When you started
writing, you had to take a couple of hours to write 1000-words blog
posts, but as time went by, you realize you can craft an excellent
1000-word blog post in 30-45 minutes.
Personally, when I
started writing, it took me 3-4 hours to write a 500-word blog post.
Today, I can write a 500-word blog post in 20 minutes.
No, the point is,
when you stick to your hourly rate, you will realize you are losing
more. For example, assuming your freelance blog writing rate is $50
per hour (taking 4 hours to write a 1000-word blog post), then you’ll
Now that you can
write the same post in less than an hour, what will you charge? Do
you realize you need to negotiate for an increase? I’d rather
charge my clients using the freelance writing rates per word.
You’ve Never Increased Your Rates
Probably you are in
your first year as a freelance writer, and you have never found the
guts to notify your client that you will be increasing your rates
Within one year, you
should have had enough experience to enable you to increase your
freelance writing rates. At
this point, if you have never thought of raising your freelance
writing rates, then you should.
# 3. Tons
of Clients are Knocking on Your Door
Once you are an
writer, many clients will come looking for you instead of you
looking for them. How interesting is that? They’ll be willing to
accept your freelance writing pay rates no matter what.
You will have more
than enough jobs to tackle. So, the best option is to increase your
rates and trim those projects at relatively low rates.
# 4. You
Have Invested In Yourself
This is one of the
tactics I love most. After every three months, I usually register for
a paid freelance writing course to sharpen my skills and help me
serve my clients better.
Because I invest in
myself by taking a couple of paid courses, I increase my freelance
writing rates to take care of the money I have spent. Does that make
Up to this point, if
you are not sure whether or not to increase your freelance
writing rates, let’s go through why you need to negotiate
for an increase:
Should Increase Your Freelance Writing Rates
with whatever my client is paying me.” I know it may seem like what
your client is paying you is decent, but here are two reasons why you
should reconsider the idea of increasing your freelance
Increase In Cost of Living
The value of $100
this year isn’t equal to that of last year. The cost of living
increases every single day.
So, imagine yourself
getting stuck on one rate for two or more years? Will you find it
easy to pay school fees for your little ones? Or will you even think
of traveling around the world?
Honestly, you won’t.
You’ll be jumping into debts one after the other. So, to prevent
this, make sure you increase your freelance
You’re More Experienced
When you started
your freelance writing business, you didn’t know much about
freelance writing. You may never even have thought of negotiating for
an increase in your rates.
Well, that was then.
Now, you are a reputable freelance writer who clients are looking for
every day. Don’t you think you need to increase your technical
writing rates at this point?
Without further ado,
let’s look at the ten proven tactics to increase your freelance
writing rates without scaring away your clients:
10 Proven Tactics to Raise Your Freelance Writing Rates Without Scaring Away Clients
As I said, I wish I was a
freelance writer attorney. I would have made it easier for freelance
writers to charge what they deserve, but because I’m not, I’ll
only give you the hacks to increase your freelance rates without
scaring away clients. Let’s jump right in:
One of the reasons why you
should charge your clients per project is because when you charge per
project, your hourly rate increases automatically.
For example, you are
charging $30 per hour, and you take 3 hours to write a blog post.
That’s $90. What if you charge the client $180 for the project and
work on the project for one or two hours?
From a client’s point of
view, they’ll be getting the same results. So, it won’t appear to
them like you are charging a lot.
Your Rates for New Clients
I usually update my
services page regularly, and while I do that, I ensure I update my
Let’s get real here: when
you update your rates from your website, no new client will know what
you were charging initially.
So, go ahead and update
your rates on your website. Besides, you can quote a higher price
than what you are already charging when a client comes knocking.
Double What’s Charged In Your Country
I thought I was the first
to use this hack until I came across Ali’s article about “how to
raise your rates as a freelance writer.”
In my country, most clients
offer to pay between $0.01 – $0.02 per word, which is way too low. As
a freelance writer, especially from my country, charging something
close to $0.06 per word won’t be that bad.
I stopped working with
local clients because of their low pay, but that shouldn’t prevent
you from working with them. Some awesome clients can pay you way
the Freelance Writers Den
(This post may contain
affiliate links. So, when you click on a link and buy any product, I
will get a commission.)
I first came to know Carol
Tice when I bought Jon Morrow’s Black Book that contains editors
email addresses of top magazines.
I realized that you could
only get published on Make
a Living Writing if you were Jon Morrow’s student or her
When I visited her website,
I checked her pages and came across her portfolio. Oh My! All her
samples had been published on Forbes.
I learned of the Freelance Writers Den and joined. I must confess there are lots of resources that will help you earn more as a freelance writer.
Reasons, why Freelance
Writers Den is a Must-Join forum, include:
Forums where you
interact with reputable online influencers
More than 300 hours
of videos for learning
Bootcamps where you
can learn more every month
A job board that’s
filtered with only high paying clients
And finally, it
costs just $25 monthly
Isn’t that too low with
all the advantages you get from it? Try and join the Freelance
Writers Den. Be a member and start earning what you deserve.
the Content Mills and Bidding Sites
This may sound rude, but
this is my point of view. If you are serious about quitting your
shitty job and making freelance writing your primary source of
income, then content mills or bidding sites like Upwork won’t be
I know it hurts to hear
something of the sort, especially if you think you are successful on
Upwork, but that’s the bitter truth. Thank me one day.
When I thought of
increasing my freelance writing
rates, the first step I took was to leave Upwork and
concentrate on finding clients outside (direct clients).
