If you’re a new freelance writer, you may not know what to offer freelance writing clients. That’s okay. The list of your services may start off small but you can quickly grow it by reading. Yes, reading.
Read copywriting books.
Buy a few or check them out at your local library. Even the older books about copywriting will have great info, though they may not include info about blog posts, emails or SEO copy.
Read several copywriters’ websites.
This will give you an idea of what to offer clients. Some copywriters focus on a niche and write just about anything in their niche. Some choose to focus on one type of content, like becoming a white paper expert or maybe a landing page/sales letter expert.
Personally, I’ve found that you will get more work and higher paying work writing everything within a niche. It also stays more interesting. I don’t know if I could wake up every day and write only landing pages.
Back to my point. Look around and see what other copywriters offer and you’ll get an idea of what typical clients look for. For me, I offer emails, landing pages, blog posts, articles, product descriptions and just about anything else my client needs. But I specialize in a specific niche, so it’s pretty easy for me to go from writing a blog article about car parts to writing product descriptions about aftermarket accessories.
But what if you don’t know what’s needed in a product description or other type of copy?
For example, when I started out I had no idea what a white paper was. Isn’t most paper white? Yeah, I was clueless. But with a little research, I found out what a white paper was, how it benefited businesses, why it was important to include in my services and most importantly, I read lots of white papers.
There isn’t a template or exact formula to writing one because different niches need different kinds of info, but if you read enough of them, you’ll learn what to include and what’s needed.
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” – Stephen King.
And this is true for writing novels, short stories and sales copy.
So look around at what’s being offered, do a little reading on what each form of copy is and decide if you want to write it or not. I’ll be honest, I hate writing video scripts. I wrote one for a dog food ad a long time ago and I hated it. The ad came out pretty darn good, but I swore off video scripts and haven’t written one since. But that’s just me. Maybe you’ll like them and be to go-to girl for scripts.
So what exactly can you offer to clients right away?
These are all easy IF you put in the effort. Sound contradictory? Not really. If your client needs a blog post to promote their business, you could just write a generic post about how great they are and why someone should choose them. You turn it in, get paid and move along. There are lots of freelance writers out there doing this exact thing.
But it won’t make you special. It won’t bring clients to your email inbox asking if you can fit them into your schedule. Put in the research. Read everything you can about your client’s business. What’s their story? Why do they sell what they sell? Dig deep and find out what makes their business tick. Pull out a golden nugget of information and write your blog post about that. Focus on one aspect and make it shine.
This is what makes people take notice.
The same goes for blog posts, articles, web copy and everything else. Do your research. Know the topic you are asked to write about inside and out. If you didn’t know about it before being asked to write the article, make it your mission to research the crap out of it before writing anything.
And the most important thing to know and research? Your client’s customers. Who is their best customer? Why? You need to learn their customer and why they buy. This way you can write to that customer. This is how sales are made and how clients are happy to pay you what your going rate is.
Freelance writing and SEO
What the heck is SEO and why do you have to know it? Well, it’s kind of a big deal. Search Engine Optimization has been around a while and it changes all the time. As a freelance writer you need to stay on top of what’s going on in the world of SEO, but it’s not that difficult.
Your clients are either going to ask you to incorporate it into your writing or they are going to assume that you will without having to tell you.
This is where your research comes in. Along with knowing your client’s business and customers, you need to know what that customer types in when looking for things. Sometimes your client will already have specific keywords they want you to use. You’ll need to know how to use them throughout blog posts, web copy and product descriptions.
Some clients won’t really know much about SEO other than they’ve heard of it and know they need it. They may even ask you to use their keywords a specific number of times in an article. This is why it’s important for you to know how to use SEO and why. If a client insists you use a specific keyword or phrase a number of times and you know that’ll get the content flagged for spam, you can let them know there’s a better way. If they still insist/demand, give them your thoughts and then write it how they are asking.
You still get paid and you tried your best to help them.
So, now that you have a better idea on what you can offer your clients today, what are you waiting for?! Look around, do a little research and find out what you want to offer your clients. Add your list of services to your website and get busy.
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