Freelance writing isn’t working in pyjamas.
I realised that a bit too fast in the early years of my freelance writing career.
Freelance writers MUST schedule their day for success.
A freelance writer MUST have a morning routine – morning routines help you have an intentional and effective day without wasting time.
You must also have a working space.
Freelance writers have to think like business owners because you’re business owners.
Not having a boss means you are responsible for running the show – this show requires you to be in charge of paying your bills, finding clients, taxes, organisation, managing your money, and a growth mindset.
You cannot find success as a freelance writer without knowing you’re a business, thinking like an employee makes you work underpaid jobs or find scamming clients.
Freelance writers find it confusing because they aren’t used to running the show.
You may have been employed or fired before becoming a freelance writer.
Someone else was in charge but now that you’re in charge, you find it overwhelming to work to succeed.
This freelance writing article will open your eyes to how to run a business.
I will help you find high-quality clients and help you realise your freelance writing clients aren’t in Kenya ONLY.
I want you to see that clients aren’t allowed to pay you 1 dollar as I got paid.
You don’t have to work 20 hours a day and ONLY earn 20 dollars.
I want you to focus, correct the mistakes you are making as a freelance writer now.
I want you to have a growth mindset.
What would you want to achieve; what do you see yourself achieving as a freelance writer?.
Are you ready to earn millions as a freelance writer in Kenya?
Understand what a freelance writer does.
What Does a Succesful Freelance Writer Do?
The most common question you hear new and seasoned freelance writers ask is what do they do?
I didn’t even know what freelance writing was about.
I knew I got paid for completing tasks; writing tasks for clients with money.
Before too long I became an employee.
Thankfully, my employee status taught me a few things about running a business, the coveted word here, BEING MY OWN BOSS.
The other most commonly asked question about freelance writing and what you do is who are you writing for, and how will you get paid?
You will realise like I did years into freelance writing that freelance wiring isn’t for the faint of heart.
If you came here to work on Upwork, you’re either frustrated or gave up or are on the brink of giving up.
Let’s polish that overview of what you know or were told freelance writing is about.
This is what high-paid freelance writers do:
- Realise that freelance clients aren’t manna from heaven. You have to search for them.
Freelance clients don’t fall from heaven.
Even though God still gives manna, He ONLY does indirectly – through your effort and faithfulness to Him.
You have to market yourself as a freelance writer.
Freelance writing clients come to sites like Linkedin, so have a powerful Linkedin profile there and samples ready for clients to review.
Your clients also come from your blog – this was by far the best idea for me.
Your clients also come from cold pitching.
Before I’m an introverted person, the most powerful tool was marketing behind the scenes as I loved and love to call cold pitching.
I ONLY needed to tell clients what my offer was. I’m writing in the past tense because I no longer work as a freelance writer full-time.
So you will spend your days, months, weeks figuring out how to get clients.
This is the part that discourages freelance writers they end up quitting or working on Upwork for life.
When I was on Elance, I saw the amount of money I had to earn and said, ‘No, this cannot be me, there has to be a different way to make more money as a freelance writer’.
Upwork isn’t bad but getting the recognition you need as a beginner freelance writer is the hardest.
Bidding and waiting was the saddest part for me.
I needed money fast.
Upwork and other freelancing sites help you develop a business mindset – where will my clients come from and how do I appeal to them? So, don’t despise Upwork yet.
You will spend days marketing your services as a freelance writer.
If you don’t market, who will market your work for you?
How will you pay your bills?
Marketing involves measuring what results you want to get, what a client wants and how to give to your client according to their interest.
If you don’t know anything about marketing, I suggest you start reading blog posts about marketing.
Most freelance writers don’t understand marketing because they don’t know their offers.
If you don’t know your offer or value how can you be of value to someone else?
I battled to understand why I wrote.
To curb this, I kept writing and researching freelance writing.
2. Freelance writers are learners
Freelance writers are life-learners.
You cannot own a business and stop learning because you made 1m dollars from the business, right?
Have you ever seen Jeff Bezos stop inventing for Amazon?
As a freelance writer, your learning will come in understanding your offer/value or unique selling proposition.
What do you want to give me?
How will I as a freelance writing client benefit from your services?
You will learn how to manage and grow a business, how to market and get high-quality clients, how to create a blog and run a successful blog.