I realized it was easier to increase my freelance writing rates working directly with clients. I must say a BIG THANK YOU TO THE LIKES OF CAROL TICE, ELNA CAIN, AND LORRAINE REGULY.
a Professional Website
I seriously doubt if you
can pitch big companies without a website, and to be more precise, a
That said, it is necessary
that you create a good-looking website. You can design your website
on your own or hire a web designer to work on it as you concentrate
on other projects.
When I bought my domain
name denzilfreelancekenya and hosted it, I was confused about how to
design my website. I made several mistakes until I opted to hire a
designer to help.
Since I started reading
people’s blogs, the best website I have ever come across is Elna
Cain’s blog. I don’t know whether or not to admit that I’m
jealous, but the truth is that Elna’s blog is beautiful.
Now, the point here is to
design your website to look professional. If you can’t do it on
your own, please hire a web designer.
With an Editor (Wording Well)
I never knew the importance
of going through my work several times before publishing it online
for the whole world to read.
Thanks to God for letting
me know Lorraine Reguly, the
founder of Wording Well. She has been helping me with editorial
services, and I must say, this is where her passion lies.
If you were wondering, Lorraine could also help you become an author through her courses. I bet you can’t wait to meet Lorraine.
Again, my point here is that you make sure your writing is on point. That way, clients are going to take you seriously even if you opt to increase your freelance writing rates.
8. Ask for
you are one of Jon Morrow’s students in his Content Marketing
Certification Program, you’ll realize how passionate he is about
says that testimonials do the speaking for you and that he’d
instead value a client’s testimonial than payment because the
testimonial will increase your credibility.
when you have completed any project, and the client is happy, go
ahead and ask for a testimonial. I have done this before, and this is
what I usually say:
It’s been nice working
with you, and I’m glad I have helped your company grow within the
last three months we’ve been working together.
Would you mind leaving
me a genuine testimonial? I would appreciate it if you did.
The reason why I’m
asking for a testimonial is so that it can help me serve you and my
future clients better.
Thanks in advance!
Your Clients In Advance
Never make a mistake to increase your freelance witing rates without issuing a notice to your clients.
you do so, there’s a possibility that your clients can end the
relationship with you and look for other writers.
issue a notice to your clients in advance to allow them to ponder
over it. For example, you can write an email notice to your client in
November that you’ll be increasing your freelance
writing rates as from
January the following year.
Your Rates Around the Same Time Every Year
is a tactic that works. To give you some insight, let’s use Apple
company as an example.
what comes to your mind when you see an apple logo? Probably, you
begin to think about the Apple Company.
same will apply when you want to increase your freelance
writing rates. If you usually raise your freelance
writing rates in January, it will stick in the mind of your
clients. So, they will have prepared for the increment.
I would love to conclude with Bamidele’s principle – the law of demand and supply. As a freelance writer, you should convince many clients with your writing such that tons of them come looking for you instead of you looking for them. With that, you can increase your freelance writing rates comfortably without scaring away any client.
“Denzil helped me to get my first client as a newbie freelance writer. I made 150 dollars in my first 2 weeks of freelance writing. Thanks to his advice and freelance coaching. If you are a newbie writer struggling to get clients, then it is time you worked with Denzil. He will guide you till you get stable clients who pay well.”
“Thank you for the mentorship. I landed a client and bagged $700 from the project. Once again, thanks.”
You must have read tons of such testimonials all over, but you are not even close to succeeding with your freelance writing career.
It hurts. Really hurts to read testimonials of others succeed while you are stuck at one point.
The two testimonials you read above are from two dedicated students who took my free freelance mini-course seriously and landed their first clients.
How I wish I could get people to show me exactly where to get freelance writing jobs or tell me some of the popular freelance writing job siteslike I did to those trainees above (Yvonne and Vincent).
I did not just show them where to get jobs but also connected them with real clients.
So why did I ‘spoon-feed’ them?
Well, I reward dedicated trainees with whatever I have. At that time, I had two clients who needed more freelance writers, and I had to refer my best trainees.
Who Is Denzil Really?
Denzil is a Kenyan Procurement graduate (in less than a year), a Christian, founder of Denzil Freelance Kenya, freelance writer, and a son.
My passion was to be a lawyer until the disappointment came when I missed it by 2 points going by the KUCCPS selection process.
That was the end. I lost the passion and opted to pursue Procurement. I’m not regretting. I love it.
My Freelance Writing Journey
Have you heard people say how they’ve failed with their freelance writing?
I never have.
Most people fear to share their failure stories, but that’s what I’m about to share with you.
When I started my freelance writing career, I had no idea what freelancing was. I never knew the meaning of freelancing.
In short, I was green.
Another humiliating experience was just how I was bullied in several Facebook groups.
I was called names. I recall one person called me a lizard. Thanks for that because I know I’m a human being, not a lizard. (no hard feelings).
Because I couldn’t take the insults and intimidations, I had to hit back at several people within those groups.
Finally, I was kicked out in all the Facebook Groups.
Let me be honest with you. It’s not that I hate Facebook groups. I love them so much. That’s why I created my own Facebook group.
If you subscribe to my free freelance mini-course, the first lesson will point to you some of the Facebook groups I recommend (I have suggested even some of the groups that I was kicked out from).
I have a lot of challenges that I came across when starting as a freelance writer, but I can’t share them all at once.
What I’d Do If I Started Freelance Writing from Scratch
The advantage with freelancing is that there are a lot of freelance writing careers that you could venture in like web content writing, blog writing, copywriting among others.
I was totally new to freelancing when I started. I’m from a country where freelancing is at its roots at the moment – not many people have known this better way of making money.
But I’m more than confident that if I had to start freelance writing from scratch, I would do everything totally different and way much better.
I wouldn’t repeat the same mistakes I made when I started.
