How to Build a Badass Freelance Writing Business

badass-freelance-writing-businessQuestion for you: just how long have you been sitting on this secret desire to be a writer? (I’m talking about the kind that gets paid, of course, because anyone can write a piece of crap that’ll never see the light of day and call themselves a writer.)

I mean you’re here on this page, so it’s obviously something you want. I’m guessing you’ve been flitting between different websites trying to decide which freelance writing course is the one. The. One. Because there has to be one that’s perfect for you, right? You just haven’t found it yet.

Hahaha, sorry to shit on your excuses, but no. Finding the ‘perfect’ course is not the problem here. You are. Because rather than click Buy on one of these courses, any of which would probably do a fine job of getting your freelance writing career up and running, you start reminding yourself of all these things:

  • You can’t risk your nice, comfortable (albeit bland, soul-destroying) job on something that might not even work. You’re not that bloody irresponsible.
  • To make a living wage from freelance writing, you have to slog it out for years.
  • Besides, you’re simply not good enough – only people with qualifications and experience can get paid to write.
  • And even if you were good enough, you don’t have the time to devote to something like this. You’re too busy trying to make it to the next day with your sanity intact.

Okay, so if you believe any of those things are legitimately true, go ahead and close your laptop and give up on this dream. Because you’re clearly never going to make it happen. Enjoy your mediocre existence of paying the bills and having ‘security’.

Still here? Yes, I can see that glint in your eye. So let me tell you the story of how I made this shit happen.

How I Started Making Good Money from Freelance Writing

Back in 2012 I started freelance writing. One of my first ever clients gave me £5 apiece for 500-word articles about crap like airport parking and garage doors. Not ideal, but I kept on – it was either that or go back to my shitty bar job.

I was pitching new clients every day, knowing I’d mostly be ignored but that sometimes someone new would be willing to hire me. Then one day something weird happened. It started off like every other encounter I’d had:

They asked for my hourly rate. Figuring I’d be writing three articles per hour, as I did for my other clients, I told them £30 – just so I’d at least get £10 per article. That was pretty good for someone who was used to earning £7 an hour for pouring beers and cleaning up puke.

They tried to get me down to £25 an hour, which was ‘what their other writers charged’. I sighed – that old chestnut again. I couldn’t bear the thought of making less than £10 per article. So fuck it, I wasn’t going to. I remained firm on. Eventually they relented and agreed to £30 per hour.

Then I got my first brief. It was in-depth, required proper research and would need to be around 1500 words. What the…? I was not used to this. And then they said this: ‘You have a max of three hours to get it done in.’ My jaw hit the desk. Three hours? For one article? Holy shit!

That’s when I found out you actually can make a decent living doing this – and writing worthwhile things, no less.

Hi Karen,

AliciaJust had an hour-long Skype chat with a potential new client and we agreed on $300 USD per 1500-2000 word article!!!

Drawing up a contract as we speak. I’m so damn excited!!! Our next meeting is Tuesday to finalize topics, etc. and go over contract details. Thanks for everything, Karen! You gave me the organization, ideas, and confidence to make this happen. I’ll keep you posted. xo

– Alicia Armeli

Self-study:
Instant access
£129
Instant access to all 6 lessons
Private Facebook group membership
 
 
Guided:
Start date TBA
£499
6 weeks of guided lessons
One-to-one email mentorship from me
Specific feedback on how to improve your business and website
Private Facebook group membership

How to Build a Freelance Writing Business that Attracts Badass Clients

I was in love with my new gig. These guys wanted me to write good things for them. Things people might actually read. And their clients were companies I’d actually heard of.

I started thinking about how I could get more gigs like this. I’d need to create a new website – one that would reflect this new brand I wanted to portray. Confident. Bold. Uncompromising. Badass. Funny. Talented. All the best bits of my personality wrapped up in a writing business.

Because that’s the thing: to be a successful freelance writer, you can’t just create a generic website and position yourself as a writes-anything-for-anyone freelancer. If you do that, you’ll end up with shitty clients who want cheap 500-word articles about garage doors, just like I did. Instead, you have to tailor that shit, using your own personality, skills and expertise. Only then can you attract worthwhile clients and make a good living doing this.

These days, clients come to me. I only take on projects that interest me. I charge £150-250 for a page of content and even more for a sales page. I book clients in advance, slotting them in at a time that suits me.

If I went back to the beginning – back to before I’d earned anything at all for my writing – I’d do a lot differently.