Your blog will become a business and a marketing tool for your freelance writing business.
You will learn how to build a portfolio, how to price and what to charge, you will learn how to fail and rise up and become better. You will learn how to try again after falling.
As a freelance writer, you will learn how to write better.
Your writing has to keep improving.
You learn how to find your voice and what a freelance writing voice is about.
You also learn how to follow instructions.
My client told me that even though I followed his instructions to a T, there was one thing he loved and still loves about me, I am not afraid to challenge the boundaries.
I CAN’T isn’t your freelance writing language because speaking of phrases like I cannot, I won’t stop you from growing.
Buy books, take courses because constant and consistent learning helps you save time.
Not learning in-depth about freelance writing wasted time for me but I immersed myself in learning and becoming better.
Before I knew it, I earned 3M shillings for ghostwriting projects.
That was the moment I decided to move away to build this blog into a world-class information centre for Kenyans and others that want to start a business online/offline or become online workers.
I knew I made it, what else?
I thank freelance writing for teaching me and for allowing me to take in the lessons from failure.
Remember, learning and not taking action is a waste of time.
After learning how to become a freelance writer, I became scared to implement my lessons.
I stuck for a bit then decided a few months later- I got to do something.
I lifted myself to do what I learnt and implement the strategies I learned and suddenly I earned over 250k that month.
Learn one thing at a time and take action on what you learn.
For example, if I talk about what freelance writers do and one of them is getting clients, ask yourself, how or what method do you use to get freelance writing clients?
How can you improve your offer?
Always read these posts with a pen and notebook.
3. Freelance writers spend time networking
When I hear networking, I hear my dad saying, ‘’Spend time with a network that grows you and not one that helps you waste time’’.
As a freelance writer, networking doesn’t mean talking with other freelance writers alone.
I found talking to designers helped me get more connections as a freelance writer.
I spent time talking to people who I never imagined would be my clients.
When asked what I did I stopped talking about ‘’freelance writing’’ and instead said, ”I help your business get on Google’s page one this means more customers, more clients. I ONLY use words to achieve this”.
Wow, these friends/networks kept recommending me to more clients and before I knew it; I earned over 1M shillings every month freelance writing.
Some projects were one time projects that changed my life but others became long time offers.
4. Freelance writers are bookkeepers
You’re not a full-fledged freelance writer without becoming a bookkeeper.
I had to learn software like Quickbooks/Freshbooks, I forget which one I used to help manage my invoices.
Bookkeepers aren’t accountants – I considered becoming an accountant.
I even blamed myself for refusing to attend Mathematics classes in high school.
But I learnt the software faster.
I learnt how to ask for payments and bid proposals.
I know you ask how about filing for taxes.
When I went to the taxman office in 2014, despite all the documents proving my source of income, the taxman told me, ‘’We’ll call you later to help you know how to pay taxes’’.
I never heard from them and I never asked.
These days, it’s a sin to say how much you earn if you’re not paying taxes.
Good thing, I’m about to begin reporting my blog income.
I love paying taxes, so look into how much you have to pay (income tax).
I’m glad for the introduction of the digital tax – it makes everything easier.
5. Freelance writers plan
Your freelance writing plan includes details like where do you want to be at the end of this year?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
What are you doing about your vision?
How will you get clients?
Do clients know how your freelance writing solves any problem for them?
Your plan is a guide for where you are, how to improve yourself to get to where you want to go and how you see yourself in the future as a freelance writer.
6. Freelance writers don’t work 20 hours a day and make 20 dollars
I worked 20 hours a day for almost the entire 2012 and some time in 2013.
During these times, I learned a few things, yes, 2000 shillings is a lot of money coming from brokenness, but I cannot keep up with the lifestyle.
In 2013, I decided I needed to change, keep working the 20 hours a day or reduce to 18, when tired or on my periods, yes, I make time for my excruciating periods or change my clients.
Earning 100k a month in 2013 was the biggest achievement of my life.
But earning 200k+ before the year ended became even better.
Instead of wasting time wondering where the money came from, I started looking for ways to improve, market and get more clients.
I became radiant.
I learnt that you can work for too long but make nothing – that’s when I started saying, ‘’I’d rather work smart than hard.