Have a look at what I would do differently. It’s unique:
1) Select Reasonable Freelance Writing Courses
Many people will say you don’t need any training to succeed with your freelance writing, but I have a different opinion when it comes to such a debate, why?
A series of freelance writing courses made me: not just one or two, but many of them.
I come from a country where freelance writing is still at its roots. It’s just freaking hard to find your feet all alone.
I found my feet through the help of a reputable freelance trainer, top-rated Upworker, and the owner of the best blog in Kenya (talking about making money online), Walter Akolo.
After Walter’s paid freelance writing course, I took a series of paid mini-courses like Writing with flair by Shani Raja, Building Credibility by Jon Morrow, SEO 101 by Jon Morrow and Pitching 101 by Carol Tice.
These are all good courses that I recommend you take if you have the cash. And if you’re wondering how much they cost, surprise! Surprise!
None of them cost above $50.
That’s less than 5,000 Kenyan shillings. The two courses by Jon Morrow costs Unbelievably just $7 each (though that’s when you purchase them on discount).
All the same, I’m not limiting you from choosing other courses. It’s your prerequisite to select a course that’ll give you results.
Have you decided on which course you’re going to purchase? If yes, we can move to the next step:
2) Choose a Niche
This is the stage with a lot of controversies. I don’t know why and I wish I knew.
Tons of people have different opinions about how to select a niche, and I respect their opinions.
But, Heck! The noise is just too much – you can’t know who to take seriously and who not to. You end up getting confused. But you need to start your freelance writing career. What should you do?
How about if I gave you a peace of mind by reducing all the noise you have been hearing and show you the proven way?
I know that’s something you’d be interested in.
Think of it this way. Since you became an internet user, what topics have you been searching the most on Google?
The answer should be your niche! As simple as that!
Still not satisfied?
Well, let me ask you a simple question. What do you want the most in your life?
If it’s not money, it’s a relationship or to stay healthy. And the truth? Those are the most profitable niches online.
Everyone wants to know how to make money online. Tons of people are lonely and want to have company. Lastly, millions are struggling with health conditions like obesity.
If you think that’s a lie. Let’s prove it. Check out for the most shared blogs if they’ll not fall in one of those niches above.
Another way is to check out for the innovations. What’s new? What seems technical and people are perceiving as the new techie in town?
According to me, cryptocurrency and blockchain are still innovations. Everyone wants to know cryptocurrency and blockchain and people think they are so complicated.
That’s where you jump in. Make your writing simpler to digest and on point. Make even things that sound so technically easy to interpret.
That way, clients are going to come to you instead of you looking for them. Decided on your niche? Let’s jump into the next step:
3) Create Writing Samples
According to me, writing samples is confusing. You always feel like what you’re writing isn’t what clients want, and you could be right.
But remember, you had selected a niche. So, it will be super easy to find topics for your writing samples.
If you don’t have an idea of what to write about as your writing sample, let me help you.
There is a free tool called BuzzSumo. BuzzSumo gives you insight about topics that have been shared several times on social media. Grab your topic from there!
After all, “the best writers are the best thieves,” one English professor once said. “Shakespeare stole his plots from Greek and Roman plays. Thomas Jefferson plagiarized the Declaration of independence from John Locke. Oscar Wilde stole from everyone, and so should you.”
I was impressed when I downloaded Jon Morrow’s free pdf about “Headline Hacks.” His defence about stealing ideas was convincing. So, go ahead and use BuzzSumo.
Once you have stolen an idea from BuzzSumo, have a plot of how you want your article to flow. Doing that will save you a lot of time when you finally get down to write.
The next thing you should now do is to write without paying attention to any spelling errors. Just write. There will be time to go through everything you wrote. So, don’t worry about the red marks.
When you complete, take a break. Close your laptop and cool your brain. You can watch a movie, read an article from one of your best mentors or go for a walk (I’d prefer reading an article from either SmartBlogger or Neil Patel Blog). These two sites keep me motivated.
Once you’re fresh, return to your article and start proofreading and editing it. Read it aloud so that you can hear the mistakes as you read them. That way, you will quickly realize small mistakes and correct them instantly.
And there you have Your writing sample!
4) Create a Writer Website – the Jon Morrow Way
“Anyone can create a blog, but the real test is getting readers,” says Jon Morrow. That’s completely true.
I love how most people take risks to invest in something – like a blog. It just shows how willing you are ready to sacrifice and get something in return.
Sadly, starting a blog is not all about taking investment risk. It’s all about whether or not you can get loyal readers who’ll love, comment, and share your posts.
Sure, if you can achieve that, trust me, you’re all set to create your website. If that’s still a dream to you, please don’t. Instead, follow the guide I’m going to give you right here, right now.
First things first. Have you heard about Medium? If not, Medium is a platform that gives you the freedom to post your blog posts and exposes them to thousands of readers for FREE!
If you are not sure whether the niche you selected will attract readers, then Medium is where you can test that. So, what must you do?
Simple! Craft at least three posts and keep track of how they’re performing. If it gets noticed and get tons of claps and comments, then that’s your perfect match.
If your post performs poorly, please go back to the drawing board and check out some of the profitable niches that people love.
Secondly, create your website. Decide on the domain you are going to use. It shouldn’t be so technical. Make it simpler so that people can easily remember it.
Once you have settled on your domain, go ahead and choose a hosting company. There are tons of hosting companies you can choose from. There’s SiteGround, HostGator, Bluehost, and many more. If I were you, I’d instead choose from the three. They are some of the best people love.
Usually, it should cost you roughly $60 to set up a basic site. The problem? It will look unprofessional because you will be forced to use a lot of free stuff like the themes, plugins, etc.