And that’s what this course is about. This course details how I would create a freelance writing business from scratch now – one that would attract decent clients and revolve around doing work I was actually proud of.

Are You Good Enough to Be a Successful Freelance Writer?

There’s just one problem: not everyone’s cut out for this. If you don’t truly have a passion for words, if you don’t know – or, more importantly, care – about how to use a comma properly, and if you don’t take pride in your work, this course probably isn’t for you.

However, if you’re terrified a client will massacre your words to the point you’d be embarrassed to include them in your portfolio – this course could be for you.

If you want to pour your everything into building a writing business you’re proud of – this course could be for you.

If you’re sick of yourself always saying you will do this but then never taking action – this course could be for you.

I’m here to help you create a badass freelance writing business – one that feels right to you. So that when people ask you what you do, they won’t have chance to blink before you’ve shouted ‘I’m a writer!’ and flung your business card at them.

Hey Karen,

I wanted to take a moment and thank you SO much for your freelancer course! It was literally a life-changer for me.

SarahI made $1,100 in the first month, and after picking up a couple of higher-paying gigs, I’m projecting $2,000 by the end of February!

Karen, if it weren’t for this course, I probably would have landed a corporate job by now that I wouldn’t have been truly happy in. I love freelancing so much more, as I work with people I enjoy being around and write about topics I give a damn about. I would never have realized what I was missing out on if I hadn’t taken the leap of faith.

The course has already paid for itself more than ten times over, and now I can pay the bills with extra money at the end of the month. I’ve already recommended it to other aspiring freelancers I know, and I tell them it’s worth every penny.

– Sarah Blais

Self-study:
Instant access
£129
Instant access to all 6 lessons
Private Facebook group membership
 
 
Guided:
Start date TBA
£499
6 weeks of guided lessons
One-to-one email mentorship from me
Specific feedback on how to improve your business and website
Private Facebook group membership

How the Course Works

There are two editions of the course available: guided and self-study. Here’s the difference:

The Guided Course

The guided course runs for six weeks, during which you will have unlimited one-on-one email contact with me. I’ll give you feedback and guidance on how to improve all the work you complete and you’ll be able to ask me any questions you have.

Each week, I’ll email you a new PDF containing information and homework to get your business up and running. By the end of the course, you will have a professional website set up, you’ll know how to write various things people will hire you to write, and you will understand how to attract clients and how to work with them once you’ve got them.

You’ll also get access to my students’ private Facebook group, which is bloody awesome, if I say so myself. Mostly thanks to my students, really, so I can’t take the credit for that one. No one will laugh at you for not understanding what a client meant when they said this or how to do that silly little thing on your website. In fact, we welcome ‘stupid’ questions.

I run the guided course 2–3 times a year. If registration’s not open right now but this is the course you want to take, scroll to the bottom of this page and enter your email address in the box provided. Then I’ll email you when the course is enrolling.

The Self-Study Course

The self-study course is exactly the same as the guided course, only without the one-on-one support. You’ll still get access to the Facebook group, and as soon as you buy, you’ll be emailed a link to download all the course materials instantly.

The Course Content

Week 1: Choosing Your Path

I’ll walk you through the basics of running a freelance writing business, covering things like the types of services you could offer, why it’s important to specialise, how to brand your business effectively and how to position yourself in a way that makes people want to hire you.

Week 2: Planning Your Services

We’ll take a deeper look at both copywriting and blogging – two of the most common ways to make money writing online. I’ll show you how to do both of these things for clients. We’ll also look at other types of online freelance writing services you could offer.

Week 3: Creating Your Website

Now that you’ve got a much better idea of what your business is going to look like, we can start pulling your website together. We’ll focus on the technical aspects of building your site this week, as well as how to tie the design in with your branding.

Week 4: Setting Your Rates

Ah, the dreaded rates. We’ll look at the different options for pricing your services and figure out which one is the best fit for you and your offering. We’ll also talk about how to negotiate your rates and whether or not you should include them on your site.

Week 5: Organising Your Process

By now you will have the bulk of your website completed, which means it’s nearly go-time. We’ll look at exactly how dealing with clients works, from quotes to contracts to deposits to invoices – everything you need to know to look pro. We’ll also finish off anything else that needs doing on your website.

Week 6: Finding Your Clients

Uh oh! This is the scariest part, right? Fear not, for I shall show you the way. We’ll explore all the different places you can find clients, as well as how to get them to hire you and how to write pitches that get results.