Get high-quality clients and find yourself working less.
7. Freelance writers learn SEO
SEO, I got some SEO work in 2018 because I wanted to implement my SEO knowledge.
How tedious that work was for only 20 Australian Dollars.
I was swamped with other freelance writing duties too.
Before I knew it, I got fired after only 8 articles.
I didn’t attend meetings, I felt like I needed to do something joyous.
In 2018, I had 6 years of freelance writing but still got fired.
This shows you, there is always something to learn.
Don’t underestimate learning.
I knew about SEO and you cannot start freelance writing in 2022 without knowing how to write SEO.
SEO writing is writing for the search engine while keeping customers in mind.
SEO forces you to become a journalist
– you have to know what words make people tick/buy the newspaper,
how to write catchy headlines
and how to shorten paragraphs so that people read every word.
SEO is the biggest learning curve for any freelance writer because most of what you do is about search engines, getting clicks and getting more customers.
8. Freelance writers perfect their writing daily
Just because you earn over 1M shillings per month doesn’t mean you stop.
You cannot stop writing; you have to write daily.
If someone told me about writing daily in early 2021, I was ready for the earth to open up and swallow me.
I was tired of freelance writing and wanted to do what brought me online – this blog.
Freelance writers write daily because you have to perfect your art daily.
That’s why I encourage you a beginner and seasoned freelance writers to have a blog.
A blog forces you to write daily because without content there’s no blog/you won’t make money and you won’t get clients.
Becoming a millionaire freelance writer demands passion, dedication and a business mindset.
9. Freelance writers build a portfolio
I kept hearing of the portfolio every time I applied for a freelance writing opportunity.
You spend your days, weeks and months developing your writing portfolio.
Your writing portfolio contains your best work in all the niches you write on.
10. Freelance writers have contracts
Freelance writers spend time writing their contracts or updating them.
You learn something new from a client every day.
If one of your clients doesn’t use Paypal what other payment plans do you use?
How do you price your freelance writing?
What niches do you write for?
What other things are you talented in apart from freelance writing?
Clients want freelance writers with diverse skills.
11. Freelance writers are researchers
Freelance writers always research.
Apart from writing, you will find yourself researching.
Every time I spend a week without researching, I find that that week I didn’t learn anything new.
The more you research the more you develop your writing talent and develop a voice for your freelance writing brand.
You cannot ignore the power of researching and how you keep your brain young and powerful.
12. Freelance writers have a morning/night routine to help them create intentional and successful workdays/end of work
Freelance writers are business owners.
Have you ever seen the morning routines of businessmen/women in charge of powerhouses?
Entrepreneurs know that the more powerful your morning routine is, the more intentional your day is.
Instead of writing monthly goals alone, break down your writing goals to weekly then daily to-do lists.
This way you can organise your morning routine in a way to have a powerful morning.
You cannot forgo your morning routine.
Freelance writers cannot start their days without knowing how to be in charge of their days.
You have to develop a morning and night routine.
Night routines help you recharge for a power morning.
What Makes a Successful Freelance Writer? Top Tips for Successful Freelance Writers
To succeed as a freelance writer means a lot to a lot of freelance writers.
If it were easy.
Nothing’s easy and freelance writing tests proves to you that like any business, you have to get prepared to face the challenges.
The following are the top tip for successful freelance writers and they include:
- Always look for new high-quality and high paying freelance writing opportunities
2. Take time to home your writing skill
3. Create 5 or more articles for each high-paying niche.
Make your writing over 2500 words for each article.
4. Don’t quit your job
I didn’t have a job and freelance writing was my ONLY source of income.
I had to become creative and start other businesses like mandazi and cookies business to help sustain me as I kept finding my foot in the freelance writing world.
You can quit your job after reaching a certain stable income.
For example, if you triple your current income, you can go ahead. You can choose to remain at your job.
Also, don’t quit your job to freelance before knowing what your offer/value is.
If you don’t have an offer/value, keep learning what freelance writing is.
You’re becoming your boss.
Don’t quit before knowing how to become a boss.
Look at your boss and how they manage their business, now, look at other solopreneurs to learn how to manage your business.
Nowadays, at the touch of a button, you find morning routines and days in the life of a solopreneur.
5. Always edit your work.
The first few years of writing on this blog, I never edited my work.