Instead of creating a basic site, you can purchase the Divi theme, which goes for $89 and buy some plugins that will ensure your website runs smoothly like Akismet, that will get rid of spam messages.
But, the choice is yours. And maybe, if you have a fixed budget, go ahead and create a basic website, then when you finally find your feet, you can purchase some of the best themes like Divi.
For someone serious about starting his or her freelance writing career, it would be best if you followed the procedure above.
5) Craft Your Blog Posts
You have created your website, and all things are set up. Probably, you’re super excited. Please, don’t let your guard down just yet. There is still a long way to go.
You must have heard this phrase, “content is king.” Well, to some extent, that’s true, but on one end, it will be a big lie if you take it literally like that. Why?
Look, some years ago, bloggers would create tons of 300-word blog posts and publish them. Surprise! Surprise! – they would go viral.
The truth is that by then, a few people were writing and publishing. So, it was super easy to get ranked on Google and get traffic.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen anymore. Google has become more advanced, and therefore, you need to craft an informative and actionable content that your readers will love.
But how do you create an informative and actionable content? I would still refer you to the free tool, BuzzSumo. Search for some of the most shared posts in your niche, then come out with what you’re going to write.
Wait! I’m not saying you copy and paste. No, that’s not what I mean. I mean, read some of those viral posts and identify what the authors left out, then come up with a more detailed post – that addresses what the authors left out.
One final thing. Below your post, please offer a freebie, then have a form where your readers will get the freebie in exchange for their email addresses. The email list will help you monetize your blog once it’s popular.
6) Pitch Clients Like the Big Guy
You have taken some of the best freelancing courses, settled on a niche, created writing samples, created your website, and added some viral posts on it, SWEET! I bet you are in the climax of succeeding with your freelance writing career.
But there’s something you need to do so that you start earning what you deserve – pitching clients so that they can hire you.
The reason why I love pitching is that most of the people you pitch are top influencers who are ready to pay you for your expertise.
I don’t want to even talk about bidding sites or content mills – they’re a waste of time because you’ll be forced to write numerous articles while the pay is low.
I’d advice you to pitch clients directly and ask them if they need your services. I know it’s a challenge to get influencer’s email addresses, but don’t worry I’ll give you some hack. Hopefully, they’ll help you succeed with your freelance writing career.
Here we go:
Search on Google – “your niche+companies.” For example, credit card companies
Next, sweep through their website and check the “About Us” page if there is anybody in charge of content marketing. Have they provided their email address?
If not, go back to Google search and enter this phrase, “company+editor+email address. For example, Aweber editor email address
If that doesn’t work, search the company you’re targeting on LinkedIn. Browse through some of their employees and check out if there’s anybody in charge of their marketing
Let’s assume you get someone in charge of content marketing. That’s whom you want to pitch. So, check the person’s Twitter account if they have a website or if they used their email address to sign up
Another hack is to enter the first and second name of the person you are targeting on an email permutator. Email permutator will give suggestions of the email addresses the person could be using
Once you get the list, copy the list and assume you want to send an email. Paste the list of email addresses there. At this point, Full contact will help you identify the email address the person used in any of his or her social accounts
Maybe you haven’t integrated Full Contact with your Gmail account. Please search on how to integrate Full Contact with a Gmail account and get started.
Once you have your list, craft an excellent pitch that will trigger a response. Don’t be too wordy in your first pitch. The first pitch is meant to start a conversation.
You have sent many pitches, and one or two clients have accepted your pitches. Congratulations!
Now it’s time to do your first project and give the client pure gold. Yes, pure gold. Don’t get me wrong. The first projects you handle will either make or break your freelance writing career.
If you choose to deliver precisely what the client asked, then the client might not consider you for future projects.
But what if you surpass the expectations of your client? Sure, he or she will be more than willing to consider you for future projects. If he or she is not sure of future projects, he or she can refer you to other awesome clients.
Key issues to note:
Do your research thoroughly and come up with informative content
Do not spin the content – spinning is rewriting a content that’s already published
Do not use fluffy words like in fact, really, etc
Don’t be too professional. Readers want to be entertained. So, include a story or a case study that’ll wake up your readers
Thoroughly proofread and edit your work. Clients hate petty mistakes like spelling and punctuation errors
8) Learn from the Gurus
Want to know some of the people that have helped me set up my freelance writing career the right way? I bet you should be interested because they’ll also help you out.
When I started, I followed and subscribed to many blogs. I can’t even remember how many they were.
Unfortunately, I had to unsubscribe from some of the blogs because they were no longer of use to me. I can’t say whose blog I unsubscribed from, but I’ll tell you who have remained my choice up to now.
Familiar with the list? Oh My God! If not, run and subscribe to those blogs. They have the secrets you are looking for to succeed with your freelance writing career.
9) Increase Your Freelance Writing Rates
You’re close to succeeding with your freelance writing career, but there are two things you haven’t done yet – increasing your rates and teaching what you know for some cash.
For now, let’s talk about how you can increase your freelance writing rates and still secure the high paying clients of your dream.
Let me be honest with you. You can never increase your rates when your writing is still weak. Therefore, you need to up your game if you must raise your rates, but how do I do that Denzil?
There are tons of approaches you can take. I knew my writing wasn’t on point. So, I purchased Shani Raja’s course, “How to Become an Exceptional Writer.”
How to Become an Exceptional Writer by Shani Raja helped me know how to proofread and edit my work.
Then I purchased Jon Morrow’s mini-course, “Creating Credibility” that taught me how to write posts that go viral. After completing this course, I tested the hacks with one post, and it went viral. For the first time, my post got 174 social shares.
