3 ways to attract higher paying clients and avoid the $10 content mills
Back in February, I warned you about CrowdSPRING, another in a long line of “content mill” sites that professional writers should avoid.
Today, Matt Ambrose makes his debut on Pro Copy Tips with some advice on how to avoid these nefarious content mills and earn what you’re really worth.
If you’re new to the freelance writing world, you might be worried about the poverty-inducing wages offered at “content mills” and freelance bidding websites.
Well, you’re not alone.
There’s no shortage of writers outraged at what they feel is a slap in the face for the sweat and tears that goes into a piece of writing. Some think these sites even threaten the future of the profession.
After all, how are you supposed to persuade clients to pay you $200 for an article when there’s a glut of “writers” happy to fight bidding wars over $10?
But while some writers might be happy to chain themselves to a conveyor belt and churn out 20 articles a day, it doesn’t mean you have to.
There are a number of ways you can find clients that will pay you a fair rate for your copywriting skills.
Here are my top 3:
1. Specialize – Rather than compete over writing regurgitated “How To” guides, which anybody can research in a matter of minutes, try to specialize in a particular topic or industry.
Specializing in topics that are too complex for your low-paid brethren to tackle puts you in a stronger position at the bargaining table.
Think about what interests you or what topics you already know more about than most. Then start building up your knowledge and exposure until you can position yourself as an expert and get the salary that goes with it.
2. Write copy that generates sales — It’s difficult to justify $200 for an article when its main aim is to generate keywords. The highest paid copywriters are those working in direct marketing for the simple reason that their words directly translate into sales.
So focus on building your skills in writing landing pages, email campaigns, sales letters, or anything else that’s linked to revenue. If your copy is going to generate money for clients, then you deserve to be rewarded for it.
3. Become an added value copywriter (as coined by Tom Chandler) — Rather than just words, consider what else you can offer clients to sweeten the deal. This could be helping to run a blog, online reputation management, Twitter campaigns, link building, or setting up a Facebook page.
These are all skills you can easily teach yourself and will make you a more valuable asset to clients.
So if you’re in the unfortunate position of hammering out keyword articles or doing other low-paying work for content mills to make ends meet, start building your skills and areas of expertise, and increase your salary in the process.
Matt Ambrose is a freelance copywriter and publisher of The Copywriter’s Crucible, a melting pot of copywriting news, tips, and insight.
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