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Upcoming freelance star from the neighborhood

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by Braxton Bragg, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. Braxton Bragg

    Braxton Bragg Registered Member

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    Hello guys and gals

    I have probably set up a record by how fast I have posted a thread since joining the forum for the first time. Until few minutes ago, I was just a visitor who read some posts and liked what was there. All of the journey threads had inspired me in ways I can't even describe.

    My background:

    My name is Braxton and I am a programmer and web designer. Well, at least I used to be. I worked for two different web design companies for about 3 years straight.

    To cut the story short, I got bored making some other guy big bucks and I have decided to quit. I am still not sure whether this was the smart decision but I am definitely convinced that it was the decision I needed to make. I am a free man now with some of the greatest working experiences to support me. I cannot say I didn't like it over there but there were three main reasons why I have to quit that job:

    1. I am smart and skilled enough to build and manage my own business.
    2. I am tired of writing code all day.
    3. I need a challenge.

    Even if this venture of mine doesn't succeed, I know I can always go back and do web design. However, what does worry me in some way is that I am running low with my savings and I definitely need some quality work with an okay paycheck.

    The plan

    Okay, I have always dreamt of running my own agency with focus on delivering the highest-quality service. It would be an all-around company which will do all sorts of work- web design, development, writing, video production etc.

    Anyhow, it didn't passed a lot of time before I have realized that I would need to make a serious investment to build such business. And not only that, I still do not possess the needed leadership skills for running a project of that size.

    I am starting small.

    As of today, I will be freelance writing for a living. This is the first step to building and managing my own business (building a client base). It is also a huge change from doing dull programming work and it is a challenge. Though, I am a little bit scared of the unknown, I do have enough motivation to drive me through these tough moments.

    Where and how to start?

    Okay, BHW was not helpful when it comes to this part of the process. A low number of successful freelance journey threads has led me to Google's search. Along with wide-range of different get-rick quick schemes and useless guru morons trying to sell a shitty eBook came a solid portion of useful articles which I have absorbed and made following decisions:

    • Create an account on Upwork- The paycheck on Upwork and similar freelance websites is not what I am actually looking for. However, I need to create some portfolio work and I am willing to work for less money until I build out a client base and some quality work to back me up. Of course, doing any type of work is better than doing none, even if it means working for peanuts. It is some sort of sacrifice. What I have also realized is that the competition on that platform is huge and that I will have more than tough time landing a gig. I have also ruled out other platforms such as Freelancer and Guru due to solid number of negative reviews.
    • Join forums- The main purpose would be to get some knowledge but in the long run, I could also score some gigs. However, the amount of competition on BHW in the writing section is enormous. I mean, how to beat people with 2,000+ reviews?
    • Keep exploring writing options- There are several other options I might explore when it comes to writing. I am sure going to start guest posting, I have to do a thorough research on Fiverr and see if it is worth time and how to beat competition there and I have to check some article and text selling websites.
    What I need the most is a writing gig. I need to test and see how good I am and what I need to improve. I do have some solid experience on writing, I have tried it out (9 months ago due to having a lot of free time at the moment) and I liked it. However, I've never done it for any money.

    Current earnings from this venture: 0$
    Investment: 0$
    Balance: $0


     
  2. Braxton Bragg

    Braxton Bragg Registered Member

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    Report #1

    Less than 24 hours since the start of this journey thread took me to land my first writing gig. I spent around 30 minutes exploring some good Facebook groups in search of a quality money-making community. You see, what I have realized is that the low amount of actually quality groups on Facebook regarding this matter has people who are in this industry for years. I did some research, found a great group, joined, provided some good advice regarding the topic I am quite informed about and helped a fellow friend on the group.

    Soon enough, that same friend has decided to start a conversation with me. We met and I have realized he is running a couple of websites of his own. I asked him if there is any content work that I might do for him as I am in search of a quality gig. As it turns out, he had some potential work for me and he wanted me to write 2x1,000 words articles. Gladly, I accepted the work and landed $20.

    Current earnings from this venture: $20
    Investment: $0
    Balance: +$20
     
  3. Skyebug77

    Skyebug77 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Good luck on your journey. I would like to comment that there are a lot of ways to find leads and sources of potential jobs and clients besides upwork and forums. You can always try directly marketing to people and businesses. Cast a wide net and you shall catch a lot of fish.
     
  4. Honest

    Honest Regular Member

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    Well you definitely have a huge advantage over a vast majority of people here.

    My advice: build something awesome and use what you learn here to self promote it.

    In the meantime, if you don't have the necessary capital, do some freelance work for people here and elsewhere to get the cash you need to make something big happen.

    Spend the money wisely, and have a thorough plan of action before doing so.
     