It depends on your weakness. If you are weak in editing, then take an editing course. If you feel you don’t know how to craft posts that go viral, then Jon Morrow should be your guy. If you think SEO is a nightmare, kindly read from Neil Patel’s blog.
10) Teach What You Know
If you almost forgot that you have a website, it’s time to remember because we want to finalize the whole process of succeeding with your freelance writing career.
Succeeding with your freelance writing career can be challenging, especially if you only depend on writing for clients. So, is there another way I can make more money?
Yes, there is another sure-fire way to earn passive income from your freelance writing career experience – teaching what you know.
Let’s not beat around the bush. Once you have become popular, clients are knocking at your door regularly, and you have built an email list with loyal subscribers, it’s time to teach people what you know.
Gather all the experiences you have come across into a course. Please don’t lie. Just put down in writing or video clips everything that worked for you.
Some people talk about things they haven’t even achieved or done themselves. That’s wrong and unethical. Soon, your subscribers are going to realize and unsubscribe, then your downfall begins.
I’m sure that’s not what you want. So, go and teach exactly what you know, and that has worked well for you.
The tactical way of doing this is by starting with a FREE mini-course, then when people like it, you can create a paid course.
I bet this was a long post, but you must have got tons of actionable pieces of advice – I hope so.
I must congratulate you for staying up to the end. As a result, I want to give you an offer.
What if I back this post up with a real FREE freelance mini-course? Is that something you’d be interested in?
No tomorrow, it’s now. If you subscribe today, you’ll receive your first lesson right now and the next lesson tomorrow until lesson 5.
If others have succeeded with their freelance writing career, I bet you can. Please take this challenge and once you succeed, kindly shoot me an email telling me how you did it. I’ll be very happy to read from your success story.
Before I tell you why everything I taught you about freelance writing in Kenya was wrong, let me first brief you on how I started out as a freelance writer.
Some months ago, I didn’t have the financial freedom everyone always wants to have; I couldn’t afford to host any of my friends at my house.
Have you ever felt like everything around you is boring? I mean you look around and everything seems messy.
That’s exactly how I felt in January 2018. I was in my small hostel room, wrapped up in my blue-stripped duvet, wondering where my next income would come from.
For chrissake, I was just a college student who couldn’t afford the fancy lifestyle every other college student had. Why was I even in college?
Worst of all is that as much as I was a second-year student, I hadn’t figured any lucrative side hustle that could bag me a few dollars to even buy my “boxers.” lol.
Most of my friends had ventured into lucrative side hustles and life seemed interesting to them.
Here I was in my small room cursing the day I received my results with a grade A- (minus) that gave me a free ticket to join campus.
Here’s How I Taught You How to Become Reputable Freelance Writer in Kenya
Few months after I found my feet, I began teaching people the basics of freelance writing in Kenya. I didn’t just want my juniors to suffer the same way I did.
Basically, I taught people everything I knew about freelance writing in Kenya. My goal was to see other people succeed and mentor the future generation.
So, some few months, after going through a few freelance writing paid courses, I decided to implement everything I learned.
Most of them worked for me while a few couldn’t just favour me because of one or two reasons, but I never gave up.
What I Didn’t Teach You About Freelance Writing in Kenya
Some of what I decided to teach you about freelance writing in Kenya included: continuously pitching clients, having an online presence, creating a writer website, and creating awesome writing samples.
I taught people all the four issues above but missed on very vital ideas that would make the whole lessons wrong.
Continuously pitching clients worked well for me. Clients who didn’t even know me stored my details in their database and later contacted me.
I once pitched a client from Facebook. We didn’t discuss much with him because my rates were super high, but he later contacted me and we are now working together – actually, we’ve been working for more than two months now.
I still pitch clients regularly. Some will respond telling me that they have stored my details and that they will contact me if the need arises.
And the weird part is that I even pitched my college, and guess what?
The content marketing manager gave me time to express myself and after our first meeting, she told me to submit a written proposal that she would then submit to the board for further discussion.
I don’t want to give the impression that they will hire me to market one of their products (Taifa laptop), but I just want to encourage you to be courageous enough and approach big companies just like I did.
The second thing I taught you was to have an online presence.
Sure, I have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram. I’m blessed to be popular in one of the social accounts – Facebook.
That doesn’t mean that I have failed on Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram. It’s just that I don’t have many followers on those accounts like I do on Facebook.
I have always contributed in the above groups and I’ve got awesome clients from most of them.
I got one of my awesome clients in Writing Revolters Facebook group. She wanted me to her craft some articles and after the project, she had no option but to leave behind this awesome testimonial. See it below:
Not only does Denzil pay attention to detail and follow instructions to a tee, but he’s unafraid to ask questions and offer suggestions for improvements. Denzil clearly cares about the work he does, and it shows. He consistently demonstrates his dedication to his career, his clients, and to inspiring other writers.
The third thing I taught you was to create an awesome writer website.
Because of my hard work and the right attitude, I never spent a coin in designing my website. One of my awesome clients paid for everything, including the Divi Theme and the plugins.
Lucky me, right? Maybe.
Lastly, I taught you the art of crafting writing samples that clients love. I have used the hack I learned to create numerous writing samples that I use to hook clients who ultimately hire me.
But what did I teach you wrong?
Here’s what I taught you wrong:
I taught you to continuously pitch clients, but showed you the wrong method
I taught you to create an online presence and left it at that
I taught you to create a writer website, but didn’t tell you more about creating a website and…
I also told you to create samples, but never showed you how
Before I show you in detail what I didn’t tell you earlier, let me say, “I’m sorry.”
Let’s jump into the first mistake – Continuously pitching clients.
