Go to Freelancer.com and you’ll find hundreds of thousands of freelancers competing for millions of projects.
It’s a free-for-all marketplace, and there is a lot of downward pressure on pricing.
Companies know there will be a lot of people wanting to work on the projects they post, so they can sit back and wait for the right writer at the right price.
In many categories this becomes a race to the bottom, because freelancers know the only way they can compete is to keep their prices low.
One of the categories hit hardest by this downward pressure is content writing. And this pressure to write for peanuts isn’t confined just to sites like Freelancer.com. It’s industry-wide.
Freelancers I have spoken to, and sometimes coached, have told me stories of clients asking for a huge number of new content pages, with almost impossible deadlines and – worst of all – for very low fees.
You really want to avoid those kinds of engagements. Putting aside the low fees for a moment, the real problem is that those clients keep you so buy you never have time to find better clients who value quality, and are willing to pay more.
And here’s the thing… content is incredibly valuable to any online business.
Bloggers, growth hackers or a small or medium-size business – without quality content, they’re sunk.
So how can you, as a freelancer, up your game and position yourself as a content creator who is worth more?
There are three steps.
1 – Become a specialist.
As with most aspects of freelancing, specialists make more than generalists. In the same way that orthopedic surgeons make more than family doctors.
As a web content writer there are a number of ways in which you can carve out a niche and build a reputation as a high-value specialist.
Step one is to choose an industry. For example, you could position yourself as a content writer for the health and wellness industry. And only for that industry.
Step two is to create a tighter specialty within your industry niche.
For example, you could become an expert at just one kind of content creation for the health and wellness industry.
You could specialize in content that is optimized for the search engines. Or content that is optimized to be shared more through social media.
Which brings us to the second way to earn more as a content writer.
2 – Become a content optimization expert…
Most of us have heard about SEO – search engine optimization.
A few have heard of SMO – social media optimization.
Both are terrific specialties that can lift your brand as a content writer and increase your income significantly.
But there’s more…
You could also become an optimization specialist for other types of web content – like pages that pre-sell, pages that generate leads, pages that engage readers and build relationships, pages that attract quality inbound links… and so on.
When you focus on optimizing a particular type of web content, you become a true specialist.
And here’s the thing… the opportunity here is huge. How so? Because most web content is written in a hurry and isn’t optimized at all.
Bloggers, entrepreneurs and marketers within companies are in such a hurry to get new content published, they don’t sit back and take the time to figure out what it even means to “optimize” their content.
3 – Leverage your specialty to grow your freelance business.
Learn how to optimize content and you’ll immediately separate yourself from the crowd. You’ll no longer be one of the hundreds of thousands of freelance writers offering to write generic web content for pennies a page.
As a web content optimization expert you’ll be able to upgrade the value proposition you share on your freelance website, and present a whole new version of yourself.
And that version of yourself will shine out as a high-value specialist who can command higher fees.
In a future post I’ll be talking about how you can bundle some of these optimization specialties to further enhance your value in the eyes of both your clients and your prospects.
NOTE: If you are serious about writing high quality, optimized content for your website or websites, check out my course, Web Content Optimization.
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