But after I started editing some articles like tailoring, virtual assistant, I got clients because of those articles.
6. Have a blog
A blog is a marketing tool and a business.
Many freelance writers undermine the power of a blog, a blog is a source of income that helps you quit freelance writing or add your income.
If clients find your articles on Google page one, they trust you to do to their brands as you do to yours.
Don’t ignore the importance of having a blog.
A blog is used for practising your writing.
Since writing for this blog full-time in October 2021, my writing got faster and improved plus I became more relaxed and happier.
A blog is a business that takes time to grow and blogs teach you how to manage your freelance writing brand.
7. You cannot quit when you become a freelance writer
8. You will learn time management
You have to learn how to budget your time daily. Know how to research and write faster.
9. Find a niche
10. Have your portfolio ready and keep it updated.
FAQs Answered (What Do Freelance Writers Do)
- What’s the work of a freelance writer?
The work of a freelance writer is to write content for publications and channels e.g websites, press releases.
2. How do freelance writers get paid?
Freelance writers get paid according to the number of hours they work, the date due.
You can get paid by Paypal, cheque whatever method you choose.
Have a payment method in your freelance contract.
3. Is being a freelance writer worth it?
Yes, freelance writing is worth it, if you’re ready to build a business.
4. What should a freelance writer expect?
Freelance writers should expect the following in the day of a life of a freelance writer:
Power Morning Routines
Have designated work hours
No pyjamas workdays
Take off days
Work in luxury/exotic locations
Travel and work, work and travel
Learn unexpected things like managing a business, graphic design
Record keeping – file taxes, report income without cheating.
5. Can you make a living off freelance writing?
YES, you can make a living off freelance writing.
6. Can a freelance writer become a millionaire?
YES, there are many millionaire freelance writers around the world and some in Kenya too.
7. How do you become a freelance writer?
You become a freelance writer by
Finding high-quality clients
Knowing that rejection is a MUST
Building a brand – you’re not an employee
Have samples in your portfolio – high-quality samples writing samples
Knowing how to write in different niches
8. How much do freelance writers make?
The amount freelance writers depend on.
Some freelance writers make 1000 shillings a month, others make 100m a month.
These earnings differ because of the work you do, the clients you work with, how you market yourself, how you treat (full-time, part-time, agency, with clients or not) your freelance writing.
9. What are other jobs for freelance writers?
The other jobs writers can do include
Content marketing manager
Social media manager
10. Are freelance writers well paid?
Yes, freelance writers are well paid.
The pay is determined by factors like clients you have, content you write, marketing you do and what additional content you write.
Some freelance writers create ebooks or sell things online to help make more money.
Smart move because no one must wait on one salary.
Resources Related (What Does a Freelance Writer Do?)
How to Land High-Quality Freelance Writing Clients as a Beginner Freelance Writer in Kenya
How To Think Like a Business Owner as a Freelance Writer in Kenya
Becoming a Freelance Writer After Employment in Kenya? What to Know About Freelance Writing
How to Get Freelance Writing Clients on Linked as a Freelance Writer in Kenya
What’s Cold Pitching and Why Freelance Writers MUST Know The Art of Cold Pitching in Kenya
How to Market a Freelance Writing Business Like a Pro in Kenya
How to Start Freelance Writing on Upwork (Get Hired in 30 Days Earn 100k in Kenya)
What Do You Need to Learn as a Freelance Writer in Kenya?
How to Network as a Freelance Writer in Kenya
How to Write a Freelance Writing Contract in Kenya
How to Create a Freelance Writing Portfolio Wowing High-Paying Clients in Kenya
How to SEO for Freelance Writers in Kenya
Types of Freelance Online Writing Jobs in Kenya
How to Perfect Your Writing as a Freelance Writer in Kenya
How to Save Time When Researching as a Freelance Writer in Kenya
Creating a Power Morning/Evening Routine as a Freelance Writer in Kenya
Freelance writers don’t spend time writing.
You spend time marketing your writing so that you don’t suffer slow months or start surviving.
Freelance writers also spend time managing their business and learning how to become better managers and entrepreneurs.
Freelance writing isn’t about writing but learning how to manage a business.
Do you want to become a freelance writer but wonder what freelance writers do?
Or what do freelance writers write about?