Continuously Pitch Clients
Pitching clients isn’t that technical. I know what’s technical is getting the emails of those you want to pitch.
And if getting the editors’ email is your biggest problem, I got you covered. You can use some of the email search tools like Vocus.io, Hunter.io, etcetera.
Now that you’ve found the emails of the editors of the companies you want to pitch, go ahead and write an excellent pitch.
Make sure it’s short and on point. One of the secrets is that your first pitch should trigger a response; it’s meant to start a conversation. In short, conclude your pitch with a question tag the editor can’t ignore.
Once you have sent your first pitch, send as many pitches as possible because you will receive approximately five responses out of the pitches you send.
Being a university student seem fun. In fact, that was my biggest dream – to qualify for campus.
But, look, forget all the fancy lifestyles you have read from campus magazines. It’s actually not real, especially if you don’t know where your next income is going to come from.
I joined campus but had such a fixed budget that if I invited friends for one meal, then I would stay hungry the next meal. But how can you stay on campus without the company of friends?
I don’t like sharing my stories, but I love doing one thing – ENCOURAGINGOTHERS. So, that’s why I’m writing this story.
As I write this, I’m in my small room, somewhere around Jomo Kenyatta University. It is 00:39 AM, Sunday, the 28th day of October, the year 2018. It's my 23rd birthday and I'm happy that I've managed to reach this far.
Enjoy reading and see how possible it is to move from your ho-hum or workplace life, move to paradise, and show the world you can do it.
My Best Friend Secures an Online Job Worth $50!
HEARTBREAK! Yes, I know I should be celebrating or congratulating my closest friend for securing an online part-time job, but it’s not what you think. (hint: he did the unexpected to me.)
My friend landed a job with the Microsoft company and the worst of all is that he never informed me of the opportunity. He was stupid enough to inform me of it after the selection process had ended. I tell you it hurt me soooooo much.
I became jealous and decided to revenge. Tit for tat is a fair game, but does it really work? Read on to find what transpired.
Higher Educations Loan (HELB)
With my rancour still alive, I decided to do something unique. I needed money real quick and not just money, a lot of money.
After figuring how I could earn money quickly and live a fancy lifestyle like my friend, I thought I should waggle my HELB loan.
At that time, people were glued onto betting on games like soccer and they were winning good cash. So, I decided to try.
My account at that time read $200 and I was convinced that I could use the money to stake on single games and win some good cash.
My first match lost and $30 was gone. I tried the next day with $50 and it went too.
I thought I should wait for the weekend and try my luck one more time. The weekend came and there were a variety of games to pick on. Was it the opportunity? I tried one more time.
Oh no! My last stake was gone too. I was done. I remained with only $20 in my account.
$20 couldn’t pay my rent either take care of my upkeep. So, what was I going to do?
Should I call my dad? No, my dad knew very well I had received my HELB loan and it would be difficult explaining where the money had disappeared.
At that time, I was almost sitting for my end semester exam and you can figure out all the stress. I had to pay rent, I had to buy food, and I had to go through my notes in preparation for the end semester exams.
I became dull; all the happiness went down the toilet, and my eating habit became poor – making me lose weight abruptly. I thought about what I could do and finally decided to ask for help from my relatives.
Relatives Never Help at the Time of Need
“Families are messy. Immortal families are eternally messy. Sometimes the best we can do is to remind each other that we're related for better or for worse and try to keep the maiming and killing to a minimum.” - Rick Riordan.
All the same, I reached out to most of them.
For chrissake, others referred me back to my parents, yet I needed their help. Of course, I was aware my parents were alive, but I had a reason for reaching out to them.
After so many struggles, I gave up and knew none of them was going to help.
“Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.” - H. Jackson Brown Jr.
I Opted to Sell Most of My Valuables
Looking around, I only had three valuable items; a laptop, a sub-woofer, and my phone. So, I started weighing which was less important.
If I sold my laptop, I would remain poor because it was my source of income.
If I sold my sub-woofer, I would be forced to sell it cheaply and go at a loss.
What of doing away with my phone? Well, I loved chatting with friends. So, selling my phone would mean I would stay lonely. Who loves being lonely?
Goooooooooooooooood! What was I going to do?
After so much thought, I decided I would sell my phone and settle some of my bills. So, I sold the phone at a 70% loss.
If you were once a student (I mean in the 21rst century), then you know how hard it is to lack a phone, especially during the examination periods.
Examination venues and scheduled time always changed out of the blue. If you didn’t have a phone to connect with your classmates for updates, failing to sit for a paper was real, but who cares? After all, you’re a grown-up; you should organize yourself.
It was tough; I mean hard, but thank God I managed to manoeuvre my ways and sit for all the examinations.
My Generous Cousin Decides to Help Out of the Blue
Your greatest contribution may not be something you do but someone you raise, thanks to my cousin, Kevin.
At that time, I felt I was nobody; everything went. I just hated myself.
I, therefore, tried to search for anything I could do online and earn some little income.
I had heard of online writing; the most popular one in my country is academic writing. I decided to try it out.
At least my cousin offered to leave behind his tablet during work days. So, I had free access to the Internet.
I tried researching online writing and searched on Google if I could find some jobs to do.
I did my first job on academic writing and was scammed. My second job? Scammed. My third? Scammed. I lost hope.
I decided to look for something else more genuine. I wanted something that could enable me to land international clients because my faith with local clients had washed away.
Google Search Leads Me to the Right Path
I lost hope and felt that all online jobs were a scam. I did one more Google search to see where it would lead me. I searched, “freelancing in Kenya.” Guess what?
On the home page, my eyes got glued to “FREE Must-Have Mini-Course for Freelance Writers.”I signed up and started receiving emails the next Monday.
