this article, I’d scored 2 more jobs for a net total of 60 dollars.
Day 1 Success.jpg
That deserves another cheerleader:
Step 2.5: Time for Some Soul Crushing Tedium
While we’re waiting for replies to these gigs and things, we’re going to hop on over to iWriter and do up some articles. iWriter pay is notoriously craptacular. Even their premium writers make peanuts for the amount of labor involved, but the idea here is to generate samples and make some income on the side.
You’ll need to make 20 dollars before you can cash out of iWriter, which comes at about 2.42 per article, so while it might not be worth it, it’s a necessary evil. You’re being paid slave wage for quality work, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your best. Some buyers will tip for high quality work and will request articles from you again and again.
I’m not in the habit of doing this and you certainly shouldn’t get into the habit of doing it with your real clients, but once we’ve written a few articles, we’re going to use them to build up our sample page on our WordPress blog which we’ll show to future clients.
The upside of iWriter is that once you hit 20 bucks, you don’t have to wait for payment and you don’t need to feel bad if you get responses to your blackhatworld postings. As an added up side, we’ll automatically have the 20 dollars we need for. . .
Step 3: Setting up the Inner Warrior
Good god will this never end, I hear you saying. We’re not done yet!
We’re going to mosey on over to the Warrior Forum and open up a Warrior for Hire thread under the appropriate sub-section (it’s under WSO). This is where we’re going to advertise our services for real money. Price yourself competitively but appropriately to your skill level and goals. When asked for samples, link people to your WordPress blog and try to be active in the community otherwise, with a link to your thread and even your blog in your signature.
Step 4: Make Your Blog Work for You
Your blog is also a great place to set up a sales page to offer your services. Think of it like your hub where you can show off samples, sell customers on your service and make the actual sale. Paypal provides the code that allows you to set up all kinds of pricing options. They’ll handle payment processing (via creditcard or paypal) and send you an email when a sale is made. To take advantage of this, you might need a premium blog, but with a little bit of google-fu, you can find ways around that, too.
Step 4.5: My Brain is Burning: More Blog Stuff
Now that our blog is set up and we have some kind of sales page… here’s what we’re gonna do with it: we’re gonna cheese the fuck out of it. Why? Because being broke sucks. We’re going to go through our Fiverr gigs which, by now, have been approved but probably don’t have any orders yet. I’ve been having some pretty craptacular luck getting orders, but the impressions (the number of people who’ve actually seen my gigs and read them) has been pretty good. So I decided I’d throw up a link to my writing samples blog. This turns my gigs into little mini-sales pages and helps build up ‘link juice’ with relation to your name.
Step 5: ???
So this is pretty much the absolute basics of making money writing. In less than 24 hours you can get your feet under you in the shallow end of the pool. You’ll make some money right away with very little effort (or a whole lot) and start building a portfolio to hook higher paying clients.
Step 6: Profit
From here, we’re going to build our clients. The SEO and Internet Marketing crowd are always in need of good quality content, but they don’t always want to pay ‘professional’ rates for it. Strike a balance, get your feet under you and get mobile while you’re looking for those high paying opportunities.
This is also the stage of the game where we’re going to start researching high quality markets that are harder to break into. The reason we’ve gone with IM sites as opposed to more popular ones, like oDesk or Freelancer.com is because those markets are super, super saturated and can take days or longer to get any work.
Plus, if you’re building your skills from scratch, you’re going to want to get started and get feedback quickly. This method ensures you’ll get that feedback, referrals and other such goodness going on. You might not make a mint, but you’ll get yourself established.
Well, I hope something I’ve said in this post has been useful for you! When it comes to making money writing, you really can’t go wrong with some of these (reasonably basic) tactics that’ll get you started on your path to riches. It’s not a complete method because, ultimately there is no one size fits all tactic. I’ve used this method to decent effect and I advocate it because it’s simple and gets you rolling, you can build on it with a little research and patience. Agree? Disagree? Have a better method? By all means, post it in the comments, I’d love to hear your thoughts!