  5. Braxton Bragg

    Braxton Bragg Registered Member

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    Thanks man. I agree with you, there are potential clients on every step you make, that is for sure. Have you tried direct marketing to people and businesses? How successful it was? Any tips?
     
  6. Braxton Bragg

    Braxton Bragg Registered Member

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    Thanks for the advises man. I will definitely need to freelance the shit out of it to make a good capital and invest it smartly. It's a long road, I must say, but I am willing to do anything that it takes to make my own business.
     
  7. Braxton Bragg

    Braxton Bragg Registered Member

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    Update #2

    Okay, I definitely didn't know that landing a gig is going to be so tough. I thought that the hardest part would be doing the actual writing work. Needless to say, I got several good writing offers but all were related to the niches I am not willing to write for. One client even started begging me to write several articles for the niche that I am not knowledgeable and not only that, but there is minimum amount of information on the Internet regarding that niche. I had to turn him down because I do not want to spend my time on that.

    Anyway, since this week is approaching an end, I must say that I thought it will be damn easier when I had started this. I have spent 6 years doing the company work which I found to be exhausting, but building my own business is even tougher. However, I am not discouraged at all, just to be clear. When I set up my mind to something, I am going to do anything it takes to make it happen. Even if I have to die while doing that. So no giving up, because I am not a loser. I am a winner and I am gonna prove it.

    I've done my research on Fiverr. I am going to need to make an investment in amount of $250 for reviews in order to get a good start. I've come up with that number by doing some calculations and doing a lot of research. It will take time to get that money, but I will surely come up with that. I need more than one stream of income and that is why I will be trying Fiverr out.

    Good news and improvements:
    I got approached by one guy to start a writing company with him. He said to me that he has a plan of getting a lot of clients and he wants to gather a team of writers. I said yes, because I have nothing to lose as I will not be making any kind of investment. I will be helping him with setting up a website and doing some basic web design work.

    I have also learnt a lot in the last couple of days. I've done my research for text broker and text selling websites such as ContentMart, iWriter and all the similar to those. They are worthless! I am not going to be wasting my time with them as well. Upwork is okay, but the competition is tough. I gotta figure out the way to beat them.
     
  8. stack paper

    stack paper Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Upwork is great if you truly are a solid writer. Build yourself a writing portfolio / dial in your linkedin profile and don't hesitate to lie your ass off about previous work history and education. Reddit /r/forhire is a great resource as well. Trying to sell content on marketing forums, while you will get work, you'll get paid peanuts as there's so much competition and undercutting. Go for the big fish and get some real money.
     
  9. Braxton Bragg

    Braxton Bragg Registered Member

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    I kinda figured that out myself. Seeing writers on BHW selling content for as low as $2 per 500 words makes me wanna puke. The worst part of all is that they still write decent content and people would gladly choose them over other writers because they get more content for less money.

    I am planning to do a lot of work on Upwork hopefully, but I am having trouble closing that first deal and getting that first review.
     
  10. Reaver

    Reaver Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Lol define "decent."

    As a writer I have to laugh at this. There are writers here making 9 and 10 cents per word. I think Jared raised his price to 7 cents a word; it used to be five. And he's got no shortage of clients. Natasha Nixion charges 9 cents a word. She's not hurting for clients either.

    Appealing to cheap people is what makes writers deliver poor quality work and burn out quickly. You may think that everyone wants a cheap writer on this forum, but that's not true. There are plenty of people here who will pay for quality. I know this for a fact, as I speak from experience.

    That aside, you should contact companies directly if you want to land more lucrative writing gigs, instead of lurking on platforms like Upwork.

     
  11. Skyebug77

    Skyebug77 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  12. Braxton Bragg

    Braxton Bragg Registered Member

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    I honestly haven't tried out any of the content on BHW and I have only judged based from the reviews I read thus made the point of content being "decent". In order to be sure of that point, I would have to try both premium content writers and low-chargers and compare. I am sure there are huge differences between those two.

    I trust your judgement, and I would definitely appreciate if you would share some insights regarding the money you are making by writing content on this forum. I am not asking to share it publicly if you do not want it, it's your choice.

    And you are definitely not the first person who suggested me to try out contacting companies directly. I do have to think out about the strategy, and I do have some questions. Do I need to have a website if I want to contact potential clients? What are the "necessities" for direct contacting potential clients? Which companies are the best targets? I guess you may not provide answers to all of the questions I've asked, as I have to figure out some of them on my own.

    Thanks for the tips by the way, I appreciate it very much.
     