I tell you the emails (Free Mini-course) changed my life; I learned a totally new approach to freelancing. I joined some of the Facebook groups Walter Akolo had recommended and started looking for writing jobs.
Walter’s Free Mini-Course Helps me Win my First Job
After two weeks, I got my first client on Facebook. The client wanted me to help him craft articles.
At the time, the client was willing to pay me $2 for every 500 words. The pay was low which forced me to wake up as early as 4 in the morning and sleep as late as 11 in the night.
The reason why I loved the client was that he paid on delivery. Each day, I was to submit 10 articles and he paid instantly.
In FOUR DAYS, I bought a new phone - the first phone I ever bought from hard earned money.
I was happy. I was motivated. I was encouraged, and...I believed I could make money doing what I loved – writing.
Life Hits Me Hard
After completing my first writing project, I went out looking for more jobs. I believed I was smart and could do more writing tasks.
The Facebook groups I joined turned to be my nightmare. The atmosphere in those groups were all about “Freelance Training. Freelance Training. Freelance Training.”
I knew I was better. So, why go for training?
I started opposing violently in those groups and after a few days, I was kicked out in all the valuable groups I was.
I was left with no group. I had no idea where to get jobs because the only place I knew was Facebook groups and they were now gone.
I gave up.
Life After a Tough Experience With Facebook Groups
I gave up on writing for some time to cool my brain. All I did was to watch TV the whole day.
After some time, I decided to visit Walter’s website and read some of his pieces. I got the motivation to continue with freelance writing. As I was going through the pages, I came across Walter’s freelance writing course that went at $30 at the time (the course currently goes for $40.)
$30 was a lot of money to me. I couldn’t afford it easily, but I believed I would one day touch the purchase button.
One day, I decided to open up to my dad about freelancing and made him aware that I had an interest in joining Walter’s course. He asked me how much the course cost and I told him $30. Surprisingly, he congratulated me on my brilliant idea and assured me that he would buy me the course.
One morning, I received an email from Walter, a post on how Daniel was skeptical about freelancing but still succeeded. Daniel was still young which gave me some motivation. Immediately, I finished reading the post, I sent my dad a text. In the text, I explained how badly I needed the course. I promised never to disappoint him.
After some few minutes, the reply popped, “I will send you the money today.”I can’t describe the joy I had. I was very happy.
Denzil Joins Walters Freelance Writing Course
At around 4 pm that day, dad sent me the cash and I immediately forwarded the cash to Walter. I sent Walter my details and he sent me the login details on my email.
Could I wait to start the training the next day? Hell no! This was something I had craved for. So, why would I postpone?
I started reading every detail in the course and the more I read, the more superior I felt. That day I slept at 12 midnight.
How my Freelance Business Took Off After the Training
Within one week, I had landed my first job and a month later, I had landed tons of jobs that made me start outsourcing some.
My biggest challenge was that I never had a writer’s website where I could showcase my skills. Convincing high paying clients was difficult.
The fourth job I got on Upwork was interesting. I had sent a pitch and after two months, the client hadn’t shown an interest in hiring me. Finally, I got a message from on Upwork. The offer came like money in the bank.
After my first milestone, the client decided to work with me outside Upwork. (note: never propose to your client that you work outside Upwork. Let the client propose.)
I got more than $200 for that project which was more than enough to create a simple writer website.
My Website is Hosted
$200 was enough to start a website. I, therefore, decided to set aside $50 for the design.
One morning, one of my U.S clients reached out to ask if I could help him rewrite a website copy.
He was one of my awesome clients. A brief on how we met:))
I asked Johnnie which website hosting company was the best and he suggested a few.
I told Johnnie of my interest to host my website and he offered to host my website. Just like that! Why?
I had been loyal to him; following his instructions to a tee, delivering pure gold and above all, I accepted any mistakes I made.
After a long conversation, he accepted to host my site and sent the login details the following day.
How I Moved to Paradise
Have you ever felt like everything around you is a mess; you look at your small room and you feel like you hate yourself?
Well, that was exactly what I experienced in January 2018. I was sitting in my small room around my college, wrapped up in my duvet, wondering what I’d do next. The world had shown me how cruel it was.
For chrissake, I was just a third-year student, but I could still manage to freelance and earn some income to keep me going.
My biggest problem was that I didn’t know how to become a better freelance writer and command higher rates.
I took time to design my website and make it look more professional and then published some valuable blog posts that my readers ultimately loved and shared and boom! My blog became popular and clients started reaching out to me.
After my blog became popular, I took some few writing courses and my writing improved immensely. This enabled me to double my rates and start earning what I deserved. Weeeeuwee! All the struggles had finally yielded to something.
I could now pay bills, go out, and occasionally host my friends without worrying about anything. I moved into a more spacious room and I’m happy it happened out of my hard work. Thank God.
Lucky me, right? Maybe yes, maybe no. But the most important thing is that you can as well make it like I did.
You Can Also Do It
Because I learned the hard way, I would never want the same thing to happen to anybody starting out. I normally give some FREE basic training to anybody who reaches out to me.
Remember, freelancing is a game and at the same time a profession. You must work smart to be where you want. If you don’t, you’re going to fail terribly.
Implement everything you learn and you will write a story similar to this one or even write a better one than this. C’mon, you can do this. Yes, you!
You have set your blog, crafted good content, posted them on your site, and now waiting for visitors to visit your blog. You start experiencing low lead generation, and then you say that blogging isn't meant for you. Let's face reality; nobody is going to notice you if you don't market yourself. No, it's the old school blogging tactics that you're using that no longer work. In this article, I'm going to show you old school blogging tactics that no longer work and also give you the right tactics that currently work.