AndreSpiteriI worked my last bar shift the day I finished the course, so I started full-time right off the bat. I made around £250 my first month and £470 the next. This month I’m projecting approximately £1000.

For the first time ever in my adult working life, I actually look forward to Mondays. I enjoy my work and I’ve built a financially viable business from scratch whilst living in one of the most expensive cities in the world (London). I don’t use an alarm clock any more, I work from home and I don’t have to answer to anyone except myself.

Oh, and the thought that I could go and live anywhere in the world without having to worry about what I’ll do for work is extremely liberating. In short, it’s awesome. Do it. It’s some of the best money I’ve ever spent.

– André Spiteri

Self-study:
Instant access
£129
Instant access to all 6 lessons
Private Facebook group membership
 
 
Guided:
Start date TBA
£499
6 weeks of guided lessons
One-to-one email mentorship from me
Specific feedback on how to improve your business and website
Private Facebook group membership

FAQ

What’s the ‘Information required’ thing that pops up when I click to buy?
There’s now an EU regulation that requires me to add VAT to all self-study purchases from EU countries (except the UK). The information you enter in that little box will calculate how much VAT needs to be added. If you’re outside the EU (or are in the UK) don’t worry, no extra charges will be added. You won’t be charged VAT on the guided course no matter where you’re from.

Can I pay in a different currency?
Yup! No matter what currency you use, PayPal will automatically convert it into GBP, so you don’t have to do a thing.

Do you offer refunds?
Yes: if you take the guided edition, you must request your refund within 7 days of the course commencing. If you choose the self-study edition, you have 30 days.

How much time will I need to spend on this?
This is going to be pretty intensive. It’s going to take at least several hours per week for the duration of the course, and you may even need to set aside a full day or two each week.

Will there be any additional expenses?
Yes. At the very least, you will need to buy your own website hosting and domain name, which can add up to around $100. I will also recommend a number of other resources to help you succeed, but these are optional and you can just decide to buy them (or not) whenever you’re ready.

How much money can I expect to make?
This is impossible to answer because there are so many variables. However, you can make a lot of money, and definitely a good living, if you’re talented, work hard and are persistent. Many of my students have made several hundred in their first month alone, recouping the cost of the course and then some.

Can I do this work while I travel?
Yes indeed! It’s harder to do this sort of work while on the road (as is true with most things), but one of the beautiful things about being an online freelance writer is that you can do it from anywhere with an internet connection.

Can I take this course if English is not my first language?
You can, if you also happen to be able to speak and write English fluently. It will be hard to get paid a decent wage as an English-language freelance writer if your written English is poor.

Does it matter where I’m from?
Nope! You should be able to find clients in whatever country you’re from, though there’s nothing to stop you from going global if you’d prefer that.

Can I specialise in a certain niche?
Yes! In fact, I heartily recommend it. Whether that means specialising in certain subjects or in writing certain types of content, or even specialising in working with certain types of company, you can make this writing business into whatever you want.

I came here looking for a course called Start Content Writing. Where is that?
This is the same course, just under a new name.

I wanted to be a freelance writer, but lack of confidence and the fear that it was a terrible idea held me back. Then I came across Karen’s website and loved her ballsy, take-no-prisoners attitude, so I signed up.

Mel GreenAfter what felt like ages (but was only a month) I was offered two roles in a week. So far I have made $1000! Now I have two great clients who I’ve signed annual contracts with.

If you’re thinking about signing up, but are hesitant – do it. Working with Karen for just six short weeks gave me the confidence I never thought I’d have when it came to writing. I went into the course having no idea what type of writer I was or wanted to become. I am now working as an educational writer from the comfort of my own home. If this is what you want from your life, this course will be how you get it.

– Mel Green

Self-study:
Instant access
£129
Instant access to all 6 lessons
Private Facebook group membership
 
 
Guided:
Start date TBA
£499
6 weeks of guided lessons
One-to-one email mentorship from me
Specific feedback on how to improve your business and website
Private Facebook group membership

Still Not Sure? Get the First Week Free

Enter your email in the box below and I’ll send you the first week of How to Build a Badass Freelance Writing Business for free.

You’ll also get:

  • The first day of How to Become a Freelance Writer in 5 Days Flat for free.
  • Notifications when my courses open for registration.
  • The Untamed Lowdown, my badass twice monthly newsletter.
  • No more than one email per week. Pinky swear!