  13. Coingrabber

    Coingrabber Regular Member

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    I honestly don't completly understand your logic. You seem to be very good both in coding and writing. But why did you choose to go from a freelancing pool with not that much competition and high pay into one with a very lot of competition and not-so-great rates? Even if I'd be tired of coding, I would not change for that so easily. I'm by myself also a content-writer (a smaller part of my income).
     
  14. Braxton Bragg

    Braxton Bragg Registered Member

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    It was not a decision based on logic or facts. If it was, I would keep doing what I was doing as I would be making so much more money. It was not a decision based on how much money can be made either.

    It was a decision that had to be made. I just knew that I need to take rest from what I was doing and try something else. Thus, the idea of starting something new came up and this journey was born. You may not see that at the moment, and maybe I don't see it either, but when this journey picks up and I start bringing home some big green ones, you will see that the decision was the right one.
     
  15. Braxton Bragg

    Braxton Bragg Registered Member

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    Update #3

    Time for a new update guys. Not much to say other than saying I scored two more sales! This time I have tapped into a new market. Few days ago I have spotted a community group regarding Kindle self-publishing. The way I see it, the group was consisted from self-publishing authors, who at some point may need a hand with content creation and promotion. I decided to mingle a little bit, post some answers and solve some problems. Little by little, I gained trust by community members and the admin of the group, of course. Today, I have decided to post a thread about me willing to help others by writing content for them.

    Soon enough, I have landed two gigs. I got approached by 4 different clients, but two wanted me to write fictional eBooks, which is not something I intend to explore. This is simply because I do not find myself making stories up, even though the paycheck would be a little bit higher.

    Anyway, I have decided to stick with my rate of $1 per 100 words of content and landed one 3,000 words eBook and one 7,000 words eBook. I may also offer some eBook cover work as I have some graphic design skills in my arsenal and I will do all of the formatting work as a bonus for them. They can turn out to be returning customers, which I would prefer and I would love to "push them" a little bit closer to such decision by offering some extra work for free.

    Earnings: $100
    Investment: $0
    Balance: +$120
     
  16. Reaver

    Reaver Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    This thread that I posted earlier this month can answer your questions:

    http://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/how-to-get-better-paying-article-copywriting-clients.869041/

    I used to do $1 per 100 words too. I understand you're building up clientsand getting in some practice but don't sell yourself short for too long. You can make good money writing, especially if it's high quality. The more you charge, the less competition you'll have.

     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  17. Braxton Bragg

    Braxton Bragg Registered Member

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    Update #4

    Finished two writing assignments I had pretty quickly. After all, it was only 10,000 words which can easily be split and written in two days. I could possibly squeeze more out of myself and finish it sooner, but I always aim to provide quality content thus I have proofread everything two times and I believe I did a good job. I did some formatting work free of charge which impressed them and I am glad that worked out pretty good. They, however, already have people who do eBook cover designs and they did not wanted to let me do it.

    I also got great news few hours ago and received more work from a guy who previously ordered 7,000 words eBook about meditation. He now wants me to write 15,000 words about self-improvement and confidence building! This is kinda my topic and I am quite knowledgeable when it comes to building out self-confidence. I convinced the guy to let me do the design of the cover this time for free.

    You may ask yourself why I do formatting and cover creation for free. Well, I want to convince them that I am the right guy for this job. The client who gave me this assignment is a huge publisher on Amazon. He literally produces several eBooks per week and around 25 eBooks per month. He has a lot of work for me and if I build trust in our relationship, I can definitely get more work+ eBook cover designs and formatting which is additional $20-$30 per eBook.

    Earnings: $165
    Investment: $0
    Balance: +$285
     
  18. Braxton Bragg

    Braxton Bragg Registered Member

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    Update #5

    I am not updating regularly, rather I post something here when I actually have good or bad news or something that could be tracked. I spent the last couple of days writing the 15,000 word eBook which I gladly sent over to my client few hours ago. Waiting for a feedback and hopefully more work from him.

    Anyway, I got my first referal. Quite happy about, the power of word of mouth started working for me. I got approached by a client who told he heard about my services from a friend. He asked if I have time to take some of his writing assignments and I am glad to inform everyone that I will be occupied with writing work for the next 7 days. If I write 4,000 words a day on average, I will be able to write around 24,000 words in a week. This is the exact same message I sent to him and he decided to send $240 to my Paypal for 24,000 words of content upfront to make sure he will be first in line to get some my writing services. He already gave me an assignment for the first eBook for about 7,000 words and I did a research, made a TOC and I will be writing the first couple of paragraphs as soon as I get some quality night sleep.

    I will be trying to talk him into buying eBook cover and formatting work from me and I will charge $15 for each of those services. I wouldn't mind getting an additional $30 for an hour of work.

    Earnings: $240
    Investment: $0
    Balance: +$525