1) Taking Too Much Time Writing Great Content
You must have been told that you need to take time writing great content if you want tons of people to visit your blog – so, you spend a couple of days writing “great content.” Yes, you need to craft great content, but taking much time writing one article is a waste of time.Derek Halpen suggests that you should spend 20% creating great content while 80% promoting it. It means, when you publish a new post, it should reach as many people as possible. So, what should you do?Build relationships with influencers; comment and share their posts.Remember, not just a comment will do; read through their posts and have facts you’ll mention when leaving a comment. You can complement the author, but let it come out naturally.Jon Morrow gives the following blog outreach tactics:
Reach out to target top bloggers
Share their posts – add their blog’s handle
Respond to social media queries
Comment on top bloggers’ sites
Send a complimentary email
Point out broken links to them
Offer to improve a resource
Grow the relationship
2) Guest Blogging
Guest blogging was a sure-fire way of getting noticed, but things have changed. Guest blogging on popular publications like HuffPost doesn't guarantee you much traffic.Yes, they don't guarantee much traffic because they grow daily, plus they publish tons of posts alongside yours every day. But here's the good news; you can still guest blog – but on specific niche-based blogs.If you're a personal finance writer, pitch companies that accept guest posts about personal finance. Likewise, if you are a weight loss writer, pitch health and wellness companies.Another hack is to get influencers to share your post. Reach out to top bloggers and ask them to share your post.
3) Asking Readers to Subscribe for Free Updates
Years back, you could build your email list by asking readers to sign up for free updates. Not anymore. Other blogs are offering real stuff in exchange for email addresses. Asking people to subscribe for free updates is like giving them nothing in return. Since people realized the power of emailing marketing, website owners have better ways of collecting emails. While you're struggling to grow your mailing list, other bloggers are bragging, "join the 10,000 who have already signed up."So, how do you build your email list?You can choose to do video courses because nearly everyone expects to pay for it. Another brilliant way of building your email list is by creating fascinating case studies. Come up with a case study that has been on a debate over the last few weeks. For example, "A case study on why WordPress is no longer the king."Lastly, you can offer handy templates. Most freelance sites provide templates in exchange for your email address. A good example is the Freelance to Win site that gives you Upwork proposal template in exchange for your email address. Because you are not good at crafting excellent proposals that shout, "Hire me," you'll find yourself signing up. Lastly, a time-saving cheat sheet is also a concrete offer on demand. Nearly all people want to spend their time wisely and increase their productivity.
4)Selling Advertising Spaces for Ad Companies
Ads used to be one of the best ways bloggers could earn passive income. When people clicked on their ads, they would earn income that would pay their bills.Sadly, there's more competition today and tons of people have developed "barrier blindness" – people don't pay attention to the ads anymore. In fact, in some cases, when people visit your site and see ads, they leave.So, what should you do?There are a couple of ways you can make money on your blog; you can create online courses, sell products, write eBooks etcetera. Treat your blog like an empire and not like some shitty advertising platform.
5) Skulking in Comments Section with Intentions of Getting Traffic
Some years ago, commenting on top blogs could help you get noticed quick. You'd leave your email address, site URL and people would click on your site URL to read your blog, and boom, you get noticed. Sadly, people are too busy to click on every site. So, there's a higher possibility people won't click on your site URL. Here's what you should do instead.Commenting is still a brilliant idea of connecting with influencers, but you need to do it smartly. First, read the entire post and understand every concept the author is trying to make.Secondly, pick out the impressive points that have equally worked for you and share your experience. If you have additional ideas, suggest them, but in a polite wayThirdly, share their post on your timeline and use their handles. Be consistent in leaving comments and always keep the conversations alive by asking trigger questions.Lastly, you can reach top bloggers by sending them a complimentary email. After all, who doesn't love to read compliments? Write an email to them explaining how their content helped you achieve something BIG. (let it be genuine)
6) Busy Crafting Round Up Posts
Have you heard of a round-up post? Well, I have tried the tactic and failed miserably. The post only generated 14 shares after long nights of toiling trying to get information from top bloggers. If you don't know what a round-up post is; a round-up post is a type of post where a blogger reaches out to several experts to interview them and use their replies in a post. Round up posts used to work until people realized the tactic and nearly everyone dived into it. Round up posts don't work anymore. Influencer's inboxes are filled with old round up questions – which in most cases are sent to trash. If they don't, they'll give a shallow reply that will weaken your post instead of strengthening it. Use experts as the case study examples instead of sending them boring emails (that they would always send to trash.)Or…Get more creative with smart roundup questions that insight the shout, "I must reply to this."
7) Trying to Convert Search Engines Instead of Humans
I call it, "blogging blunder number one"; trying to convert search engines instead of readers. A client asks you to craft him a great content, then spoils everything by giving you a long list of keywords to include in the article. Sorry to disappoint you, but this old-school blogging tactic no longer works. Kindly employ the current tactic (which I'm going to show you).Google algorithm has changed, and it now looks at the following to rank your post:How long a user spends on your pageThe percentage of users who leave your site without visiting any pageLength of search resultsA depth of search resultsIt's relatively simple; write long-form detailed content that aims to educate your readers and solve their problems instantly. If a reader wanted to know how to prepare coffee like a real barista, write a post that will leave the reader saying, "I can do this!"I'm sure you've had experience with some of these old-school blogging tactics and seen how they impacted on your blog. You need to eliminate the old school blogging tactics and substitute them with the current tactics I have provided. Do you have any other old school blogging tactic that you want to add? Feel free to add them in the comments. I'll be happy to read from you.